Jul 13, 1992


GENEVA, JULY 10 (CHAKRAVARTHI RAGHAVAN) -- The issue of grant of preferences under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences to the east European countries and the former constituent republics of the Soviet Union is to be discussed in the Trade and Development Committee of GATT.

Brazil is reported to have notified its intention to raise the issue in the committee, which is meeting on Monday.

Under the GATT and the enabling clause, the developed countries have been allowed to grant preferential tariff terms to exports from the developing countries, without having to extend the same preferences to other Contracting Parties.

However, the GSP preferences are now being gradually extended by the west to the former east European socialists and the constituents of the former Soviet Union.

Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), and Bulgaria are among the former East Europeans who have been extended such treatment. Canada has now extended GSP to the Russian Federation.

The EC, which originally granted Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary GSP treatment recently, withdrew them - while extending the same or better benefits to these countries under the association agreement.

The EC and a number of them have also extended GSP to the breakaway republics of Yugoslavia Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonian, Bosnia-Herzegovina, even as the GSP benefits have been withdrawn from what is left of the former Yugoslavia.

The extension of the GSP benefits to countries not falling under the category of "developing countries" would not be covered by the enabling clause adopted in GATT, but in each case would need special waivers to the countries providing such benefits.