The sixth meeting of the Geographical Indications Sub-Committee, established in accordance with Article 306 of the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, was held in October 19.
The meeting was organized by the European Union, represented by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI), which currently chairs the GIs Sub-Committee and, given the epidemiological situation and the implicit travel restrictions, it was held in videoconference format.
The Republic of Moldova is represented at the committee by the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI), the body responsible for the implementation in the Republic of Moldova of the provisions of the Association Agreement on intellectual property, including in the field of geographical indications.
The Sub-Committee was chaired by Susana Marazuela Azpiroz, Head of Unit A4 Neighborhood and Enlargement, DG AGRI, Head of the EU Delegation to the Sub-Committee.
The delegation of the Republic of Moldova was led by the Director General of AGEPI Viorel Iustin, co-chair of the Sub-Committee, the delegation being composed of representatives of AGEPI and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration.
Speaking at the opening of the Sub-Committee, the Director General of AGEPI stressed: “Given that the Republic of Moldova is a country with limited natural resources and a significant share of the agri-food sector, the use of quality systems can contribute to increasing the export potential of local products.
Unfortunately, Moldova continues to export mainly raw materials and semi-finished products. Our mission is to help change this situation, including through the mechanism provided by the Association Agreement, which supports the entry of local value-added products into the EU market.”
In accordance with its mandate, the Geographical Indications Sub-Committee is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Agreement in the field of geographical indications and serves as a forum for cooperation and dialogue on geographical indications between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova. Thus, the participants in the 6th meeting reviewed the latest developments in the geographical indications system in the European Union and the Republic of Moldova, after the 5th meeting, which was held in October 2019, the discussions being focused on legislative-normative and institutional amendments in the reference field.
The Parties also exchanged views and information on enforcement of rights in geographical indications, international developments in the field and bilateral projects in which they are involved, including the status of negotiations on ongoing GI agreements.
Subsequently, the parties discussed the current situation regarding the GI registration and protection process and agreed on the opportunity to start preparations for updating the GI List (Annexes XXX-C and XXX-D), which is part of the Association Agreement.
It should be mentioned that, currently, 8 geographical indications from the Republic of Moldova (“Romanesti”, “Ciumai”, “Divin”, “Codru”, “Valul lui Traian”, “Stefan Voda”, “Apricot Brandy of Nimoreni” and “Rose Petal Jam of Calarasi”) are protected on the territory of the European Union based on the Association Agreement. Four geographical indications protected in the Republic of Moldova have been notified to be granted protection on the EU territory, and another 3 are in the process of preparation for transmission to the European Union.
The Parties highly appreciated the quality of cooperation relations between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union in the field of geographical indications and expressed their willingness to continue and strengthen them in the GIs Sub-Committee for the benefit of producers and consumers of the products of determined origin from both sides.
In accordance with the Sub-Committee’s Rules of Procedure, the Presidency of the Sub-Committee shall be chaired alternately by the European Union and the Republic of Moldova. In 2021, the presidency of the Geographical Indications Sub-Committee will be exercised by the Republic of Moldova.