Trade arrangements

The EU has special trade arrangements in place in support of developing countries.

Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP)

The EU offers its current GSP to low and lower-middle income countries. The scheme gives partial or full removal of EU customs duties for a large number of products coming into the EU market.

Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+)

The GSP+ scheme is a special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance. It cuts EU import customs tariffs to 0% for vulnerable low and lower-middle income countries that implement 27 international conventions related to human rights, labour rights, protection of the environment and good governance.

Everything but Arms (EBA)

The EBA scheme is a special arrangement for least developed countries, which grants full duty free and quota free access to the EU Single Market for all products except arms and armament.

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA)

EPAs are trade and development arrangements between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries - designed to facilitate the ACPs' integration into the world economy through gradual trade liberalisation and improved trade-related cooperation.

Other specific trade arrangements include

Market Access Regulation (MAR)

MAR provides duty free quota free access to the EU market for products originating in those ACP countries that do not benefit from an EBA regime and have concluded EPAs that are pending ratification.

European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA brings the 27 EU member states and three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) nations — Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway together in the EU Single Market, guaranteeing the freedom of movement for goods, services, people and capital, as well as unified related policies (competition, transport, energy, economic and monetary cooperation).

Customs Unions

The EU is part of three customs unions

The Customs Unions provide free movement of goods between the two parts of the customs union, alignment on external tariffs, harmonised commercial policy measures, common standards and mutual assistance in customs matters, as well as cooperation in other fields.

Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)

The OCTs are not part of the European Community territory but are constitutionally linked to four of the Member States (Denmark, France and the Netherlands).  The European Community grants unilateral trade preferences to all products originating in the OCTs, with the aim to promote their economic and social development, as well as to establish close economic relations between them and the Community as a whole.

Share this page:

Quick links