Everything but Arms (EBA)
Find out how to benefit from the EU's Everything but Arms (EBA) scheme.
At a glance
The EBA scheme removes tariffs and quotas for all imports of goods (except arms and ammunition), coming into the EU from least developed countries (LDCs).
As of January 2019, the EBA countries are
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Comoros Islands
- Congo, Democratic Republic of
- East Timor
- Equatorial Guinea
- São Tomé & Principe
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Sudan
The EBA scheme removes tariffs and quotas for all imports of goods (except arms and ammunition) coming into the EU from least developed countries (LDCs).
- search for all information on tariffs for your product
- if in doubt, contact your national customs authorities
Rules of origin
Rules of origin are the same that apply for the standard GSP.
In order to qualify for preferential treatment, your product will need to satisfy the rules of origin under the agreement. Please check the “Rules of Origin Self Assessment tool (ROSA)” in My Trade Assistant to assess whether your product fulfils the rules of origin and find out how to prepare the correct documents.
General information about the rules of origin is available below.
Tolerance is expressed
- in price of the final products for fishery and industrial products
- in weight of the final products for agricultural products
Tolerances included in the GSP are more lenient than regular tolerances. They amount to 15% in ex-work price of the final product instead of 10%.
Specific tolerances also apply to textiles and clothing and are described in the introductory notes of Annex 22-03.
See also the general rule of Tolerance or De Minimis
The following types of cumulation operate in trade under the EU EBA
- cumulation with Norway, Switzerland and Türkiye
Materials originating from the EU can be integrated in the products manufactured in a EBA country and then considered as originating in this EBA country, as long as the processing done in the EBA country goes beyond minimal levels.
- Group I
- Group II
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Group III
- Sri Lanka
- Group IV
*Countries that are currently EBA beneficiaries
- using components between countries from the same group is allowed (e.g. Bangladesh can use ingredients from Bhutan because they are both in Group III), though some important rules need to be remembered:
- regional cumulation between countries within the same group applies only where the countries involved in the cumulation are, at the time of exportation of the product to the European Union, beneficiary countries and not simply eligible countries
- if goods originating in one beneficiary country is further processed in another member country of that group, then the good may be considered as originating in the latter country (as long as processing goes beyond minimal operations)
- to determine the origin of the input (when the input from one member of the group is sent to another member of the group), the correct rule of origin is the one which would apply to direct exports from the supplier country to the EU
- cumulation is also possible between individual beneficiary countries of cumulation Group I and Group III. This is only upon request and under certain conditions.
Note that some products are excluded from cumulation, when there are differences between the status of the GSP countries of the same group (GSP/GSP+/EBA). The list of the products concerned is included in Annex 13b.
EBA countries can, under certain conditions, ask the EU for authorisation to cumulate with countries with which the EU has a Trade Agreement.
- this possibility is open only for industrial products and processed agricultural products
- when the input from a third country with which the EU has an FTA is sent to a GSP country, the correct rule of origin is the one which would apply to direct exports from the supplier country to the EU
Cumulation with goods originating in Norway, Switzerland and Türkiye
Beneficiary countries may cumulate origin with goods of Chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonised System originating in Norway, Switzerland and Türkiye.
- materials originating in Norway, Switzerland or Türkiye which undergo more than a minimal operation in a beneficiary country, are considered to originate in that beneficiary country and may be exported to the EU, to Norway, to Switzerland or to Türkiye
- the above rule does not apply to agricultural products or products covered by a derogation
- for this type of cumulation to apply, the EU, Norway, Switzerland and Türkiye need to grant the same preferential treatment to products originating in EBA countries
The provision on direct transport in the GSP rules of origin has been replaced by a non-manipulation clause (Article 74 of Commission Regulation n°1063/2010).
- the main difference compared to the direct transport provision is that importers in the EU won't be required to give proof of their compliance with the conditions
- however, the Customs Administration of an EU Member State could request such proof if they have reason to believe that the conditions are not met
Duty drawback is authorised.
In order for a fishing vessel to be considered as originating in a beneficiary country – which would imply that the fish caught by this vessel beyond the territorial waters is also originating – the applicable criteria refer to the country of registration and of the flag of the vessel, but also to its ownership. Note that under GSP rules of origin there is no specific requirement on the nationality of the crew or officers.
