The first comprehensive and almost step by step guide for Lankan exporters to export under EU GSP Plus scheme has been released.
Titled the “EU GSP+ Business Guide for Sri Lankan Exporters” manual is produced by Geneva’s International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka and funded by the EU, and is now available online.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen welcomed the publication of the comprehensive manual on 7 December. “This is another proof of our unity government’s transparent approach to international trade. We thank the International Trade Centre, and the EU for their ongoing support to us” he said during one of his meetings with his top officials at the Ministry.
The information in the guide was collected very recently-in June 2017. Though the guide says it is “an overview of relevant information for exporters from Sri Lanka” it appears to be even more comprehensive in its coverage.
It highlights the GSP Regulation enumerating the 27 conventions mentioned in Article 9 of the GSP Regulation including the core human and labour rights UN/ILO Conventions. The Guide does “not constitute legal advice and does not provide exhaustive information on all sectors” saying it is “the responsibility of exporters from Sri Lanka to ensure compliance with all relevant EU rules.” It stresses that the exporters need to register with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Commerce (DoC) under it-“Exporters wishing to export under a preferential agreement/scheme that Sri Lanka benefits from, need to apply for a Certificate of Origin and are required to register with the DoC.
The documents required for registration are duly completed application form34 along with Original Business/company Registration Certificate with a copy, VAT/TIN Registration certificate issued by the Department of Inland Revenue, Export Development Board (EDB) Registration Certificate (if registered), Membership/Registrations with other Trade Promotion Organisations/Associations/Trade Chambers (e.g., Sri Lanka Tea Board, Trade Chambers, etc.) and production process flowchart if applicable. The registration fee, is a one-time payment at SL Rs 10,000.00. The guide explains relevant rules of origin applicable to apparel under GSP+ , relevant institutions in EU and additional resources such as web portals where Lankan exporters can obtain more info. It also lists requirements for Lankan apparel exporters to secure GSP+ such as the Cost statement35 or affidavit36, the Material Sheet for garment/apparel products37 and Material sheet for other products than garment38.
The manual is now available online from the web location http://www.intracen.org/EU-SRI-LANKA/Resources-and-materials/ (the direct link to the online file itself is http://www.intracen.org/uploadedFiles/intracenorg/Content/Redesign/Projects/EU-SRI_LANKA/GSP%20Business%20Guide%20English_Final.pdf ).
The guide is downloadable free of charge.