Vietnam improving legal framework for FTA with EU

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The General Department of Customs estimated that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) with its roadmap of tariff cuts would cause a decrease of import and export taxes and contribute to state budget revenue by around 1.1 trillion dong ($47.7 million) per year. VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY/VIET NAM NEWS

Tax policies are being specified while customs procedures simplified to improve Vietnam’s legal framework to facilitate the enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

General Department of Customs deputy director Luu Manh Tuong said the department pledged to create the favourable conditions for firms in conducting customs procedures.


Tuong said the customs watchdog was hastening administrative reforms and modernisation to improve the business climate and the national competitiveness of enterprises and the whole economy. The information system for customs management was also improved to adapt to Industry 4.0.

EVFTA will give a push to the bilateral trade because of setbacks caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing trends of protectionism and escalating trade wars, Tuong said, adding that the trade deal was an opportunity for Vietnam to speed up administrative reform, improve the investment climate and institutional reform.

Customs Control and Supervision Department director Au Anh Tuan said a plan for customs management to implement the EVFTA was being developed and would be soon submitted to the Ministry of Finance for approval.

Tuan urged firms to study and comply with rules of origins to enjoy preferential tariffs provided by the trade deal.

Tuan said the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued Circular No 11/2020/TT-BCT about rules of origin in the EVFTA on June 16 which provided instructions for origin certification.

The trade ministry’s Department of International Cooperation director Ha Duy Tung said the ministry was also drafting detailed plans to implement the EVFTA which would be submitted to the government this month.


Tung said that a decree about EVFTA’s preferential import-export tariffs was being developed together with a circular about rules of origin.

The trade ministry’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department deputy director Ngo Chung Khanh said that when the trade deal came in force, Vietnam should pay attention to developing sectors like services, finance, automobile, processing and manufacturing, information technology, high technology and processed food which the EU had strength in and might invest in the country.

Khanh said Vietnamese firms must focus on improving product quality and intellectual property protection to meet the EU’s requirements.

European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham Vietnam) vice-chairman Nguyen Hai Minh said European investors were paying attention to three major factors in Vietnam, including improvement in infrastructure systems, human resource quality and investment climate, especially customs administrative reforms to facilitate trade.

The trade deal is planned to take effect on August 1.

The customs department estimated that the EVFTA with its roadmap of tariffs cuts would cause a decrease of import and export taxes and contribute to state budget revenue by around 1.1 trillion dong ($47.7 million) per year.

The decrease would gradually widen, depending on the impacts of the trade deal on growth. However, domestic revenue contributed to the budget would increase because the trade deal would lift trade, investment and economic growth.

Analysis by the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that the EVFTA would help increase Vietnam’s export revenue to the EU by 20 per cent this year, 42.7 per cent in 2025 and 44.37 per cent in 2030.

The trade deal would also help push up the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by around 2.18-3.25 per cent in the 2019-2023 period, 4.57-5.3 per cent in 2024-2028 and 7.07-7.72 per cent in 2029-2033.