ANNOUNCEMENT 10 May 2011In May 2011, the European Commission announced a change in import duties.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
"Focusing on needs: the EU reshapes its import scheme for developing countries." 10 May 2011. DG Trade.
See also "More benefits from preferential trade tariffs for countries most in need: Reform of the EU Generalised System of Preferences." 10 May 2011. DG Trade.
An overview of the existing regulation:
EC Regulation 978/2012
EC Regulation 732/2008
Secondary source KMPG
Overview from the EU
On 10 May 2011 the European Commission (EC) announced plans to reform its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). According to the EC "it will limit its GSP...to approximately 80 countries to take into account the emergence of more advanced developing countries which are now globally competitive." The removal of these preferences increases, or reintroduces, discrimination against the exporters of those countries dropped from the scheme.
In addition, the EC has tightened the conditions under which countries can be eligible for the EU's GSP+ regime. As the EC notes "Potential GSP+ beneficiaries are obliged to commit to effective and full cooperation with international organisations regarding the respect for international conventions, which is the second economic critierion required in order for GSP+ to apply. The burden of proof for the implementation of international conventions will now be with the countries concerned. GSP+ will have strengthened controls and monitoring, and more robust procedures for the temporary suspension from the scheme." It would appear that the requirements necessary to retain GSP+ benefits have increased.
On 25 October 2012, the EC adopted a new scheme of generalised tariff preferences for selected developing countries (regulation EU 978/2012) that replaces the 2008 regulation (EU 732/2008).
This new GSP (Generalized Scheme of Preferences) will allow 89 countries to benefit from reduced customs duties. While this new scheme will decrease the number of eligible countries by excluding, among others, Brazil, Russia, Saudi Arabia or Malaysia, the number of goods eligible for the tariff reduction will increase. The new GSP entered into force on 1 January 2014.
With respect to the GSP+ and the 'Everything but Arms' initiatives, countries covered by these schemes will benefit from additional tariff reductions.
The tariff lines and sectors referred to in this report are those mentioned in the general arrangement of EU regulation 978/2012, preamble point (a).
Update on 1 January 2015:
On 1 January 2015, the GSP provisions were amended by regulations 1421/2013 and 602/2015 (cf. Related Measures). For that reason, this measure is no longer classified as implemented.