Reauthorized US GSP active for Sri Lanka from April 22

Mar 30, 2018 (LBO) – The reauthorized US GSP shall become active for Lankan exporters from this April, according to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce.

US has been the leading buyer of Lankan exports over the years and it continued its lead even last year. Sri Lankan exports to United States is now almost at 3 billion US dollars threshold for the first time.

“We thank the US government for renewing their GSP support to Sri Lanka,” Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said.

“Officials of my Department of Commerce have informed me that the reauthorized US GSP shall become active for Lankan exporters as early as April 22.”

US President Donal Trump reauthorized US GSP facility for 120 beneficiary countries when he signed the US Omnibus Spending Bill on 23 March.

His authorization opens opportunities for around 5000 products to be imported to US without tariff from 120 developing countries.

Sri Lanka’s total exports to US last year was almost notching 3 billion US dollars threshold at 2.9 billion dollars. This is a growth of 3.65 percent from 2016’s 2.8 billion dollars.

The second largest buyer of Lankan exports last year was UK at 1.03 billion dollars and the third, was India at 689 million dollars.

Apparel products are Sri Lanka’s biggest export item to US, taking around 70-75 percent of annual exports. Total US-Sri Lanka trade (both exports and imports) in 2016 was 3.3 billion dollars.

Sri Lanka will now benefit from the renewed US GSP Scheme until 31 December 2020. Since the effective date of the renewal is 22nd April 2018, Lankan exports to USA under the GSP Scheme will be eligible for tariff concession after 22nd April 2018.

US importers, However, are eligible to claim customs duties they had to pay during the period of inactive GSP (from 1st January 2018 to 22nd April 2018) due to the retroactive effect of US President’s renewal.

Frequently asked questions on GSP Renewal, published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative is reproduced below.

FAQs-on-GSP-Renewal-March 2018 - JR (003)