As we reported in the Aug. 7 Export Newsline, the European Union and Vietnam have reached an agreement in principle on a free trade agreement. The FTA is expected to enter into force in 2017 or early 2018.
According to details distributed by the European Livestock and Meat Trades Union (UECBV), Vietnam’s duties will be phased out on EU products as follows:
- Frozen pork over three years (current applied rate is 15 percent)
- Other pork products over nine years (current applied rate on offals is 20 percent)
- Beef over three years (current applied rate is 20 percent)
- Poultry over 10 years (current applied rate is 20 percent)
The EU has agreed to phase out duties on Vietnamese poultry over 10 years. The FTA is also to include a sanitary-phytosanitary (SPS) chapter in which Vietnam recognizes the EU as a single entity and both parties agree to recognize OIE standards.
While Vietnam typically maintains a high rate of self-sufficiency in pork production, EU pork exports to Vietnam expanded dramatically last year, increasing more than 400 percent in both volume and value compared to 2013, reaching 16,315 metric tons (mt) valued at $21.7 million. In the first half of this year, exports had already reached 10,641 mt (up 80 percent year-over-year) valued at $11.8 million (up 60 percent). Exports are mainly variety meat, accounting for about two-thirds of the export volume.
EU beef exports to Vietnam also rose significantly last year, increasing 68 percent in volume to 5,240 mt and nearly doubling in value to $18.4 million. Exports in 2015 are about 15 percent ahead of last year’s pace, with variety meat accounting for about two-thirds of the volume.