Ferbies /
21 January 2015Trademarks

Morocco and EU sign deal to protect geographical indications

The EU has penned a deal with Morocco that will see them mutually protect certain geographical indications (GIs).

Both Morocco and the EU will ensure a “high level protection” for GIs covering food and agricultural products produced in the north African nation and within the EU.

“The objective of this agreement is to better protect consumers in terms of not being misled on the true origin and quality of the product,” the European Commission said in a statement outlining the terms of the deal.

According to the EU’s trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström, the agreement will be an incentive for more trade and investment.

“The protection of GIs is a win-win—it will make it clear to consumers where products come from so that they can make an informed choice. It will also increase the quality of products and bring additional revenue to farmers,” Malmström said.

Moroccan agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch added: "This agreement provides a real opportunity for our growers and especially the smaller ones who have real authentic know-[about] how to maximise the added value of their production."

According to the EU, Morocco is the first among its “southern neighbours” to promote and protect the quality of agricultural production.

The agreement will now be passed to the European Council and Parliament, and to the legislative authorities in Morocco, where it must be approved before its final entry into force.

The news follows an agreement between the Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office and the European Patent Office that will see European patents validated in Morocco from March 1.

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