The European Commission implemented its first Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme in 1971. The EU GSP is applied in the framework of 10 year programs through different regulations for manufacturing products, textile products, agricultural products etc. The European Commission adopted a reformed GSP law (EU GSP Regulation 978, 2012) on 31 October 2012. These new preferences were made applicable from 1 January 2014.

The EU GSP offers lower tariffs or completely duty free access for imports from 90 developing countries and territories into the EU market. Of these 90 countries, 49 are least developed countries (LDCs) including Bangladesh. The rest 41 countries are other low and lower middle income countries.

There are three main variants (arrangements) of the EU GSP scheme. These are-

(a)    The standard GSP scheme;

(b)   The GSP+ enhanced preferences scheme; and

(c)    The Everything But Arms (EBA) for the LDCs.

To get more information on the EU GSP scheme, visit the EU website.

The EBA scheme is applicable for the LDCs only (currently 49 countries), and it has been in operation since 2001. It grants duty free access to all products except for arms and ammunitions.

After the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration that mandated the Developed Countries to offer Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) access to the LDCs, the EC declared that its EBA facility will be treated as the EU DFQF to the LDCs.

The LDCs also enjoy a relaxed Rules of Origin (RoO) benefit under the EU GSP. Currently, it allows a simple local value addition of 30% for the LDC products to be eligible for EBA benefits in the EU. To download the EU GSP Rules of Origin Regulation (no. 2454/1993) and Amended EU Rules of Origin Regulation (no. 1063/2010), click on the download link or visit the EU website.

Last updated: 2016-06-27