EU-Vietnam trade deal ratified

Vietnam ratified the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) on 8 June, the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service reports.

This followed ratification by the European Parliament on 12 February. Key aspects of the EVFTA are the tariff elimination and bilateral trade facilitation. The EVFTA will eliminate nearly all tariffs except for a few tariff lines that are subject to tariff rate quotas (TRQs). The EVFTA is expected to enter into force in August 2020.

Vietnam’s agricultural sector is predicted to be among the top beneficiaries of the EVFTA.

For dairy, all tariffs will be abolished in a maximum of five years, with quicker reductions on most cheeses, milk powder and liquid milk, amounting to three years. Around 169 EU GIs for food and drink specialities such as Feta cheese, Rioja wine, Parmigiano Reggiano, Cogna, and 39 Vietnam GIs have been recognised and protected under the EVFTA, with the possibility to add others later.

Specific exceptions are made for prior users in Vietnam of the names Champagne, Asiago, Feta, Fontina, and Gorgonzola to address possible coexistence with prior registered trademarks or uses in Vietnam. As all of 39 Vietnamese GIs are related to agricultural products and food, these products are expected to have great chances of brand development in the EU market.

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