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  • Negotiations on TRIPs cover:

    • harmonisation between TRIPs and the Convention on Biological Diversity ( CBD);

    • establishment of a multilateral register of Geographical  
      Indications (GIs) for wines and spirits; and

    • extension of GIs to products other than wines and spirits.

i.   Linkage between Trips and CBD

  • In 2001, the Doha Ministerial Declaration requested WTO Members to examine the provisions of the TRIPs as compared to the CBD.

  • As a result a number of developing countries have been pushing for a linkage between TRIPs and CBD by amending the TRIPs Agreement to:

    • include provisions of the CBD as conditions for grant of patents; and

    • allow for the protection of biological resources through a stringent patent system that requires:

    • disclosure of source and country of origin of any biological resources used in inventions;

    • prior informed consent from the country of origin; and

    • evidence of fair and equitable benefit sharing arrangements.

ii.   Multilateral Register of Geographical Indications (GIs) for Wines and Spirits

  • In 2001, the Doha Ministerial Declaration requested WTO Members to establish a multilateral system of notification and registration of GIs for wines and spirits. Discussions are inconclusive as some members do not want a mandatory system of  
    notification and registration.

iii.   Extension of GI protection to Products other than Wines and Spirits

  • In 2001, the Doha Ministerial Declaration requested Members to consider extending higher level of GI protection to products other than wines and spirits. Currently GI protection only covers wines and spirits. GI is a form of intellectual property right which is granted protection under the TRIPs Agreement. GIs are only granted to products whose distinctive characteristic, reputation or quality is attributed to a specific location.

  • Progress on the issue of GI extension has been slow, as members positions are divided on this issue.

Trade Facilitation

Negotiations are moving towards developing Agreement on Trade Facilitation aimed to address issues relating to:

  • freedom of transit of goods;

  • fees and formalities connected with importation and exportation; and

  • publication and administration of trade regulations.

The   Agreement would ensure reform in multilateral   rules that will benefit Members   in terms of providing faster and efficient clearance of goods, reduction in cost of doing business and more transparent and predictable international trade.

The other major focus is the provision on technical and capacity building (TACB) and special and differential treatment (S&D). This provision is important to address the needs and requirement of developing countries and least-developed countries in implementing the obligations proposed under the Agreement.

Last Updated 2016-12-16 09:08:05 by

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Ministry of International Trade and Industry
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