Vietnamese exporters must self-verify origin from 2019
Updated : Sunday, May 13, 2018 9:33 AM (GMT+0700)

Vietnam’sexporters must self-verify the origin of their products that they export to theEuropean Union (EU) from 2019 to be qualified for Generalised System ofPreferences (GSP) which is the tariff preference for developing countries.

A panagasius production chain at Bien Dong Seafood Co. Ltd in Can Tho city - Photo: VNA

With the aim of integratingfurther into the global economy, Vietnam has joined many free trade agreements(FTAs) that have the self-certification mechanism of origin.

Self-certification of originis a mandatory requirement of the EU for some countries, including Vietnam.

The Import and ExportDepartment under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said under the requirement,the responsibility for verifying product origin will be shifted fromauthorities to enterprises or exporters.

Enterprises will have toperform all the steps themselves, meeting the requirements of product originand be accountable for their accuracy.

At the same time, it reducesthe risk of licensing authorities and minimises the burden on customs.

According to trade experts,this mechanism offers many benefits in terms of reducing time and cost oftransaction, actively issuing commercial invoices, and helping businesses toknow commitment on rules of origin in the FTA.

Vietnam currently has 2,700Vietnamese enterprises exporting to the EU that enjoy the benefits of GSP andit will be quite a rush to force enterprises with self-certification of originfrom early 2019, according to the ministry.

The only difference is thatinstead of the authorities, the enterprise will issue its own C/O by includingthe line “this product is qualified for GSP” in their document and invoice.

Enterprises becomingself-certifying exporters shows the trust of government agencies in businesses,in compliance with Vietnam’s commitment to the FTA, said Tran Thanh Hai, DeputyDirector of the Export and Import Department.

Vietnamese businesses willhave around six months of transition time to reduce the burden on them. Duringthis time, if enterprises are unable to self-verify the origin of theirproducts, they can apply for certification of origin from the Vietnam Chamberof Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade asusual.

The ministry will stilltrain, instruct and remain a place for business registry. In case any issuearises in the trading process, the agency will have information to collaboratewith the EU to determine the source of goods and enterprises.

When businesses self-certifythe origin of their products, they are acting on the government’s behalf.

Experts said that ifbusinesses do not comprehend the mechanism and the necessary requirements thatcan result in false certification, the outcome would not only affect thebusinesses but also to the whole nation.

Hai said the ministry wouldassist enterprises by organising seminars that would provide information on theself-certification mechanism of origin and the training courses for enterprisesin self-certifying the origin of goods.

At present, the ministry hasconcentrated on developing a circular guiding enterprises to self-certify theorigin of goods exported to the EU. After the issuance of the circular, theministry will cooperate with the VCCI, the associations and branches as well asthe enterprises to provide training courses and guidance that would help themcertify their origin quickly and accurately.


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