The United States has restored Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) on Sri Lanka with effect from 26 June 2015, the Department of Commerce said in a news release yesterday.
The release said “the Department is pleased to inform that the US President signed into law HR 1295 on 29 June 2015 re-authorizing the US GSP Programme until 31 December 2017 providing preferential duty free entry into US market for nearly 5,000 products from 122 designated beneficiary countries and territories, including Sri Lanka.”
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC was an active member of the Alliance of GSP countries which joined other US stakeholders in advocating early renewal of the USGSP Programme.
In 2014, the United States has imported US$ 178 million worth of goods under the GSP programme from Sri Lanka demonstrating 12.5 per cent increase compared to 2013. The US Congressional authorization for the GSP Programme expired on 31 July 2013 and the reauthorization will be effective from 29 July 2015.
With the re-authorization of the USGSP Programme, the US importers are eligible to claim the import duty paid by them for the eligible products under the USGSP Programme during the lapse in GSP coverage from 31 July 2013 with retrospective effect. Accordingly, Sri Lankan exporters gain duty free access for eligible products under the US GSP programme.
The principal export items of Sri Lanka to the United States under the GSP programme includes pneumatic rubber tires, plastic based packing materials, rubber gloves, activated carbon, coir products, certain porcelain/china ware, rubber floor coverings etc.