CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. EU Publishes Revised GSP For Developing Countries

EU Publishes Revised GSP For Developing Countries

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

02 November 2012

The European Union (EU) has issued its revised scheme of generalized tariff preferences (GSP) for imports from those developing countries most in need, which will take effect from January 1, 2014.

The EU GSP grants trade preferences, such as zero or reduced tariffs, for developing countries' exports to the EU, and has been in force since 1971. Its reform is said to be aimed at adapting the system to the changed global landscape, making it more transparent and predictable, and more generous to the countries in greatest need.

Following agreement with the European Council and European Parliament (EP), the publication of the new scheme contains the specific tariff preferences granted under GSP, and the final criteria for which developing countries will benefit. The new scheme will be focused on 89 beneficiaries, reduced from 176. The selection of beneficiaries will henceforth be largely income-based.

At the same time, more support will be provided to countries under the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, which provides for full duty-free and quota-free imports of all goods from the least developed countries, with the exception of arms.

"I am delighted that EU member states and the EP have backed the European Commission's proposal to make our preferential import scheme more effective,” said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. “It was an important recognition that key developing economies have become globally competitive. This now allows us to tailor our pro-development trade scheme to give the countries still lagging behind some additional breathing space and support."

The current GSP scheme will remain valid until January 1, 2014, thus giving countries and their businesses time to adapt to the revised regime. The new scheme is expected to start with 49 least developed countries in EBA, and 40 other low and lower-middle income countries within GSP.

EBA will include 33 countries in Africa, 10 in Asia, five in the Pacific and one in the Caribbean (Haiti). The 40 remaining GSP countries will still include countries such as China and India, together with Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The countries that will no longer benefit from the GSP scheme include those mainly EU territories which have their own market access regulation, and those which have another trade arrangement with the EU which provides substantially equivalent coverage as compared with GSP. This includes countries with a free trade agreement, or with autonomous arrangements, such as an Economic Partnership Agreement.

Finally, GSP has also been withdrawn from countries which have been listed by the World Bank as high or upper middle income economies for the past three years. These include high income Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and upper-middle income trading partners, such as Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Russia and Malaysia.

The EU has also decided to extend the range of products covered by the GSP to include some raw metals (for example, aluminium oxide, lead and cadmium), that are of particular value to countries that remain in the GSP scheme, while there are safeguards to protect the EU textile and clothing industries against very low-cost imports from third countries.

In 2011, imports that received GSP preferences were worth EUR87bn (USD112.6bn), which represents around 5% of total EU imports and 11% of the total EU imports from developing countries.

TAGS: Haiti | Russia | United Arab Emirates | tax | India | Kuwait | Niger | Nigeria | Saudi Arabia | Venezuela | tariffs | trade treaty | China | Colombia | Ecuador | Philippines | Qatar | Thailand | agreements | Brazil | Indonesia | Malaysia | Peru | import duty | trade | European Union (EU) | Argentina | Vietnam | Europe

To see today's news, click here.


Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »

Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »