The registration of 'scotch whisky' as a geographical indication of origin (GI) has been agreed by the Vietnamese National Office for Intellectual Property (NOIP), following an SWA application for such protection in October 2008.
At an event in Hanoi, the NOIP presented the certificate recognising scotch whisky as a GI to Dr Antony Stokes, the British ambassador to Vietnam, and the SWA’s local legal representatives.
GI registration ensures the highest levels of protection by local enforcement authorities, supporting the integrity of scotch whisky as a product made in Scotland according to traditional practice. This is the same sort of protection that has been granted to scotch in China and Panama in recent weeks. Whilst exports to Vietnam are currently less than £1m a year, it is considered to be a high priority emerging market for the industry.
Kenny Gray, the SWA legal advisor who has responsibility for the Vietnamese market said: “GI protection in Vietnam is a real boost to scotch whisky in an important emerging market. With similar protection granted in China and Panama over recent weeks, this announcement completes a hat-trick of decisions that will help to protect consumers and scotch whisky from imitation products.”