Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 20 September 2015





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Government Gazette

GSP Plus facility:

‘Sub-Committee to finalise application soon’

The Sub-Committee formed by the Department of Commerce, to have the GSP Plus benefit restored, is preparing the draft application which includes a comprehensive report on the issues raised by the European Union, Director General, Department of Commerce, Sonali Wijeratne told the Sunday Observer.

She said the Committee held a series of consultations with the relevant line agencies and ministries responsible for the implementation of the 27 International UN Conventions and it is in the process of preparing the draft application on similar lines as per the previous applications for GSP Plus trade concessions.

The application is expected to be finalised within a month. When the GSP Plus was taken up by the Sub-Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe mid this year, it was agreed that a political strategy be formulated to coordinate with members of the European Parliament and campaign in support of trade concessions, Wijeratne said.

She said the timeframe for Sri Lanka to regain the trade benefit which will enable it to export to EU markets at zero duty, depends on the date of clearance of the IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fisheries ban on Sri Lanka and the procedural decision-making process on a new GSP Plus application by the EU.

Regarding the fisheries ban she said, a technical mission from the European Commission is expected in Sri Lanka during the first week of next month to evaluate and verify steps taken to meet EU needs. If the outcome of the visit is positive, then the Commission would de-list Sri Lanka from the IUU ban. This process would take around two to three months. After Sri Lanka is de-listed, the country will be eligible to launch the GSP+ application and, thereafter, the final decision on granting the preferences will take around 10 months.


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