The European Union has reinstated Sri Lanka to its GSP+ programme, a special arrangement under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences aimed at encouraging sustainable development and good governance.
As from May 19 all textile, apparel, and other products from Sri Lanka may enter the EU duty-free provided they comply with the applicable GSP origin rule and provided the country is making progress toward implementing fully 27 international conventions on human rights, environmental protection and good governance.
The EU’s origin rule is generally fabric-forward in the case of apparel, but Sri Lanka may cumulate origin from India or Pakistan.
Sri Lanka was removed from GSP+ in 2010 due to its failure to address reported human rights violations. In 2015, the new Sri Lankan government set out a path of major reforms aiming for national reconciliation, respect of human rights, the rule of law, and good governance principles as well as sustainable economic development. The EU said in a statement that it will continue to rigorously monitor Sri Lanka’s progress in these areas in close cooperation with all stakeholders.
In addition to Sri Lanka, GSP+ currently includes Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Paraguay, and the Philippines. The EU has committed to maintaining the programme at least until 2023.