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Examination procedure on import of tequila into Eu

European Commission reply to Paolo De Castro's question

Reply by Janusz Wojciechowski on behalf of the European Commission (4.1.2021)

The examination procedure under Regulation (EU) 2015/1843 (Trade Barriers Regulation) for the case of Geographical Indications (Ig) Tequila is ongoing. All elements will be duly taken into account, including those mentioned by the Honorable Member. The relevant report will clarify the compatibility of the measures taken by Mexico with international trade obligations. This is normally issued within five months of the date of publication of the notice of initiation, but in complex cases this deadline can be extended to seven months.

The commission attaches great importance to the effective protection of Ig within the EU and around the world. Furthermore, the protection and promotion of Igs are key tools of the EU agricultural policy. Therefore, the commission will take all necessary actions to ensure compliance with existing EU legislation and to honor the Union's international commitments.

Question with request for a written answer, by Hon. Paolo De Castro to European Commission (6.10.2020)

Subject: examination procedure on import of tequila into EU.

Last August, European Commission opened an examination procedure under regulation (EU) 2015/1843 on possible obstacles to the importation of tequila from Mexico into European Union, following the failure to issue export certificates to a producer by the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (Crt), the body responsible for the control and protection of the geographical indication "Tequila". The product in question, which had received a retail authorization as such and not to be used as an ingredient, was instead adulterated by the European buyer to "reproduce" a flavor and subsequently used by a third party as an ingredient in production of a beer.

Considering that "Tequila" is a geographical indication recognized in 120 countries, including the EU, on the basis of the 1997 agreement on spirit drinks and registration under Regulation (EU) 2019/787, and that the procedure in question could have negative repercussions for geographical indications, can the commission answer to following questions:

1. How does it intend to consider the implications of the procedure with regard to the agreements in force and the credibility of the European system of geographical indications?

2. How does it intend to preserve the principle of integrity of the system of checks on geographical indications, which is crucial for the protection of the consumer against misleading commercial practices?

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