The Council of the European Union has adopted the first bilateral trade agreement between the EU and China that is set to provide protections to geographically significant fruits and vegetables.
The Council authorised the signatures of the EU and China on an agreement on geographical indications (GIs) set to initially protect 100 agri-foods from each country including the likes of Yantai apples and Pêra Rocha from Portugal.
The agreement is expected to enter into force later in 2020 once it has received the consent of the European Parliament. Negotiations on this agreement first began in September 2010, but both countries have already granted some protections under a separate GIs scheme.
A GI is a distinctive sign used on products that have a specific geographic origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
The EU-China agreement will provide protection of the products' intellectual property rights and safeguard against translation, transcription or transliteration.
Four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides. The agreement also includes a mechanism to add more geographical indications thereafter.
Some of the other fresh fruit and vegetables included in the first 200 products include: Gannan navel orange, Fangxian mushroom, Nanfeng sweet orange, Korla pear, Anyue lemon, Jingning apple, Wuxi potato.