On September 20, 2019, the parliament of Ukraine adopted a law on improving the legal protection of geographical indications. The document replaces the previous law of 1999, European standards are implemented in the legislation of Ukraine, in particular, the provisions of the Association Agreement with the EU, as well as the provisions of the EU Regulation No. 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs.
In particular, in the Law:
– the new edition defines the terms “geographical indication”, “geographical location”, “appellation of origin”;
– the conditions for granting legal protection on a geographical indication and grounds for refusing to provide such protection are specified;
– the conditions for granting legal protection to geographical indications containing the homonyms are determined;
– the list of persons entitled to state registration of a geographical indication are specified;
– the requirements for an application for registration of a geographical indication are changing;
– the procedure for examining applications for geographical indications are improved;
– requirements for technical conditions are determined, which must correspond to the goods for which a geographical indication is claimed;
– the list of rights and obligations provided by the registration of geographical indications is being specified.
According to the Law, a geographical indication is the name of a place that identifies a product that originates from a certain geographical place and has a special quality, reputation or other characteristics, mainly due to this geographical place of origin, and at least one of the stages of production of which (production and/or processing and/or preparation) is carried out in a specific geographical area.
Appellation of origin is a type of geographical indication, which means a name that identifies an item that originates from a particular geographical location and has special qualities or features that are solely or mainly determined by a specific geographical environment with its inherent natural and human factors, and all stages whose production (manufacture (extraction) and/or processing and/or preparation) is carried out in a certain geographical territory.
Application for registration of geographical indication may be submitted by both residents and non-residents of Ukraine. Applicant may be an association of individuals and legal entities. It is possible to submit an application on behalf of one person only if it is the only producer who produces goods in this geographical location and/or extracts and/or processes raw materials for the goods.
Manufacturers who have received the right to use the registered appellation of origin or geographical indication for their products may prohibit manufacturers who do not meet these requirements.
Registration of Ukrainian geographical indications abroad is possible only after obtaining the appropriate registration in Ukraine.
According to the Association Agreement with the EU, in Ukraine all geographical indications registered in the European Union obtain legal protection. The transitional period until 2026 was granted to completely abandon the use of the words “cognac”, “champagne”, etc. for the labeling of their goods by domestic manufacturers in Ukraine. In total there are more than 3 thousand such names.
The State Register of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications of Origin of Ukraine contains only 42 protected geographical indications (besides those protected in the EU), only 15 of them are directly Ukrainian.
Earlier, the government of Ukraine determined the priority goods for registration as geographical indications.