Brussels, 27th of November 2023
The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) welcomes the signing of the legislation extending the current rules of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). Following FESI’s concerns over stalled negotiations, its extension until December 2027 provides predictability and assurances as talks over a new GSP can now resume with a heightened sense of security.
“The renewal of the current GSP rules beyond the end of this year marks an important step in the right direction. The GSP is a vital asset for trade and the sporting goods industry, supporting millions of jobs and contributing to billions in trade. The prospect of losing out on it, at a time when its benefits continue to grow, would have been a step back and we look forward to renewed discussions that will see further trade relations bolstered”, commented Jérôme Pero, FESI Secretary General.
The agreement comes only a day after a Commission report highlighting the monumental importance and impact of the GSP. Established in 1971, 2022 saw imports from GSP countries reach an all-time high of €80 billion. The report further underscores the GSP’s ongoing role in fostering economic stability and development in low-income countries, particularly in times of uncertainty such as COVID-19. Additionally, the GSP+ incentive has proven effective in improving standards on human and labour rights, environmental and climate protection, and good governance practices.
Nonetheless, FESI shares MEPs Bernd Lange’s (S&D, DE) and Heidi Hautala’s (Greens/FI) views that the renewal of the current GSP scheme should not be seen as the endpoint. Having been active on the case since talks of a new GSP Regulation started, providing its position and comments, FESI believes it crucial that this agreement inspires co-legislators to return to negotiations sooner rather than later, and with renewed vigour so as to prevent similar situations from repeating in the future.
About FESI: Founded in 1960 FESI, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry, is the unique pre-competitive platform representing the interests of the sporting goods industry in Europe, advancing its members’ priorities and promoting initiatives that benefit the sector, EU citizens and the society as a whole. FESI represents the interests of approximately 1.800 sporting goods manufacturers (85% of the European market) through its National Sporting Goods Industry Federations and its directly affiliated member companies. 70-75% of FESI’s membership is made up of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. In total, the European Sporting Goods Industry employs over 700.000 EU citizens and has an annual turnover of some 81 billion euro.
Media contact: Ariane Gatti – FESI Communication & Policy Manager / [email protected] / +32 (0) 2 762 86 48