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Parliamentary questions
PDF 47kWORD 11k
24 January 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Virginie Joron, Thierry Mariani, Jean-Paul Garraud, Maxette Pirbakas, Julie Lechanteux, Nicolas Bay
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: EU trade preferences and the fight against terrorism

The Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) is a special incentive arrangement promoting sustainable development and good governance (1) . It enables developing countries to export to the European Union without having to pay customs duties on their products. Textile factories based in these countries can thus compete directly with their European counterparts. In 2016, almost EUR 6 billion worth of products were imported into Europe from Pakistan (2) .

Of the eight beneficiaries of GSP+ (Armenia, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka), one, Pakistan, features on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist (3) . This means that shortcomings have been identified in its national strategy on combating terrorism and money laundering (AML/CFT).

Article 19(1)(c) of the GSP Regulation authorises the Commission to temporarily withdraw the preferential arrangements in response to serious shortcomings in customs controls on the export or transit of drugs, or failure to comply with international conventions on anti-terrorism and money laundering (4) .

How is the FATF blacklist and its annual assessment taken into account during the GSP+ monitoring procedure?

Why is inclusion on the FATF blacklist not enough to trigger withdrawal of the preferential arrangement under Article 19(1)(c)?


(1) GSP+ enables developing countries to export to the EU without paying import duties on condition that they implement 27 international conventions (on human rights, environmental protection and good governance), https://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/development/generalised-scheme-of-preferences/
(2) Report from the Commission to Parliament and the Council on the Generalised Scheme of Preferences covering the period 2016-2017, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52018DC0036&from=DA, p. 8 and p. 18.
(3) The FATF is an intergovernmental body established in 1989. Its objectives are to lay down standards and promote the effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system; https://www.fatf-gafi.org/countries/#other-monitored-jurisdictions; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FATF_blacklist.
(4) Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 applying a scheme of generalised tariff preferences and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 732/2008, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32012R0978&from=EN.
Original language of question: FR
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