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Vietnam's tuna exports rise after VJEPA comes into effect?
May 23, 2019, 08:50 AM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) On October 1, 2009, the Vietnam - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement took effect. According to commitments within 10 years of the entry into force of the Agreement, Japan will exempt duty on 94% of Vietnam's goods exported to this market, especially tax exemption for 86% of Vietnamese agricultural products (including tuna products). However, since the VJEPA agreement come into effect, Vietnam's tuna exports to Japan have not changed much.

In the period of 2010 - 2012, Vietnam's tuna exports to Japan went up from US$17 million to nearly US$54 million. This growth thanks to the increase in export of fresh and frozen tuna to this market.

However, from 2013 to 2016, Vietnam's tuna exports to Japan decreased continuously to US$19.3 million. And currently, the tuna export value of Vietnam to this market only fluctuates at US$24-25 million. This decrease is due to the reduction of fresh and frozen tuna to this market. Therefore, Japan from the third largest tuna importer has dropped to the 5th position in the top 8 largest tuna importers of Vietnam.

According to enterprises, the decrease in tuna exports to Japan due to a reduction of Vietnam's capture output. Enterprises shifted to export processed tuna. However, Vietnam's processed tuna products imported into Japan must compete with regional countries such as Thailand and the Philippines due to high taxes.

Specifically, for canned skipjack tuna (HS code: 1604.14.010) exported to Japan. Since April 2009, Thailand has enjoyed a preferential tax rate of 3.2%, then decreased to 1.1% in April 2011 according to Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) and down to 0% in April 2012. The Philippines and Vietnam also enjoyed a tax rate of 6.4%.

After VJEPA, Vietnam's tuna industry was not a beneficial industry. However, it is expected that after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) takes effect, Vietnam's tuna export to Japan have more chance to grow.

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