Duty-Free Import Status Imminent for Philippines
BRUSSELS, Belgium – GSP+ status for the Philippines appears to be imminent. This will result in duty-free imports in the European Union. The current anti-circumvention investigation against the country should have no effect on the introduction of GSP+.
Today, the Philippines are an ‘ordinary’ GSP beneficiary. This means that bicycle import into the EU is subject to 10% import duties instead of 14%. For electric bicycles the rate is 2.5% instead of 6% and for parts and accessories 1.2% instead of 4.7%.
European Commission’s recommendation
The European Commission has proposed to remove import duties for most products originating from the Philippines. The Commission plans to include the country in the Generalized Scheme of Preferences’ in the (GSP+) special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance. FESI, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry, urged the European Parliament and its Member States to approve the European Commission’s recommendation without delay.
Approval by European Parliament
The European Commission has verified that the Philippines meets the eligibility criteria for GSP+ and has implemented the required core international conventions. The proposal from the European Commission is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the EU’s Member States.
The application for GSP+ was submitted in February this year. The EU Commission had 6 months to decide. Consequently, the issue is currently on the table in the European Parliament and the Council. If they do not object within 2 months, GSP+ will be granted, although their decision period could be extended with another 2 months. This means that before the end of the year the Philippines could be granted GSP+ duty free import status for the EU.
Circumvention of Chinese anti-dumping duties
On 2 September, the European Commission announced an investigation on possible circumvention of Chinese anti-dumping duties by among others the Philippines. In theory, this should not have any effect on the GSP+ decision. According to the GSP Regulation, anti-dumping measures may not lead to withdrawal of GSP.
An extensive report on all the changes on GSP benefits, which China and Thailand are about to lose, is in Bike Europe’s September edition (online publication date 29 September).