The EU and China have concluded negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical indications (GI) in China and 100 Chinese GI in the EU against imitations and usurpation.

This agreement is expected to result in “reciprocal trade benefits” and “demand for high-quality products” on both sides.

Under the agreement, the terms ‘Irish Cream’ and ‘Irish Whiskey’ will become GI protected terms.

Commenting on the agreement, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, said: “European geographical indication products are renowned across the world for their quality.”

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.”

EU exports to China

EU agri-food exports to China reached €12.8 billion in the 12-month period between September 2018 and August 2019.

Following the conclusion of the negotiations, the agreement will now go through legal scrutiny.

On the EU side, the European Parliament and the Council will then be asked to give their approval. The agreement is expected to enter into force before the end of 2020.

Four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides.

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