UK launches DCTS, SL eligible for zero tariffs on 92% of products
Posted on March 15th, 2023

Courtesy The Daily News

British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton OBE and Trade Ministry officials.

British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton OBE and Trade Ministry officials.

The UK Government launched its new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) replacing the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences system (GSP) was launched and under the scheme, Sri Lanka is eligible for zero tariffs on 92% of products. Over 150 additional products will be brought into scope of the new scheme, including milled grains, pet food products and dairy products.

Speaking at an event at the Commerce Ministry yesterday, British High Commissioner Sarah Hulton OBE said: The UK’s new Developing Countries Trading Scheme provides Sri Lankan and UK businesses with a fresh opportunity to diversify and deepen supply chains and reduce the cost of exporting to the UK.

We hope businesses will take advantage of the great opportunities we have highlighted through our events this week.” While Sri Lanka exports numerous high value products to the UK including textiles, tea and rubber, there has been a steady decline in trade volumes between Sri Lanka and the UK since 2018. Under UK trade preferences, Sri Lankan exports will benefit from generous tariff cuts and new products will be brought into scope, facilitating access to the UK market for Sri Lankan businesses across a wide range of industries.

UK officials showcased high potential value chains and products that can benefit from the new scheme. This was based on research into UK retailers’ and consumers’ buying considerations, as well as insights from Sri Lankan producers, trade programmes and policymakers. It was also pointed out that there are huge untapped areas in exporting pet food, tea in value added form healthy food products and also boat building too could be promoted.

UK Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, Nigel Huddleston said: The Developing Countries Trading Scheme will support businesses by giving them the tools to export duty-free to the UK, opening up markets and boosting consumer choice.”

We want to go bigger and further with our global trade links and the DCTS enables the UK to achieve this with developing countries.” The new scheme has been designed to grow free and fair trade with 65 countries, including Sri Lanka, thereby creating jobs and boosting their economies. The DCTS offers one of the most generous sets of trading preferences in the world and demonstrates the UK’s commitment to building long term, mutually beneficial relationships with countries like Sri Lanka.

During the visit to Colombo, DCTS officials also met the Minister of Trade, Commerce, and Food Security, Nalin Fernando. It was also disclosed that the annual bilateral trade among the two countries is around 1.4 billion British pounds. Over 99% of goods exported from Sri Lanka are eligible for duty-free access to the UK. (SS)

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