China-EU cooperation on geographical indications moves forward
Meeting in Hanghzou (China), Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Chinese Vice-Minister Sun Dawei, in charge of the Administration of quality supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), welcomed protection of key geographical indications (GI) in China and the EU.
Under a unique pilot project, 10 celebrated European product names will very soon be registered in the official AQSIQ Chinese GI register. At the same time, 10 Chinese product names like will soon be protected in the EU GI register. "This project is unprecedented and marks the first-time that we have seen a large number of non-EU product names proposed as geographical indications in the EU" said Commissioner Cioloş, adding "I have been impressed by the commitment to agricultural quality products and regional specialities in China. The experience gained in the pilot project will form the basis for future broader cooperation". The "10 plus 10 project" started in July 2007 when EU and China formally lodged applications for the protection of 10 agriculture GIs in each others' territories. While the GI systems are similar, significant differences in procedures and linguistic problems had to be overcome. The dossiers have been treated and examined on each side according to the exacting standards for approval set out in law and administrative procedures, including the right of any interested party to oppose registration. The EU list comprises: Grana Padano; Prosciutto di Parma; Roquefort; Pruneaux d'Agen/Pruneaux d'Agen mi-cuits; Priego de Cordóba; Sierra Mágina; Comté; White Stilton Cheese/ Blue Stilton Cheese; Scottish Farmed Salmon and West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. The Chinese list comprises: Dongshan Bai Lu Sun (asparagus), Guanxi Mi You (honey pomelo), Jinxiang Da Suan (garlic), Lixian Ma Shan Yao (yam), Longjing cha, (tea) Pinggu Da Tao (peach), Shaanxi ping guo (apple), Yancheng Long Xia (crayfish), Zhenjiang Xiang Cu (vinegar) and Longkou Fen Si (vermicelli).