7_2006_EBA - EBA...

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EBA http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/r11016.htm Scheme of preferences from 2006 to 2015 – Guidelines The purpose of the generalised system of preferences (GSP) is to help developing countries to reduce poverty by using tariff preferences to help them obtain international trade revenue. In the Communication the Commission sets out the principles that should underpin regulations between 2006 and 2015 in order to achieve this objective. It proposes improving the current system in several areas by simplifying the GSP (reducing the five arrangements currently in place to three), targeting the system on the developing countries that need it most, encouraging regional cooperation and increasing the additional preferences granted for sustainable development, good governance etc. ACT Communication of 7 July 2004 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on "Developing countries, international trade and sustainable development: the function of the Community's generalised system of preferences (GSP) for the ten-year period from 2006 to 2015" [COM(2004) 461 final - Official Journal C 242 of 29.9.2004]. SUMMARY In this Communication the European Commission proposes guidelines for the generalised system of preferences for the period 2006-2015, based on experience of earlier systems. It advocates: Maintaining generous tariff rates There are a number of ways of maintaining and even improving the tariff preferences. Among other things the Commission proposes extending the GSP to some products not covered by the current system, under which almost one tenth of taxable products in the Customs Tariff are not covered. Some products classed as sensitive could also be transferred to the category of non-sensitive products. Preferential margins (currently 3.5% for sensitive products and 100% for non- sensitive products) will be maintained and, where possible, increased. The enlargement of the European Union (EU) by ten new Member States on 1 May 2004 has helped to improve what the Community can offer since it has expanded the EU market to include a further 75 million potential consumers. Targeting the GSP on the countries that most need it The Commission proposes that the GSP should target the countries that need it most, such as the least developed countries (LDCs) and the most vulnerable among the other developing countries (small economies, land-locked countries and low-revenue countries) to help them to play a greater part in international trade. The GSP should also have a mechanism for gradual withdrawal of a country from the special GSP, the everything-but-arms scheme, which gives duty-free and 1
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quota-free access to all products (except arms and munitions) from the fifty poorest countries. A simpler GSP with easier access
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7_2006_EBA - EBA...

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