EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA)

On December 12th 2015, under the witnessing of Vietnamese Prime Minister and European Union Commission, Minister of Trade and Industry and EU trade commissioner have signed Declaration about the official closure of negotiation for EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). In the near future, the two sides will urgently review legal requirements and proceed ratification procedures for the agreement.

According to international trade negotiation tradition, an agreement will only be publicized if both sides completed their legal ratification procedures. With EVFTA, despite not yet completing such process, while understanding the urgent demand of the public to this news, Vietnam and EU decided to publicly announce the whole of the said agreement. This agreement is the agreed documents between two sides after the negotiation. The final version will be updated after the ratification procedures completed. The changes, if applicable, in the final version will be mostly technical revision of wordings, not affecting agreement contents.

With the level of commitment has been achieved, EVFTA is a comprehensive agreement, a very high quality, and ensure a balanced benefits to both Vietnam and the EU, which also noted the differences in the level of development. The main contents of the Agreement are: Trade in Goods (wording of general provisions and a commitment to open markets), rules of origin, customs and trade facilitation, the safety measures on food and plant, Health inspection service (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBT), trade in services (wording of general provisions and a commitment to open markets), Investment and trade Remedies , Competition, state enterprises, government procurement, intellectual property (including geographical indications), sustainable development, cooperation and capacity building, Legal-institutional. The agreement also includes a new approach, more progress on investment protection and dispute settlement investments.

Here, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is pleased to introduce the main contents of the Agreement EVFTA. Due to legal review process is underway, the volume documents to compile huge, MOIT can not accompanied by a translation published by the Agreement EVFTA Vietnamese. To meet the requirements of citizens and businesses, MOIT will actively coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to quickly complete the translation and publication of the Vietnamese translation in the shortest time.

After completing the legal review, Vietnam and the EU will implement the procedures to prepare Agreement. Currently, the official time of signing the Agreement has not been determined, however, the two sides agreed to attempt to complete the necessary procedures for the Agreement takes effect from the beginning in 2018.

Main contents of EVFTA

1. General information

On October 2010, Vietnamese Prime Minister and European Union Chairman agreed to start the negotiation for EVFTA after both sides’ technical completion.

Conducting after both sides’ leaders, Vietnam and EU officially announce the negotiation for EVFTA in June 26th 2012. After 3 years of negotiation, with 14 official sessions and many other at Ministry level, delegation level and technical groups level, Vietnam and EU has now agreed on principles for all contents of the agreement.

EVFTA is a full agreement with high quality and has equal benefits for both Vietnam and EU, at the same time satisfying principles of World Trade Organisation (WTO). The main contents include: product based trade (general rules and commitments to open the market), origin rules, ports and facilitation for trade, food safety and hygiene methods and sanitation performance standard, technical barriers in trade, service trade (general rules and commitment to open the market), investment, trade protection, competition, government businesses, government purchase, intellectual property (including geographical indications), sustainable development, cooperation and capacity building, and other legal matters.

2. Specific areas 

  1. Product based trade

          With Vietnam exports, right after the Agreement comes into effects, EU will exempt about 85.6% of all tax lines, about 70.3% tax turnover. After 7 years of implementing the Agreement, EU will eliminate 99.2% of import tax, For exports of Vietnam, once the Agreement enters into force, the EU will abolish import duties for approximately 85.6% of tariff lines, equivalent to 70.3% of export turnover of Vietnam to the EU. After 07 years since the agreement took effect, the EU will abolish import duties on 99.2% of tariff lines, equivalent to 99.7% of export turnover of Vietnam. For about 0.3% remaining exports, the EU pledged to provide Vietnam with tariff quotas in the quota import tax to 0%.

For important product groups, commitment of EU are as bellow:

– Textile, footwear and fishery (except canned tuna and fish balls): EU will erase all import taxes for Vietnam in the period of 7 years after the agreement comes into effects. With canned tuna, EU agreed to give Vietnam a suitable rate.

– Rice: EU will give Vietnam a significant tax quota for milled rice, unmilled rice, and fragrance rice. The imported rice with this tax quota will apply for no tax. With products made from rice, EU will bring the import tax will be 0% after 7 years.

– Honey: EU will remove tax right after the Agreement comes into effects and no quota will be applied.

– All fresh greens, processed vegetables, fruits, bags, plastic products, ceramics and glass products: in general, most taxes will be exempted as soon as the Agreement comes into effects.

         With EU exports, Vietnamese commitment for the main products are: 

– Cars, motorbike: Vietnam commit to reduce import taxes to 0% after 9 or 10 years; only motorbike with cylinder capacity of more than 150 cmhas tax exempt route of 7 years;

– Wine, alcohol, beer, pork and chicken: Vietnam agreed to exempt all import taxes after 10 years.

          On export taxes, Vietnam committed to erase most of export taxes for certain routes; keep certain tax bracket for important products, including oil and coal.

         On other related contents: Vietnam and EU agreed on port procedures, sanitation performance standard, technical barriers in trade, trade protection, etc. creating legal framework for both sides to cooperate and create benefits for export and import activities.

  1. Trade service and investment 

Commitment of Vietnam and EU on trade service and investment is to create an open investment environment, convenient for trade activities of businesses from both sides. These commitment has gone further than previous commitment with WTO.

The areas that Vietnam agreed to open for EU investors includes specialist areas, financial services, communication services, transportation services, distribution services. Both sides has agreed on treatment with different countries on investment, as well as discussing for solution for disagreement between investors and the government.

  1. Goverment purchase 

Vietnam and EU agreed with contents similar to Government Purchase Agreement from WTO. With responsibility such as online bidding, online portals for bidding, etc. Vietnam has a roadmap to follow. EU also commit to provide technical support for Vietnam in completing these obligations.

Vietnam keep certain separate rights to bidding process, bidders, products, services and labours domestically.

  1. Intellectual property 

The commitment on intellectual property includes a commitment on copyrights and inventions related to medicines and geographical indications, etc. Generally, these commitments on Vietnamese intellectual property is suitable with current laws.

On geographical indications, when the agreement comes into effects, Vietnam will protect 160 geographical indications from EU (includes 28 members) and EU will protect 39 geographical indications of Vietnam. These Vietnamese geographical indications all related to farm products and food products, creating conditions for certain Vietnamese agricultural varieties to build and place themselves as brands in EU market.

  1. Other contents

EVFTA also includes chapters on competitions, government owned businesses, sustainable development, cooperative and capacity building, judicial – legislative matters. These contents are suitable with the system of law in Vietnam, creating a legal framework for both sides to continue cooperating and promoting development in trade and investment between the two sides.

Download (English):

Chapter 1: Download

Chapter 2: Download
Annex 2a : Download
Annex 2b : Download
Annex 2c : Download
Annex 2c I : Download
Annex 2c II : Download
Annex 2d : Download

Chapter 3: Download

Chapter 4: Download
Annex 4a: Download

Chapter 5: Download

Chapter 6: Download

Chapter 7: Download

Chapter 8: Download
Annex 8a : Download
Annex 8b: Download
Annex 8c: Download
Annex 8d: Download

Chapter 9: Download
Annex 9a : Download
Annex 9b: Download
Annex 9c: Download

Chapter 10: Download
Annex 10a: Download

Chapter 11: Download

Chapter 12: Download

Chapter 13: Download
Annex 13a : Download
Annex 13b: Download
Annex 13c: Download

Chapter 14: Download

Chapter 15: Download

Chapter 16: Download

Chapter 17: Download

Chapter 18: Download

Chapter 19: Download

Chapter 20: Download

Chapter 21: Download

Resources: Moit.gov.vn