The Agreement on Geographical Indications between China and the EU come into Effect on 1st March
2021-07-02 IP News

The agreement on geographical indication has come into effect on 1st March. It is the first overall and high-level geographical indication concluded between China and foreign investors. The effectiveness of the agreement will furtherly strengthen the trade and economic coordination between China and the EU, moreover, to bilaterally benefit consumers and establishments. 

What is “geographical indication”?

The geographical indication means a mark to identify a product comes from some certain area, however, the quality and reputation of this product will depend on the natural and cultural factors of this special area, i.e. China “Puer Tea” or EU “Champagne”. China and EU are both enjoy rich resource of geographical indication. For strengthening the protection and coordination on the geographical indications, and facilitating the trade of products with geographical indications, two sides initiated the negotiation on Sino-EU geographical indications in year 2011, included 22 rounds of official negotiations and hundreds of non-official negotiations over the past 8 years. Tow sides have concluded officially the agreement on 14th September 2020. The internal procedures have been completed and informed each other on 29th January 2021. The agreement came into effect on 1st March 2021.

Mr. LI Yongsha, Director of the Departure of Treaty and Law of Ministry of Commerce, said, we thought, the effectiveness of Sino-EU geographical indications will put new power to the economic and trade cooperation between China and EU, for us, the agreement does not only regulate the obligations for the protection at high-level, but also clarify the geographical indications list covered by the protection through the list. The agreement will put new power into Sino-EU economic and trade relationship, also to benefit two sides’ establishments and consumers.

Meanwhile, in the agreement, Chinese side promised to offer EU geographical indications with legal protection. Such kind of commitment will easily eliminate worries among holders of EU geographical indications, let them import relevant products to China, and let Chinese consumers to eat and use more EU products with high quality, and to improve the life quality, to meet the growing needs of a better life.

What are 500 Products with SINO-EU Geographical Indications? 

The SINO-EU agreement on geographical indications is the first massively mutual recognition of each other’s geographical indications between China and EU. The total amount is over 500, what are these products? Let us to get to know.

As we know, the Annex of the agreement has included over 500 geographical indication goods from both sides, all of these geographical indications are both sides’ famous geographical indications, i.e. Chinese Shaoxing wine, Liuan Guapian tea, Anxi-tieguanyin tea, Turpan raisins; European Champagne, Bavarian beer, Prosciutto di Parma, Sierra Magina olive oil. 

China side’s geographical indications in the attached list of the agreement not only included tea, wine, agricultural goods and food, but also included Chinese art paper, Sichuan brocade, these representatives of Chinese traditional culture. Before this, the agreement on geographical indications concluded between foreign traders and EU only contained agricultural goods, food and wine, however, this is the first time for EU to cover such kind of geographical indications in the agreement. 

The geographical indications of both sides protected by the agreement not only obtain protection at high-level, but also can use the other side’s official geographical indications, moreover, to facilitate the effective development of the market for relevant goods.

The productions will be performed in 2 batched: the first batch, around 100 geographical indications mutual recognized by two sides will be protected upon the effective date of the agreement.

Mr. LI Yongsha, Director of the Departure of Treaty and Law of Ministry of Commerce, said, in the second batch, China will have another 175 geographical indications will obtain protection within 4 years, then, for Chinese markets and consumers, we can offer EU geographical indications goods with official protection, moreover, enable consumers to consume EU geographical indications goods with high-level quality.

What are the benefits come from the agreement came into effect? 

What are the benefits to enterprises and common consumers after the SINO-EU geographical indications come into effect?

Along with the agreement came into effect, China’s first batch of 100 geographical indications will obtain official EU protection. Among these 100 geographical indications, not only the goods already exported to EU, i.e. Wuyuan green tea, Turpan raisins, Puer coffee, but also the potential goods may be exported to EU, i.e. Yantai apple, Anyue Lemon, Shaoxing wine. 

Also, Mr. LI Yongsha said, acquisition of EU official mark, this means, we can use such condition to improve our goods’ reputation in EU markets, thus, we hope enterprises and relevant local authority could fully grab the opportunity brought by the agreement, moreover, to expand the exporting. 

Furthermore, the agreement also covers China’s second batch, 175 geographical indications, which will obtain protection within 4 years after the agreement came into effect. Meanwhile, the agreement also offer EU excellent featured goods entered China markets with adequate protection, and eliminate the EU producers’ worries, they can rest assure to export goods to China, and Chinese consumers can eat and use much more EU goods with excellent quality, moreover, to improve people’s life quality and meet the people’s growing needs for the better life.

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