Jordan and EU agree to relax origin-rules for Jordanian exports, reducing required percentage of Syrian labour

Author: Mohammad Ghazal, The Jordan Times, Published on: 17 December 2018

"‘Understanding’ reached with EU to ease origin-rules deal requirements", 26 November 2018

Jordan has reached an "initial understanding" with the EU to ease some requirements in the EU relaxed rules of origin for Jordanian exports to Europe, including a reduction in the percentage of Syrian manpower in the exporting industry, an official said... “The duration of the agreement was also extended by four more years," Yanal Barmawi, spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply told The Jordan Times... In the original agreement, signed in 2016, if Jordanian industries were to benefit from the simplified rules of origin, each factory needed to hire Syrian employees to constitute no less than 25 per cent of its manpower by 2019, but this was lowered to 15 per cent in the new agreement, Barmawi said. The Planning Ministry and Jordan Labour Watch have said in previous remarks to The Jordan Times that factories were struggling to fulfil the employment clause due to “difficulty finding qualified Syrian workers” and “reluctance” of Syrian employees to obtain permits in fear of losing their rights as refugees. Under the original deal, the EU designated a total of 18 industrial and developmental zones as beneficiaries of the deal, but said that the relaxed rules would be applied to other industries across the Kingdom as soon as 200,000 jobs were created for Syrian refugees...

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