The statutes stipulate that the SGF has to initiate corrective actions in cases of serious nonconformities in the authenticity, labelling or safety parameters concerning the legal requirements or those stipulated by the industrial standards. Depending on the severity of the ascertained nonconformities, the inspected
plants receive objection letters stating corrective actions, such as obligation acknowledgements or negative covenants.
The level of corrective action is not an arbitrary choice. The SGF‘s catalogue of action is based on the EQCS Guideline for Corrective Action. This stipulates in detail how the SGF is to proceed in cases of objections. The office proceeds according to this catalogue when objections occur. If an objection is dealt with solely between the affected company and the office, this is a so-called internal action. No-one else is involved in the procedure. Internal actions can consist of obligation acknowledgements and negative covenants.
However, if additional parties are involved in the corrective action, this is then an external action. External actions can include for example: court procedures, involvement of the retail trade, information to the authorities, etc. As ultima ratio, the Executive Committee can also decide to exclude the corresponding company from the Voluntary Control System. Such external actions only come into effect in cases of repetition or if the affected plants fail to cooperate in eliminating the risk of repetition after faults have been ascertained.
All complaint cases will be handled confidentially. All companies concerned will be treated equally, independent of their size and importance. The only objective of the SGF is to get the problems off the market, to reinstall fair competition, and to protect the consumer.