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Sri Lanka GSP+ passes through EP and Council successfully

Sri Lanka has gotten the green light for the granting of its GSP+ status by the EU co-legislators. Falling in line with a 15 May deadline to raise objections, member state ministers approved Sri Lanka’s status as a GSP+ beneficiary on 11 May after a motion to object to Sri Lanka’s status was rejected in European Parliament late last month. There were 436 votes against the resolution raised by the GUE-NGL political group, 119 votes in favour and 22 abstentions, marking overwhelming support for granting elevated trade preferences for Sri Lanka.

In order for these trade preferences to come into effect, the Commission must now publish its delegated act in the EU Official Journal (OJ). Duties will be removed for 66% tariff lines, including HS Chapter 61, 62, 63 and 64, the day after the act is published and could happen in a matter of weeks.

Prior to the vote in European Parliament, the EBCA secretariat was in touch with the main political groups (EPP, ECR, ALDE, S&D), reiterating EBCA’s avid support for Sri Lanka’s GSP+ status. This is in addition to our meetings with MEPs during the last meeting programme in March 2017.

The Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the EU attended the 3 May international trade (INTA) committee meeting in European Parliament for an exchange of views on the granting of Sri Lanka’s GSP+ status. This served as an opportunity to continue dialogue on ways in which human rights conditions can be improved and to enhance cooperation among Sri Lankan and EU authorities.

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