New European Union report on the effects of its trade schemes on promoting development

February 7, 2018. A new report by the European Union (EU) on its trade schemes assesses the effects of the three-pronged Generalized System of Preference (GSP), which grants preferential market access in varying degrees to developing countries to support the expansion of their exports.

Under the Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement of the GSP, least developed countries are granted duty-free access to the EU for all products except arms and ammunition. In 2016, EU imports from the 49 EBA beneficiaries amounted to €23.5 billion.

The GSP+ arrangement extends duty free access to approximately 66% of all product categories in return for beneficiaries’ commitment to effectively implement 27 international core conventions covering labour rights, human rights, good governance and environmental concerns. In 2016, the EU imported goods worth €7.5 billion from the 10 GSP+ beneficiaries.

Standard GSP beneficiaries benefit from reduced customs duties on 66% of all EU product categories. In 2016, the EU imported goods worth €32 billion from the 23 Standard GSP beneficiaries.

The main report is also accompanied by country-specific analyses on the development of GSP+ countries during the 2016 to 2017 period. It takes a closer look at the engagement with and the performance of 10 countries. Cabo Verde, one of the countries that has graduated from the least developed country category, is included among the cases studies.


Reference: REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL, Report on the Generalised Scheme of Preferences covering the period 2016-2017, Brussels, 19.1.2018.