After months of intense negotiations, a political agreement on the key elements of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada was reached on 18 October.

With respect to GIs, a list of 172 European PDO/PGI (which can be extended) is poised to be recognized in Canada with a level of protection which corresponds to art. 23 of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Likewise, solid enforcement mechanisms (including administrative enforcement and border measures) will be provided.

The protection of some EU’s PDO/PGI is however subject to some limitations: the use of translations in English and French of 8 PDO/PGI will be allowed in Canada, provided that other signs or elements, such as flags, which can confuse the consumers, are not used in connection with them: Münchener Bier, Schwarzwälder Schinken, Queijo S. Jorge, Tiroler Speck (what will be allowed is Tiroler Bacon which is not the exact translation), Parmigiano Reggiano, Comté (county – for administrative departments – with its name in English and “Comté” with the name of the administrative department translated in French) and Cítricos Valencianos / Cîtrics Valancians. Furthermore, for 5 PDO/PGI terms such as “style” will be authorized in connection with the corresponding names for entities which had already been using such names: Feta, Asiago, Fontina, Gorgonzola and Munster / Munster Géromé. Finally, 5 PDO/PGI (including Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto di San Daniele) will be protected in coexistence with the corresponding trademarks in force in Canada.
Based on this political agreement, technical discussions must be settled so as to finalize the legal text of the CETA. Subsequently, the CETA will need to be approved by the European Council and the EP.

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