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Monday, 07 January 2013

EU: New framework for Quality schemes in agriculture

A new regulation on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs in the EU entered into force on January, 3 2013 and aims to achieve a simplified regime for several quality schemes by putting them under one single legal instrument. Among others, the new regulation brings a legal basis for inserting third country GI protected through bilateral agreements into the EU register.
Other changes include: faster registration procedures- as the opposition period is halved from six to three months- for PDOs and PGIs (excluding wines, aromatised wines and spirits which remain covered by separate legislation); clarification the rules on controls; the use of the PDO and PGI logos will become compulsory for products of EU origin from 4 January 2014 onwards; a legal basis for financing the defense of the EU logos is established; and the recognition of the role of producer groups is recognised.
Further, for TSG: The scheme is simplified and strengthened, notably as in the future only the registration with reservation of a name will be possible. In order to be "traditional" proven usage on the market during at least 30 years (instead of 25) is now required. Also, the optional quality term "mountain product" becomes reserved. The Commission is furthered empowered to reserve new terms (and amend the conditions of use of existing ones) by delegated acts.

Source: European Commission, DG Agriculture