The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) aims at contributing to the economic development of developing countries. GSP provides benefits to developing countries by enabling qualified products to enter the markets of preference-giving countries at changing rates from duty free to reductions in the MFN rate.
Turkey applied for association with the European Economic Community in 1959, one year after the enforcement of the Treaty of Rome. The Ankara Agreement of 1963 and the Additional Protocol of 1970 are two important documents which identify modalities and calendars ensuring the future customs union and confirm the ultimate aim of full membership.
The customs union covering industrial products and processed agricultural products which came into force on 1 January 1996 with Decision No 1/95 of The Turkey - EC Association Council was an outcome of these calendars.
Article 16 of Decision No 1/95 of the Association Council states that “With a view to harmonizing its commercial policy with that of the EC, Turkey shall align itself progressively with the preferential customs regime of the EC within five years as from the date of entry into force of this decision. This alignment will concern both autonomous regimes and preferential agreements with third countries.”
Within this context, Turkey initiated a Generalized System of Preferences by harmonizing with the EC’s GSP on 1 January 2002 and extended the system with the view of aiming to align itself fully with the EC’s GSP scheme in the consecutive years. With the 2006 import regime put into force at the beginning of the year, full aligment with the EC’s GSP scheme has been achieved.