20/04/2016 - EU-Japan FTA negotiations move forward

On 11-20 April, the EU and Japan held in Tokyo the 16th negotiating round for a free trade agreement (FTA). The negotiations had been officially launched in March 2013.

On GIs:

  • The discussion focused on names which use in japan might conflict with EU foodstuff GIs (in particular prior uses and generic terms, as the existence of conflicts with trademarks was discussed during previous round);
  • Japan presented a list of its own GIs to be protected under the FTA;
  • No progress was made with respect to the discussion on alcoholic beverages. One example of the problems existing in this area which might affect GIs, is the issue of beers exported from the EU, which, due to Japanese regulations, cannot be labelled as beer. Instead, another product category - “bubbly spirits” - applies and subjects beers exported from the EU to different prices and taxes as Japanese beers.

More information the 16th negotiating round are available @

http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2016/may/tradoc_154554.pdf

On the general framework to protect GIs under the Japanese law, see the oriGIn Report

 

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