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GSP helps beneficiary countries

The EU has three different GSP schemes for beneficiary countries: General GSP, GSP+ and Everything But Arms (EBA). General GSP arrangement is applicable to low-income or lower-middle income countries which do not have other preferential access to the EU market. Under this arrangement, the EU grants partial or full removal of customs duties for products covered by around 66 per cent of tariff lines. GSP+ is a special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance applicable to vulnerable low and lower-middle income countries. Vulnerability is assessed with respect to share of imports and economic diversification. The EBA arrangement is a special arrangement applicable to countries classified by the UN as least developed countries. Under EBA, the EU grants duty-free, quota-free access for all imported products except arms and ammunition.

Over 10 per cent of EU imports come from GSP beneficiary countries. The largest product sector to benefit from GSP is apparel and clothing, followed by footwear, mechanical appliances, fish products, leather and plastics. India is a GSP beneficiary with the largest share of overall imports into the EU (including non-preferential), followed by Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Considering only preferential imports, Bangladesh is the EU’s number one GSP partner, closely followed by India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan.