The European Council of Ministers on February 26 agreed to lift restrictions on imports of textiles from Sri Lanka and Bosnia and Herzegovina with immediate effect. The decision has come at considerable cost to Sri Lanka, in terms of WTO bound tariffs and other commitments. Effective March 1 2001, the European Union has made all textile imports from Sri Lanka quota-free under an agreement initialled in December, now approved by the Council of Ministers. The quota system is otherwise supposed to end in 2004 for all countries.