45. The Chairperson recalled that the Council had agreed, at its meeting on 27 February 1997, in the context of work to be done in relation to Article 23.4, to an information-gathering activity concerning systems for the notification and registration of geographical indications. As a first step in this exercise, Members had been invited to submit, with a target-date of July 1997, information on any systems for the registration of geographical indications which they operated. Information had been received from eleven Members: namely Egypt, Poland, Mexico, Peru, Japan, Switzerland, Cuba, the Czech Republic, the European Communities, Hong Kong-China and the United States. The contributions of these Members could be found in documents IP/C/W/76 and Add.1-10. The Council had agreed to consider this information at the present meeting. The purpose of this information-gathering exercise was solely to gather information useful to work on issues relevant to the negotiations specified in Article 23.4 concerning wines that the Council had agreed to undertake, including issues relevant to a notification and registration system for spirits, in particular to get a picture of what types of such systems already existed in Members.
46. The Chairperson said that the Council had also agreed to revert at the present meeting to the preparation of an outline of a factual background note on existing international notification and registration systems for geographical indications. A draft outline of such a note had been made available to Members; the note would principally focus on multilateral agreements relevant to the issue concerned but which would also address those elements of regional and bilateral agreements that related to notification and registrations systems. In preparing this note the Secretariat would, of course, consult with WIPO and any other relevant organizations as necessary.