Background

The European Union has reinstated Sri Lanka to its GSP+ program, a special arrangement under the Generalized Scheme of Preferences aimed at encouraging sustainable development and good governance. As a result, effective 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 (which is generally fabric-forward in the case of apparel).

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.

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