EXPORTERS are advised to familiarize themselves with the new United Kingdom (UK) Generalized Scheme of Preferences (UK GSP) to continue to take advantage of the trade preferences granted to beneficiary countries, including the Philippines.
The UK implemented its own GSP on Jan. 1, 2021 with the ending of the Brexit transition period.
The UK GSP replaces the European Union’s GSP and replicates the same level of access as the EU GSP, said Peter Reid of the UK’s Department for International Development/Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in a recent online presentation.
In essence, the UK GSP will provide trade preferences reduced or zero rates of duty (tariffs) on imports into the UK to the same eligible developing countries as the EU GSP does.
By reducing tariffs, the UK GSP makes the price of imports from developing countries more competitive, thereby supporting these nations’ trade and prosperity, while also offering cheaper inputs and products for UK businesses and consumers. This GSP is particularly important for UK imports of textiles, garments and vegetables, said Reid.
The UK GSP has three frameworks: least developed countries framework, general framework, and enhanced framework. The Philippines falls under the enhanced framework.
Enhanced Framework replaces the EU GSP+ and covers low-income and lower-middle income countries which are economically vulnerable due to a lack of export diversification and a low level of integration with the international trading system.
Imports from country-beneficiaries under the enhanced framework have a zero percent rate of import duty on certain goods outlined in the UK GSP tariff rates.
To check if a product is eligible for UK GSP, an exporter needs to know which GSP framework the country falls under. The exporter should then download the UK GSP Tariff schedule, check the commodity code of the product, and check the rate according to the framework.
Meanwhile, to prove the origin of GSP goods, the UK will accept as evidence of origin either a UK GSP Form A or a statement on origin. The statement on origin is an invoice or other commercial document which must include sufficient information to enable the identification of an originating good.
Reid clarified that the EU Registered Exporter System (REX) statement on origin cannot be used for imports into the UK under GSP. The statement on origin must declare that the goods meet the rules of origin of the UK GSP, he said.
He added that the UK is currently working to improve the UK GSP to further support trade and development. But he assured that for this year, there will be no policy changes or improvements to the existing GSP. (PHILEXPORT NEWS AND FEATURES)