Question for written answer to the European Commission on protecting the geographical indication of feta in Singapore

Under the terms of the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, geographical indications for EU products are recorded in a specific national register. Greek feta is already listed.

However, the same agreement also allows third parties to raise objections to geographical indications, and if the objection is upheld the geographical indication can be used freely. Yet even the rejection of such objections by the competent national authority of Singapore does not have the force of res judicata, with the result that a geographical indication for a product may be challenged by another party in the future.

Recently, interested parties in the US have filed an objection to the geographical indication for feta, forcing the Federation of Greek Dairy Industries to file a counterclaim to protect the interests of producers of the Greek cheese.

In light of the above, will the Commission say:

1 How does it view the provisions of the EU-Singapore agreement, which do not fully guarantee protection for EU products with a geographical indication, leaving geographical indications and the safeguarding thereof open to interpretation by Singaporean law?

2 What steps does it intend to take to ensure that the geographical indication of feta is protected in Singapore, to assist Greek producers in their efforts to protect it and to protect the interests of Greek producers in the future?

Full text here

Answer given by Mr Wojciechowski on behalf of the European Commission here