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European Commission seeks feedback on geographical indications and traditional quality scheme

2019.11.12.

The Commission launched today a public consultation on geographical indications (GIs) and traditional specialities guaranteed (TSGs), both part of the EU’s quality policy.

 

This public consultation targets the general public and stakeholders such as producers, processors, national authorities and researchers. The aim is to gather feedback on the understanding and perception of the EU quality schemes. The public consultation is available in all official EU languages and is opened for a period of 12 weeks.

GIs are protected names of products that have a special link to their geographical origin. They comprise three types of GI (Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Geographical Indication (GI)), depending on the type of product and how strong the link is to their region of origin. The TSG designation highlights the traditional aspect of the product, such as the way the product is made or its composition, without being linked to a specific geographical area.

Participants in the public consultation will have the opportunity to give their opinion on the performance of the schemes and how to improve efficiency and simplify the EU quality schemes’ procedures. This includes the registration of a name, amendments to the product specifications and cancellation of a registered name.

The public consultation is part of an overall evaluation of the EU quality schemes. The evaluation will assess how effective, efficient, relevant and consistent these schemes are.

Background

The three different types of GIs include:

  • Protected designation of origin (PDO) can be wines and agricultural and food product names. To be recognised as a PDO, every part of the production, processing and preparation process must take place in a specific region.
  • Protected geographical indication (PGI) can also be wines and agricultural and food product names. However, for PGIs, recognition can be given if at least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation takes place in the region.
  • GIs for spirit drinks and aromatised wines have to have at least one of the stages of distillation or preparation taking place in the region. However, raw ingredients do not need to come from the region.

TSGs – denoting traditional product – can only apply to agricultural and food product names.

All four schemes protect the name against falsification and misuse. The GIs belong to the EU’s system of intellectual property rights, being legally protected against imitation and misuse within the EU and in non-EU countries where a specific protection applies through an agreement or direct application by the right-holder.

More information