Commission Midday Express, 3 April 2006
The European Commission has today made available on the internet a guide and forms to enable direct applications to register Geographical Indications by producer groups in third countries. Using the link EUROPA - Agriculture and food - Quality policy, producers in third countries are able to download a straightforward guide to submitting applications for registration of geographical indications and designations of origin, together with the necessary forms. In addition, individuals and groups in third countries may lodge objections to proposed registrations directly to the Commission. The link also provides the necessary forms.
3 April 2006 also marks the expiry of the reasonable period of time agreed by the EC with the WTO to allow applications and statements of objection to be sent directly to the EC. The possibility for the Commission to receive direct applications was brought in by Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006 of 20 March 2006 which came into force on 31 March 2006 . Under that regulation, groups and individuals in third countries have the right to address applications and statements of objection directly to the Commission. The forms made available today on the internet are not legally-binding, but may be used by applicants and objectors if they wish and are designed to facilitate submission of applications and statements of objection. It also continues to be possible for persons in third countries to submit registration applications and objections via their national authorities.
To see the forms, go to: http://europa.eu.int/comm/agriculture/foodqual/protec/thirdcountries/index_en.htm