Eu Gi Agreement

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. The date and location of the signing of the agreement have not yet been decided. Once signed, the agreement must receive the approval of the European Parliament before it can be concluded and it can enter into force. Europe is a major global exporter of famous agricultural products, and the stakes of this agreement are important to them if it works. According to the European Observatory for Intellectual Property Rights Violations (PDF, p. 23), the European spirits and wine sector alone is losing 6,049 jobs and 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in direct sales per year due to counterfeiting. Today, China is the EU`s third largest agricultural and food market and, thanks to a prosperous middle class, is growing rapidly. The agreement is expected to enter into force in early 2021 and, in the next four years, the scope of the agreement will extend to 175 GI denominations of both parties. This is why a mutual recognition agreement of 200 European and Chinese GIs (pdf) signed today between the European Union and China is important. The Chinese authorities recognized champagne as GI in 2013 and previously ten other European GIs, but this is the first comprehensive agreement between the two nations on the PGI and the „first major bilateral trade agreement signed between the EU and China“ before negotiating a major investment agreement. But just accepting that a particular product is indicated geographically does not mean that all counterfeits will stop.

And the agreement between the EU and China is not yet final. The European Parliament has yet to agree on this point – an institution which, these days, is not really known for its sympathy for China. Nevertheless, the authorities estimate that it will come into force in 2021 and an additional 175 GIs are expected to be added by 2025. 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. This agreement will therefore benefit European producers and should give a boost to the rural areas where these products are made. On 10 September 2010, the Council approved the opening of negotiations for a PGI agreement with China. 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.

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