The export volume of dresses and womens clothing to the EAEU from January to July this year reached 79.4 per cent of the threshold set for all of 2020, the ministry revealed on its website on Monday.

The export volume of dresses and womens clothing to the EAEU from January to July this year reached 79.4 per cent of the threshold set for all of 2020, the ministry revealed on its website on Monday.

Textile and garment exports from Vietnam to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) may face safeguard duties this year as volumes to the bloc are at risk of exceeding the trigger set under the Vietnam-EAEU free trade agreement.

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) warned the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) about this issue in a recent note. The member countries of the EAEU include Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. 

Products impacted would include dresses and women's clothing (HS codes 6104.41, 6104.42, 6104.43, 6104.44, 6104.49, 6204.42, 6204.44, 6204.49). The export volume of these products to the EAEU from January to July this year reached 79.4% of the threshold set for all of 2020, the ministry revealed on its website on Monday.

According to the trade deal, textiles and garments are among 12 Vietnamese products that may face the EAEU's safeguard duties if import volumes during a calendar year exceed the trigger level of the agreement.

Depending on the exceeding volume, Vietnam's garment products may be subject to the most favoured nation (MFN) tariffs for a period of six months or nine months.

Earlier this month Vietnam industry insiders told just-style they are optimistic that the country's apparel supply chain will emerge strengthened from the Covid-19 crisis in 2021. This is despite an ongoing shortage of orders during 2020, only partly mitigated by switching production to make face masks.

2020 has been rough for Vietnam's clothing sector, with a note from the Vietnam ministry of industry and trade flagging that many textile and garment enterprises have few orders for the remainder of 2020, especially for high-value products such as jackets and high-end shirts.

In the first seven months of the year, textile-garment exports from Vietnam dropped by more than 12% from January-July 2019 to US$16.2bn.