Increase in order from EU for Vietnamese seafood after EVFTA

Seafood volume exported to EU of Vietnam has been risen dramatically since the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect (August 1, 2020).
September 14, 2020 | 23:17
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1323 vietnam seafood evfta
Photo: Customsnews

According to the Directorate of Fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), the EVFTA has created opportunities for Vietnamese goods to lower costs when exporting to the EU market, improving competitiveness of goods which are not subject to Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the EU, especially agricultural commodities.

Vietnam has advantages in producing and exporting agricultural, forestry and aquatic products, while the EU has great demand for these items with import value accounting for 8.4% of the total annual import value. This shows the growth for agricultural exports to the EU market is extremely high.

According to an initial assessment, after a month, many export products of Vietnam saw positive changes in the EU market.

Typically, since the beginning of August, seafood exports have increased by 10% compared to July 2020.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, MrPhung DucTien, said with the implementation of the EVFTA, seafood businesses have more advantages in tax rates as well as legal procedures related to the EU.

The EU is an important market for seafood, so to take advantage of the tariff benefits, seafood businesses have prepared a system of international standards and certification, updated information on processing activities, logistics, so they will meet the content given in the EVFTA.

From the perspective of businesses, for more in-depth analysis of preparation to take advantage of opportunities, Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy Secretary General of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep), said this agency has actively coordinated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade for the past two years and hopes the business community can grasp as much information about the EVFTA as possible.

The initiative of seafood businesses is clearly seen as businesses are very interested in EVFTA-related information.

According to Mr. Nam, the Vasep programs in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade train EVFTA specifically for the fisheries sector, and the Vasep member businesses have direct participants, asking many questions.

Mr. Nam said that, with FTAs like the EVFTA or Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), beside tax advantages, there are other chapters on sustainable development, intellectual property, non-tariff techniques.

“In the current trend, when the tax is reduced to 0%, fulfill commitments in the otherissues, the Government and businesses will have to share the same process of internal law, have more capacity to meet commitments, especially sustainability issues, labor, environment, including the issuesof child labor and forced labor,”Mr. Nam said.

Many seafood experts and businesses say that Vietnam must remove the "yellow card" against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)fishing in the future for better export growth and expanding market share in the EU. This will help open the door to the EU for many businesses which cannot currently export to this market.

The EU has banned the use of antioxidants to preserve aquatic feed products. For some products withcertain pathogens, the EU does not allow imports to avoid the contamination and spread of pests and diseases to plants and plant products.

This condition requires businesses to seriously comply with support and facilitation from the authorities.

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