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VIETNAM - CUBA TRADE AGREEMENT OFFICIALLY TAKE EFFECTLY

A new trade agreement between Vietnam and Cuba officially came into force earlier this month, and is expected to help bring bilateral economic, trade and investment ties on par with their sound political relationship.

The European-American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said on April 16 that the two countries had completed procedures for the trade deal to take effect on April 1.

The Vietnam-Cuba Trade Agreement, signed in Hanoi on November 9, 2018, features 14 chapters which include regulations on trade in goods, rules of origin, customs management and trade facilitation, technical standards, food safety, and animal and plant quarantine.

Under the pact, the two sides have pledged to eliminate or reduce tariffs on nearly all commodities currently traded between them over the next five years.

The Vietnamese Government recently issued Decree No.39/2020/ND-CP on a list of Vietnam’s special preferential import tariffs to implement the trade agreement from now until 2023.

Accordingly, import tariffs on 514 items from Cuba, including some types of shrimp, fish, honey and fruit, cement, chromium ore, disinfectants, protective suits and wireless internet devices have been slashed to zero percent.

For the 49 remaining tariff lines, tax rates will be cut gradually. Commodities such as sugar and unprocessed tobacco will have their tariff rates reduced to 15 percent in four years, cigarettes and cigars to 70 percent, and liquor and alcohol to 20 percent.

This decree will become effective on May 20.