Both geographical indication and rules of origin can objectively indicate the originating area of the products. However, the differences between those two are remarkable.
Firstly, the meaning is different. Geographical indication highlights the specific geographical conditions, special processing technology, high reputation and superb quality of the products. However, the aim of rules of origin is to indicate the originating nation of goods in international trade, having no connection with geographical conditions.
The second difference is in examination standards. The examination standards of geographical indication are based on the natural and humanistic factors of the products. However, the standards of rules of origin highlight the origin of the raw material or the place of production of the goods. As regards international agreements, rules of origin are mainly based on the Agreement on Rules of Origin, while geographical indications are mainly based on the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
Lastly, their functions are different. The function of geographical indication is to protect the interest of both consumers and the producers, enhance the market competitiveness of products with national culture and guarantee the quality of the products. Rules of origin, on the other hand, are a method of foreign trade that can help to implement import and export trade control and quota management through identifying the country of origin.
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