Everything but Arms
Everything but Arms (EBA) is an initiative of the European Union under which all imports to the EU from the Least Developed Countries are duty-free and quota-free, with the exception of armaments. EBA entered into force on 5 March 2001. There were transitional arrangements for bananas, sugar and rice until January 2006, July 2009 and September 2009 respectively. The EBA is part of the EU Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The up-to-date list of all countries benefiting from such preferential treatment is given in Annex IV of the consolidated text of Regulation (EU) 978/2012.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage the development of the world's poorest countries.
On January 16, 2019, the European Commission decided to re-introduce import duties on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar. This was done because imports of Indica rice from both countries combined have increased by 89% in the past five rice-growing seasons. At the same time, the prices were substantially lower than those on the EU market and had actually decreased over the same period. This surge in low-price imports has caused serious difficulties for EU rice producers to the extent that their market share in the EU dropped substantially from 61% to 29%.
GATT decision IV.D.3, dating back to 28 November 1979, provided the basis for more favourable treatments of least developed countries. The first proposal of an EBA agreement started on 20 September 2000: the European Commission proposed introducing "duty-free, quota-free access for all products from all least developed countries into the EU". The preferential treatment promotes least developed countries (LDC) that, among other things, respect international conventions on human rights; the tariff preferences granted to Cambodia were recently suspended on some products because of "serious and systematic violations of the human rights principles enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights".
- Therefore the legal text can be found in the GSP regulation, art 12 and 13.
- "REGULATION (EU) No 978/2012 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL". eur-lex.europa.eu. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
- Ashton, Melanie (2012-06-02). "UN-OHRLLS Announces Samoa to Graduate from LDC Status". IISD's SDG Knowledge. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
- "GSP EBA country list" (PDF). European Commission. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
- "EU imposes safeguard measures on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar", a press release by the European Commission. Brussels, 16 January 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
- "IV.D.3 GATT DECISION ON DIFFERENTIAL AND MORE FAVOURABLE TREATMENT, RECIPROCITY, AND FULLER PARTICIPATION OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES". International Law & World Order: Weston's & Carlson's Basic Documents. 2015-04-24.
- Berloco, Fabrizio. "IL regime EBA – "Everything But Arms"" (in Italian). Retrieved 2020-09-28.
- "Cambodia: EU launches procedure to temporarily suspend trade preferences". European Commission. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
- Regulation (EU) No 978/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 applying a scheme of generalised tariff preferences and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 732/2008.
- European Union Generalised System of Preference regulation EC No 980/2005 Archived version
- European Commission EU Trade Helpdesk - "Everything But Arms"
- Oxfam, December 2000, "Everything but Arms and Sugar?"
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