Insights European Commission consults on EU-wide geographical indications for non-agricultural products


Geographical indications (GIs) are names that identify a product as originating from a specific place from which their particular characteristics derive. There is currently no EU-wide system for protecting the GIs of non-agricultural products (such as handicrafts and industrial goods). However, the Commission says, such products are often an important part of local identity, attract tourism and create jobs. The Commission says that a uniform system would:

  • help producers stay competitive in niche markets;
  • provide consumers with better information about the authenticity of products; and
  • boost regional economies.

For such products, the Commission intends to run a thorough assessment of the impact of the potential costs and benefits of creating an efficient and transparent EU GI protection system. The consultation aims to capture more detailed views from relevant stakeholders on the problems related to: (i) the existing legal protection of authentic geographically-rooted non-agricultural products within the internal market; (ii) the benefits and risks of EU action; and (iii) the available policy options, including the control and enforcement of a future EU-protection system for such products.

The consultation is open until 22 July 2021 inclusive. To access the consultation and for information on how to respond, click here.