Proposed amendments to Canada’s general preferential tariff

Sep 11, 2013

The Government of Canada is intending to withdraw GPT eligibility from 72…

The Government of Canada is intending to withdraw GPT eligibility from 72 countries, effective July 1, 2014.
Some of the more significant GPT countries of interest include; China, Hong Kong, India and South Korea.

What is the General Preferential Tariff?

In the early 1970s, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development recommended that developed economies grant autonomous and non-reciprocal tariff preferences to imports from developing countries under a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in an effort to promote the industrialization of developing countries.

Canada’s program, the General Preferential Tariff (GPT), was implemented in 1974 and is legislated in the Customs Tariff on a 10-year cycle. Most developed economies, including the United States, the European Union and Japan, also have GSP schemes for developing countries.

Why do we provide unilateral tariff preferences to developing countries?

The GPT was put in place with the policy intent of encouraging imports from developing countries to increase their export earnings and promote their economic growth.

Canada also provides duty-free access to imports from 49 least developed countries under the Least Developed Country Tariff (LDCT). This review does not contemplate changes to the LDCT.

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