EU-Japan: An additional 28 geographical indications protected by each party
In the framework of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, both parties will protect as from today an additional 28 geographical indications (GIs) for each side, such as Pimentón de la Vera spice, Pecorino Sardo cheese, Yoshikawa Eggplant and Nissato green onion. This builds upon last year’s extension, which led to the additional protection of 56 GIs from the EU and from Japan.
This second amendment of the agreement was agreed in less than a year, the quickest extension until now of a list of GIs under such an agreement. It shows the commitment of both parties to continue a close cooperation under this economic partnership agreement, resulting in benefits for both sides. The agreement protects the listed agri-food names against imitation and usurpation, bringing mutual trade benefits and introducing consumers to guaranteed, authentic products from two regions with a rich culinary and cultural tradition.
Today, 1 February 2022 marks the third anniversary of the entry into force of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It is the most important EU agreement so far as regards agri-food trade, including tariff reductions for important EU exports to Japan such as wine, pigmeat and cheese. The implementation of the agreement has been successful so far, as showcased for example by the good cooperation on tariff rate quota granted by Japan to the EU, or by the gradual authorisation of oenological practices on both sides in order to facilitate wine exports.
More than 5,000 GIs (EU and non-EU) are protected in the EU. Those are protected either through GI applications submitted directly by the EU or third country applicants (usually producers or producer groups), or via international agreements, such as the EU-Japan agreement, concluded between the EU and third countries. The GIs cover agricultural products, wines and spirit drinks, under its EU quality schemes.
Geographical indications are intellectual property rights that protect the names of specific products, whose characteristics, quality attributes or reputation are linked to the area of production.