On June 30, the European Commission and the New-Zealand authorities concluded the negotiations of an ambitious trade agreement, which will open significant market opportunities for both parties. Moreover, the agreement will protect in New Zealand the full list of EU wines and spirits Geographical Indications as well as 163 EU protected geographical names in the agricultural sector. Likewise, it will protect in the EU 23 GIs wines of New Zealand (Annex 18-A: List of Geographical Indications). Here is the full text of the agreement (this version might slightly be modified during the legal review).
On the one hand, chapter 18 (Intellectual Property sub-section 4 Geographical Indications – from p.23) provides for robust protection of GIs, including the exploitation of reputation when protected names are used with respect to non-comparable products.
On the other hand, the solutions found to accommodate the protection of some EU GIs are:
- For prior uses in New Zealand of terms including “sherry”, “port”, “feta”, “grappa”, “gorgonzola” and “prosecco”, a transition phasing-out period of 5 or 9 years has been agreed. After such periods, the concerned EU GIs will be fully protected in New Zealand. The lists of such prior users will be public before the signature of the agreement.
- For prior uses in New Zealand of “gruyere” and “parmesan”, a restrictive grandfathering clause has been agreed. Existing operators can keep using these names, provided that they have been doing so for at least five years before the FTA comes into force. Moreover, they will need to include on their packaging a clear indication of the geographical origin of the product. The lists of such prior users in New Zealand will be public before the signature of the agreement.
Then the FTA has to be adopted by the European Parliament as well as by the trade ministers of the 27 EU member states.
For more information about bilateral agreements concerning GIs, please visit the dedicated page of our website.