The international seminar “The Role of Ministries and Agencies in the Development and Promotion of Products with Geographical Indications (GIs): European Experience and Implementation Actions in the Republic of Moldova” took place on December 7, 2017, at the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI). The event was organized by the Technical Assistance Project “Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Republic of Moldova”, financed by the European Union, in collaboration with AGEPI.
The seminar was chaired by Lilia Bolocan, Director General of AGEPI. The event was attended by representatives of the authorities and institutions involved in the national geographical indications system of the Republic of Moldova and international experts in the field.
In the opening of the seminar, the AGEPI Director General mentioned that “the Agency has made and will continue to make efforts for the creation of a strong system of protection and promotion of geographical indications in the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, this is a complex system, both from a legal and institutional point of view, and requires the involvement of several actors – beginning with producers, competent authorities, certification and control bodies and ending with consumers, who also need to know the benefits of products with geographical indications. This seminar will contribute substantially to the development and advancement of the geographical indications system in the Republic of Moldova, and we express our conviction that this is a great opportunity for all participants to take on the international experience and good practices in the given field.”
Further, the challenges of manufacture and marketing of products with geographical indication in the Republic of Moldova were presented, and international experts spoke about the policies and practices of developing the geographical indications system on the basis of the European experience and provided recommendations on how to implement them in our country.
During the seminar, the experts also presented the conclusions of the Report on the Analysis of Gaps in the Geographical Indications Management and Promotion System in Moldova. The document was drafted on the basis of the analysis of legal acts and discussions with producers and representatives of public institutions.
According to the requirements of the EU and the Republic of Moldova, the compliance of each product with geographical indication (GI), appellation of origin (AO) and each traditional specialty guaranteed (TSG), after registration and before placing on the market should be subject to verification. For the time being, this requirement is respected only in the vine-growing and wine-making sector by designating an authority responsible for the verification of compliance. “Verification of compliance can be provided either by certification bodies accredited by the National Accreditation Center or by state inspection authorized by a legal act or by the application of a mixed system in which both private certification bodies and state inspection may ensure verification of compliance. Only the producer decides which entity will do this,” is highlighted in the report.
“The experience of Italy, France or Spain, for which the promotion of traditional products has become a priority for national policies, shows that the existence of geographical indications can bring economic benefits to producers, while contributing to the protection of the country’s cultural and culinary heritage. Therefore, the development of the geographical indications system in Moldova will only be possible if all the elements, such as their registration, certification, ex officio control and promotion are implemented,” said the project expert, Dariusz Goszczynski.
In order to develop the geographical indications system in Moldova, the experts of the European project formulate a series of recommendations regarding the harmonization of the legislation with the European regulations and the functioning of the system. According to the report on the analysis of the gaps in the system of management and promotion of geographical indications in Moldova, “The Moldovan geographical indications system is at an initial stage of development and its promotion at the level of producers and consumers requires information activities, reimbursement of costs for registration, training and the development of a national program in the field of geographical indications.”
Also, during the seminar, the non-key national expert of the Project, Anatolie Fala, presented the preliminary results of the “Study on Identification of Products, Beverages, Dishes and Handicrafts Potential to Be Registered and Promoted Under GIs, AO or Recognized as GIs in the Regions of the Republic of Moldova”, while also recording the support provided by the Government of the Republic of Moldova through the National Fund for Agricultural and Rural Development. In the framework of the Study, 61 products and handicrafts with potential for registration under GI, AO and as TSG were identified, including in the Central area: Cold Pie of Serpeni, Bride’s Pie from Crocmaz, Pie of Napadeni, Force-meat rolls “midget of Lalova”, Goat cheese from Telita, Salami of Domulgeni, Prunes with walnut kernel in red wine of Lalova, Wine of Rascaieti, Sublimated berries from Ustia, Strawberries from Sadova, Honey of Codru and Condrita, Wood and wood products from Bulboaca and Pohoarna, Bulrushwork from Mitoc, Ceramics from the Potter’s House, Ceramics of Iurceni and Ungheni.
The Technical Assistance Project “Support to Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the Republic of Moldova” is funded by the European Union, being implemented by a consortium formed of the companies “Archidata” Srl (Italy), “European Profiles” S.A. (Greece) and “Business and Strategies in Europe” S.A. (Belgium). The project is designed for two years and is due to be completed in November 2018. The main beneficiary of the project is the State Agency on Intellectual Property.