(vasep.com.vn) Over the past 5 years, the UK has been one of the 17 largest tuna export markets for Vietnam. But in 2020, Vietnam's tuna exports to the UK were unstable. The export value of Vietnamese tuna to this market reached nearly 7 million USD, going down by 2% compared to 2019 due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic and Britain's departure from the European Union (EU) changed British consumer behavior.
Currently, Vietnam is mainly exporting frozen tuna to the UK. In particular, frozen tuna meat / fillet with HS code 0304 accounted for 88% of the total tuna export value to this market. Compared to 2019, exports of frozen tuna to the UK decreased, while that of canned tuna increased. However, the export value of canned tuna from Vietnam to this market is still very modest.
Therefore, the signing of a free trade agreement with the UK (UKVFTA), which officially came into effect from December 31, 2020, has created advantages for Vietnamese seafood exporters, including tuna exporters. In 2020, although the UK has left the EU, Vietnam's tuna exports to this market would still get taxed under the EVFTA agreement until December 31, 2020. According to the commitment in UKFTA, it is expected that the UK will exempt Vietnamese tuna products within the quota of 1,566 tons per year from taxes (TRQ).
According to the World Trade Center (ITC), the UK is the 5th largest canned tuna import market in the world in 2019 and the 6th largest in 2020. For many years, the UK has also been the biggest importer of canned tuna in the EU. According to Eurostat's statistics, in 2019, imports of canned tuna from the UK accounted for nearly 17% of the total imports of the EU.
Vietnam is the 11th tuna supplier to the UK market during the first 11 months of 2020, following after Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. All three countries have not signed a Free Trade Agreement with the UK, so this will be an advantage for Vietnam.