ISLAMABAD: An appeal has been lodged by the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) of Pakistan against India’s offer to receive the exclusive Geographical Indication (GI) tag for basmati rice in the European Union (EU).
IPO Pakistan, through a foreign law firm based in Brussels, has lodged an opposition pursuant to Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.
Read Also: Lebanese PM indicted over Beirut port blast
In a tweet late on Wednesday night, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood confirmed the development. He told rice exporters that with due diligence and determination, the government will defend the lawsuit.
‘I want to inform you that Pakistan has lodged its opposition with the European Commission against an Indian proposal for the award of exclusive rights to the use of Basmati for its exports of rice to the European Union’ (EU). “We assure the rice community that we will, with due diligence and commitment, defend our case,” Mr Dawood said in a tweet.
Though India accounts for 65 percent of Basmati’s foreign trade, Pakistan supplies the remaining 35 percent, giving the country around $800 million to $1 billion in annual exports.
Under the rules of the European Commission, an IPO official claimed that if released in its official publication, opposition to any application must be filed within a span of three months. Pakistan filed the complaint two days in advance of the 11 December deadline, the official explained.
“The Commission will then have another two months to invite, within a three-month period, the authority or the person who lodged the opposition to engage in appropriate consultations,” he said.
India demanded, according to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Quality Schemes for Agricultural Goods and Foodstuffs, a GI tag for basmati, referred to in the official EU journal of 11 Sept.
Nevertheless on 22 Sept., the Pakistani government agreed to reject the proposal for exclusive rights to assert the GI name for basmati rice in the EU.
Protecting geographical indicators encourages a country to increase its exports, encourage rural growth and strengthen the livelihoods of agricultural producers and professional craftsmen. In order to enhance regional economic growth, the promotion of GI goods also increases secondary economic activities.
Local Pakistani items such as Peshawari chappals, Multani blue pottery, Hunza apricots, Hala ajrak, Kasuri methi, Chaman grapes, Turbat dates etc are covered by the GI statute.