AGRINFO AGRINFO logo

THE LATEST ON EU AGRI-FOOD POLICIES IMPACTING LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES

Review of generalised scheme of tariff preferences (GSP)

Published by AGRINFO on ; Revised

Summary

On 28 June 2023 the European Parliament paused negotiations on the Regulation that will establish a new generalised scheme of tariff preferences (GSP) (European Parliament 2023). The current GSP – the rules determining which countries have preferential access to the EU market, and the conditions they have to fulfil – is due to end on 31 December 2023. As negotiations may not be completed before that date, the European Commission now proposes to extend the operation of existing rules until 31 December 2027.

Discussions between the Council of the EU and the European Parliament have been difficult (European Parliament 2023). A particular point of disagreement is that the Council wants to link developing countries’ access to the EU market to those countries’ willingness to re-admit their nationals who have migrated to the EU. The Parliament is strongly opposed to this proposal. Another significant issue in negotiations is how the EU can protect European rice production against rice imports from EBA (“Everything But Arms”) countries (European Parliament 2023). The Parliament’s position is set out in a 2022 report.

In December 2022, the Council agreed its negotiating position. This included giving greater powers to the Commission to withdraw preferential tariffs and reinstate full Common Customs Tariff (CCT) duties. This proposed amendment to the Commission’s proposal has important implications for Standard GSP, GSP+ and EBA beneficiaries.