Opportunities from EVFTA commitments on Automobiles, motorcycles and components

The EVFTA also has some specific commitments (besides tariffs) for means of transport (automobiles, motorcycles and components). Specifically, Annex 2-B - Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicles Parts and Equipment under Chapter 2 of the EVFTA sets out a number of provisions on specific non-tariff measures for motor vehicles and motor vehicles parts and equipment, most of which are commitments on TBT.

Specifically, according to Annex 2-B under Chapter 2, Vietnam and the EU committed to:

  • Recognizing that the UNECE regulations are international standards sufficient to ensure safety, or protection of the environment and human health in the area of motor vehicles and motor vehicles parts and equipment;

  • Refraining from introducing new domestic TBT regulations different from UNECE standards unless it can be demonstrated from a scientific and technical perspective that the UNECE standards are inappropriate or ineffective – and in this case must ensure the obligation of notification, justification and periodical review of the different standards;

  • Vietnam committed to recognizing certifications made according to the principles of the UNECE Agreement 1958 (a system of standards adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) issued by the EU for certain types of motor vehicles and motor vehicles parts and equipment. The EU also committed the same to the certification issued by Vietnam after Vietnam joined UNECE 1958.

Vietnam has not been a member of the UNECE Agreement 1958, so Annex 2-B contains a number of commitments that apply only to Vietnam, for example:

  • Encourage Vietnam become a Contracting Party to the UNECE 1958 Agreement;

  • Vietnam committed to accepting whole motor vehicles of category M11 (according to UNECE’s definition) that have a valid UNECE International Whole Vehicle Type Approval certificate issued by the EU as compliant with Vietnam's domestic technical regulations (without further testing requirements). The importer of that type of vehicle will have to submit the above Certificate for the first time of import into Vietnam; 

  • From the 5th to the 12th year, Vietnam committed to accepting the valid whole vehicle EC Certificate of Conformity...

Germany is one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and exporters with many famous brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche.... Vietnam's TBT commitments for automobiles in the EVFTA will make it easier for German automobiles to access the Vietnamese market. Therefore, together with the EVFTA commitments on tariff reduction for German automobiles entering Vietnam, these TBT commitments will open up great opportunities for Germany to increase exports of this key product to the Vietnamese market in the near future.

EVFTA full text for more information: https://wtocenter.vn/chuyen-de/12778-eu-vietnam-trade-and-investment-agreements 

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