Database on Generalized System of Trade Preferences Utilization

As part of its ongoing mandate, since 1976 UNCTAD has collected data on the utilization rates of trade preferences under the Generalized System of Trade Preferences (GSP). The proliferation of Free Trade Areas (FTAs) has placed increased attention by business on the utilization of such trade agreements.

For policymakers, the low utilization rates of existing trade preferences provide a signal that the design of such trade preferences may not be appropriate since business is unable to effectively use the FTAs that Governments have negotiated. For business the multiplication of compliance with administrative requirements under different rules of origin (RoO) under each FTA represents a significant cost.

The Database

The GSP Utilization Database provides information on the utilization of the GSP schemes as well as other trade preferences granted to developing countries and LDCs under GSP, Duty-Free Quota Free arrangements (DFQF) and in limited occurrences to trade preferences under reciprocal free trade agreements.

The database covers imports by QUAD countries, namely Canada, European Union, Japan and the USA, from their GSP beneficiaries and DFQF arrangements over the period 2004-2020. Information is available only for the years in which a country is designated by the preference-giving countries as a beneficiary.

The database does not contain information on countries that are not GSP beneficiaries.

The Data

Preference-giving countries provide information on their imports from their GSP beneficiaries at the national tariff line through their public official websites that are the main sources of this database.

UNCTAD aggregates the data at the level of the HS sub-headings (HS 6-digit codes) and makes it available through a front-end application over the Internet.