The European Union (EU) has accepted the reasons of Pakistani rice exporters that India will not be given special rights to export basmati, reports say.
The European Commission declared the notice of opposition and the statement of Pakistani exporters. That is surely admissible in the case related to India’s claiming rights on basmati, they said.
Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) filed the statement in opposition to India’s claim of geographical indication (GI) of basmati on February 5. Right after sending the notice of opposition on December 7.
After reviewing both of these documents, the European Commission made Reap a party to the case. As per Reap statement:
“Now, Reap can advocate for the protection of Pakistan’s GI rights over basmati directly”.
Pakistan has challenged India’s bid to obtain exclusive rights of exporting basmati rice. It challenges the 27-member European Union since last year.
India is the world’s biggest basmati exporter and meets 65 percent of the global demand for aromatic rice. Pakistan meets the remaining requirement and earns $800 million to $1 billion annually from its exports.
Last year, India applied for the GI tag for basmati under Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and Council on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs. Later this year, IPO Pakistan files a review petition against India’s move to get GI tag for basmati rice in the European Union.
What is a GI tag?
A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess origin-based qualities and reputation in the region.
“With the admissibility of Reap as a party. Certainly, the case of Pakistan in EU has reached its third stage where all the contesting parties will engage in consultations with each other,” Reap said.
“The period for the parties to engage in negotiations is three months. The negotiations will last, tentatively, till May 6. This is a pre-trial phase, whereby, parties are encouraged to reach an amicable solution.”
In case of no settlement. However, the fourth stage of the trial will commence in the tribunal of Directorate General Agriculture, European Commission.
A big achievement for Pakistan
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has only recently registered its basmati rice as GI under the Geographical Indications Act 2020.
Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood uses his Twitter handle to explain this act.
“Under this Act, a GI registry has formed which will register GIs and maintain the basic record of proprietors and authorized users of GI”.
Moreover, Dawood further said:
“This will protect our products against misuse or imitation and hence will guarantee that their share in the market is protected. I encourage you to send your suggestions of products that can be registere as GIs to the Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan”.
This great achievement will soon bring us significant benefits in the near future.
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