Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)

Site updated regularly - Page last updated November 2014


Using a mobile device? Why not use our new mobile-friendly website.
Click here to visit this same page in a different layout.

There are many different Forms and Certificates available to importers and shippers, providing eligibilty or relief from UK import duty and / or VAT. One these more commonly used Certificates, is a green document, called the 'Generalised System of Preferences' Form A, more commonly known as just a 'GSP'. If your goods originate from a developing country, then you too may be eligible under this scheme.


What is a GSP?

The EU's Generalised System of Preferences is a trade arrangement through which the EU provides preferential access to the EU market to 176 developing countries and territories, in the form of reduced tariffs for their goods when entering the EU market.

The primary objective of the GSP is to contribute to the reduction of poverty and the promotion of sustainable development and good governance. Preferential tariff rates when exporting to the EU market enable Developing Countries to participate more fully in international trade and generate additional export revenue to support them in developing industry and jobs and reducing poverty.


Does a GSP apply to my goods?

In order for you to find out whether your goods are eligible under the 'GSP' scheme, you first need to classify your goods and obtain your 10-digit commodity code. Once you have your code, the EU's Taric page or the UK's Business Link page, will tell you if there is a reduced rate of duty, or indeed, if it becomes duty-free. Please feel free to contact us if you need some assistance with this. (Click here to visit our 'Commodity Code/Taric' page).


How do I get a GSP?

If your goods do fall within this scheme, then you need to aks your supplier/shipper to make sure that they raise a 'GSP' before shipping your goods. (This can only be done in the country of origin).


My goods have been shipped without a GSP?

If your goods have been shipped, cleared and delivered, and you didn't realise that you could have had a 'GSP' raised, then, it's a simple case, of you have missed out. A 'GSP' must be raised before they are Customs cleared.

If a 'GSP' was raised, but wasn't made available before your goods were cleared through UK Customs. It is possible for a 'Post-Clearance Amendment' and / or Duty Reclaim, to be done.

Please note. Your clearance agent/broker may charge you for this service, depending on circumastances.


Paying duty on deposit?

If you have asked your supplier/shipper for a 'GSP', but it wasn't available at the time of Customs Clearance. If you needs your goods urgently and cannot wait till the certificate arrives, it is possible to pay the full rate of duty on deposit, and claim the excess back when you receive the document.

If this is the case, then ensure that you ask your clearance agent/broker to pay 'Duty on deposit'. .


back to top 

For more information

If you would like more information on this topic, then please feel free to contact us. A member of our Imports team will be happy to assist you.

Alternatively, Click here to visit the EU website.:


Email UK Imports


Email Us


back to top 



Related Links

  • How to calculate Duty/VAT
  • Frequently Asked Questions