At a press conference on September 8 in Hanoi, Director of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Nguyen Nhu Cuong informed that after the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect, the EU has expanded its quota of rice imported from Vietnam to 80,000 tons per year.
In 2019, Vietnam exported 50,000 tons of rice to the EU market under quotas, with a value of 28.5 million euros. Compared to other countries in the ASEAN, Vietnam's rice exports to Europe were only one-sixth of those of Thailand, one-tenth of those of Myanmar, and a quarter of those of Cambodia. However, since this year, Vietnam will have an additional 30,000 tons of fragrant rice grown in the Mekong Delta, which receives the wild card to enjoy preferential tariff treatment to this market.
According to the Director of the Department of Crop Production, the cultivation area of fragrant rice in the Mekong Delta annually reaches about 25 percent of the total cultivation area, equivalent to about 1 million hectares. The production of fragrant rice is estimated at 5.5 million tons of paddy, equivalent to about 3.5 million tons of fragrant rice.
If the country follows well the EU regulations, and an additional 30,000 tons of fragrant rice can be exported under quotas with low tax rates and high selling prices, since this year, it will improve the efficiency of Vietnam's rice production and also affirm the brand of Vietnamese rice in a fastidious market like the EU in particular, and the world in general. This initial success is also the basis for further negotiations on the expansion of fragrant rice export quotas to the EU market in the coming time.
Mr. Nguyen Nhu Cuong said that the Department of Crop Production has sent a document to enterprises and the Vietnam Food Association to suggest adding some fragrant rice varieties to the list of fragrant rice exported to the EU.
While Deputy Minister of the MARD Le Quoc Doanh informed that on September 4 this year, the Government issued Decree No.103/2020/ND-CP on the certification of fragrant rice varieties exported to the EU. Right after this decree was issued, on September 7, the MARD quickly issued a Decision to guide enterprises on the procedures for certification of fragrant rice varieties exported to the EU.
Currently, three enterprises have submitted their application to the MARD to register to export fragrant rice to the EU. The certification is completed within five days.
Other enterprises can send registration documents through the public administrative service portal of the MARD or by post. The certification for enterprises will be done completely free of charge.
‘The Decree takes effect from the date of signing, the MARD has requested that enterprises that have fragrant rice and export orders of fragrant rice to the EU should urgently send documents to the Department of Crop Production for the ministry to quickly complete procedures for them to soon export rice to the EU,’ Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh informed.
Thus, the EU has raised the quota of rice imports from Vietnam from 50,000 tons to 80,000 tons per year. Of which, the additional 30,000 tons of rice is fragrant rice from the Mekong Delta, which will receive a tariff wild card; and according to the schedule, its import tariff will be at zero percent within the next 3-5 years.
From now to the end of this year, there are only four months left. Enterprises need to speed up the registration process to enjoy maximum incentives for 30,000 tons of fragrant rice this year.