Guidance

Tariff changes for countries in the General System of Preference (CIP1)

Tariff changes for countries under the General System of Preference and changes to Ghana's relationship with the EU.

Introduction

Please note the following changes affecting entitlement to preference from certain countries and which take effect from the dates specified.

Ghana

From 15 December 2016 Ghana started to provisionally apply the stepping stone Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana, of the one part, and the European Union (EU) and its member states, of the other part.

In the absence of a protocol on rules of origin in the agreement, the applicable rules of origin for Ghana exports are those contained in Annex II of the Market Access Regulation.

General System of Preference (GSP)

Changes to GSP with effect from 1 January 2017

Regulation (EU) 2015/1979 explains the following have been classified as upper-middle income countries in 2013, 2014 and 2015. As a result they will lose access to GSP with effect from 1 January 2017 and are removed from Annex II of Regulation (EU) 978/2012:

  • Iraq
  • Marshall Islands
  • Tonga
  • Fiji

As there are no other preferential trade agreements for Iraq, Marshall Islands and Tonga imports from these countries will be at the full rate of duty.

Fiji

From 1 January 2017 exports to and imports from Fiji will only be eligible for preference under Protocol II of the EU interim Partnership Agreement with Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Cameroon

Cameroon will lose access to GSP with effect from 1 January 2017 as it now has an Economic Partnership Agreement.

Georgia

Georgia loses GSP/GSP+ with effect from 1 January 2017 due to their Free Trade Agreement and is removed from Annex II and III of Regulation (EU) 978/2012.

Suspension of GSP for certain countries and sectors

In accordance with Article 8(1) of Regulation (EU) 978/2012 and Regulation (EU) 2016/330 GSP preference will be suspended from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2019 for the following:

Country GSP section (Article 2(j)
of GSP regulation
Description
India S-5
S-6a
S-11a
S-14
S-15a
S-15b

S-17b
Mineral products
Inorganic and organic chemicals
Textiles
Pearls and precious metals
Iron, Steel and articles of iron and steel
Base metals (exclude iron and steel), articles of base metals
(exclude articles of iron and steel)
Motor vehicles, bicycles, aircraft and spacecraft, ships and boats
Indonesia S-1a
S-3
Live animals and animal products excluding fish
Animal or vegetable oils, fats and waxes
Kenya S-2a Live plants and floricultural products
Ukraine S-3
S-17a
Animal or vegetable oils, fats and waxes
Railway and tramway vehicles and products

Ecuador

The European parliament has approved Ecuador’s accession to the EU Colombia/Peru Free Trade Agreement therefore it is entitled to preference under this agreement with effect from 1 January 2017.

Changes from 1 January 2019

The United Nations removed Samoa from least developed country status on 1 January 2014. As a result Samoa no longer qualifies for Everything But Arms (EBA) beneficiary status and will lose access to EBA from 1 January 2019, following a transitional period. From this date Samoa will only be eligible for standard access to GSP under the general arrangement and will be removed from Annex IV of Regulation (EU) 978/2012.

Contact details

For further information email: dutyliability.policy@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

Issued on 5 January 2017 by Customs Directorate, HMRC.

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Published 18 January 2017