Under the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the EU provides Vietnam with a quota of 80,000 tonnes of rice at a zero-per-cent tax rate per year. In order to create conditions for rice exporters, especially varieties of fragrant rice, in making the best use of the tariff preference, just over a month after the EVFTA comes into effect, the Government issued Decree No. 103/2020 / ND-CP on September 4, 2020, on the certification of fragrant rice varieties exported to the EU.
Accordingly, the Decree details the certification of fragrant rice varieties in accordance with the EVFTA's content, and at the same time meets the requirements on the administrative reform under the direction of the Government, including simplification of administrative procedures to create favourable conditions for enterprises in exporting fragrant rice to the EU. Notably, the decree takes has taken effect from the date of its signing, so businesses with fragrant rice listed in the EVFTA agreement with orders to export fragrant rice can submit their documents to the Plant Cultivation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development quickly to receive certificates. This is considered an important legal basis the completion of domestic procedures and export of fragrant rice to Europe.
Therefore, the current requirement for the fragrant rice production and export activities is ensuring detailed requirements of EVFTA, which emphasizes the correctness of varieties, thus ensuring the purity of fragrant rice for export. This requires that the cultivar testing unit which validates the variety should follow a formal process and the right time of rice growth to be able to determine the best characteristics of the variety. At the same time, organisations and individuals exporting fragrant rice are also responsible for the purity and correctness of varieties during the process of harvesting, drying, preliminary processing, preserving, milling, processing, and packaging. Currently, nine Vietnamese fragrant rice varieties enjoy tariff export quotas to Europe with a quota of 30,000 tonnes, including: Jasmine 85, ST 5, ST 20, Nang Hoa 9, VD 20, RVT, OM 4900, OM 5451 and Tai nguyen Cho Dao. In the coming time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will coordinate with other units to review the list of fragrant rice varieties being popularly produced and propose amendments and supplements to the list of aromatic rice varieties for export to the EU.
According to statistics, the cultivated area of fragrant rice in the Mekong Delta provinces annually reaches about 25% of the total cultivated area (equivalent to about one million hectares), fragrant rice production is estimated at 5.5. million tonnes, equivalent to about 3.5 million tonnes of fragrant rice. Thus, the 30,000 tonnes of fragrant rice exported to the EU that are enjoying preferential tariffs only accounts for a very small proportion of the total amount of fragrant rice produced in the region. As such, it can be seen that the export potential of fragrant rice is still very large. Therefore, in the coming time, relevant units should closely coordinate to deploy the export of 30,000 tonnes of rice to the EU, ensuring high selling prices and creating the basis for the negotiation to expand the export quota of fragrant rice to this market in the coming years, helping opening door for fragrant rice in particular and Vietnamese rice in general to enter the European market. Meanwhile, this is also considered as an opportunity for farmers, agricultural cooperatives and businesses to expand growing areas, including fragrant rice production areas, to meet the standards of seeds, quality and food safety and hygiene to conquer the European market and many other markets around the world.
Source: Nhan Dan Online
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