The Department of Trade Defence under the Ministry of Industry and Trade will begin releasing Vietnam’s export data to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) on a monthly basis to help local businesses avoid Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs. Vietnam and the EAEU signed a free trade agreement on May 29, 2015, which came into force on October 5, 2016.
Under the deal, the EAEU – consisting of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan – committed to eliminating tariff for up to 9,774 tax lines (90 percent) for products imported from Vietnam.
Accordingly, Vietnam’s footwear, textiles and garments, and interior design products are eligible for a zero import duty. However, if the volume of these products exceeds the trigger level established in the agreement, the EAEU will adjust the zero import duty to MFN tariffs for six to nine months, depending on the volume.
As of June 2018, the MFN tariffs had been imposed on Vietnamese underwear and children’s wear products.
According to the department, there have been no products at risk of tax in 2019. However, domestic businesses should act accordingly to avoid the imposition. Vietnam’s customs statistics show trade between the two sides hit 3.9 billion USD in 2017, up 31 percent year-on-year. Last year, Vietnam also recorded a trade surplus of nearly 1 billion USD with the bloc In the first four months of 2018, bilateral trade was at 1.53 billion USD, an annual increase of 35 percent.
Key Vietnamese exports to the EAEU were phones and components, computers and electronic devices, apparel, footwear, fruit and vegetables, coffee, cashew nuts, and seafood. Vietnam mainly imported petrol, oil, steel, fertilisers, and machinery from the EAEU. Commodities from each side supplement each other, thus limiting the disadvantages usually seen with other