EU Consultation on GSP

Published by SIPA

On 22 September 2021, the European Commission published a proposal for a new Regulation on the generalised scheme of preferences (GSP). A Commission consultation on the proposal is currently open and runs until 19 November 2021.


The current GSP Regulation, based on Regulation (EU) No 978/2012, expires on 31 December 2023. The proposed regulation will cover the period 2024 to 2033.


The proposal retains the main features of the current GSP while enhancing the powers of the Commission to suspend or withdraw preferential tariffs. The three existing structures (general arrangement, GSP+ and Least Developed Countries (LDC/EBA)) are maintained. FRUCOM has analysed the proposal, and in their newsletter they summarise the key proposed changes as follows:


  • Lowering the product graduation* thresholds;
  • Adding additional international conventions that GSP beneficiary countries need to comply with (two additional human rights instruments on the rights of people with disabilities and the rights of the child, two labour rights conventions on labour inspections and tripartite dialogue, and one governance convention on transnational organised crime);
  • Introducing a mechanism to withdraw GSP benefits for serious and systematic violations of the principles of the conventions on climate change and environmental protection;
  • Adding additional environmental conventions that GSP+ beneficiary countries need to comply with, to now include the Paris Agreement;
  • Introducing a new urgent withdrawal of preferences mechanism in the event of exceptionally grave circumstances in a beneficiary country, such as grave violations of international standards.

*Graduation is triggered when a product from a beneficiary country represents more than a set percentage of total GSP imports over 3 consecutive years. For seafood this percentage is being reduced from 57% to 47%. Graduation leads to the withdrawal of tariff preferences for that product.


Another point is that a new formalised process is proposed by which beneficiary countries can apply for regional, inter-regional and extended cumulation.


If you wish to respond directly to the Commission, you can do so using this link:

Respond directly to the Commission


Further information:

Commission Announcement of the GSP Proposal 

Commission Proposal for a revised GSP Regulation (FR) (DE)
Annexes to the Proposed Regulation (FR) (DE)