Better Terms

July 21, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka may still keep its duty free benefits to Europe when an EU trade deal ends in 2008, with the scheme to be extended for a further seven years.

Under the Generalised System of Preferences plus (GSP+) scheme, Sri Lanka gets duty free access for exports to the European Union until 2008, due to strong labour standards.

We have approved another seven years after 2008 to extend the GSP+ scheme and that is in the pipeline, Roshan Lyman, Economic Affairs Advisor to the European Commission in Sri Lanka, said Friday.

Sri Lanka will still be eligible if the same status quo remains, if it still satisfies all the labour standards and is still a developing country after three years.

Sri Lanka became eligible for duty free access under the scheme, after it satisfied 27 international conventions on human and labour rights to protection of the environment.

Top revenue earners like apparel have been the biggest to benefit from the scheme, with Europe being Sri Lanka™s biggest market for clothes, next to the United States.

Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers however say that the scheme has had limited success, with tough rul