The Confederation is applying for .swiss

Bern, 13.06.2012 - In order to safeguard the interests of Switzerland, the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) has submitted an application for the .swiss internet domain to the international body which administers domain names, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

By applying for .swiss, the DETEC wishes to safeguard the interests of Switzerland and to prevent third parties from misusing or monopolising the geographical term "Switzerland". The need for protection for .swiss is great because various goals can be achieved through the use of this internet domain:

  • supporting and promoting the international visibility of Switzerland, in particular of Swiss businesses, culture and institutions;
  • strengthening the value and reputation of Swiss culture, products and services in the long term, in order to increase the confidence of consumers, for example in brands;
  • safeguarding the geographical, linguistic and social meaning of the word "Swiss"; 
  • providing a platform in the virtual domain which can be used only with reference to Switzerland.

In addition, the clarity and recognition value of .swiss is significantly higher than .ch. Whilst .ch is perfectly understood within Switzerland, it often causes confusion abroad, for example, with China. "Swiss", however, has a unique meaning throughout the world. Moreover, a .ch domain name can be registered anywhere by anyone, without any requirement for a reference to Switzerland.

The introduction of new internet domain names

In June 2011, the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which is responsible for international coordination of the internet addressing system, decided to introduce new generic top-level internet domain names (gTLDs). This means that in addition to existing gTLDs such as .com, .org and .info, any other generic names such as .bank, .hotel, .berlin, .gmbh or even .canon, deloitte, etc. will be permitted. According to ICANN, this innovation will allow the further development of the domain name market, the promotion of cultural diversity and improved visibility of brands on the internet. An application to ICANN is necessary to acquire such a domain name. The applicant must prove, among other things, that it will operate the domain name. ICANN will decide in the spring of 2013 at the earliest on the assignment of the first new internet domains.

Address for enquiries

Federal Office of Communications OFCOM
Press service, +41 58 460 55 50,


Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications