MINDANAO will enjoy zero tariffs for its exports to the European market until 2027 with the extension of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).
During Wednesdays at Habi at Kape last Jan. 24, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro announced that last December 2023, they received communication from the European Union (EU) that the incentive was extended until Dec. 31, 2027.
“Kung wala na, mas mahal ang atoang produkto when it reaches Europe. Mas dili siya paliton because dili siya competitive with other products (Without the incentive, our products become more expensive when they reach Europe, which would make them less attractive to buyers),” he said.
Without GSP+, for instance, a 40% tariff will be imposed on our exports.
He added this was part of their advocacy last year when they were informed that the incentive was about to expire. MinDA conducted consultations and negotiations with the EU policymakers along with the Department of Trade and Industry.
The EU is also preparing for a new successor policy regime, which is more permanent, unlike GSP+ which needs to be renewed every four years.
“We want this to be a permanent policy regime so that many of our exporters in Mindanao, [the] BACOFA for instance, later on, [they] will have the confidence to penetrate the European market by showing our specialty coffee, which is very much possible because, in 2020, Maguindanao[‘s Upi] coffee garnered a silver medal in an international coffee competition in Paris,” he said.
With Vietnam not being a beneficiary of the said incentive as of Jan. 1, 2023, the Philippines is now the only ASEAN country that is part of GSP+.
The Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus is a special incentive the European Union gives to developing countries to pursue sustainable development and good governance. In this incentive, the EU cuts its tariffs to zero on more than two-thirds of the tariff lines of their exports.
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