Issues affecting utilization of the European Union’s Generalised System of Preference (GSP)




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


The research presents an investigation into the issues affecting UK importers when applying European Union’s Generalised System of Preference (GSP). It focuses on issues affecting UK importers applying European Union’s Generalised System Preference (GSP). GSP is used to encourage importation of goods from developing and lesser developed countries (LDC), by reducing importation tariffs when goods cross an EU border. This allows access to the EU market for lesser developed countries and thus enabling their economies to grow through trade. Krugman (1987). This thesis considers historical data to establish the main issues that influence the utilization of GSP; including application of GSP, academic theory in relation to the use of GSP and other preferential trade agreements such as Most Favoured Nations (MFNs). The data obtained from the primary source of semi-structured interviews of UK importers, trade associations and leading consultants was statistically evaluated to establish links between the data sources. The research provides an in-depth analysis of the issues in relation to the utilization of the preference with regards to UK importers. It shows, significantly, that the academic assumption of using MFNs instead of GSP not having impact on the utilization as previous academic knowledge suggested. The interviews provided data with regards to the UK business view on Brexit and UK trade policy after March 2019, when the UK leaves the European Union. The thesis supports the idea that Brexit has opened up an opportunity for UK government to review its trade agreements, including the application of GSP. GSP is a non-reciprocal trade arrangement and can be used initially until free trade agreements, which are reciprocal can be put in place. Brenton (2003). Findings from the research highlights how the UK government would benefit from making GSP simpler for UK importers to apply and expand its beneficiaries.





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