Minutes - TRIPS Council Special Session - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador Eui-yong Chung (Korea, Republic of)
European Union
C.ii.i Procedures
61. The representative of the European Communities said he was surprised to learn that his delegation had decided and had informed the Special Session they would be notifying thousands of geographical indications. Such a decision had not been taken and should not be taken for granted. He added that the EC would probably not notify one single geographical indication if the future system were reduced to a simple electronic database with no legal effects. It was not his intention to address this issue because he would have liked to deal with it under the sub-item "role of the Secretariat" or the administrative body in charge of the system. He said, however, that there would probably be no need for a major role for the administrative body or the WTO Secretariat. He agreed that the system should be regularly updated, if appropriate, in light of developments. In bilateral discussions, several delegations had pointed out to him the risk of abuses of the system. One delegation had suggested that the administrative body undertake a preliminary examination to see whether the conditions were prima facie fulfilled; another had suggested that it would be sufficient to have a formality examination. He assured Members that the EC would try to find a solution to this kind of problem. He wanted to indicate that the issue was an important one and would in the future need careful examination and a consensus solution. 62. As far as publication was concerned, several delegations had mentioned a need for transparency and light procedures. He thought that it was probably feasible that such publication could take place on the WTO website or on the internet and that should deserve serious consideration.