ASEAN countries strengthen product origin transparency regulations

The conference takes place for three days in Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh Province.

339324 4e226 1 | FDI Việt Nam
Attending the conference were representatives of South Korea and 10 ASEAN countries, and a number of delegates from member countries participating online. Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat, on Monday convened a session of ASEAN-Korea Experts to discuss the Transposition of AKFTA Product Specific Rules from Harmonised System Codes HS 2017 into HS 2022.

Representatives from South Korea and all 10 ASEAN countries, along with several delegates from member countries participating online, attended the conference.

The conference is scheduled to span three days in Hạ Long City, Quảng Ninh Province.

During the joint session, delegates will review and strive to convert nearly 7,000 tariff lines of the Product Specific Rules (PSR) transposition list in the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) from the commodity classification code HS 2017 to HS 2022. Additionally, they will discuss the progress and mechanisms for implementing rules of origin according to the new HS code.

According to the regulations of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the HS code of the harmonised commodity description and coding system is updated regularly every five years to ensure compatibility with international types and commercial needs.

This update also requires that the criteria for determining the origin of goods in free trade agreements, including the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement, be transformed.

Converting PSR in the AKFTA on time will ensure transparency, helping import-export businesses benefit from the free trade agreement.

Speaking at the conference, Nguyễn Anh Sơn, director of the Import-Export Department, emphasised that converting PSR on time would ensure estimates and transparency for businesses.

Delaying PSR transposition will lead to increased costs and loss of benefits of the ASEAN FTA. A line-by-line review of 7,000 tariff lines will require high focus and great consensus from ASEAN countries and Korea.

ASEAN and South Korea signed the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-operation in 2005, and the Trade in Goods Agreement took effect from June 2007.

To ensure that goods were eligible for preferential tariffs, AKFTA regulated how to determine origin, said Sơn.

In order to implement the AKFTA, the ASEAN – Korea Economic Cooperation Subcommittee deployed the session on origin of goods to convert the list of product rules according to the HS Harmonised System of the WCO.

This conversion will enable importers to conveniently utilize certificates of origin to benefit from special AKFTA preferential tax rates, he added.

Recently, South Korea has continuously been among the leading markets for importing goods from Việt Nam with the highest rate of using FTA preferences.

The Korean market had a preferential certificate of origin usage rate of 52.1 per cent last year, with the turnover of goods with certificates of origin exported to Korea reaching $12.2 billion.

The group of Vietnamese goods exported to Korea with the best rate of using FTA preferences includes seafood (96.32 per cent). Agricultural products such as vegetables, coffee and pepper all have very high rates of using preferential certificates of origin, reaching 91.18 per cent, 94.54 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively; wood and wood products hit 73.76 per cent; and footwear and textiles have a rate of nearly 100 per cent.

Theo Vietnamnews