Brussels: The European Union (EU) has registered India's Darjeeling tea as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), that seek to protect product names from misuse and imitation. It is the seventh non-EU product receiving the protected status, following one from Colombia and five from China, the EuAsiaNews reported.

Darjeeling tea has been added to over 1,000 names of agricultural products and foodstuffs protected as PGI in the EU, the European Commission, the EU's executive body, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Three EU schemes known as PDO (protected designation of origin), PGI (protected geographical indication) and TSG (traditional speciality guaranteed) promote and protect names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs.

These EU schemes encourage diverse agricultural production, protect product names from misuse and imitation and help consumers by giving them information concerning the specific character of the products.

For existing blends mixing Darjeeling tea with non-Darjeeling tea, the EU regulation foresees a five-year transitional period during which the term can continue to be used. After this period these blends would have to be renamed.

Darjeeling tea, grown in Darjeeling district of India's West Bengal state, is acknowledged to be the finest tea because of its unique flavour.