VASEP’s recommendations to promote tuna export

( In the first five months of 2017, Vietnam’s tuna exports reached US$216 million, up 20% over the same period in 2016. Of that, shipments of processed/canned tuna increased by 35%, those of frozen tuna went up 11% year on year. Vietnam’s tuna exports continued to recover thanks to rises in exports to traditional importing markets such as the U.S and the EU. Currently, tuna products of Vietnam have exported to 79 markets in the world, up from the same period last year.

Drops in raw shrimp and pangasius production as well as a rise in tuna production and other marine products resulted in a significant shift in product structure and market structure. In the coming, exports of marine products expected to continue the rise. Therefore, to boost tuna exports of Vietnam in the coming time, on Jun 5th 2017, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) sent the Official Letter No. 71/2017/CV-VASEP to the Directorate of Fisheries to report and recommend on the 3 contents as below:

Purse Seine net

Vietnam's purse seine net industry has the advantage of not using Fish Aggregating Device (FADs), meeting fishing requirements in the future, which VASEP supposes the country will go on promoting. Therefore, VASEP recommends that the Directorate of Fisheries should consider to soon declare that the purse seine net of Vietnam is not using the FADs.


There is no specific regulation as well as specific procedures for quota of tuna exports to the EU under the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA), while EVFTA is coming into effect soon. VASEP recommends that the Directorate of Fisheries of Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development consult with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to promote and soon agree with the EU on the number and quota allocation mechanism.

Reduce import tax on Vietnamese tuna to Japan

Japan is one of the 8 biggest tuna importing markets of Vietnam. The export value of Vietnam tuna to the market has increased from US$12.6 million to nearly US$54 million between 2006 and 2012.

However, from 2013, Vietnam’s tuna exports to Japan were on the downward trend. Therefore, Japan slipped from the 3rd rank to the 6th rank in top 8 largest tuna buyers of Vietnam. The main reason for this decline was that Vietnamese tuna imported into Japan is subject to much higher tariffs that from other exporters such as Thailand and the Philippines.

According to data from Customs of Japan:

1. For canned skipjack tuna (HS code 160414010) imported into Japan since April 2009, Thailand has enjoyed a preferential tax rate of 3.2%, then dropped to 1.1% from April 2011 under the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) and to 0% from April 2012. However, Vietnam is being imposed a tax rate of 6.4%.

2. For canned yellowfin tuna (HS code 160414092) and frozen skipjack/yellowfin/albacore tuna loins/fillets (HS code 160414099) imported into Japan since April 2009, Thailand enjoyed a preferential tax rate of 4.8%, then dropped to 1.6% from April 2011 and 0% from April 2012. According to JTEPA, the Philippines is also entitled to a tax rate of 4.8%, the reduced to 2.4% from April 2011, then dropped to 1.2% from April 2012 and 0% from April 2013 under The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Meanwhile, Vietnam’s tuna exporters are still subject to 40% higher tariffs compared to those countries, with 7.2% under GSP and 9.6% under VJEPA.

In QI/2017, VASEP had written reports and recommendations to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and had been recognized by the Ministry. Recently, VASEP reported to the Directorate of Fisheries of Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on this so that MARD comment further with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to prioritize and review this case with Japan to reduce the import tariffs on Vietnam tuna to 0% like Thailand and the Philippines.

Written by Nguyen Ha

Compiled by Dieu Thuy


Ms Van Ha


Tel: +84 24 37715055 (ext. 216)

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