Guidance

Protecting food and drink names from 1 January 2021

What food and drink producers with ‘geographical indication’ (GI) protection need to know from 1 January 2021.

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

Rules from 1 January 2021

GI schemes protect the geographical names of food, drink and agricultural products.

The UK will set up its own geographical indication (GI) schemes which will fulfil its World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will:

  • manage the UK schemes
  • maintain the registers of protected product names
  • process new applications

The UK schemes will protect the geographical names of:

  • food, drink and agricultural products (including beer, cider and perry)
  • spirit drinks
  • wine
  • aromatised wine

The new UK schemes will use these designations:

  • Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
  • Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
  • Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG)

The UK schemes will be open to producers from the UK and other countries.

Existing UK products

All existing UK products registered under the EU’s GI schemes by the end of the transition period will remain protected under the UK GI schemes.

Cross-border GIs

Registered GIs that can be produced anywhere on the island of Ireland, will continue to be fully protected in the UK and the EU. These include:

  • Irish Whiskey
  • Irish Cream
  • Irish Poteen

New product applications

From 1 January 2021, producers will need to apply to the relevant:

  • UK scheme to protect a new product name in Great Britain (GB)
  • EU scheme to protect a new product name in Northern Ireland (NI) and the EU

GB producers will need to secure protection under the UK schemes before applying to the EU schemes.

NI producers do not need to secure protection under the EU schemes before applying to the UK schemes.

Defra will publish further guidance for producers on how to apply to the UK and EU schemes at the end of the transition period.

Use of UK GI logos on products and packaging

New UK GI logos are available to download and can be used from 1 January 2021. They will identify products protected under the UK schemes.

There are 3 logos that mark each designation of geographical indication (GI):

  • Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
  • Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)
  • Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG)
PDO, PGI and TSG logos

PDO, PGI and TSG logos

Producers or retailers of food and agricultural GI products produced and for sale in GB and registered before 1 January 2021, will have until 1 January 2024 to change packaging and marketing materials to display the new UK GI logos.

Producers or retailers of food and agricultural GI products produced and for sale in GB and registered from 1 January 2021, must use the relevant UK logo on any product packaging or marketing materials as soon as the product is registered.

GB GI products that are protected in the EU can continue to use the EU logo in the UK, in addition to the UK logo, after the transition period.

For producers or retailers of food and agricultural GI products in Northern Ireland, it will be:

  • mandatory to continue using the EU logos when the product is on sale in Northern Ireland if the product is registered under the EU GI schemes
  • optional to use the new UK GI logos if the product is registered under the UK GI schemes

The logos will remain optional for producers of wine and spirit GIs.

How to download the new logos

You can download a logo by selecting the logo you need:

Choose a logo file format, EPS, JPEG or PNG, to print the logo in colour or black and white.

If you use a printing company, copy and email the relevant zip file link to them.

Protection of UK GIs in the EU

From 1 January 2021 all UK GIs registered under the EU GI schemes by the end of the transition period will continue to receive protection in the EU.

Other EU protections

You can protect the intellectual property rights of your products in the EU by applying for either of the following:

International protection of UK GIs

GI protection will continue after 1 January 2021 for products currently named in:

  • EU free trade agreements where the UK has signed a continuity agreement, for example the Andean Community, Chile and Switzerland
  • other EU third country sectoral agreements where the UK has signed a continuity agreement
Published 13 October 2020