Mongolia was granted GSP + status in 2005 and has ratified all 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, protection of the environment and good governance. With a per-capita income of USD 5.045 in 2022, Mongolia is classified as a lower middle-income country. The EU imported a cumulative value of €137 million worth of goods in 2022, and about €23 million made use of GSP+ preferential rate.

What is the GSP+?

The GSP+ is a special incentive arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance that supports vulnerable developing countries. Next to fulfilling the eligibility requirements of the Standard GSP, GSP+ countries are required to ratify 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and climate change, and good governance. In order to ensure effective implementation of the conventions as well as compliance with reporting obligations, the EU engages in monitoring activities with the GSP+ countries. GSP+ beneficiaries can benefit from complete duty suspensions for products across approximately 66% of all EU tariff lines.

At a glance: GSP+ beneficiaries' preferential imports to the EU


3,40 M


Semi-Presidential Republic




GDP Growth





$ 17,15 B


Facts about the Mongolian economy

Landlocked Economy

Mongolia is a landlocked economy where agriculture and herding are traditionally of high importance.

Extractive industries

Foreign direct investment particularly in extractive industries such as mining of copper, gold and coal led to a significant increase in exports after the financial crisis in 2008. Today, mineral products account for over 90% of Mongolia’s exports, which leaves the Mongolian economy vulnerable to international price fluctuations with regard to these commodities.

Trade with China and Russia

Mongolia is highly dependent on a small number of trading partners. Trade with China and Russia accounts for over 80% of the country’s total trade, leaving it vulnerable to economic fluctuations in these two countries.

Economic Structure

Services (39.6%) and industry (37%) account for the largest shares in Mongolia’s GDP. In the last ten years, the share of agriculture has halved to about 11%. Industrial production in Mongolia concentrates on construction and mining.

Usage of GSP+ Preferences

Mongolia uses GSP+ preferences for around 21% of its total EU exports. The preference utilisation rate is high and most recently stood at 83% (2022).

Trade with the EU

The total trade between the EU and Mongolia summed up to € 927 million in 2022. The EU accounts for a share of 10% of Mongolia’s total trade and ranks third in Mongolia's trading partners behind China and Russia.

Mongolia and the EU (2022)

Imports from Mongolia by product section

Imports from Mongolia over time (in € m)


Economic Impact

Mongolia can be considered a highly vulnerable economy and is noticeably below the threshold of 7.4%, indeed its vulnerability ratio for 2019 stood at zero. Mongolia’s export is highly concentrated in few products. The minimum export diversification threshold stands at 75% whereas Mongolia’s percentage was 92.3% in 2019.


A relatively small share of Mongolia’s current exports is eligible for tariff reductions under the GSP.


Mongolia currently has a high preference utilisation rate of 91%.

Preference utilisation and export diversification

Mongolia's imports to the EU

Preference Utilisation vs. total eligible imports

Over the years, the preference utilisation rate has shown considerable fluctuations, especially between 2011 and 2016. The decrease in preference utilisation during this period can be traced back to an increase in GSP eligible exports that were traded under most favoured nation rates. The preference utilisation increased 8 percentage points between 2016 and 2018, although total GSP eligible imports decreased. Likewise, preference utilisation has increased for individual product sections for example for fish and footwear imports. The value of EU imports from Mongolia using GSP+ has remained relatively steady, at around 28% of total imports. Overall, Mongolia currently makes notable use of GSP+ preferences, allowing the country to benefit from the arrangement.

The largest product sections under the GSP+

In recent years, Mongolia experienced some changes with regard to its export diversification. In 2021 edible vegetables and roots became eligible for export, and in 2022 the utilisation rate is 100%. Aside from this new category, Mongolia’s GSP+ preferential exports to the EU mainly consist of apparel and clothing, furniture and toys, wool and fish. Apparel, however, is by far the most dominating export good, accounting for 84% of the exports using GSP+ preferences. GSP+ preferences for plastic articles (S-07a) remain underutilised with utilisation rate of 0% , despite being eligible.


Mongolia shows a strong engagement in the monitoring process of GSP+ compliance, despite challenges in taking more commercial advantage of the unilateral tariff preferences of the EU. During the reporting period (2020-2022), progress was made in the area of children’s rights, fight against domestic violence, as well as labour rights. Yet the country should make more effort to effectively implement the related legislation. With regard to human rights, the key issue is the effective implementation of the ratified human rights conventions. The draft laws on civil society organisations which might restrict civil space are issues of concern.

