Over the past few months, the European Commission has been working on the simplification of the rules affecting the wine sector. However, so far only a limited part of the Commission draft proposal has been made public.
In this context, EU wine producers’ organisations expressed their concerns for the lack of transparency of the overall process as well as for some implications that may arise from the reform in particular in the field of GIs (for instance with respect to the rules concerning temporary labelling and reserved terms such as crémant, bottle-shaped, production method, farm names...).
In response to this situation, 17 EU Member States, including the main wine producers (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain), co-signed a document to emphasize, in the context of the simplification of the EU rules affecting the wine sector, the importance of keeping, for wines without GIs, the ban to mention any geographical reference smaller than their respective Member State. Those countries have also expressed support for the protection of traditional terms as well as for the indication of the place of exploitation, and for reserving some production methods exclusively to PDO and PGI.
For more information, see (in French): http://cnaoc.org/simplification-de-la-reglementation-vitivinicole-europeenne/
The 26th of July, the EUIPO published its last sectorial report on the economic cost of counterfeiting within the EU in the spirits and wine sectors.
The loss of sales due to counterfeiting affects the whole sector, from employment to government revenue, reaching the amount of €1.3 billion per year. These figures represent a loss of 4.4% of the legitimate sales of spirits (€740 million) and 2.3% of the legitimate sales of wine (€530 million). The full report is available @ https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/web/observatory/ipr_infringement_wines_and_spirits
These figures are worrying for GIs, as some 50% of the volume of wine as well as 30% of the one of spirits produced in the EU benefit from GIs (according to 2012 study commissioned by the EU “Value of production of agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines, aromatised wines and spirits protected by a geographical indication – data concerning 2005 - 2010 ) . Moreover, these 2 sectors play a key role in in the EU trade balance. According to a study carried out by SpiritsEUROPE, in 2015, spirits represented 33% of the overall EU foodstuff exports (its largest share), 2/3 of which deriving from GIs spirits. It is followed by wine sector, which represent 31% of the overall EU foodstuff exports.
The 29th of June, the EUIPO Observatory on infringements of IPRs, in collaboration with the European Commission launched an Anti-Counterfeiting Rapid Intelligence System (ACRIS) .
ACRIS is a database which collects information provided by IPRs holders on infringements affecting EU companies in third countries. Its information is available for IPRs holders as well as competent authorities. IPRs holders, including GIs beneficiaries, can subscribe @ https://www.tmdn.org/acris/#newUser