Vietnam to slash tariffs for thousands of Japanese products

Vietnam to slash tariffs for thousands of Japanese products

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Thousands of Japanese goods imported into Vietnam will enjoy zero percent tariff in 2018, in line with the Southeast Asian country’s commitment to lower tariffs, as outlined in the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) for 2016-19.

Under Vietnam’s new import tariffs, 5,545 products imported from Japan will have lower tax rates in 2018 compared to last year, said a report from state-run VNA.

Of these products, a zero percent rate will be applied to 456 tariff lines, covering items such as fats, sugar, construction stones, organic chemicals, wood, pulp, fabrics, pearls, iron, aluminum, tin, hand tools, machinery and equipment, vehicle parts, and musical instruments.

More than 2,000 tariffs on Japanese goods will enjoy rate cuts of 50% to 67% this year, while another 2,000 tariff categories will see a tax reduction of 4% to 45%, said the news report.

The tax rates will be applied to commodities directly transported from Japan to Vietnam. The items must also meet origin regulations, and exporters are to have certificates of origin in a form stipulated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

VJEPA was the first bilateral free trade agreement that Vietnam entered into after the country joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007. The agreement has a comprehensive coverage, including trade in goods and services, investment, and improvement of the Japan-Vietnam business environment.

When VJEPA came into effect in October 2009, Vietnam committed to eliminate some 90.6% of tariffs for Japanese products within 16 years, while Japan pledged to eliminate some 94% of tariffs for Vietnamese products within 10 years.

Meanwhile, under the AJCEP, the number of tariff lines enjoying import tax reductions and exemptions this year is 6,201, of which 3,426 lines will have tax rates of zero percent beginning April 1 this year. They include machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts, iron, steel, copper, metals and articles of iron, steel, base metals, fabrics, apparel and other articles.

Vietnam’s key imports from Japan include machinery, equipment, computers, electronic products, iron, and steel. Among other imports from Japan are cloth materials, petroleum, pharmaceutical products, paper, and rubber.

Photo: Petar Milošević

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