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What is an Early Harvest Scheme/Programme (EHS) and how different is it from an FTA?

What is an Early Harvest Scheme/Programme (EHS) and how different is it from an FTA?

Early harvest scheme is a precursor to a free trade agreement (FTA) between two trading partners. This is to help the two trading countries to identify certain products for tariff liberalisation pending the conclusion of FTA negotiation. It is primarily a confidence building measure.

A good example of an EHS is between India and Thailand signed in October 2003, wherein 83 products were identified to be reduced to zero in a phased manner. The EHS has been used as a mechanism to build greater confidence amongst trading partners to prepare them for even bigger economic engagement.

International Trade Law includes the appropriate rules and customs for handling trade between countries. However, it is also used in legal writings as trade between private sectors, which is not right.

This branch of law is now an independent field of study as most governments has become part of the world trade, as members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Since the transaction between private sectors of different countries is an important part of the WTO activities, this latter branch of law is now a very important part of the academic works and is under study in many universities across the world.


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