The EVFTA was recently ratified by the European Parliament and is expected to create better chances for domestic seafood export enterprises, particularly those from Phu Yen province, as they seek to make inroads into foreign markets.
With the agreement poised to come into effect, approximately 50 per cent of tariff lines are to be slashed to zero per cent, while the remaining tariffs are to be abolished over the course of the subsequent three to seven years.
With regard to items such as canned tuna and fish balls, the EU is to provide the nation with respective tariff quotas of between 11,500 tonnes and 500 tonnes.
Most notably, businesses located in Phu Yen province are highly interested in tariffs being reduced on products such as frozen shrimp and black tiger shrimp, with tariffs set to be reduced from 20 per cent to zero per cent.
In addition, other shrimp products are expected to enjoy a substantial reduction in tariffs in line with the three to the five-year roadmap, while the tax reduction schedule for processed shrimp will be over the course of seven years.
Phan Van Lai, an official from the Ba Hai Fisheries Joint Stock Company, stated that tuna and fishing grounds have been increasingly running out, while the Fisheries Law proposes fresh regulations that require fishermen to install tracking devices and follow the legal procedures relating to origin traceability.
Cao Thi Phuong, Deputy Director of MOSC Vietnam Co., Ltd., said that the elimination of tariffs under the EVFTA will motivate companies to shift their focus towards the EU market, noting that domestic seafood products will not be able to gain entry to the European market if firms do not have the correct fishing certification.
This move to expand into new markets such as the EU will serve to help large seafood export businesses in Phu Yen overcome difficulties they face as a result of the "yellow card" imposed by the European Commission (EC). Furthermore, it will also help them seek new customers from markets such as the United States, the Middle East, and other countries.
Le Thi Hang Nga, Deputy Director of Phu Yen Fisheries Sub-Department, pointed out that aside from opportunities brought about by the EVFTA, seafood companies will also face numerous challenges relating to technical barriers, stricter quality standards, fierce competition on prices, and a range of other complicated regulations.
Demanding markets have set forth strict requirements with regard to the origin traceability, noting that local breeders and firms still lack knowledge when it comes to rules and regulations set by import markets, Nga said.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, the EVFTA also states that both sides should be active in the fight against any illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The joint fight against IUU fishing is regarded as an urgent task for Vietnam as it seeks to remove the “yellow card” issued by the EC and comply with the provisions set out by the EVFTA, therefore facilitating businesses to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the trade pact.