(Yicai Global) Sept. 15 -- China and the EU signed a bilateral agreement yesterday to protect 275 European Geographical Indications in China and 275 Chinese GIs in the EU against acts of imitation and other infringement, in a compact encompassing wines, teas, agricultural products and food-specific products.
The agreement was signed by Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan and Clemens von Goetze, Germany’s ambassador to China, and Nicolas Chapuis, the EU envoy to the country. The agreement mainly lays out the rules for the protection and enumerates the geographical indications, Yicai Global learned from the Ministry of Commerce’s press office. The first batch of 100 products from both sides will be protected immediately after the agreement takes effect, and the remaining GIs will be shielded within four years thereafter.
Following passage by the European Parliament, the treaty will officially be ratified by the European Council and is expected to enter into force at the start of next year.
The pact provides high-level protection for the GI products of both parties, helping Chinese consumers enjoy the EU's high-quality specialty products, while allowing European consumers to in turn discover and enjoy Chinese specialties.
The EU list of GIs to be protected in China includes Spanish Cava and Portuguese Port wines, Champagne, Feta cheese, Irish whiskey, Munich beer, Greek Ouzo, Polish vodka, Italian Prosciutto di Parma ham and Spain’s Manchego sheep milk cheese.
The Chinese GI list includes Wuchang Rice, Sichuan Style Pickles, Pixian Bean Paste, Anji White Tea, Baoshan Arabica Coffee and Anqiu Ginger.
China is the third largest export destination for EU agricultural products, with a trade volume of EUR14.5 billion (USD17.2 billion), according to EU data. China is also the second-largest importer of EU geographical indication products, including wine, agricultural produce and liquor.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Ben Armour