Sri Lanka Prepares for Re-Admission to GSP+
BRUSSELS, Belgium – In August 2010, Sri Lanka lost GSP+ status as a result of alleged violation of human rights. Very recently, the country has entered into new talks with the European Commission about possible re-admission.
In order to obtain GSP+ status, countries must have ratified and implemented a set of international conventions on human and labour rights, environment and good governance. Today, 13 countries have GSP+ status, as a result of which they can import into the European Union without having to pay any import duties.
Last March, EU Commission and Sri Lanka officials have met to discuss trade relations, among which re-admission of Sri Lanka to GSP+. The process normally takes 10 months but could, in this case, take up to two years. Sri Lanka will not apply for re-admission until the European ban on fish imports from the Asian country has been lifted.
Europe is Sri Lanka’s biggest export market with textile and clothing accounting for more than half of the export value. In 2010, bicycle imports reached a record high of 1.2 million. As a result of duties going from 0 to 10.5%, after lifting GSP+, imports dropped to + 950,000 in 2012. The year after however, imports crumbled to just under 400,000 as a result of the imposition of a 48.5% anti-circumvention duty. Three companies, i.e. Asiabike, BSH Ventures and Samson Bikes were excluded from the duties. They will more than probably welcome the 10.5% duty reduction once GSP+ becomes effective again in Sri Lanka.