articles | 12 November 2020

Deal means zivania and other products protected from counterfeits in China

The EU Parliament has ratified an agreement with China to protect the names of 200 European and Chinese food specialties, including zivania, from counterfeiting with the deal likely coming into force early next year.

The agreement, signed in September, was approved by the EU parliament on Wednesday.

With parliament’s consent, the Council must now adopt the agreement so that it can enter into force at the beginning of 2021.

The deal will ensure that 100 European products bearing geographical indications (GIs) – including Zivania, Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, or Queso Manchego – will be legally protected in China against imitations and the misuse of a product’s name.

In exchange, 100 Chinese products will benefit from the same form of protection in the EU.

MEPs agreed to extend the agreement to a further 175 European and Chinese products within four years.

“This is the first economic and commercial agreement ever signed with China, and it has symbolic and confidence-building value. It promises to boost European agri-food exports to China, already worth €14.5 billion in 2019. It is also a good measure of China’s ambition to protect intellectual property rights more robustly,” Rapporteur Iuliu Winkler said.

At the same time, parliament expressed its concern about the market-distorting practices used by Chinese state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfers, and other unfair trading practices.

In 2019, China was the third largest destination for EU exports of GI products, including wines, spirit drinks, and agri-food products.

In 2018 and 2019 however, 80% of European seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods originated in China, causing losses of €60 billion to EU suppliers.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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