EU triggers procedure to temporarily suspend trade preferences for Cambodia | Fact Sheet



What is the Everything But Arms trade arrangement? 

The Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement is part of EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) for developing countries. Under EBA, the EU grants unilaterally duty free and quota free access to its single market for all products - except arms and ammunition – to all the States classified by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries (LDCs). 

The EBA arrangement, as the GSP scheme as a whole, aims to assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce poverty, promote good governance, and support sustainable development by helping them to generate additional revenue through international trade.

The access to this arrangement is conditional upon the beneficiary country respecting the principles of 15 core United Nations (UN) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions on human rights and labour rights (laid down in Annex VIII Part A of the GSP Regulation). 

What is the basis for the EU to launch a withdrawal procedure?

The conditions and the procedure of the temporary withdrawal of tariff preferences are described in Article 19 of the GSP Regulation. The possibility of temporary, full, or partial withdrawal is foreseen in the event of serious and systematic violations of the core 15 UN and ILO Conventions. The Commission can initiate an investigation if it considers that there are sufficient grounds justifying temporary withdrawal. This is based on a case-by-case analysis and is specific to the context of each country. In its assessment, the Commission uses as key sources the reports and recommendations of the relevant UN and ILO bodies, as well as additional information from EU Delegations, EU Member States, the European Parliament, civil society, other authoritative international human rights bodies, academia or information transmitted directly by beneficiary countries to the Commission. UN and ILO documents and findings take into account the nature and impact, as well as the scale and prevalence of the violations. The EU can also organise missions for its own assessment of the situation on the ground. 

Does the launching of the withdrawal procedure mean that Cambodia's tariff preferences will immediately cease to apply? 

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