The protection of geographical indications (GI) was an essential outcome for the EU in the NZ-EU FTA. We will protect close to 2,000 EU GIs in New Zealand and amend our existing GI laws.
The outcome also means the EU will protect New Zealand’s existing wine GIs, such as Marlborough and Central Otago, and provides the opportunity for each party to put forward further names for protection in the other party’s territory in the future.
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.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has conducted public consultations on GIs at various stages of our negotiations including, on the EU's initial list of 2,200 GI product names and on a number of amendments to that list proposed by the EU in early 2022 and again in late 2022. MFAT has also run a separate consultation process on the EU's proposed legal framework for protection of GIs. See more information about these public consultations.
The FTA provides that GI protection will not prevent prior users of the terms “Gruyère” or “Parmesan” from continuing that use, provided that they were using those terms in good faith for a period of at least 5 years before the date of entry into force of the FTA, and clearly indicate the actual geographical origin of the good concerned. The FTA also notes that a list of those prior users is to be shared by New Zealand with the European Union (EU) before the FTA is signed.
We are currently in the process of establishing this list.