EU-China Geographical Indications Agreement signed
The European Commission has just announced that the EU and China have signed a bilateral agreement to protect Geographical Indications (GIs) against usurpation and imitation. The agreement, first concluded in November 2019, and signature of which was authorised by the Council in July 2020, will protect 100 European GIs in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU.
This is a remarkable step in the EU-China trade cooperation regarding GIs, which started in 2006 and resulted in the protection of 10 Geographical Indications on both sides in 2012. In 2019, China was the third destination for EU agri-food products, and the second destination of EU exports of products protected as GI Indications, accounting for 9% by value, including wines, agri-food products and spirit drinks.
Following the signature of the agreement and the European Parliament consent, it will officially be adopted by the Council. The agreement is expected to enter into force at the beginning of 2021.
Within four years of its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover additional 175 GIs from both sides. These names will have to follow the same approval procedure as the 100 names already covered by the agreement (assessment and publication for comments).
For more information, read the Commission’s press release.