Agro-products are one of Vietnam's key exports to the Republic of Korea. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Finance on December 21 issued a list of preferential tariffs for goods from the Republic of Korea (RoK), a step in implementing the Vietnam–RoK Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) in 2015-2018.

Circular 201/2015/TT-BTC lists 9,502 tariff lines.

To be eligible for the preferential import tax, the goods must meet four basic conditions: being included in the VKFTA duty structure, being imported from the RoK, being directly transported from the RoK to Vietnam under the regulations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT); meeting the VKFTA regulations on origin of goods and having certificates of origin according to regulations by the MoIT.

Goods from free-duty zones imported into Vietnam must belong to the VKFTA duty structure and have certificates of origin according to regulations from the MoIT to enjoy the VKFTA special import duty.

Goods produced in the Kaesong Industrial Zone in the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea then imported into the RoK to be exported to Vietnam will enjoy the preferential duty if they are among those marked as GIC in the VKFTA duty structure; are directly imported from the RoK into Vietnam according to regulations of the MoIT; meet regulations on the origin of special goods as stipulated in the VKFTA; have C/O KV issued by the RoK Customs Agency containing the words “Article 3.5” in box No 8.

The preferential tariffs will be applied as from December 20, the same day when the VKFTA became effective.

Under the VKFTA, Vietnam commits to eliminate 8521 tariff lines, 201 more than the commitments under the ASEAN-RoK FTA.

Meanwhile, the RoK is to remove and allocate quotas for 11,679 tariff lines, including Vietnam’s key exports like shrimps, crabs, frozen and canned fish; agro-products, fresh flower and several so-called sensitive products such as garlic, ginger, honey, sweet potato and red bean.

According to the Ministry of Finance, fulfilling tariff-reducing commitments will help Vietnamese and RoK foreign-direct-investment enterprises to import materials with lower cost that would boost exports of main commodities and competitiveness.

The RoK was Vietnam’s third largest trade partner in 2014 with two-way trade reaching 28.8 billion USD, after China and the United States.

According to the General Department of Customs, in the first 11 months of this year, bilateral trade hit 33.6 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 27.6 percent. The figure is estimated at 33.6 billion USD this year, up 27.2 percent from last year.-VNA