1 The contract of surety is valid only where the surety makes a written declaration and indicates in the surety bond the maximum amount for which he is liable.
2 Where the surety is a natural person, his declaration must additionally be done in the form of a public deed in conformity with the rules in force at the place where the instrument is drawn up. Where the liability under surety does not exceed the sum of 2,000 francs, it is sufficient for the surety to indicate the amount for which he is liable and the existence of joint and several liability, if any, in his own hand in the surety bond itself.
3 Contracts of surety in favour of the Confederation or its public institutions or in favour of a canton for the performance of public law obligations, such as customs duties, taxes and the like, and for freight charges merely require the written declaration of the surety and an indication in the surety bond itself of the amount for which he is liable.
4 Where the total liability is divaided into smaller amounts in order to circumvent the formal requirement of a public deed, the formal requirements for contracts of surety for such partial amounts are the same as those prescribed for the total.
5 The sole formal requirement for subsequent amendments to the surety, except where the total liability is increased or the surety is transformed from a simple surety into a joint and several surety, is that they be done in writing. Where the principal obligation is assumed by a third party such that the debtor is released, the contract of surety is extinguished unless the surety has consented in writing to such assumption.
6 The formal requirements applicable to the contract of surety also apply to the conferral of special authority to enter into a contract of surety and the promise to stand surety for the contracting party or a third party. The parties may agree in writing to limit the surety’s liability to that portion of the principal obligation that is satisfied first.
7 The Federal Council may cap the fee payable for drawing up the surety bond as a public deed.
III. Droit de rétention
1 Les aubergistes, les hôteliers et ceux qui tiennent des écuries publiques ont, sur les choses apportées ou remisées chez eux, un droit de rétention en garantie de leurs créances pour frais d’hôtel et de garde.
2 Les règles concernant le droit de rétention du bailleur s’appliquent par analogie.