148. The representative of Australia said that the Bulgarian delegation's concern about the use of its country's name would be easily solved if it were agreed that producers in countries should not use the names of other countries in any of their advertising. He believed Bulgaria's concern was that someone was misleadingly using its country's name when the product did not come from its country. He said that he did not know whether this was prohibited under other areas of WTO rules but that it was something that probably concerned everybody.
149. He also thanked the representative of Sri Lanka for the responses she had given to some of the questions he had posed. As he understood it, part of the problem with protecting "Ceylon tea" in Europe was that Sri Lanka could neither get national treatment nor access the GI registration system in Europe, and if it could, then this would overcome its concern about the use of "Ceylon tea". That was a point that had been raised on a number of occasions. There was a question mark as to whether even under the current rules countries were living up to their obligations under national treatment. It seemed that the representative of Sri Lanka was not necessarily arguing that GI protection or additional GI protection was better than a certification mark system. But she had talked about factors that were important to her government, including the fees charged for the renewal of certification marks. On that question he asked Sri Lanka to balance this against the fees that were going to be incurred as a result of a GI extension system. Some delegations were putting forward a costly system of a multilateral register that would probably be based on a fee-for-service cost. In other words, if one wanted to register a GI one would have to pay for it. The more important point here concerned the costs involved in challenging whether a term was generic. As the representative of Sri Lanka had pointed out, under the registration system that demandeurs were pressing for, every country would retain its rights under the current provisions, and one of those exception provisions was if a term was generic. If Sri Lanka were to take issue with a country which was claiming that a term was generic they would be obliged to go through this arbitration system. It would be a very costly exercise because the costs in challenging GIs in the EC system, for example, were massive. Therefore, he asked Sri Lanka and other Members to weigh up the costs for re-registering certification marks with the costs of the disputes they would be involved with in challenging whether a country could use a generic term.
150. As to the consumer surveys presented by the European Communities, he agreed with Argentina that they needed very close examination because any of them could come up with statistics to show whatever they liked. He thought that some of the statistics that were being cited were ludicrous, for the reasons Argentina had explained. It was like asking a European consumer to be prepared to pay more for a product to defend the common agricultural policy. If they came up with a majority that said "yes", would that be a moral defence for maintaining this distortive common agricultural policy that had completely ruined international trade and destroyed the aspirations of developing countries in improving their agricultural sectors? So, to suggest that someone would be prepared to pay a little more for the quality of a term or GI was a completely spurious proposition.