PAKISTAN: Eligibility for Reduced EU Import Tariffs Set for Review
24 May 2021
The country is facing a review of its eligibility for the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme. The move follows growing concern on the part of the European Parliament with regard to the treatment of religious minorities within Pakistan and possible abuses of its blasphemy law.
Losing access to the GSP+ scheme would be something of a blow to Pakistan given that the EU is one of its largest trading partners. Under the terms of the initiative, a 66% import tariff reduction is extended to any low or lower-middle income country that agrees to abide by 27 specified international conventions related to human rights, labour rights, the protection of the environment and good governance. Since 2014, when it was first granted GSP+ status, more than 78% of Pakistan’s exports to the EU have benefited from the preferential rates.
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