On 21 January, the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament (EP) gave its consent to the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (FTA) and recommended the EP Plenary do the same.
Some EU GIs will be protected subject to some limitations:
- “Champagne” will be fully protected after a transition period of 10 years, during which all uses incompatible with the GI protection, including translations and transliterations in Vietnamese script will be phased out.
- Concerning “Parmigiano Reggiano”, the provisions will not prejudice the right of any person to use, or to register in Vietnam a trademark containing or consisting of the term “parmesan”. This does not apply in respect of any use that would mislead the public as to the geographical origin of the good.
- The protection of “Asiago”, “Fontina” and “Gorgonzola” will not prevent the use of any of these indications in the territory of Vietnam by any persons, including their successors, who made actual commercial use in good faith of those indications with regard to products in the class of “cheeses” prior to 1 January 2017.
- The protection of the geographical indication “Feta” will not prevent the use of this indication in the territory of Vietnam by any persons, including their successors, who made actual commercial use in good faith of this indication with regard to products in the class of “cheeses” made from sheep’s milk or made from sheep and goat’s milk, prior to 1 January 2017.
The EP will vote in plenary on the EU/Vietnam FTA at its February session in Strasbourg. To enter into force, the EU/Vietnam trade agreement will need also the Council’s approval.