The Government has during the last six months taken the required measures to seek duty free access to the European market and has requested flexible rules of origin for the apparel sector in order to receive the full benefit of the Generalized System of Preference (GPS) duty concessions.
The Minister of Industry and Investment Promotion Anura Bandaranaike took up the issue of the urgent necessity of permitting greater market access for Sri Lanka’s Apparel Industry with the European Commission when he visited Brussels in October last year.
Due to the prompt action initiated by the Government, the European Union in their new GSP scheme introduced a GSP plus category under which countries could qualify for duty free access to the EU market provided they meet certain criteria. The EU has confirmed that Sri Lanka would meet the required criteria and therefore would qualify for duty free access for the entire Sri Lanka’s exports to the European Market including apparels.
However, soon after the tsunami disaster the government took immediate action to request the European Commission to advance the implementation date of the GSP plus scheme. In response to the government’s request, the EC decided to advance the implementation date of the duty free concession scheme to April 1, 2005 instead of July 1, 2005.
The Government has sought duty concessions from other countries including the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan.
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