On 9th April, the EU Commission issued a Commission Delegated Regulation, amending Annex III to Regulation 978/2012, in order to include the Republic of Uzbekistan within the scope of beneficiary countries under the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (‘GSP+’).
What does this mean for your business?
As of 10th April, companies importing products into the EU can possibly rely on a more favourable preferential treatment for some products, since the qualification of the Republic of Uzbekistan was changed from GSP to GSP+.
This means that it might be worth for companies importing products from the Republic of Uzbekistan to analyse whether this change will provide them with any cost saving opportunities.
Currently, there are 8 other GSP+ beneficiaries: Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Countries can apply to become beneficiaries. The preferential treatment is granted on condition of respecting 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, environmental protection, and good governance. Countries benefiting from the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) do not have such commitments, however, products imported from these countries do not benefit from nullified tariff levels of customs duties for all products covered by GSP, at the moment of import to the EU.
As of January 2019, the Republic of Uzbekistan, also effectively implemented the Registered Exporter (REX) system, which allows the EU importers to rely on self-certification.
Because of the self-certification, Customs Authorities in the exporting country are no longer involved with the issuance of the certificates of origin/origin statements. We want to note that this results in a greater responsibility for the importer to ensure that he rightfully and with the correct evidence of the preferential origin claims the preferential tariff upon import. This to avoid any assessments and/or penalties/fines.
If you would like to know whether your company can benefit from the tariff preferences for goods imported from Uzbekistan Republic or other beneficiary countries under the EU GSP scheme, please contact your usual PwC customs and international trade specialist at PwC.
We can also assist in determining the eligible product scope in relevant transactions, as well as help with structuring your supply chain in order to take advantage of the EU GSP schemes.