EU’s GSP+ mission starts working in Kyrgyzstan to help boost exports to EU

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BISHKEK (TCA) — On February 6, the first technical mission of European experts is arriving in Kyrgyzstan to start working on assisting Kyrgyz government to increase exports flows to the EU within the GSP+ status, the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic said.

During 15 working days, two EU experts will visit Bishkek and Osh to produce an assessment of the current state of test laboratories available in Kyrgyzstan and specifically of those laboratories having international certification for approving the quality of products to be exported to EU Member States.

Additionally, the mission will produce an assessment of the capacities and know-how of phytosanitary agencies and of the customs agencies in charge of ensuring GSP+ provisions and EU rules of origins’ requirements.

The service provided will promote EU export standards and raise awareness of the gaps and needs regarding the technical capacities required to export national products to the EU. Mission members will meet with Kyrgyz responsible officials, local entrepreneurs and finally issue a report with analysis and recommendations, to be distributed among Kyrgyz beneficiaries.

The European Union granted GSP+ status to Kyrgyzstan in January 2016.   

The GSP+ is a component of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) for developing countries. It offers additional trade incentives to countries that already benefit from GSP and that ratify and implement core international conventions on human and labour rights, sustainable development and good governance.

The GSP+ enhanced preferences mean full removal of tariffs on more than 6000 product categories, a step forward from the GSP scheme. Under the GSP+, Kyrgyz exporters are able to supply to the European Union at zero tariff rate agricultural products such as fruits, processed fruits (canned, juice), dried fruits (walnuts, almonds, pistachios), food products, tobacco, and textiles, felt products, clothing, including leather, and carpets. This is a unilateral measure taken by the European Union; the customs tariffs imposed by Kyrgyzstan on imports from the European Union remain in place.

According to official Kyrgyz statistics, in January-November 2016, enjoying the GSP+ status, 50 Kyrgyz enterprises exported $68 million worth of products to EU countries, including beans (30%), ethnic garment, mummy, honey, nuts, and dried fruits (23%), and mushrooms (9%).

Sergey Kwan

TCA