Tariff Preferences for Developing Countries (Regulation)

The EU has been granting tariff preferences to developing countries since 1971 to help them improve their performance on the global market and to aid their economic development. The basis for that is the “Scheme of Generalised Tariff Preferences” (GSP). The Commission wishes to revise the existing tariff preference scheme and to suspend a number of countries which until now have been GSP beneficiaries as it deems them competitive at international level. 


Although the new GSP does ease certain requirements, it represents a considerable – protectionist – step backwards from the existing GSP. For it means suspending preferential tariffs for more than half of the countries which until now have been GSP beneficiaries. The general safeguard clause to protect EU companies, continue to provide tariff preferences which is contradictory to the development policy motives of the GSP scheme.