US GSP for Sri Lanka to expire on Dec 31: embassy

ECONOMYNEXT – A preferential duty scheme for Sri Lanka by the United States expires on December 31, and exports will be subject to standard import duties from January 01, the US embassy said.

The US Congress had not renewed a Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for any country before adjourning the year, the embassy said.

"The immediate effect of GSP expiration is GSP eligible imports to the United States from Sri Lanka and other GSP beneficiary countries and territories will be subject to non-preferential duties beginning January 1, 2018," the embassy said.

In 2016 Sri Lanka had exported 2.8 billion US dollars of goods to the US mainly apparels.

Items such as apparel, gloves and footwear however did not anyway qualify for GSP benefits, according to earlier reports. Only a small volume of exports to the US got GSP benefits. If congress re-authorises GSP benefits to Sri Lanka and other countries, the taxes could be reclaimed. In general US import taxes are low at around 3 to 4 percent.

GSP for Sri Lanka was had earlier been revoked on labour rights grounds but given again. (Colombo/Dec29/2017)


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