How to take advantage of the EVFTA to increase exports of Vietnamese goods to Germany

Solutions to take advantage of opportunities from specific commitments of the EVFTA

To take full advantage of the benefits from the EVFTA to export goods to Germany, Vietnam’s businesses need to carefully study all the relevant contents of the EVFTA:

  • Learning about the EU's tariff commitments for Vietnam in Appendix 2-A-1 of Chapter 2 - National Treatment and Market Access for Goods.

However, it should be noted that according to the EVFTA, the EU is allowed to open its market for a product (reduce or eliminate tariffs) more or faster than the level of commitment in the Agreement. Therefore, to know the exact preferential tariff rate that the EU (including Germany) applies to each Vietnamese product, it is necessary to check the EU regulation on EVFTA tariffs each year. To do that, Vietnam’s exporters can use the following tools and sources to search for different types of tariffs (MFN, GSP, EVFTA) that the EU/Germany applies to Vietnam’s products (see also Question 39):

  1. EU’s Market Access Database:;

  2. MacMap of the International Trade Center (ITC):;

  3. WTO’s Tariff Analysis Tool (TAO) :

  • Learning about rules of origin and procedures for certification of origin to enjoy EVFTA tariff preferences in Protocol 1 - Concerning the Definition of the Concept of "Originating Products" and Methods of Administrative Cooperation of the EVFTA. Vietnam also issued a regulation on EVFTA Rules of Origin in Circular No. 11/2020/TT-BCT dated June 15, 2020. Enterprises should carefully study this Circular and related guiding documents to fully meet EVFTA rules of origin so that their goods can be granted an EVFTA Certificate of Origin and enjoy EVFTA preferential tariff when exported to Germany.

  • Finding out other related trade-in-goods issues such as Trade Remedies (Chapter 3), Customs and Trade Facilitation (Chapter 4), Technical barriers to trade (Chapter 5), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (Chapter 6), etc. to learn about the rights and advantages of exporters when exporting to the EU/Germany market under the EVFTA.

Besides studying contents in the relevant chapters of the EVFTA Full Text, businesses can seek for support and guidance on how to understand and apply the Agreement's commitments in practice from focal points of competent state agencies, VCCI and organizations/ related associations (See also Question 40).

Technical and market solutions

In order to export to the EU market in general and Germany in particular, Vietnamese products have to overcome a lot of barriers that the EVFTA could hardly address, especially:

  • The EU's mandatory import regulations and procedures such as regulations on pesticide residue, food hygiene and safety standards, labeling and packaging, environment protection...;

  • Additional requirements of German importers such as food hygiene and safety certificates, social and environmental certificates, eco-labels...;

  • Demands and tastes of the German consumers.

Therefore, in order to access the German market, Vietnamese businesses need to:

  • Study in detail, update regularly and ensure full compliance with EU and German import regulations and procedures;

  • Thoroughly research the demand of the German market (especially the niche market), investigate the tastes and needs of consumers, thereby changing and improving the quality and design of products to meet these demand and needs;

  • Learn how to build and promote brand names for Vietnamese products;

  • Study channels to approach importers/distributors of goods in Germany, especially e-commerce channels that are more and more popular and becoming the mainstream shopping trend of German consumers.

 Solutions to improve competitiveness

Enhancing competitiveness is a sustainable solution for Vietnamese products to develop in both domestic and export markets. For a tough market like Germany, Vietnamese enterprises need to pay special attention to improving the competitiveness of export products. To do this, businesses should consider the following solutions:

  • Investing in technology, increasing the technological content in production and processing (through joint ventures or association with domestic and foreign researchers and enterprises; upgrading production process and technology…);

  • Investing in human resources: regularly training and, building capacity for labors, key staff, technology engineers and market research specialists;

  • Researching to improve the quality and design of products in line with the needs and tastes of consumers;

Focusing on branding and promoting products to German importers and consumers through different forms.

Source: "Business Handbook: Exploiting the EVFTA  to import and export goods between Vietnam and Germany" - Center for WTO and International Trade