Capitalizing on opportunities from UKVFTA to boost Tra fish exports to UK

08/04/2022    155

The current scarcity of white meat fish in the UK market is considered a golden opportunity to boost local pangasius (tra fish) exports, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

As of the first half of March, the total value of tra fish exports to the UK market reached a total of US$9.5 million, representing a drop of 9.3% over the same period from last year. Last year the export value of tra fish to this market stood at over US$51 million, a decline of 20.8% compared to the previous year.

Before Brexit when the UK remained part of the EU, the UK represented both an attractive and strong growth market for Vietnamese tra fish. However, a year on from Brexit, the nation’s tra fish exports to the UK market has yet to reach the levels expected by Vietnamese seafood enterprises.

In 2021, roughly 60 local enterprises exported tra fish to the UK market and the first two months of the year witnessed roughly 20 enterprises actively promote tra fish exports to this highly lucrative market.

Industry experts note that the UK can still be regarded as a potential export market for Vietnamese firms with a wide variety of tra fish products.

According to the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), which officially came into force on May 1, 2021, the UK's import tax will be eliminated by up to 99.2% within the course of a six-year period.

However, both exporters and importers have yet to be able to fully exploit the potential of the agreement as they have had to contend with the complicated COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted import and export supply chains.

In order to effectively exploit the UK market by taking advantage of opportunities from the UKVFTA, VASEP recommends that processing and exporting firms, as well as aquaculture farmers, must strictly comply with regulations on traceability.

Furthermore, it can be viewed as necessary to competently control seafood quarantine, whilst ensuring food safety and hygiene throughout the entire chain of preservation and processing in order to have high-quality seafood products that fully meet the requirements and the demand of importing countries.

Source: VOV