31 October 2013 News

EU-Canada Trade Agreement represents an historical achievement for GIs recognition

On 18th October 2013, the Commission President José Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reached a political agreement on Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The AREPO welcomed the trade agreement between the EU and Canada as an historical and extremely important result from the point of view of geographical indications (GIs). For the first time, Canada agrees to recognize more than a hundred European geographical indications, principally cured meat, fruit and vegetables, cheese and vinegar.

The AREPO President, Tiberio Rabboni, declared that the most important achievement and value of the agreement resides in the recognition of GIs special status by a country that relies on a different protection system for product of quality, based on trade marks.

The President admitted that the main limitation of the agreement is its lack of retroactive force. In this way several European GIs, like Prosciutto di Parma, Asiago, Feta and Munster, will coexist with already registered Canadian marks. Nevertheless, he considered as a step forward the introduction of a requirement, for Canadian products, to clearly identify the geographical origin in the label and of the ban on using terms or symbols that refer to European GIs.

Moreover, the President Rabboni expressed his satisfaction with the possibility for Prosciutto di Parma to enter the Canadian market with his original name for the first time after more than 20 years will after.

For all these reasons, the AREPO acknowledged that the agreement represents an important precedent, both for the WTO talks and for future trade agreements, in particular for the currently discussed trade agreement between EU and US that presents a trade mark system similar to Canadian one.