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Update for geographical food and drink names post-Brexit: UK GI schemes

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Update for geographical food and drink names post-Brexit: UK GI schemes

Update for geographical food and drink names post-Brexit: UK GI schemes

A  geographical indication (GI) refers to the protection of products (food, drink and agricultural products) that are made according to a product’s specification, such as location, origin and traditional method – think Bordeaux wine or Scotch whiskey.

It protects a product’s characteristics or reputation, authenticity and origin, meaning your whiskey isn’t “Scotch whiskey” if it it’s not made in the right way or in the right place!

The new UK GI schemes protect registered product names when they are sold in Great Britain (GB). The EU GI schemes protect registered products names when they are sold in Northern Ireland (NI) and the EU.

As of January 2021:

  • All successful applications to the EU GI schemes by 31 December 2020 are protected under the UK and EU GI schemes. EU product specifications will be added to the UK GI scheme register lists as soon as they are available.
  • GB producers will need to secure protection under the UK GI schemes before applying to the EU schemes to protect a product name in NI or the EU.
  • NI producers can apply to protect a product name in NI and the EU under the EU GI. They can also apply to the UK GI scheme to protect their product name in GB. They do not need to secure UK GI protection first.
  • Producers that are required to add a GI logo to a UK registered product will have until 1 January 2024 to add the relevant UK GI scheme logo if their protected food product was registered before 1 January 2021. The logo is optional for wines and spirit drinks.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the competent authority for the GI schemes in the UK (including NI). 

Get in touch

For more information on this update, or any intellectual property related matters, please contact Olivia Morton.