The Philippines has applied to join the European Union's GSP+ trade preference scheme, which would give its exports tariff and duty free access to the EU market.

The country's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last week confirmed an application has been submitted, and said it expects this to be assessed within 10 months.

The textile and garment industry is expected to be one of the main beneficiaries of the GSP+ (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) scheme - with estimates suggesting the sector will see shipments surge by EUR79.7m (US$109.8m).

Footwear, headwear and umbrella exports also stand to benefit by EUR28.5m, according to DTI data.

The application includes documents relating to the country's ratification of the 27 international conventions and an undertaking to accept regular EU monitoring to ensure their implementation.

The Philippines government in August announced its intention to apply for membership of the EU's revised GSP+ scheme, which was updated last year to "focus support on countries most in need."

Last month the Philippine garment industry called for accelerated beneficial trade access to the EU and United States (US) in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

However, the country has missed the chance to join the GSP+ scheme from 1 January 2014 - a move that was last week granted to ten countries including Pakistan.