Seafood exports go straight ahead to the UK thanks to UKVFTA

The UK is one of the biggest import markets of Vietnamese seafood, our market share in this market in 2020 reached over 4% (compared to 1.03% in 2015)

Vietnamese seafood has more chance exporting to the UK thanks to the advantages of tariff commitments under UKVFTA, especially is in the first months of this year.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Ireland (the UK) has just signed officially a free trade agreement with Vietnam (UKVFTA) which took effect from 11:00 PM dated December 31st, 2020, that is 6 AM on January 1st, 2021. UKVFTA comes into effect in the spirit of continuation of EVFTA Agreement with the similar articles, Vietnamese seafood has more chance exporting to the UK thanks to the advantages of tariff commitments under UKVFTA, especially is in the first months of this year.

The UK has withdrawn from the EU from February 2020, the export of seafood to this market has a positive sign while the EU markets meet many difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Based on the statistic of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, up to the end of November 2020, seafood exports to the UK increased by 13% compared to the same period in 2019 with about US$ 322 million. In which, shrimp, pangasius and crap are the products that have positive growth; particularly, pangasius had a breakthrough in the structure of categories, by this, processed pangasius products had significant growth of 15 times compared to 2019, accounting for 33% of the total turnover of export pangasius (it was only 3% in 2019).

With the changes of trend and taste of consumers in the EU in particular and the UK in general by the impaction of Covid-19, our added-tax processed products have been dominating gradually the UK market, in particular, processed white leg shrimp increased by 33%, processed tiger shrimp increased by almost 120%, canned crap increased by 61%, frozen fillet sea-fish increased by 127%, etc.

Up to now, The UK is one of the 10 biggest seafood markets that import from Vietnam, our export share market in this market reached over 4% in 2020 (it was only 1.03% in 2015).

Despite the UK withdrawn from the EU in 2020, our export of seafood to this market still gets preferential tariff under EVFTA Agreement until December 31st, 2020.

For the tariffs that the EU has committed to Vietnam under the tariff rate quota (TRQ) with the import tax in the quota of 0%, the UK gives Vietnam the quotas for these products based on the statistic of the EU on actual bilateral trade between Vietnam and the UK in the period 2014 – 2016. By this, TRQ that the UK gives our seafood as follows:

Categories The quota the EU provides for Vietnam (ton) The quota the UK provides for Vietnam (ton) Total new quota the EU and the UK provides for Vietnam (ton)
Tuna 11.500 1.566 13.066
Surimi 500 68 568


Within the EU28, before withdrawal from the EU, the UK was always one of 7 single markets that import the most seafood in the bloc, this is the 8th export country as well. The average import of the UK in the period 2016 – 2020 is about US$ 4.1 – 4.5 billion, part for domestic consumption, the other part for re-export to the EU27 countries, accounting for about US$ 1.7 – 1.9 billion, corresponding to 42 – 45% of their total import.

For the UK market, withdrawal from the EU doesn’t affect the trade between them and non-EU countries because their import policies are unchanged compared to the one in the EU. The UK’s seafood import demand for farming seafood products that have clear traceability is expected to be stable and may be increased in the coming time.

To exploit the UK’s market, Vietnam Association Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said, the enterprises of seafood processing and export as well as the farmers, fishermen should pay attention to synchronous measures: strictly comply with regulations on traceability; check, monitor using antibiotics in production, processing to serve for export; control well aquatic quarantine, ensure food safety and hygiene throughout entire the chains of storage and processing to have high quality exporting goods, meet requirements of importing countries.

Cooperate and connect actively to strengthen power, create a supply chain through promoting production between companies, cooperatives and farmers, fishermen, producers, by this, complete “value chain” through production, farming, processing, delivering to consumers to ensure product quality.

Enhance social responsibility of the enterprises, focus on sustainable development of UKVFTA Agreement as well as new generations FTAs, in particular, pay attention to principles, standards on labor and environmental protection.


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