Local rice exporters seek ways to enter EU hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Vietnam’s rice exports to the EU remain modest, at about 20,000 tonnes in volume and 10.7 million USD in value in 2019, accounting for a small proportion of the bloc’s annual average rice consumption of 2.5 million tonnes in the 2016-2020 period.

Tran Thanh Hai, Vice Director of the Import-Export Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said the absence of a tariff-free quota from the EU lies behind the situation, as it has cut the competitiveness of Vietnamese rice.

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has opened the door for Vietnam, he went on, as it nominates a tariff-free quota of 80,000 tonnes each year.

The quota, however, is not allocated to Vietnamese exporters but to EU importers. Meanwhile, under the agreement, fragrant rice must be certified by Vietnam, which means additional administrative procedures.

MoIT said that applications from importers for rice to be sent to the EU will be submitted to authorised agencies of member countries within the first seven days of each month, excluding December. Applications for the first day of each year will be submitted in the last seven days of November in the previous year.

Meanwhile, exporters must show authenticity certificates for rice before sending shipments to the EU.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is currently working with MoIT on drafting documents guiding procedures for registering for certificates. Businesses are advised to prepare certificates of origin for customs clearance procedures.

Hai said that as soon as the EU announces its quota allocation, the ministry will inform businesses via its website and the media. Businesses can access the website of the EU at http://ec.europa.eu or contact their partners to remain updated, he added./.