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Shrimp exports to EU have more opportunity when EVFTA comes into effect
July 15, 2019, 09:31 AM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Vietnam will have more opportunities to boost shrimp exports to the EU after the Vietnam Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (EVFTA) takes effect.

In November 2015, Vietnam and EU officially concluded negotiations on EVFTA Agreement. The FTA was signed on June 30 in Hanoi paving the way for its conclusion and increased trade with the EU and Vietnam.

According to the commitment, after the Agreement comes into effect, Vietnamese goods including shrimp products shall enjoy special preferential tax.

The EU mainly imports frozen raw shrimp and processed shrimp from Vietnam. According to the commitment, as soon as EVFTA comes into effect, import tax on raw shrimp HS code 03061100 (frozen green lobster; frozen HOSO, DP black tiger shrimp; fresh frozen PD shrimp; ice-chilled blue lobster; slipper lobster (whole, frozen, sawn ...) into the EU shall be 0% from the current level of 12.5%, tax on shrimp product HS code 03061710 (frozen PD tiger shrimp, frozen HOSO whole shrimp, tiger shrimp shell on), frozen /fresh tiger shrimp, frozen tiger prawn, frozen fresh HLSO tiger shrimp, IQF giant tiger shrimp, frozen meat shrimp ...) to 0% from the current 20%. Shrimp HS code 03061791, 03061792, 03061793, 03061799 shall reduce tax to 0% from the current 12%. Shrimp HS code 03061794 shall be reduced to 0% from the current 18% after 5 years from the entry into force of the Agreement.

For processed shrimp products, shrimp HS code 16052110 (paste shrimp) from the current 20% shall be adjusted to 0% after 7 years from the entry into force of the Agreement; Shrimp HS code 16052190 (other shrimp) from 20% to 0% after 7 years since the Agreement took effect.

Currently, the GSP tax rate that EU imposes to Vietnam for frozen raw shrimp (HS 030617) is 4.2%; Frozen processed shrimp (HS 160521) is 7%. However, Vietnamese products must meet EU origin standards to enjoy this tax. Vietnam has an advantage over the two rival countries, Thailand and China, because these two countries do not enjoy GSP tax of EU.

The EU accounts for about 30.6% of the total value of shrimp imports worldwide. EU shrimp imports range from US$6- US$8 billion per year.

According to data of the World Trade Center (ITC), in 2018, imports of shrimp into the EU reached more than US$7 billion; rose by 0.5% compared to 2017. Spain and France were the 2 largest shirmp importers of EU. Value of Spain's shrimp imports reached US$1.2 billion, down 2%; France reached 937.6 million, down 1% compared to 2017.

According to the statistics of Vietnam Customs, in the first 4 months of 2019, Vietnam shrimp exports to EU reached nearly US$184 million, down 25.7% year on year.

EU is still the largest shrimp importer of Vietnam, accounting for 21.7% of total shrimp export value of Vietnam to markets.

Shrimp exports to the EU in the first months of 2019 were partly reduced due to the increase in the world supply of shrimps, the decrease in shrimp export prices and the ongoing political and economic disturbances in the EU.

The UK, Germany and the Netherlands are the 3 largest single markets for importing Vietnamese shrimp in the EU. Export value to these 3 markets decreased by 2 digits in the first 4 months of this year.

In the EU market, Vietnam must compete primarily with India and Ecuador. While India tends to reduce shrimp exports to the EU due to quality problems. Ecuador tends to increase shrimp exports to this market after the FTA between Ecuador and EU takes effect.

With EVFTA, Vietnamese enterprises also face challenges of rules of origin and risks of trade defense measures. The shrimp export value of Vietnam to EU fell in the first 4 months of this year. However, with EVFTA that expected to take effect this year and the advantages of tariff that competitors such as India and Thailand are not available, the EU is still considered as a key market of Vietnamese shrimp exports in 2019.

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