In 2005, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China and the General Department of Trade of the European Commission signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Geographical Indications between China and Europe Union. China and the European Union intended to identify 10 geographical indication products on each side, giving them bilateral mutual recognition and anti-counterfeiting protection.
In July 2007 the two sides formally exchanged documents pertaining to the geographical indication protection products, and the pilot work of mutual recognition entered a substantive stage.
As of Nov of 2012 all the geographical indication protection products had been approved and protected by the two sides, marking the successful completion of the pilot project of mutual recognition and mutual protection of 10+10 geographic indications between China and Europe.
In July 2017, the 100+100 project was proposed by the two sides. The EU and China each published a list of 100 GI products for protection under the other’s jurisdiction, and negotiations are in process.
Protection of the mutual registered products
China will protect the Chinese name and the original name of the registered EU products, and the EU will protect the name of Chinese geographical products in 25 EU official languages. China and the EU will investigate and punish infringements of the mutual registered products in accordance with the laws and regulations related to geographical indications, and protect the interests of the producers and distributors of the products to the maximum extent possible.
The benefits of the mutual recognition for China and the EU
The mutual recognition between China and the EU functions as a protective system for both consumers and producers. Moreover, the geographical indication can also be seen as a marketing tool which can guarante a certain quality and character of a specific product. Therefore, the geographical indication products can be sold in greater volume which boosts the development of rural area of both China and the EU.
Chinese geographical indications under EU protection:
Pinggu peaches, Longkou fans, Longjing tea, Shaanxi apples, Dongshan white asparagus, Guanxi honey pomelo, Jinxiang garlic, Zhenjiang vinegar, Lixian yams and Yancheng lobsters.
EU geographical indications under the protection of China:
Cognac, Scotch Whisky, Pruneaux d’Agen, Roquefort, Comté, West Country Farmhouse Cheddar, Scottish Farmed Salmon, Sierra Mágina, Priego de Cordóba, Grana Padano, White Stilton Cheese/Blue Stilton Cheese, Prosciutto di Parma and Napa Valley (Wine).