Uzbekistan received GSP+ status from the EU in April 2021, which significantly lowers tariff barriers for Uzbek products on the EU market. Against this background, we examine export barriers for Uzbek products with the greatest export potential to the EU – fruit and vegetables and clothing. For fruit and vegetables, we identify the most important barriers as the cold chain, the availability of high-quality packaging and food safety certification. For garments, the poor image about labour standards is a major export barrier that persists despite Uzbekistan’s compliance with ILO standards. Another acute barrier is the expensive testing of compliance with social standards.
To overcome these barriers, we recommend promoting investment in pre-cooling warehouses, reducing Uzbekistan’s import tariffs on packaging, and providing education, training and financial support for quality management in companies. In the case of garment exports, we propose an information campaign in the EU on compliance with ILO standards and a government support programme for certification to international social standards.