Weather and Climate Data: New Ordinance

MeteoSwiss gathers data on weather and climate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The charges for these data are specified in the Meteorology and Climatology Ordinance (MetV). This has been adapted.

Overhauled Ordinance

The MetV details the legal mandate and competences of MeteoSwiss and forms the basis for regulating the charges. Having applied unchanged since 2007, the old provisions have now been overhauled. The update takes new social aspects, scientific findings and international trends into account. The new schedule of fees for the purchase of MeteoSwiss weather and climate data enters into force on 1 January 2019.

The most important changes

Lower charges and easier calculations:

The calculations for data charges have been significantly simplified in order to achieve better transparency. New, lower rates shall apply: the surcharge for commercial use will also be eliminated and an additional charge exemption for schools and cantons is being introduced (as is currently already the case for science and civil protection). By taking these steps, the Federal Council hopes to promote the purchase of weather and climate data, because they are of great value for both society and the economy.

Description of the Basic Service:

In accordance with its statutory remit MeteoSwiss will provide public services, the so-called Basic Service. Previously this was described in the Service Order and the Budget. The Basic Service will now be specified in the Ordinance itself and thereby on a legally more substantial level. The Basic Service includes, for example, the gathering of data from various measuring systems and the provision of weather and climate information as well as warnings for the public, authorities and operators of critical infrastructures. From the point of view of its scope, the Basic Service is the same as today.

Financial Support from the World Meterology Organisation (WMO):

Switzerland is a member of the World Meterology Organisation (WMO). The Confederation thereby benefits from high-quality meteorological and climatological data, the acquisition of which is coordinated internationally by the WMO. MeteoSwiss is now being granted competencies, in addition to the obligatory services, to financially support other activities for the WMO. The framework conditions for Swiss contributions to two key climate and atmosphere observation programs will be newly regulated for in the Ordinance.