Monitoring priorities during the reporting period 2024-2025

Freedom of expression

Human rights defenders

Strengthening the judiciary


Addressing violence against women and vulnerable groups

Labour rights

Eliminating child labour

Environment and climate conventions implementation


Drug control

For the reporting period 2024-2025, the EU has identified ten focus areas for its monitoring activities. Mongolia is showing commitment regarding the implementation of international labour conventions, also through the new Labour Law. The country faces many challenges in the field of environment, also related to pollution, which the EU is helping to address through its development cooperation. Finally, with regard to the international conventions on good governance, challenges remain especially in the area of corruption. This is an area where further work should be done.


The level of ratification of core human rights treaties is high and goes beyond the requirements of GSP+. Mongolia has ratified 9 out of 10 human rights treaties except for the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Their Families, which, however, is not included in GSP+ obligations. According to the most recent GSP report, covering the period 2018-2019, the country made improvements in the level of compliance, especially in the area of implementing human rights obligations to promote and protect children’s and women’s rights, where new policies were adopted (Child Rights Act and Child Protection Act), and budgets substantially increased. Mongolia takes part in multilateral initiatives such as the Global Alliance for Torture-Free Trade and the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion. Following recommendations by the Committee Against Torture, Mongolia committed to establishing an independent mechanism in order to investigate complaints of torture. Likewise, in response to the concerning situation of human rights defenders, Mongolia has extended its invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur. In recent time, the public debate around a reintroduction of the death penalty intensified. An assessment by the government, however, determined an incompatibility of a reintroduction with its international obligations and dropped the idea. There has been some concern about the independence of the judiciary resulting from a series of dismissals of high-level members of the judiciary. Additionally, the situation of human rights defenders remains problematic as no law on their protection has been passed yet. Finally, amendments to a number of laws indicate increasing concentration of political power.



Mongolia has ratified all 7 ILO conventions required by GSP+ and has additionally ratified the Forced Labour Convention (1930) and its 2014 Protocol. Mongolia participated in an EU funded project with the ILO to strengthen national capacities to improve ILS compliance and reporting between 2015 and 2017. This initiated a revision of the Labour Law and to improve alignment with fundamental principles and rights at work, which is currently under discussion in Parliament. Additional progress was made counteracting child labour through the strengthening of responsible institutions. Problems continue to appear with regard to limited power and resources available to the labour inspectorate which impedes monitoring activities and enforcement of existing labour laws. Another area of concern is child labour. Even though Mongolia has improved the legal framework with regard to children’s rights, child labour continuous to exist especially in hazardous areas such as mining and horse racing.



With urban pollution ranking among the highest in the world, the area of environmental policies and protection remains challenging for Mongolia, though the country shows strong commitment through robust laws on environmental standards and safeguards. Next to maintaining ratification of all eight international conventions on environmental protection required for GSP+, Mongolia has additionally ratified the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing. Furthermore, Mongolia ratified the Paris Agreement in September 2016 and submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), which envisages a 14% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030. Being confronted with substantial environmental challenges from pollution and extractive industries, Mongolia has set strong environmental standards and safeguards to protect the environment. Nonetheless, future engagement is needed with regard to air pollution and the environmental compatibility of mining projects. Moreover, restrictive capacities partly impede the effective implementation of the required conventions. For example, Mongolia is still working on adjusting its legislation to the requirements of CITES as well as effectively implementing the Cartagena and Stockholm Conventions



Mongolia has ratified all four required conventions on good governance and shows strong commitment and has strengthened its efforts with regard to the national drug control policy. Here, again capacity constraints pose a challenge to entirely effective implementation. Corruption remains a core challenge particularly in the public sector and the judiciary. The topic of corruption has increased in public attention through several high-level corruption cases in recent years. Even though the government is dedicated to counteracting corruption through an enhancement of the legal and institutional framework, important regulations on anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorist financing remain missing.


EU-Mongolia Bilateral Development Assistance


Access all info about EU-Mongolia relations on the International Partnerships website:

Opportunities in Mongolia

  • Young population with an average age of 28 years
  • High potential for renewable energies and related sectors as the government aims to increase the share of renewables to 30% until 2030 and follows a national green development policy
  • Government shows continuous efforts to improve business and investment climate through e.g. anti corruption initiatives
  • Important products in the manufacturing sector: processed foods, shoes, cashmere, yak hair, sheep and camel wool

Most recent events

Date Event
2019‑06‑27 Monitoring Mission: The European Commission’s last monitoring mission to Mongolia took place in June 2019 together with the EU-Mongolia Human Rights Dialogue and the EU-Mongolia Joint Committee meetings
2020‑10‑27 GSP+ Engagement Workshop

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By submitting a comment I confirm to have read the Terms and Conditions. Users should be aware that if in breach of the Terms and Conditions that their comments, replies and contributions can be removed from the website.