By Hong Chau  May 23, 2019 | 12:33 pm GMT+7 Lobster is among 33 seafood items from Vietnam to be exported to China without tariffs. Photo by Shutterstock/Dmitrii Erekhinskii China has lifted import tariffs on 33 seafood products from Vietnam, including many of the latter’s strongest export items. They include lobster, tiger shrimp, pangasius fish, tuna, and octopus, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said. Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP, said that China has become an alternative to the U.S. market for Vietnamese pangasius fish after it was slapped with high tariffs last year, up to $7.74 per kilogram. According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam’s seafood export value to China fell 5 percent year-on-year in 2018 to $1.2 billion, and dropped another 5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to $239 million. Currently, China is one of Vietnam’s most important seafood markets, accounting for 11 percent of Vietnam’s total seafood exports in the first quarter of 2019, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). According to VASEP, China’s proportion of Vietnam’s total seafood exports has been declining, having accounted for 15 percent in 2017 and 14 percent in 2018. As of May, there were more than 150 Vietnamese enterprises exporting seafood to China, of which 45 export Pangasius fish and 50 export shrimp, while the remaining export other varieties of seafood.