Seafood Exporters Must Maximize the Benefits of the New Generation of Free Trade Agreements (19-04-2021)

A series of more inclusive free trade agreements have been signed, the most recent of which is the UKVFTA, which creates a new growth engine for Vietnam's seafood products by providing favorable trade benefits and tax incentives. Businesses must take advantage of the opportunity to maximize their available advantages in order to increase exports in 2021.
Seafood Exporters Must Maximize the Benefits of the New Generation of Free Trade Agreements

The Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) was signed in 2020 and is expected to come into effect in early 2021. This FTA is expected to open up numerous opportunities for Vietnam to increase exports of a number of billion-dollar export items to the lucrative UK market. With the UKVFTA Agreement's commitments, the import tax on most raw shrimp (fresh, frozen, chilled) from Vietnam to the UK will be reduced from 10% to 0% immediately after the Agreement's implementation. Shrimp and some kinds of fish (Catfish) are the commodity groups in the aquatic and seafood group that have the earliest advantage. As a result, the shrimp and catfish s processing industries will have the opportunity to increase export turnover as well as attract investment to capitalize on these commitments.

On the other hand, Vietnam will gain a competitive advantage over China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar as a result of the UKVFTA Agreement. These are countries that are unlikely to sign an FTA with the United Kingdom for several years. In addition, Vietnam now has more opportunities to expand its supply of goods, as well as increase investment and technology transfer cooperation.

 In the seafood sector, the United Kingdom currently accounts for over 4% of Vietnam's total seafood export value. It's worth noting that, despite the UK's exit from the European Union in 2020, seafood exports to this market will continue to be taxed under the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) mechanism until the end of 2020. As a result, the conclusion of the UKVFTA Agreement negotiations will ensure that bilateral trade between Vietnam and the United Kingdom is not disrupted until the Brexit transition period ends.

Vietnam's seafood exports to the United Kingdom are expected to reach USD 355 million by 2020, with positive development in shrimp, tra fish, crabs, crabs, and sea fish. Processed pangasius products, in particular, grew 15 times faster than in 2019.

The UKVFTA Agreement, when combined with the EVFTA Agreement, opens up huge opportunity for Vietnam's seafood exporters in 2021. In order to maximize the benefits of the above agreements, Vietnamese seafood exporters must improve the competitiveness of their products through quality and price, as well as create and protect brands in order to encourage long-term exports.

Seafood processing and exporting companies must plan ahead of time to increase the value of aquatic products by increasing their competitiveness and capacity in production and business, as well as applying science and technology to increase the value of aquatic products.

In particular, enterprises need to strictly self-discipline and strictly comply with regulations on traceability; inspect and supervise the use of antibiotics in production and processing; to quarantine aquatic products, ensure food safety and hygiene and produce high-quality products that meet the demands of importing countries.

In addition, businesses must increase their social responsibility and pay attention to the UKVFTA's and the new generation of free trade agreements' sustainable development issues. In particular, businesses must pay attention to labor principles and standards, environmental protection, and other issues that are important to their partners.

The Agroforestry and Fisheries Quality Control Department recently sent an official letter to companies in order to ensure that seafood exports to the UK market are favorable and in compliance with required regulations.

Specifically, the order and procedures for certifying seafood and seafood products used as food in Vietnam for export to the UK, according to a notice from the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) from today until March 31, 2021, the United Kingdom will remain unchanged. However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) revised a number of changes relating to the control of live animal and animal product imports, including food labeling, deed forms, and notice before the shipment reaches the border gate. Recognition of exports and goods from third countries; In the United Kingdom, there are many points of contact.

As a result, the Agro-Forestry and Fisheries Quality Control Department recommends that seafood processing companies exporting to the United Kingdom include comprehensive technical requirements for food safety conditions for aquatic products. Seafood products and products imported into this market to coordinate the implementation of the animal, food, and feed import system (IPAFFS) to replace the current TRACENT system in the production and processing process for export to the UK market, particularly the notification before the consignment arrives at the import port.

Defra also stated that it would continue to approve certification samples for seafood and food products for export to the United Kingdom (including England, Wales, and Scotland) in accordance with existing EU regulations (EU Regulations number 2019/628) until March 31, 2021, and would apply mandatory certification in the new form posted on the website at the following address:

After the aforementioned deadline, the Regional Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Center only issues new certificates if the company requests it based on the importer's request.

Le Mai (theo

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