Eu-China Agreement On Cooperation On And Protection Of Geographical Indications

Bilateral agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Government of the People`s Republic of China on cooperation and protection with regard to geographical indications (GIS). It was the first major bilateral trade agreement between the EU and China. This is the first major bilateral trade agreement signed between the EU and China. This is an important step in EU-China trade cooperation with regard to geographical indications, which began in 2006 and led to the protection of 10 geographical indications on both sides in 2012. In 2019, China was the EU`s third largest destination for agri-food products and the second largest destination for EU exports of protected products as GI indications representing 9% in value, including wines, agri-food products and spirits. Geographical indications will co-exist with legitimate previous trademarks, the vast majority of which belong to the rightful owners of Europe. A GI is a distinctive feature for products with a specific geographical origin and with qualities or reputation due to that origin. The EU-China agreement will therefore offer significant protection of the intellectual property rights of products: it protects against translation, transcription or transliteration and against the use of protected geographical indications that are accompanied by expressions such as `species`, `type`, `style`, `imitation` or any other non-original product. Negotiations for a bilateral agreement for cooperation and protection of geographical indications began in 2010 on the basis of previous cooperations that resulted in a pilot project. The first step in this process was the publication in June 2017 of two lists of 100 products on each side, in order to protect the other party on its territory, once the agreement came into force. The talks concluded successfully in November 2019, after committing to the EU-China summit earlier this year.

The Council today adopted decisions on the signing of the agreement between the European Union and the Government of the People`s Republic of China on geographical indications (G.G. Geographical indications have also proven to be a useful marketing tool that helps to guarantee producers higher and more stable export earnings: according to a study commissioned by the Commission in 2013, a product with a geographical indication sells on average more than double the price of a similar non-geographical indication product. In addition, China is a fast-growing market for food and beverage products in Europe.

— bella.mark