Negotiations for the EU-China Agreement on the Protection of Geographical Indications have finally concluded

On November 6th 2019, after eight years, the negotiations between China and the European Union on the Geographical Indications Agreement were finally concluded.

This landmark Agreement will protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China and 100 Chinese Geographical Indications in the EU against imitations and usurpation, thus increasing customers’ awareness and demand for high quality products on both sides, and further enhancing overall bilateral trade in foodstuffs.

As outlined by Commissioner Phil Hogan and the Minister Zhong Shan in their joint press release, the Agreement “should be another step in the global recognition of geographical indications, allowing us to preserve the traditional way of producing these high-quality products, conserving our food heritage, and contributing to rural economies, to European and Chinese consumers as well as society at large”.

The Chinese market, with its growing middle class with a taste for iconic, high-quality and genuine European products, has a high-growth potential market for European F&B and currently represents the second largest destination for EU agri-food exports. Moreover, China also has specialties that European consumers can now further discover thanks to this agreement.

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

“European Geographical Indication products are renowned across the world for their quality,” said European Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan. “Consumers are willing to pay a higher price, trusting the origin and authenticity of these products, while further rewarding farmers. This agreement shows our commitment to working closely with our global trading partners such as China. It is a win for both parties, strengthening our trading relationship, benefitting our agricultural and food sectors, and consumers on both sides”.

Following the conclusion of the negotiations, the Agreement will now go through legal scrutiny from both sides and is expected to enter into force before the end of 2020.