The decision by the European Commission to grant GSP plus to Sri Lanka has been printed in the official journal of the European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka has access to the EU market under the special scheme from today.
The official journal of the EU issued yesterday (Thursday) amends an earlier decision to withdraw the GSP plus scheme granted to Sri Lanka.
“Sri Lanka should therefore be granted GSP+ from the date of entry into force of this Regulation. Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 should be amended accordingly. Pursuant to Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012, the Commission should keep under review the status of ratification of the relevant conventions, the effective implementation of those conventions, as well as the cooperation with the relevant monitoring bodies by the government of Sri Lanka,” the Commission said.
A beneficiary country under the Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences (‘GSP’) may request to benefit from additional tariff preferences under the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+).
For that purpose, Article 9(1) of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 establishes specific eligibility criteria for the granting of the tariff preferences provided under the GSP+.
The country should be considered vulnerable due to a lack of sufficient diversification and insufficient integration with the international trading system.
It should have ratified all the conventions listed in Annex VIII to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 and the most recent available conclusions of the relevant monitoring bodies should not identify a serious failure to effectively implement any of those conventions. In relation to any of the relevant conventions, the country should not have formulated a reservation which is prohibited by the convention or which, for the exclusive purposes of Article 9 of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012, is considered to be incompatible with the object and purpose of that convention. It should accept without reservation the reporting requirements imposed by each convention and give the binding undertakings referred to in points (d), (e) and (f) of Article 9(1) of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012.
A GSP beneficiary country wishing to benefit from GSP+ has to submit a request accompanied by comprehensive information concerning ratification of the relevant conventions, its reservations and the objections to those reservations made by other parties to the convention, and its binding undertakings.
The Commission has been empowered to adopt delegated acts to amend Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 in order to grant GSP+ to a requesting country by adding it to the list of GSP+ beneficiary countries. (Colombo Gazette)