EVFTA offers huge opportunities for seafood sector to reach out hinh anh 1Aquatic products are subject to a lot of incentives in the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).(Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Aquatic products are subject to a lot of incentives in the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), according to experts.

Up to 90 percent of the tariff lines levied on this product type will be cut down to zero percent once the EVFTA is signed, excluding canned tuna and fish ball, with the longest roadmap of seven years.

Experts said this is an excellent chance for the seafood sector to reach out to more markets.

Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Truong Dinh Hoe said the average import tariff on aquatic products exported to the EU is 14 percent, many of which are imposed with higher tariffs, up to 26 percent.

When the EVFTA takes effect, nearly 840 basic tariff lines, making up about 50 percent of the tariff lines for aquatic products, will be reduced to zero percent; the remaining are subject to 3-to-7-year reduction roadmap.

The EU will provide tariff quota for some Vietnamese special products such as canned tuna, 11,500 tonnes, and surimi, 500 tonnes.

The enforcement of the EVFTA will push Vietnam’s aquatic product exports to the EU market, Hoe said.

He added that shrimp exports will be more optimistic because the tariff lines for this product will reduce sharply from the first year of the deal’s enforcement, then gradually go down to zero percent in the next following years.

Vietnam is now the second biggest shrimp exporter, accounting for 14 percent of the global market share after India.

When the EVFTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) come into effect, the import duties on raw shrimp material from Vietnam and the export duties on processed shrimp in the EU and CPTPP countries will be cut down.

Meanwhile, India is not a member of the CPTPP and the negotiation of a FTA between India and the EU is temporarily delayed.

This is considered a good opportunity for the Vietnamese shrimp industry to compete with India.

According to the VASEP, with the aim of exporting 4.2 billion USD worth of shrimp in 2019, the US is defined as the key growth market of Vietnam with the export turnover projected at 750 million USD, up 17.6 percent against 2018.

The European demand for shrimp is forecast to continuously grow, especially in the UK and the Netherlands.

This is the foundation for the shrimp sector to realise its goal of increasing its export value to the EU to 1.5 billion USD in 2019.

Experts said the signing of the EVFTA is a good chance for aquatic firms to expand export markets and increase their competitiveness.-VNA