EU Adopts New Regulations for PDOs

The EU has agreed on a new regulation aimed at more effectively safeguarding Appellations of Origin, even when the respective products are processed into others.

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The EU wants to create a better legal basis for the protection of products of origin (Photo: nmann77/Fotolia)
The EU wants to create a better legal basis for the protection of products of origin (Photo: nmann77/Fotolia)

A new regulation is set to make protected designations of origin (PDO) and protected geographical indications (PGI) more attractive for producers. This is the result of an agreement reached by the Council of Europe and the EU Parliament. The core of the new regulation is not only a simplified and standardised application procedure, but also better protection, for example for further processing in other products.

According to responses from a European Commission spokesperson to inquiries made by the German trade magazine Weinwirtschaft, the new regulation will come into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal. This is with the exception of certain provisions that will permit member states to implement special regulations at the national level.

The new regulation aims to shorten the procedure duration and enhance the acceptance of geographical indications. After a protection association or producer files an application, the EU Commission has a 5-month deadline to submit additional comments. The objection phase is also being shortened: objections must be communicated within three months after publication and provided with a rationale.

Ensuring authenticity in ingredients

The protection of geographical indications is set to improve online and in processed products. In the future, EU member states will be required to block web domains within their country if the domain name could infringe the protection of a geographical indication.

If a PDO or PGI product is used as an ingredient in another product, it should still be possible to use the name of the used product – or the appellation – in the naming of the final product. However, certain requirements must be met: for instance, the final product must not contain any other ingredient comparable to the protected product – a chocolate truffle with Champagne, for example, should not be made with 2% Champagne and 30% generic sparkling wine. The percentage of the protected ingredient must be stated on the label (e.g., "contains 30% Champagne"), and the ingredient must be used in a "sufficient" quantity to be sensorily significant. VM

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