The EU`s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) agreements are trade measures that aim to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty in developing countries. This system provides preferential tariffs to eligible developing countries and territories, allowing them to export their goods to the EU market at lower rates.
The GSP agreements were first introduced by the EU in 1971 and have undergone several revisions since then. The current GSP scheme, known as the GSP+ system, was launched in 2014 and offers additional incentives to countries that implement international conventions on human rights, labor rights, environmental protection, and good governance.
Under the GSP+ system, eligible countries can benefit from zero duties on over 6,200 products exported to the EU. To qualify for GSP+ status, countries must agree to implement 27 international conventions, including core labor standards and environmental agreements. The GSP+ scheme is aimed at encouraging sustainable development and improving the governance of beneficiary countries.
Some of the countries currently benefiting from the GSP+ system include Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Ukraine. These countries have to achieve and maintain high standards in the areas covered by the conventions to keep their GSP+ status.
Apart from the GSP+ scheme, the EU also has a standard GSP scheme that offers preferential tariffs to more than 100 developing countries and territories. The standard GSP scheme covers a wide range of products, including agricultural goods, textiles, and footwear.
Overall, the EU`s GSP agreements have been instrumental in promoting sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries. These measures provide a valuable opportunity for eligible countries to access the EU market and benefit from lower tariffs, thereby boosting their economies and improving the livelihoods of their citizens.