Legislation and enforcement

Current legislation for chemicals, foodstuffs, the environment, and medicines also applies to nanomaterials. Work is underway to determine any legal changes that are needed to take account of nanomaterials.  

Legislative process and enforcement

Regulatory tools, which may contribute to the safe handling of nanomaterials include:

  • Authorisation and registration procedures
  • Bans and restrictions on use
  • Declaration provisions
  • Self-monitoring by manufacturers
  • Emission and immission thresholds for water, air and soil
  • Maximum values for ingredients and impurities in food
  • Maximum values for workplace pollution
  • Quantity thresholds for storage and transport

Review of existing legislation

The relevant federal agencies are reviewing existing laws on possible adaptations, and is deciding whether the methodological basis allows already for such changes. Switzerland is also involved in developing international standards for assessing the risks of nanomaterials.

More: Inspection, measurement and assessment methods

Developments abroad, particularly in the EU, are being included in this review. Due to the large number of applications for nanomaterials, the focus is on amending ordinances rather than creating a separate "nano acts".

The first few nano-specific amendments have already been implemented into ordinances. These amendments and the guidance documents published, forming part of the "Action plan for synthetic nanomaterials", are helping to ensure that nanomaterials are produced and used safely.

More: Applicable law

Last modification 20.08.2018

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