May 19, Colombo: Exports to Europe from Sri Lanka will be granted the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) tax relief from Friday.
The decision by the European Commission to grant GSP+ to Sri Lanka has been printed in the official journal of the European Union (EU) on 18 May and Sri Lanka has access to the EU market under the special scheme from May 19.
Amending Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council applying a scheme of generalized tariff preferences, it has been entered that On 12 July 2016, the Commission received a GSP+ request from Sri Lanka.
"The Commission has examined the GSP+ request from Sri Lanka in accordance with the provisions of Article 10(1) of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012, and the Commission has established that Sri Lanka meets the conditions. Sri Lanka should therefore be granted GSP+ from the date of entry into force of this Regulation. Annex III to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 should be amended accordingly," the entry in the journal said.
"Pursuant to Article 13 of Regulation (EU) No 978/2012, the Commission should keep under review the status of ratification of the relevant conventions, the effective implementation of those conventions, as well as the cooperation with the relevant monitoring bodies by the government of Sri Lanka," it further said.
The Regulation enters into force on Friday, the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Accordingly, 66 percent of tax system which was implemented on Sri Lankan products will be removed completely.
The European Union said that at the initial stage Sri Lanka will receive 300 million euros as an annual financial advantage.
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said granting GSP+ to Sri Lanka aims to provide the opportunity to develop further economically, including creating more and better jobs for all Sri Lankans, on a sound foundation that advances human and labor rights, and in a manner that is environmentally sustainable.