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Geographical Indications - Spirit Drinks

The Geographical Indication (GI) identifies a spirit drink as originating in the territory of a country, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of that spirit drink is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is responsible for the co-ordination of policy on Geographical Indications at National and EU level. Ireland’s key interest is in geographical indications regime which includes Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream and Irish Poteen/Poitín.

Under Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 (pdf 226Kb)    of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks, three Irish Products are included in the legislation

  • Irish Whiskey/Uisce Beatha Eireannach/Irish Whisky
  • Irish Cream
  • Irish Poteen/Irish Poitín

DAFM as the competent authority had responsibility for the submission of the technical files for each spirit drink GI to the European Commission in 2015. DAFM provides advice and guidance on issues relating to the interpretation of the technical files.

DAFM works closely with industry as well as state agencies such as Bord Bia, