The European Union has signed an historic free trade agreement with Vietnam, paving the way for the removal of almost all tariffs on goods traded between Europe and the Asian nation.
Described as "the most ambitious free trade deal ever concluded with a developing country" by the EU, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was finally agreed on Sunday (June 30th 2019).
All that is needed now is ratification by the European Parliament before the FTA comes to fruition.
The move is sure to be a welcome one for global relations amid the ongoing trade war between China and the US and the continuing frustrations over Britain's exit from the EU, with Brussels hailing it a "milestone".
It comes after the European Commission said in May that it was hopeful to see a deal done this year or early in 2020, although economic analysts had perhaps not anticipated it going through this quickly.
Negotiations on an FTA between Vietnam and the EU began in 2012 and lasted until 2015, with final texts agreed in July 2018.
It will result in the near-complete removal of tariff barriers, including the elimination of over 99 per cent of customs duties on exports in both directions.
Furthermore, EU products will not need extra testing for compliance once they reach Vietnam, with the Asian nation also moving to simplify its customs procedures.
This is another FTA to add to the more than 400 already ratified across the globe and could be a real boost for European businesses hoping to trade with Asia.
If you need guidance on or want to ensure compliance with any FTAs - including the EVFTA once it is completed - take a look at MIC's Origin Calculation System (MIC OCS). It will ensure you can reap the rewards of free trade without falling foul of potential pitfalls and incurring the penalties that might otherwise ensue.