|Some of Vietnamese key fruits, like litchi, are now imported into the EU (Photo: VOV)
Businesses are still seeking to boost the export of these products to the EU to take full advantage of tariff incentives from the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA), and the export turnover is therefore expected to grow by 20% or more in the coming years, according to Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (Vinafruit).
This is a quite important market for Vietnam, because if any business can export to this market, it will easily be able to penetrate many other markets provided it invests more in technology, preservation techniques, and product quality, said the Vinafruit leader.
Tran Van Cong, Agricultural Counselor of the Vietnamese Delegation to the EU, pointed to the fact that the EU spends about US$60 billion importing fruits and vegetables, offering Vietnamese businesses huge opportunities to export their products to this lucrative market.
However, the EU recently put five Vietnamese agricultural and food products under the microscope due to product quality problems. Notably, for the first time durian is on the list of products monitored at EU border gates with a frequency of 10%.
On January 22, the EU introduced stricter regulations concerning the maximum residue levels (MRL) for Oxamyl on various agricultural products. It decided to reduce the maximum Oxamyl residue levels on animal and plant products to 0.001mg per kilogram from the previous range of 0.01-0.05 mg per kilogram.
The MRL is set at 0.005 mg per kilogram for avocado, 0.002 mg per kilogram for tomato, and 0.005 mg per kilogram for all types of cereals, including rice, as well as animal products.
As the new regulations, which are due to take effect in May 2024, will directly affect Vietnam’s exported agricultural products, export businesses are advised to regularly monitor and promptly adjust exported goods in accordance with the regulations.
This is the world’s most demanding market for quality which focuses on food hygiene and safety and product standards, and products that are allowed to enter this market must meet European standards and international certificates, such as GlobalGAP standards, said Phuc Nguyen, the Vinafruit leader.
Businesses, before exporting their products to the EU, should focus on testing and controlling pesticide and plant protection product residues to ensure the products are not destroyed or returned, he suggested.
Vietnamese businesses should make thorough preparations to overcome technical barriers, he added./.