The 13 November deadline for industry submissions to DFAT ‘s Aus Eu FTA Geographical Indications public objections procedure is fast approaching.
About the European Union Free Trade Agreement
In June 2018, the Australian Government launched negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU), which will provide increased commercial opportunities for Australian exporters. As a bloc, the EU is Australia's second largest trading partner and largest two-way investment partner. The Government will be tireless in pursuing Australia's interests in this FTA, but we will only achieve the best outcome for Australia if we also consider the EU's interests.
Consistent with its approach toward other FTA partners, the EU has identified the protection of geographical indications (GIs) as one of its key objectives in the negotiations.
What is a GI?
A GI is essentially a name used on a product that has a specific geographical origin, and possesses qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.'Champagne' is a well-known example of a GI. Once a GI is protected, the name can't be used except by producers who meet the rules protecting the GI.
The EU has asked Australia to protect 236 spirit names and 172 agricultural and other foodstuff names as GIs in Australia. The names relate to a range of sectors including:
The Australian Government hasn't committed to protect EU GIs, but has committed to engage with the EU on its GIs interests as part of the FTA negotiations.
To move to the essential market access stage of the negotiations, the Australian Government has agreed to publish the EU list of GIs for public objection.
Who should lodge an objection?
You should make an objection if you think protection of a specific EU GI name will adversely affect your interests (noting protection would enable EU GI producers to prevent use of the relevant name by others). You can make objections in relation to any EU GI name or part of a name, as well as any translation, transliteration or transcription of a name.
Global Victoria strongly encourages submissions from Victorian producers and businesses who may be affected by what the EU is proposing in order to help inform Australia’s position in the FTA negotiations.
How do I make an objection and will it be confidential?
You need to make objections in writing, supported by relevant information and evidence.
Submitters can be assured that information identified as commercial-in-confidence, or requested as not to be shared with the EU, will remain confidential.
Objections mus be received by 6 pm AEST Wednesday 13 November 2019.