EPRS Admin By / January 11, 2022

Current beneficiaries of the EU GSP

Current beneficiaries of the EU GSP

Current beneficiaries of the EU GSP

A significant number of countries are expected to graduate from EBA over the next 10 years (up to 12 countries according to the GSP impact assessment by the Commission) and will need access to GSP+ if they are to maintain most of their current preferences.
The scheme is important for most eligible developing countries, but not to the same extent for all, taking into account varying preference margins (the difference between MFN duties and GSP duties). More than 85 % of total GSP imports into the EU (as of 2018) originate from only six beneficiaries, all from Asia: Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and Cambodia. Textiles and apparel remain the largest imports into the EU under the GSP; the preferences awarded by the GSP scheme (particularly under EBA and GSP+) are substantial and vital in this sector, with high international competition around production costs.
According to the Commission’s GSP report on the period 2018-2019, ‘[in] terms of product sections, the majority of imports under GSP (47.9 % of €33 billion) remains in apparel and clothing, followed by footwear (11 %), mechanical appliances (7 %), fish products (4 %), leather (3.7 %) and plastics (2.7 %)’.
South Asian countries are the main sources of EU imports under the GSP and its largest beneficiaries. For African countries, the picture is mixed. For oil and mineral exporters (which is the case for several GSP-eligible African countries, such as Angola, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Guinea, Sudan, etc.) the scheme does not provide any benefits for these products, which enter the EU market free of duty anyway (under the default MFN duties). This is also the case, for example, for unroasted coffee (an important export for Rwanda and Ethiopia). But other agricultural imports benefit considerably from GSP preferences, since tariff preference margins for these, particularly under EBA, are among the highest for all GSP imports.


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