Philippine producers can now export more than 6,000 products to any of the 28 member countries of the European Union (EU) at zero tariff using the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+). Products that may avail of the duty free access include coconut and marine products, processed fruit, prepared food, animal and vegetable fats and oils, textiles, garments, headwear, footwear, furniture, umbrellas, and chemicals.

To help exporters understand how to avail of the EU-GSP+, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) targets to conduct more than 80 information sessions on “Doing Business with the European Union (EU) using the Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+)” in key cities and towns in the country.

“As tariffs go down, we need to work more closely with Philippine businesses to help them navigate the rules of origin requirements and to hurdle other barriers, for instance product standards ,” said Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo during the exporters briefing held in Davao city.

EU-GSP+ is a preferential tariff scheme granted by the European Union to developing countries that meet the very stringent application requirements. The Philippines, currently the only country in ASEAN to be accepted in the scheme, applied for the scheme last year and was accepted formally into the EU-GSP+ on December 18, 2014.

Initial business information sessions on how to use the GSP+ were conducted in Makati, Cebu (21 January), Davao (23 January), and General Santos (24 January). A session will also be conducted in Pampanga on 28 January.

Resource speakers from the Philippine Trade & Investment Center (Brussels, Belgium), DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), DTI-Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR), and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) will discuss Updates on the EU-GSP+, Export Opportunities for GSP+ covered products in the EU, Navigating the EU Export Help Desk Website and Availment of EU GSP+ / Rules of Origin (ROO).

The EU Export Helpdesk also developed http://exporthelp.europa.eu portal to assist exporters.

Every last Thursday of the month from January to June 2015, DTI sessions on “Doing Businesses with the EU using GSP+” will be held at the DTI International Building, 375 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City. For other schedules, inquire at the DTI-Exports Marketing Bureau (EMB) telephone number 02-465 3300; email PH_GSPPLUS@dti.gov.ph or visit www.industrytradephilippines.com. (END)