The disappointment was great in Eastern Switzerland. Without a word, FC St. Gallen went down in the Swiss Cup final last Sunday with a bitter 4-1 win against Lugano. It was nothing with the big party – again. On the contrary: club president Matthias Hüppi (64) had to prevent agitated fans from storming the pitch.
The trip to Bern’s Wankdorf Stadium could now also have legal repercussions for FC St. Gallen’s largest donor association. Members of the “Tuesday Club” had themselves chauffeured around the country in German cars. Corresponding pictures are available. But that is not allowed.
«We do not accept cabotage!»
This is a violation of the so-called cabotage ban. Under the land transport agreement with the EU, foreign companies are prohibited from transporting people or goods between two domestic destinations. This is intended to protect local transport companies from cheap foreign competition. Because the price pressure in the industry is already high. Offenses are punished with high fines.
In the coach industry, this causes great resentment. “We don’t accept cabotage!” Clarifies André Kirchhofer, Deputy Director at the Swiss Commercial Vehicle Association Astag. «Domestic transport with foreign vehicles is prohibited. And it’s all the more disturbing when that happens in the Swiss Cup final.” The police and federal authorities have already been made aware of the suspected cases.
The association is targeting the company Midia Tours Switzerland AG from Uzwil SG. “You can’t blame the tour group. They will simply have commissioned a company from the region and would have no idea of the cabotage ban anyway, »says Kirchhofer.
Authorities have already issued fines
But the car company should know better. The rules would now apply and would then have to be observed by everyone, says Kirchhofer. “If there is cabotage, it is an inadmissible market distortion.”
The authorities seem to see it that way too. The cantonal police in Bern have reported this to the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (BAZG), confirmed BAZG spokeswoman Tabea Rüdin. And the Federal Office has already acted: “Criminal proceedings were opened and fines were pronounced in the abbreviated procedure.”
The BAZG does not disclose concrete figures. In the abbreviated procedure, however, the fines are up to a maximum of 2,000 francs. Midia Tours Switzerland AG did not want to comment on request. (dba)