Jan 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka's first ever European Union mandated GSP exporter listing call went live on the web on 2 January, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said.
Addressing the launch of Sri Lanka Department of Commerce's revamped website at doc.gov.lk Minister Bathiudeen commended the Department for setting up this system and operationalizing exactly on the first working day of 2018 and thanked the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) for their support in setting up the site.
The website also integrates the REX Registration system that will become mandatory requirement for all exporters to EU who want to claim the EU GSP Plus benefits with no tariff-on their exports.
Approximately 3500 Sri Lankan exporters are expected to register before the end of this year online, through doc.gov.lk site.
The free of charge registration is not required for Lankan exporters to EU who do not want to claim GSP Plus benefits and for exporters whose value of the export is less than Euros 6000 but want to claim GSP Plus benefits.
Once the online documents are submitted, printed copies of the submission too should be sent to Department of Commerce by the exporter, after which the Department in Colombo, having conducted site and factory visits of the exporting company, will decide on awarding the unique ID number called REX Number, which the exporter will hold as a verification number of him over the long term and would be able to provide to any EU importer for verification at importer's end.
The REX Number is issued for long term use and each registered exporter will receive their own REX Number once they qualify through the Department of Commerce, the deciding authority for Sri Lanka.
Already 30 Lankan exporters to EU have submitted and the Department is processing them at present. Exporters who want EU GSP benefits cannot submit applications after 31 December 2018 and therefore all such exporters need to complete and obtain their REX Numbers within this year. Exporters to EU who qualify and earn a REX Number are not required to submit Certificates of Origin (COO) but are only required to submit a "Statement of Origin" for their exports.
All details on REX registration are accessible online at the revamped Department of Commerce website at Doc.gov.lk>Our Services>REX System Registration.
According to the DoC, there are more than 5,000 Lankan exporters registered with the Department to export under various trade agreements and facilities such as FTAs, APTA, SAFTA, GSP Plus etc. and 3,500 of this are exporting to EU under GSP Plus facility, and who are now called complete their listing on or before December 31, 2018, totally free of charge.
Sri Lanka's total exports to EU increased to $3.1 Billion in 2016 from 2015's $ 3 Billion. Usually around 60% of it are apparel exports.