We have now concluded public consultations on the framework for protection of geographical indications (GIs) proposed by the European Union as part of our negotiations for an FTA.

 

Overview

New Zealand and the European Union (EU) launched negotiations for a free trade agreement in June 2018.

Our negotiations cover a wide range of areas that are of interest to both New Zealand and the EU.

One of our objectives is to ensure our exporters get significantly better access to the EU market. One of the EU’s objectives is the protection of geographical indications (GIs). This is of significant cultural and economic importance for the EU.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has conducted two public consultations related to GIs: the first on the EU's list of GI product names they want protected in New Zealand as part of the EU-NZ FTA negotiation, and the second on the EU's proposed legal framework for protection of GIs. Please see below for further details on both these consultation processes. 

What are geographical indications (GIs)?

Geographical indications (GIs) are usually names that identify that a product comes from a particular area. They indicate that a product has a given quality, reputation or other characteristic that is strongly associated to that area.

For example, “Central Otago” is registered as a wine GI in New Zealand. It identifies wine that is made from grapes grown in Central Otago and, as a result, has particular characteristics that distinguish them from wines made from other grapes from other regions.

Previous consultation on framework for protection of GIs (closed 24 April 2020)

As part of the negotiation, the EU wants us to protect GIs in much the same way as they are protected in the EU. This would require significant changes to our existing laws that give protection to GIs. To understand how these proposed changes could impact New Zealanders, The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) released a joint discussion paper in December 2019 and undertook four months of consultations on the legal framework for GI protection proposed by the EU. This consultation closed on 24 April 2020. 

For further information on this consultation process, please see here

Previous consultation on protected names (closed 19 March 2019)

The EU has asked that we change our laws to protect 2,200 of its existing GIs for wines, spirits and food products for exclusive use by EU producers. We called for submissions in late 2018 on this list of product names that the EU wants recognised and protected in New Zealand as part of the EU-NZ FTA negotiation. This consultation closed on 19 March 2019. 

For further information on this consultation process, please see here.

For more information on the negotiation, see our EU-NZ free trade agreement page here.