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Anjum Shabbir
12th February 2020
External Relations & Trade Human Rights

Human rights failures lead to partial withdrawal of Cambodia’s preferential access to EU market

The EU’s ‘Everything But Arms’ trade scheme, under the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), grants full duty-free, quota-free access into the EU market for all products except arms and ammunition for countries classified by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries. Access to these preferences comes with the obligation to respect human rights and labour rights.

Cambodia currently has certain tariff preferences. However, the European Commission has decided to withdraw some of that preferential access, on the grounds of serious and systematic violations of human rights committed by Cambodia. Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the Commission said that the EU was left with ‘no other choice’ considering the ‘duration, scale and impact’ of the violations of rights to political participation and the freedoms of expression and association.

From 12 August 2020, the EU’s standard tariffs will now apply to selected garment and footwear products, travel goods, and sugar. Other products and industries remain unaffected.

For more information, read today’s press release from the Commission.


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