Updated: Geographical indications set for New Zealand

New Zealand’s long-awaited Geographical Indications Register finally has an implementation date.

From 27 July 2017, it will be possible to register geographical indications for wines and spirits in New Zealand. Regulations that set out the examination and registration procedures have just been approved and published online.

GIs are used to signal that products originating from a particular geographical region possess certain characteristics or qualities attributed to that location. Well known examples include Champagne and Scotch Whisky.

This will allow 'interested persons' to register a GI in relation to wine or spirits.

There are two types of GIs that can be registered:

  • New Zealand GIs

  • Foreign GIs.

New Zealand GIs will require a large amount of supporting information. The information will need to define the geographical indication, and set out how the defined geographical region contributes to the wine or spirit.

For some applicants, the costs of compiling the level of information required will be high. The cost of applying for and renewing a registered GI is also substantial.

Foreign GIs will be able to be registered in New Zealand where there is a corresponding GI recognised in its country of origin. Registration for these GIs should be simpler to obtain, as they will be based off the registration in the country of origin.

If you are a wine or spirit producer, part of a representative producer organisation, or the owner of a GI in another country, please get in touch if you would like more information about the scheme and its requirements.

To read the regulations, please visit the New Zealand Legislation website