Administrative proceedings in cases of possible violations of the duty of care

Measures by the border control authorities

If a person who does not fulfil the requirements to enter the Schengen Area or to pass through airports' international transit zones is refused entry at Switzerland's external Schengen borders, the border control authorities will notify the air carrier which flew the individual concerned to the border, and the SEM.

SEM decision on whether or not to open proceedings

The SEM will examine whether or not the severity of the violation of the duty of care justifies the opening of proceedings.

If proceedings are opened against an air carrier, they will be conducted in one of Switzerland's official languages (German, French or Italian) exclusively. This therefore rules out proceedings being conducted in English.

Response from the air carrier

The air carrier will be notified by letter that administrative proceedings have been opened on the grounds of a violation of its duty of care. The carrier may respond to the allegation within a set period and offer evidence that it has not violated its duties of care.


If the carrier can prove that it has fulfilled all of its duties of care, the proceedings will be suspended. However, if the carrier is not able to provide sufficient evidence that it has fulfilled its duties, the SEM will issue a sanction ruling against it.


Sanction rulings against air carriers are subject to appeal (Art. 44 APA).

The appeal must be lodged with the Federal Administrative Court within 30 days of publication of the ruling (Arts. 50 and 47 APA).

Enforcement (Arts. 39–40 APA)

The SEM is responsible for enforcing the rulings it issues, and the decisions of the competent courts in the event of an appeal.


Last modification 07.12.2015

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