EU and China sign agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications

On Europe’s list are Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma

Photo: EU Janusz Wojciechowski .

On Monday, the EU and China signed a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GIs) in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the European Union against usurpation and imitation. The EU list are the emblematic GI products such as Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego.

On the Chinese list of GI products, among others are the bean paste Pixian Dou Ban, the white tea Anji Bai Cha, the rice Panjin Da Mi and the ginger Anqiu Da Jiang.

This deal, first concluded ten months ago, should bring reciprocal trade benefits as well as introducing consumers to guaranteed, quality products on both sides. It reflects the commitment of the EU and China to deliver on their commitment taken at previous EU-China Summits and to adhere to international rules as a basis for trade relations.

I am proud to see this agreement getting one step closer to its entry into force, reflecting our commitment to work closely with our global trading partners such as China, Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski stated. He explained that European Geographical Indications products are renowned for their quality and diversity, it is important to protect them at an EU and global level to ensure their authenticity and preserve their reputation. This agreement will contribute to do this, while also strengthening our trading relationship, benefitting our agri-food sector and consumers on both sides, he added.

The Chinese market has high-growth potential for European food and drinks. Last year, China was the third destination for EU agri-food products, reaching €14.5bn. It is also the second destination of EU exports of products protected as Geographical Indications, accounting for 9% by value, including wines, agri-food products and spirit drinks. In addition, European consumers will be able to discover genuine Chinese specialties thanks to this agreement.

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 after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover additional 175 GI names from both sides.

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