Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS)

The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) cuts tariffs, removes conditions and simplifies trading rules for 65 developing countries.

The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) entered into force on 19 June 2023 and replaced the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP).

The DCTS is a simpler and more generous preferential trading scheme which has been designed to boost trade with developing countries in order to support their development. It benefits UK businesses and consumers by reducing the import cost of thousands of products from around the world.

The DCTS applies to 65 countries that are:

  • least developed countries (LDCs) as defined by the United Nations
  • low income and lower middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank

A list of eligible countries can be found in our preference tiers guidance.

The full DCTS legislation was published on 22 May 2023 including:

The DCTS visualisation tool is an interactive dashboard with important information on tariffs, country trade data and rules of origin

You can also view our video on how the DCTS helps UK businesses and consumers


These guides explain how businesses in the UK and in developing countries can take advantage of the DCTS to bring goods into the UK.

These notices outline legal requirements of the scheme, including:

  • customs conditions
  • goods that are graduated out of the scheme for standard preference countries
  • country updates to the scheme

Updates to this page

Published 19 June 2023
Last updated 19 April 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated with the latest link to the DCTS visualisation tool for 2023 data.

  2. The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) purpose of cutting tariffs, removing conditions and simplifying trading rules has been added to the summary.

  3. Form to apply for inter-regional or extended cumulation under the DCTS added to guidance section.

  4. A link to an informational video created by DBT has been added to the information box at the bottom of the collection page description. It explains how the DCTS helps UK businesses and consumers.

  5. First published.