SL receives GSP+ facility for seven years | Sunday Observer

SL receives GSP+ facility for seven years

20 August, 2017

The GSP Plus facility is being implemented at present and exporters are making full use of the facility, National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Chief Ramal Jasinghe said.

“Right now the facility is implemented and it is available to all exporters to Europe and they are making use of the facility,” he said.

The fisheries and the sea food industry too enjoy the benefit, Jasinghe said.

“We have sent a strong message to exporters to be ready to derive maximum benefits from the facility and have adviced them to diversify to receive the fullest benefit. We have encouraged them to export more to emerging markets,” he said.

Sri Lanka has received the GSP Plus facility for seven years from May 15, this year.

Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Economist, Anushka Wijesinhe said, Sri Lanka is ready to diversify and to add value to increase export values and volume. IT related products and agriculture products will be expanded to gain the benefit of the facility, Jasinghe said. Sri Lankan exporters would again be able to export over 6,000 products duty free to European Union countries, giving a much needed boost to the export sector.

“Seven years after losing the preferential trade scheme, Sri Lanka regained it following two votes; first at the EU Parliament and then at the EU Council of Ministers.

This is an important victory for the country at a time when overall exports have been performing poorly.

During 2015 and 2016, exports declined year-on-year for 17 months straight (March 2015 to July 2016) except for a modest bump in September, August and November 2016,” he said.

The primary way in which Sri Lanka will gain from GSP Plus is by our exporters having duty free access to the EU market on a whole range of products, which were previously only under a preferential tariff through the GSP scheme.

The additional tariff advantage will greatly strengthen Sri Lankan exports relative competitive position in the EU. Sectors such as apparels, processed food products, seafood, toys, porcelain and ceramic ware, are some of the main sectors that will benefit under GSP Plus.

The additional tariff concession gained by these sectors will vary; in many apparel categories duties have been cut from 9.6% to zero, in the seafood sector from 18.5% to zero, in the fresh and processed fruits and vegetable sector from 12.5% to zero, in the porcelain and ceramic ware sector from 8.4% to zero, and in the toy products sector from 1.2% to zero, he said.