Republic of Cyprus
Trade Service

Trade Policy and Bilateral Relations


RESPONSIBILITIES - THE GENERALISED PREFERENCES SYSTEM


Since 1971, the European Community grants trade preferences to developing countries under the generalised tariff preferences scheme. The aim of the scheme is to promote sustainable economic, social and environmental development of developing countries, with the primary aim of eradicating poverty.


The EU’s generalised tariff preferences scheme is consistent comply with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) requirements, in particular with the Decision on Differential and More Favourable Treatment, Reciprocity and Fuller Participation of Developing Countries (the ‘Enabling Clause’), adopted under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1979, under which WTO Members may accord differential and more favourable treatment to developing countries.


The existing EU’s generalised tariff preferences scheme is provided by Regulation (EU) No 978/2012, which provides for the following tariff preferences under the scheme:


(a) a general arrangement; which is granted to all those developing countries which share a common developing need and are in a similar stage of economic development;


(b) a special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+); provides additional tariff preferences to those developing countries which assume the special burdens and responsibilities resulting from the ratification of core international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance as well as from the effective implementation thereof; and


(c) a special arrangement for the least-developed countries (Everything But Arms (EBA)); which grants duty-free access to the Union market for products originating in the least-developed countries, as recognised and classified by the UN, except for trade in arms.


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