Precious metal articles, multimetal articles and plated articles sold in Switzerland must bear a responsibility mark registered in Switzerland.
Registration of a responsibility mark
Besides the other designations prescribed by law (standards of fineness, designations for plated articles, etc.), precious metal, multimetal and plated articles have to bear a Responsibility Mark (RM) registered at the Central Office for Precious Metals Control in Berne.
One might compare the responsibility mark with a signature; by striking his mark the owner vouches for the accuracy of the article's composition and accepts the consequences of any further dispute.
The registration applies for a period of 20 years after the date of registration. The registration renewal fee is CHF 800--.
There are few binding provisions concerning the shape and the appearance of the RM; however, it may not be confounded with official hallmarks, it should not be similar or identical to other already registered RMs, to registered trade marks or brand names, or to the abbreviations of international organizations.
Renewal of the responsibility mark
In accordance with article 12 paragraph 1bis of the Precious Metals Control Act, the registration applies for a period of 20 years after the date of registration. Before expiry of this period, it may be extended for a further 20 years. The registration renewal fee is CHF 800.--.
The legal regulations do not permit a renewal of shorter period (less than 20 years). For responsibility mark owners, who stand shortly before the closing of their business, the possibility exists of selling their responsibility mark. In this case the owner change must be communicated to the Central Office.
Examples of responsibility marks
Black signifies impressed into the surface of the object.