Vietnamese businesses trained in EVFTA’s Rules of Origin

December 05, 2022 | 14:01
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Vietnamese businesses had the opportunity to improve their knowledge on Rules of Origin (ROO) and receive useful information from experts to take full advantage of the recent European Union–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) at a workshop organised by the ARISE+ Vietnam Project.
Vietnamese businesses trained in EVFTA’s Rules of Origin
Vietnamese businesses learnt about Rules of Origin in EVFTA

On December 2, the ARISE+ Vietnam Project in coordination with the Agency of Foreign Trade (AFT), under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), organised a workshop on “Capacity building on effective implementation of EVFTA’s Rules of Origin.”

Funded by the EU, the workshop falls under the project “Technical support for the ARISE+ programme in Vietnam” in efforts to effectively implement the EVFTA.

The workshop aimed to enhance export companies’ understanding of criteria for determining the origin of goods in the EVFTA, compared with the Generalised System of Preference (GSP), and to discuss procedures for issuing C/O form EUR.1.

During the panel discussion, experts and ministerial officials addressed questions and provided some recommendations for businesses during the implementation of the EVFTA after the expiration of the GSP.

Deputy director of AFT Do Thi Thu Huong emphasised the importance of the EVFTA, particularly in the context of COVID-19 bringing negative impacts to the world economy.

“For the EU, Vietnam is the first developing partner in the Asia-Pacific to have an FTA with the EU, as well as an important bridge for trade and investment between the EU and Southeast Asia. For Vietnam, the EU is a crucial trade and investment partner and one of its leading export markets,” Huong said.

Vietnam’s export turnover to the EU in the two-year implementation of the EVFTA (August 2020 - July 2022) reached $83.6 billion, 24 per cent higher than the average export turnover between 2016 and 2019.

In terms of the size and structure of goods, the EU is Vietnam’s third largest export market, following the United States and China, with a highly complementary structure of goods.

Many key export products of Vietnam to the EU also recorded impressive growth compared to before EVFTA was implemented, such as footwear, seafood, cameras, and equipment components.

However, the growth rate has not met the prospect of cooperative development between the two sides. In addition to the objective effects of the pandemic, many Vietnamese businesses have encountered difficulties accessing the EU market and implementing the EVFTA provisions.

To benefit from tariff preferences in the EVFTA, Vietnamese exporters must comply with ROO-related requirements, intellectual property, labour and environment-related standards, and other technical problems. However, many businesses remain confused when processing applications for certificates of origin and even lack resources for production conversion to meet such requirements.

Peter Bernhardt, team leader of the ARISE+ Vietnam Project, suggested that Vietnamese ministries, sectors, associations, and enterprises continue assessing the situation of EVFTA implementation and identifying hindrances, thereby offering practical solutions to improve the legal framework, enhance labour and environmental standards, combat illegal fishing, and strengthen the close coordination between ministries, branches, representative agencies.

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By Oanh Nguyen

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