Have your say on proposed changes to geographical indications - November 2022


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is asking for feedback on changes to New Zealand’s registered geographical indications regime.

This follows the recently negotiated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the European Union. Changes to our legislation are required for New Zealand to meet its FTA obligations.

Geographical indications (GIs) are intellectual property rights similar to trademarks. They help producers give consumers information on characteristics of a product that are connected to its geographical origin. Examples include ‘Marlborough (for wine produced in that region of New Zealand)’, ‘Scotch Whisky’, and ‘Champagne’.

Under the FTA, New Zealand will register around 2,000 EU GIs for food, wine, spirits, and other beverages for domestic protection. New Zealand is also required to put in place mechanisms to protect these GIs from misuse. The changes need to be in place when the agreement comes into force, which could be in 2024 subject to the required processes being completed by both New Zealand and the EU.

MBIE is asking for feedback on what changes should be made and how they should be implemented. This includes whether we should extend the domestic GIs registration regime for wine and spirits to cover other products, and what enforcement measures are needed to prevent misuse of registered GIs. The feedback received will inform the development of any amendments to the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006.

More information on this consultation, and how to have your say, is available on MBIE’s website.(external link) This consultation is open from 23 November 2022 until 28 February 2023.


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