Geographical Indications Act to be Amended
The recently introduced Bill is set to make significant changes...
The Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 was assented to on 21 November 2006, but has yet to commence. It repealed the Geographical Indications Act 1994, which itself never commenced. However, renewed interest in bringing the 2006 Act into force has resulted in the introduction of the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Amendment Bill 2015. Once the Bill comes into force it specifies that any provisions of the main Act that are not in force by 18th July 2018 will commence on that date.
The Bill also introduces enduring geographical indications and makes other geographical indications subject to a 10-year term and renewable for further 10-year terms. The specified enduring geographical indications are New Zealand, North Island, and South Island. It will also provide a basis for preventing registration of geographical indications that are likely to be offensive.
To be registrable as a geographical indication a sign must identify a wine or spirit as originating in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, and the given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the wine or spirit must be essentially attributable to its geographical origin.
For wines with a New Zealand origin the Act currently requires that at least 85% of the wine is obtained from grapes harvested in the relevant geographical origin. The Bill amends this requirement by specifying that the remainder must be harvested in New Zealand.