A Consultation Workshop on Improvement of the Guidebook for geographical indication (GI) registration in Japan and the Guide of regulations on quality and food safety standards applied to agricultural products exported to Japan was held in Ha Noi on 25 October 2019.
Under Project on Supporting Registration for Protection of Viet Nam’s Geographical Indications in Japan of the Program on Intellectual Property Assets Development of 2016 – 2020 period, the consultation workshop on improvement of “the Guidebook for GI registration in Japan” and “the Guide of regulations on quality and food safety and other related regulations for agricultural products exported to Japan” was held in Ha Noi on 25 October 2019. The workshop is one of activities for implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation on Geographical Indication signed between the Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam (IP Viet Nam) and the Food Industry Affairs Bureau of Japan in the in June 2017.
Japan is a potential market for Vietnamese agricultural products. There are many factors advantageous for businesses to export their products, including agricultural products, to Japan, such as: Viet Nam – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement which has been simultaneously implemented since 2010 with the key point of drastically lower taxes imposed upon agricultural products exported to Japan; Japanese market’s preference to tropical agricultural products due to differences in seasons and varieties; increased demands for imported agricultural products in Japan. The promulgation of the Geographical Indication Protection Act in June 2015 also has a favorable impact to the exports of products bearing Gis of Viet Nam to Japan.
On the other hand, in order to achieve the goal of exporting Viet Nam’s GI products to Japan, Vietnamese products have to meet requirements on GI protection and strict regulations on food safety of Japan, as well as have to take into consideration legal provisions on advertisement, promotion and sales of products in Japan.
Derived from that request, the Project on Supporting Registration for Protection of Viet Nam’s Geographical Indications in Japan” has activities on development of a “Guidebook for geographical indication registration in Japan” and a “Guide of regulations on quality and food safety and other related regulations for agricultural products exported to Japan” to provide useful information to Vietnamese GI management authorities, associations and businesses when applying for GI registration as well as exporting agricultural, forestry products and foodstuff to Japan.Upon the available of drafts of the above-mentioned documents, the Project has conducted the consultation workshop to get technical comments and suggestions from experts and representatives from provinces having potential exported GI products to Japan in order to complete, publish and widely disseminate the documents to interested individuals and organisations.
At the workshop, experts of the IP Viet Nam introduced contents of the draft “Guidebook for geographical indication registration in Japan” and provided overview of Japanese regulations on protection of geographical indications. Experts from Agro Processing and Market Development Agency (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) and Food Industry Research Institute (Ministry of Industry and Trade) had presentation on exporting agricultural products and foodstuff to Japan, including specific rules for coffee, fruits, vegetables, sugar, salt, fishery products, etc. and legal provisions on advertisement, promotion and sales of products in Japan. The workshop has received interests and various technical comments from experts and representatives from provinces.
Mr. Nguyen Manh Dung, Agro Processing and Market Development Agency (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) delivered speech at the Workshop.
With the high sense of responsibility of the Project’s experts and the carefulness in the drafting process, these documents are expected to be useful tools for Vietnamese GI management authorities, associations and businesses in registering for geographical indications protection and exporting products to Japan.
Center for Examination of Geographical Indications and International Trademarks