On Monday it was announced that the European Commission has approved the Reasoned Statement submitted by the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan [REAP] against India on the Geographical Indication [GI] of Basmati.
On February 5th, the REAP had filed the ‘Reasoned Statement’ in opposition to India’s claim of GI of basmati, after sending the notice of opposition on December 7th, 2020.
The European Commission after reviewing both of the documents, Declared that the Reasoned Statement of REAP and the Notice of Opposition is permissible in the case.
This could make it easy for the rice exporters to directly advocate for the protection of Pakistan’s GI rights of Basmati.
As with the permissibility of REAP as a party, the case of Pakistan in the EU has reached its third stage where all the competing parties will engage in consultations with one another.
The parties’ time period to engage in negotiations is three months. Regarding this case, the negotiations will last, tentatively till May 6, 2021, as this is a pre-trial phase, in accordance with which the parties are encouraged to reach a peaceful resolution.
If after the consultations are concluded and incase there still is a dispute over the settlement the fourth stage of the trial will commence in the tribunal of DG Agriculture, European Commission.