Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – The Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) on Monday submitted a proposal to the Government to renegotiate the high import duty on Vietnamese tuna products in Japan.
The association has proposed to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) that it negotiate to remove Japan’s import tariff on Vietnamese tuna, as has been done in the case of Thailand and the Philippines, so that Vietnamese tuna products can be sold at more competitive rates in the Japanese market.
Japan is one of Việt Nam’s eight major tuna export markets, VASEP said. However, since 2013, Vietnamese tuna exports to Japan have reduced mainly because of higher import tariffs on Vietnamese tuna products against those imported from countries such as Thailand and the Philippines.
As per data with Japan’s customs office and VASEP’s partners in Japan, for canned skipjack (code 1604.14.010) exported to Japan, Thailand has enjoyed a preferential tariff of 3.2 per cent from April 2009 and 1.1 per cent from April 2011. In April 2012, the import tariff was removed completely under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA), reports vietnamplus.vn.
In comparison, Việt Nam’s canned skipjack gets charged an import tariff of 6.4 per cent though the Việt Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) came into effect in October 2009.
As a result, Vietnamese canned tuna products cannot compete with Thai tuna products in the Japanese market, the VASEP said.
The situation is similar for other products such as canned yellowfin tuna (code 1604.14.092) and frozen tuna loin (code 1604.14.099) imported to Japan. The import duty for those products shipped from Thailand to Japan was 4.8 per cent from April 2009, reduced to 1.6 per cent in April 2011 and removed in April 2012.
Under the Generalised Systems of Preferences (GSP), the Philippines paid an import duty of 4.8 per cent, which was cut to 2.4 per cent in April 2011 and to 1.2 per cent in April 2012. The duty was finally removed in April 2013.
These products imported from Việt Nam are charged a duty of 9.6 per cent despite the VJEPA. Việt Nam and Japan have not drawn up a schedule to remove import duty on tuna products, according to the association.
The tuna market plays an important role in the performance of Việt Nam’s fishery industry and the economy in general. The total export value of tuna is $450 to $550 million a year.
The association said it hoped the MoIT would renegotiate the terms as soon as possible and create favourable conditions to improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese seafood products in the global market. - VNS