The European Commission has confirmed that Sri Lanka will temporarily lose its preferential access to the EU market starting from 15 August 2010. The decision to withdraw the preferential tariff system GSP+ from the country had been taken by the Council of Ministers in February 2010.
Based on dialogue with the Sri Lankan authorities on shortcomings in its implementation of three UN human rights conventions, the EU had offered in June to delay the entry into force of the Council decision by a further six months. In exchange, it asked for tangible and sustainable progress on a number of outstanding issues. In the absence of a reply from the authorities in Colombo by 1 July, the Commission however decided this week that they were not in a position to table a proposal with a view to delaying the Council Decision.
More information on the GSP Plus and Sri Lanka is available directly on the DG Trade website: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=589