Written Q&A to EU Commission – EU-CHINA Agreement on geographical indication

For who don’t know it, it’s very useful the link to the DOOR Database of the DG Agriculture and Rural Development, highlighted below.

Question for written answer E-008850/12 to the Commission

Tokia Saïfi (PPE) and Nora Berra (PPE)

(2 October 2012)

Subject: EU‐China agreement on geographical indications

In accordance with the wish expressed jointly by the EU and China at the 2009 bilateral summit, the Council has authorised the Commission to open negotiations on an agreement on the protection of geographical indications for wines, spirits, agricultural products and foodstuffs.

The ‘10+10’ pilot project already provides for the protection of 10 European agricultural products and 10 Chinese agricultural products, and negotiations on the bilateral agreement are continuing in parallel.

How were the products covered by the ‘10+10’ pilot project selected?

Given that geographical indications for wines and spirits are highly vulnerable to counterfeiting, and given the health risks this poses, and in the light of the objective of reaching an agreement on the protection of geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs, including wines and spirits, does the Commission intend to include wines and spirits in the pilot phase prior to the possible conclusion of an agreement?

What progress has been made in the latest round of negotiations on the bilateral agreement, and when does the Commission expect to be able to complete the negotiations?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 2012)

The 10+10 pilot project is currently nearing its completion. Progress can be tracked by selecting ‘China’ on DG Agriculture and Rural Development’s DOOR database: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/quality/door/list.html

The ten EU geographical indications (GI’s) are awaiting signature before official registration. The ten GI’s were proposed by Member States in the framework of the PDO/PGI Committee in 2007. Wines and spirits did not feature among the ten.

The Honourable Members justly raise the issue of counterfeiting. Under the bilateral agreement currently being negotiated, a level of protection and enforcement is being sought that would ensure ex officio protection for both sides’ GI’s.

In addition, the issue of counterfeiting in wines and spirits has been raised separately with China during the visit of the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development to Beijing in June. Indeed, the recent EU-China Summit Communique calls on the two sides to step up action against counterfeiting.

A fifth round of negotiations towards a bilateral agreement on the protection of GI’s was held on 13 and 14 September in Brussels. The Commission has on 26 September forwarded to the Parliament a report thereon. The next round is likely to take place early in 2013. Both Parties reaffirmed their continued commitment to work towards a mutually beneficial agreement in the course of 2013.

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