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The Department of Commerce informs that US President Barack Obama has restored US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with effect from June 29, 2015 with retroactive respect including Sri Lanka.

Issuing a statement the Department of Commerce said “The US President signed into law HR 1295 on June 29, 2015 re-authorizing the US GSP Program until 31 December 2017 providing preferential duty free entry into US market for nearly 5000 products from 122 designated beneficiary countries and territories, including Sri Lanka.”

“The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC was an active member of the Alliance of GSP countries which joined other US stakeholders in advocating early renewal of the US GSP Program. In 2014, the United States has imported US $ 178 million worth of goods under the GSP program from Sri Lanka demonstrating 12.5 percent increase compared to 2013.”

The US Congressional authorization for the GSP Program expired on 31 July 2013 and the reauthorization will be effective from 29 July 2015. With the re-authorization of the USGSP Program, the US importers are eligible to claim the import duty paid by them for the eligible products under the USGSP Program during the lapse in GSP coverage from 31 July 2013 with retrospective effect. Accordingly, Sri Lankan exporters gain duty free access for eligible products under the US GSP program.

The principal export items of Sri Lanka to the United States under the GSP program includes pneumatic rubber tires, plastic based packing materials, rubber gloves, activated carbon, coir products, certain porcelain/china ware, rubber floor coverings etc.