China Wine

China and EU to sign ‘landmark’ Geographical Indication agreement to protect European wines

With the new EU-China Geographical Indication agreement, 100 European products, most of which are wines and spirits will be protected in Chinese market.

China and the EU have moved a step closer to sign the landmark EU-China Geographical Indication agreement that will protect 100 geographically identified EU products with majority being European wines and spirits after 10 years of negotiations.

The agreement will give protection to 100 EU products with Geographical indications (GIs) in Chinese market, which would include Bordeaux wines, Chablis, Champagne, Alsace, Languedoc wines in France, Spain’s Rioja, Cava, German Mosel Riesling, Portugal’s Port, as well as Italy’s Barolo, Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Soave (see full list in the next page).

Likewise, 100 Chinese products will be protected in the EU including Pu’er tea and Ningxia Goji berry, thereby ensuring mutual respect of the best of both agricultural traditions.

“This is the first significant bilateral trade agreement signed between the EU and China,” says the European Council (EC) after authorizing signature of the agreement on July 20.

The agreement is expected to come into effect by the end of this year, 10 years after negotiations first started in 2010.

China is the second destination for exports of EU agri-food products, reaching €12.8 billion between September 2018 and August 2019. Outside of the European bloc, the country is also the second biggest export market for European wines behind the US at close to US$1.2 billion.

The agreement is expected to provide an important protection of the products’ intellectual property rights in China’s lucrative market where fraudsters for years have been faking Bordeaux wines, whiskies and scotch.

According to the EU, the agreement will safeguard against translation, transcription or transliteration, and against the use of the protected geographical indications accompanied by expressions such as “kind”, “type”, “style”, “imitation” or the like in respect of a non-originating product.

“The EU-China GI agreement is the a landmark treaty between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China. It is a concrete example of cooperation between two parties and reflects openness and adherence to international rules as a basis for trade relations,” says the European Commission.

The deal also came at a time when relations between China and the US are rapidly deteriorating since the outbreak of coronavirus. The trade pact with EU is expected to help boost economic growth for both parties after Covid-19.

On top of the 100 protected GIs, four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides, says the EU council.

Scroll to the next page to see the full protected list of French and Italian wines.

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