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EU and China sign landmark agreement protecting European Geographical Indications

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The EU and China have 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. This agreement, first concluded in November 2019, 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.

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.

The Chinese market has high-growth potential for European food and drinks. In 2019, China was the third destination for EU agri-food products. 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.

The EU list of GIs to be protected in China includes iconic GI products such as Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego. Among the Chinese GI products, the list includes for example Pixian Dou Ban (Pixian Bean Paste), Anji Bai Cha (Anji White Tea), Panjin Da Mi (Panjin rice) and Anqiu Da Jiang (Anqiu Ginger).

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. These names will have to follow the same approval procedure as the 100 names already covered by the agreement (i.e. assessment and publication for comments).

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