Federal Administrative Court, Decision C-6568/2018 of 15 July 2019

31. Juli 2019 – In September 2016, the Customs Inspectorate Basel stopped the import of about 210 kilograms of Snus. The importing company objected, but the Federal Customs Administration confirmed the import rejection, arguing that the goods were in the form of powder or small cut tobacco and would therefore fall under the prohibition as stated in the Swiss Tobacco Ordinance (SR 817.06; Verordnung über Tabakerzeungisse und Raucherwaren mit Tabakersatzstoffen, TabV) and the "Snus Guidelines". In its appeal to the Federal Administrative Court, the importing company argued that art. 5 of the Tobacco Ordinance and the "Snus-Guidelines" are unlawful since they have do not have a sufficient legal basis in an act. The Federal Supreme Court had already held in its decision 2C_718/2018 of 27 May 2019 that art. 5 of the Tobacco Ordinance is unlawful. Since the provision is contrary to statutory and constitutional law, it had not been necessary to consider public interest and proportionality. Taking this decision into account, the Federal Administrative Court approved the appeal at hand and allowed the import of the contested goods due to a missing statutory basis for a rejection of the goods.