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Designations of origin, protected geographical indications and traditional specialties guaranteed

What is a protected designation of origin, a protected geographical indication and a traditional speciality guaranteed?

Products with a protected designation of origin (PDO) owe their quality or characteristics to the geographical environment, including its natural and human factors. These products must always be produced, processed and prepared in the specific geographical region from which they take their name.

Products with a protected geographical indication (PGI) have a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic attributable to a geographical origin. They are produced, processed or prepared in the geographical area from which they take their name.

Traditional specialities guaranteed (TSG) are products with specific features which differentiate them from other foods in the same category. They are produced from traditional raw materials or feature a traditional composition or method of production or processing.

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What are the effects of registration?

Once a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication is entered in the European Union register, it is covered by intellectual property rights and is protected against:

  • Any direct or indirect commercial use of a registered name to refer to products similar to products registered under that name, but not covered by the registration, or where use of the name exploits the reputation of the protected name (this includes using the products as ingredients);
  • Any misuse, imitation or allusion, even indicating the true origin of the goods or services. or any translation of the protected name with or without accompanying expressions such as ‘style,’ ‘type,’ ‘method,’ produced as in,’ ‘imitation,’ or similar expressions (this includes using the products as ingredients);
  • Any other false or misleading indication of the provenance, origin, nature or key features of the products which is used on the container or packaging, in advertising or the product literature, or the use of packaging which has features that may create a mistaken impression of their origin;
  • Any other practice which may mislead consumers about the product’s real origin.

Names registered as traditional specialities guaranteed are not covered by intellectual property rights, but they are protected against misuse, imitation, allusion and any other practice which might mislead consumers.

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Who can apply for registration?

Only groups that work with the products for which the name is to be registered can submit registration applications.

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Where to apply

If the product’s geographical scope falls within a single autonomous community, the application must be made to the responsible body of that community.

If the geographical scope covers more than one autonomous community, the application must be made to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Directorate-General for the Food Industry ( dgia@mapa.es ).

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Who can use the name?

Any operator that markets products complying with the applicable specifications can use the names, logos and wording associated with these quality schemes.

Both the operators and their products are subject to an official control system to ensure compliance with the EU regulations governing these quality schemes.

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How is a product recognisable on the market?

The labelling of agri-food products must show the European Union logo. In addition, the registered name of the product must appear in the same visual field. The logo is voluntary for wines and spirits.

Agri-food product labelling may feature the wording ‘protected designation of origin,’ ‘protected geographical indication’ or ‘traditional speciality guaranteed’, or the corresponding abbreviations ‘PDO,’ ‘PGI’ or ‘TSP’. These terms are compulsory for wines and spirits.

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Información por Comunidades Autónomas

Acceso al servicio de Balears, Illes (Abre en ventana nueva) Acceso al servicio de Castilla-La Mancha (Abre en ventana nueva) Acceso al servicio de Cataluña (Abre en ventana nueva) Acceso al servicio de Madrid, Comunidad de (Abre en ventana nueva) Acceso al servicio de Rioja, La (Abre en ventana nueva) Balears, Illes Castilla-La Mancha Cataluña Madrid, Comunidad de Rioja, La

Andalucía Aragón Asturias, Principado de Balears, Illes Canarias Cantabria Castilla y León Castilla-La Mancha Cataluña Ciudad de Ceuta Ciudad de Melilla Comunitat Valenciana Extremadura Galicia Madrid, Comunidad de Murcia, Región de Navarra, Comunidad Foral de País Vasco Rioja, La

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Authority responsible for the information

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Directorate-General for the Food Industry