Version: 1.0.20.21 (2020-10-12 14:45)

Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+)

Does your company import products from developing or least developed countries? This section helps you understand the EU’s GSP+

At a glance

The EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) gives developing countries a special incentive to pursue sustainable development and good governance.

Eligible countries have to implement 27 international conventions on

  • human rights
  • labour rights
  • the environment
  • good governance

In return, the EU cuts its import duties to zero on more than two thirds of the tariff lines of their exports.

Beneficiary countries

  • Armenia
  • Bolivia
  • Cape Verde
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Mongolia
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka

Expiry: The current GSP+ is valid until 2023.

Tariffs

Full list of products covered.

 

Use the search option of My Trade Assistant to find the exact information on duties and tariffs for your specific product, taking into consideration its country of origin and destination.

If in doubt, contact your customs authorities.

Rules of origin

Rules of origin are the same that apply for the standard GSP scheme.

Before you export/import, make sure that you

Tolerance

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.

Cumulation

The following types of cumulation operate in trade under the EU GSP

  • bilateral
  • regional
  • extended
  • cumulation with Norway, Switzerland and Turkey
Bilateral cumulation

Materials originating from the EU can be integrated in the products manufactured in a GSP country and then considered as originating in this GSP country, as long as the processing done in the GSP country goes beyond minimal levels.

Regional cumulation

Group I

Group II

Group III

Group IV

Brunei-Darussalam

Bolivia*

Bangladesh

Argentina

Cambodia

Colombia

Bhutan

Brazil

Indonesia

Costa Rica

India

Paraguay

Laos

El Salvador

Nepal

Uruguay

Malaysia

Guatemala

Pakistan*

 

Myanmar

Honduras

Sri Lanka*

 

Philippines*

Nicaragua

 

 

Vietnam

Panama

 

 

 

Peru

 

 

 

Venezuela

 

 

*Countries that are currently GSP+ beneficiaries

  • using components between countries from the same group is allowed (e.g. India can use ingredients from Pakistan 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.

Extended cumulation 

GSP 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 Turkey

Beneficiary countries may cumulate origin with goods of Chapters 25 to 97 of the Harmonised System originating in Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.

  • materials originating in Norway, Switzerland or Turkey 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 Turkey
  • 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 Turkey need to grant the same preferential treatment to products originating in GSP countries

Non-manipulation

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

Duty drawback is authorised.

Vessels conditions

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.

Minimal operations

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

Graduation

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.

Derogations

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

Product requirements

Technical rules and requirements

  • learn about the technical requirements, rules and procedures that goods have to meet in order to be imported in the European Union at 2.6. product requirements
  • search for the specific rules and regulations applicable to your product and its country of origin in the My Trade Assistant. To view requirements for your product you will first have to identify its customs code. If you do not know the customs code, you can search for it with your product's name with the built-in search engine.

Health and safety requirements SPS

  • learn about the health, safety, sanitary and phytosanitary standards that goods have to meet in order to be imported in the European Union at 2.6. product requirements
  • search for the health, safety and SPS rules applicable to your product and its country of origin in the My Trade Assistant.To view requirements for your product you will first have to identify its customs code. If you do not know the customs code, you can search for it with your product's name with 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 GSP must be accompanied by a proof of origin. Any proofs of origin remain valid for 10 months after issue. A proof of origin can be one of the following

  • 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. The certificate should be made available to the exporter as soon as the export has taken place (or is ensured). Nevertheless, exceptionally, a certificate can be made after exportation under some conditions.
  • invoice declaration drafted by the exporter * – for consignments valued €6,000 or less. When filling out an invoice declaration, you should be prepared to submit documents proving the originating status of your products.

* To make an invoice declaration, you should 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.

Other documents

Find out about other custom clearance documents and procedures needed to import into the European Union.

Intellectual Property and Geographical Indications

Trade in Services

The GSP+ covers goods only.

Public Procurement

Investment

Other (competition, TSD)

Eligible countries

To be eligible for GSP+, the country must

  • lodge an application
  • fulfill all the standard GSP conditions
  • meet the following two additional criteria
  • vulnerability criteria
    • the import share is the three-year average share of GSP-covered imports of the specific beneficiary country, relative to the GSP-covered imports of all GSP countries. This average has to be lower than 6.5% in order to qualify for GSP+
    • the seven largest sections of the GSP-covered imports represent 75% of total GSP imports by that country over a three-year period
  • sustainable development criteria
    • the country must have ratified the 27 GSP+ international conventions on
      • human rights
      • labour rights
      • environment
      • good governance.
    • the country must not have formulated reservations which are prohibited by these conventions
    • the conventions' monitoring bodies must not have reported that the country has failed to effectively implement them

Monitoring

Once the EU has granted a country GSP+, it monitors it to make sure the country

  • continues to be a party to the international conventions covered by GSP+
  • implements the conventions effectively
  • complies with reporting requirements
  • accepts regular monitoring in accordance with the conventions
  • cooperates with the European Commission and provides all necessary information

The EU conducts a continuous dialogue on GSP+ compliance with the authorities of the beneficiary countries.

  • the dialogue is based on a list of issues ('scorecard') drawn up for each GSP+ beneficiary. It is based on information received from
    • the beneficiary countries
    • international monitoring bodies
    • civil society
    • trade unions
    • businesses
    • the European Parliament
    • the Council of the European Union
  • the EU organises regular GSP+ monitoring visits to each beneficiary country to meet stakeholders. The beneficiary country is expected to demonstrate that it is making serious efforts towards tackling the issues set out in the scorecards.

The GSP+ dialogue feeds into the public GSP report, which the Commission must present to the European Parliament and to the Council of the European Union every two years. The report contains a detailed assessment of how well each beneficiary country is implementing the 27 conventions.

Capacity – building support

Beyond close monitoring, the Commission has launched several capacity-building projects to help beneficiary countries.

The EU is supporting relevant trading partners and several of the GSP+ beneficiaries through grants to the International Labour Organization. These projects

  • help ensure countries apply the International Labour Organization’s core conventions
  • build capacity to comply with reporting obligations

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights includes dedicated support of €4.5 million to empower civil society organisations to contribute to the monitoring and effective implementation of the 27 relevant conventions ratified by GSP+ beneficiary countries.

Useful links and documents

Quick links