The Agrarian Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia at the offsite sitting, held in Akhmeta Municipality, discussed the draft Law of Georgia on Appellations of Origin of Goods and Geographical Indications. The draft Law is initiated by the Agrarian Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. The draft is co-authored by the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia – Sakpatenti and is prepared with the support of the European Union within the Twinning Project “Establishing Efficient Protection and Control System of Geographical Indications (GIs) in Georgia”.
The sitting of the Agrarian Issues Committee, together with deputies, was attended by Mr. Soso Giorgadze, Sakpatenti Chairman, Ms. Nino Chikovani, Deputy Chairperson, and Ms. Meri Macharashvili, Head, Department of Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Design, as well as Mr. Giorgi Aladashvili, State Representative in Kakheti, Mr. Aleksi Pitskhelauri, Mayor of Akhmeta Municipality, and Mr. Ioseb Karumashvili, Chairman of Municipal Assembly.
The draft Law envisages strengthening protection of appellations of origin and geographical indications, control system and increasing competence of national institutions. Namely, issues related to examination and registration are regulated in a new manner, a mechanism of exercising certification and state control is introduced, according to which, correspondence of characteristics of goods with defined specifications – voluntary standards, developed by producers for specific goods, will be checked. The formal and substantive issues of adoption and approval of specifications will be elaborated and brought in full compliance with the European Union legislation. The draft provides for increasing the role of producers’ associations in the system of protection of appellations of origin and geographical indications. The powers of associations are reflected in the draft Law, which, on the one hand, will contribute to the production and delivery of high-quality goods to consumers and, on the other one, involvement of associations in the process of exercising quality control and popularization of goods.
It is noteworthy that members of the Agrarian Issues Committee, Sakpatetni representatives and the Akhmeta Municipality Mayor met with local farmers, shepherds, members of producers’ association of Tushuri Guda and introduced to them essential amendments provided for by the draft Law of Georgia on Appellations of Origin of Goods and Geographical Indications. Within the meeting, practice of the association of Spanish cheese producers was considered and advantages of appellations of origin and geographical indications for producers as well as for regional development were discussed.
It is a universally acknowledged fact that geographical indications are an effective tool for production of high-quality and competitive agricultural products, increasing their export potential and regional development. Georgia is rich in such unique products and traditional knowledge and experience of their production. Thus, the development of this system is one of the priority directions for Georgia, which is also a key issue under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreement with the European Union. The above-mentioned draft will facilitate rapid development of the appellations of origin and geographical indications system and harmonization with the geographical indications system existing in the European Union.