There are two sets of so-called 'minimal' operations which are never enough to confer origin:
- the ones mentioned in Article 76
- and the ones, applicable only to textile products and only for the sake of regional cumulation, included in Annex 16
Product Specific Rules
List of processing which should be carried out on materials to gain the originating status is included in Annex 13a of the same Regulation. The list includes two columns:
- one applicable to Least Developed GSP beneficiary countries
- one applicable to all other GSP beneficiary countries
Some developing countries export highly competitive products, which do not need preferences to successfully access world markets. In this case, GSP is withdrawn from these product sectors through a graduation mechanism:
- when the average value of imports from a GSP beneficiary country (divided by the total value of all GSP imports for that Section) over 3 years exceeds the general threshold of 57%
- for vegetable products, animal or vegetable oils, fats and waxes and mineral products graduation applies when the percentage share referred to exceeds 17.5%
- for textiles graduation applies when the percentage share referred to exceeds 47.2%
The EU reviews the list of graduated products every three years through an implementing regulation and on the basis of objective criteria.
You can find here the current list of graduated products.
A specific derogation may be granted, under certain conditions, in order to allow more relaxed rules of origin applicable to specific products originating in specific countries. Such a derogation has been granted to Cape Verde. Please see Cape Verde Derogation and the rules of origin applicable
Please check also the notice to importers issued by the EU, informing operators about specific elements concerning Bangladesh.
Rules of origin for specific products
- rules of origin GSP cocoa
- rules of origin GSP electrical equipment
- rules of origin GSP essential oil
- rules of origin GSP fisheries
- rules of origin GSP fruits
- rules of origin GSP handicraft
- rules of origin GSP leather
- rules of origin GSP meat
- rules of origin GSP wood
Technical rules and requirements
- use My Trade Assistant to
- learn about the technical requirements, rules and procedures that goods imported into the European Union have to meet
- search for the specific rules and regulations applicable to your product and its country of origin
To view requirements for your product first identify its customs code. You can search for it with your product's name in the built-in search engine.
Health and safety requirements SPS
- use My Trade Assistant to
- learn about the health, safety, and animal and plant health and hygiene (sanitary and phytosanitary – SPS) standards that goods imported into the European Union have to meet
- search for the health, safety and SPS rules applicable to your product and its country of origin
To view requirements for your product, first identify its customs code. If you do not know the customs code, you can search for it with your product's name in the built-in search engine.
Custom clearance documents and procedures
Proofs of origin
To qualify for preferential duty rates, products originating in the beneficiary countries of the EU’s EBA must be accompanied by a proof of origin.
A proof of origin can be one of the following:
The certificate should be made available to the exporter as soon as the export has taken place (or is ensured). Exceptionally, under certain conditions, a certificate can be made after export.
- Certificate of origin Form A – issued by the competent authorities in the beneficiary country.
The exporter applying for the certificate should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of the products concerned.
- Invoice declaration drafted by the exporter * – for consignments of €6,000 or less. When filling out an invoice declaration, you should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of your products.
Proof of origin remains valid for 10 months after issue.
* To make an invoice declaration, you must type, stamp or print the following declaration (in English or French) on the invoice, delivery note or other commercial document: " The exporter of the products covered by this document (customs authorisation No ... ) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of ... preferential origin according to the rules of origin of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences of the European Community". You must sign your invoice declaration by hand.
Find other customs clearance documents and procedures.
Intellectual Property and Geographical Indications
- specific information on EU laws on
- Intellectual Property Rights
- Geographical Indications
regarding least developed and developing countries
- general information about Intellectual Property Rights and Geographical Indications
Trade in Services
- specific information on the EU services market
- general information on rules, regulations and facilities on trade in services
- specific information on EU public procurement markets
- general information on public procurement laws, rules and access to different procurement markets in the EU
- specific information on investing in the EU from outside the EU
- general information on investing outside the EU
Other (competition, Trade and Sustainable Development)
The EU grants EBA status to countries listed as a Least Developed Countries (LDC) by the United Nations Committee for Development Policy.
- countries do not need to apply to benefit from EBA, the EU adds or removes them on the basis of their LDC status
- the EU can withdraw EBA preferences in certain exceptional circumstances, such as serious and systematic violation of principles laid down in international conventions on fundamental human rights and labour rights
- unlike the standard GSP, countries do not lose EBA status by signing a Free Trade Agreement with the EU.
- unlike the standard GSP, EBA has no 'graduation mechanism' for products
- the EBA has no expiry date