Policy paper

Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS): new policy report

This report sets out the government’s policy for the DCTS. It includes detail on the public consultation responses and how these have informed the policy.



The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) will replace the current Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) on 19 June 2023. The government is introducing the DCTS to improve access to the UK market for developing countries.

The DCTS aims to support sustainable growth in developing countries through a more generous unilateral offer.

This has led to provisions in the DCTS which:

  • reduce tariffs
  • liberalise rules of origin requirements
  • simplify the conditions attached to the scheme

The DCTS applies to countries that currently benefit under the UK’s GSP.

This includes:

  • 47 countries in the GSP Least Developed Country (LDC) Framework
  • 18 additional countries or territories classified by the World Bank as low income (LIC) and lower middle-income (LMIC)

It does not apply to countries classified by the World Bank as upper-middle income for 3 consecutive years, or to LICs and LMICs with a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK.

The government policy response is organised in 4 sections, covering:

  • rules of origin
  • tariffs
  • goods graduation
  • conditions

Each section describes how the consultation findings helped inform government policy.

Published 16 August 2022
Last updated 2 June 2023 + show all updates
  1. Annex 3 of the Developing Countries Trading Scheme: government policy response has been replaced with a link to the outcome of goods graduation assessment. This is to reflect changes to which goods are graduated out of standard preferences of the DCTS from 19 June 2023.

  2. The date Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) replaces the current Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) has been updated from Spring 2023 to 19 June 2023.

  3. First published.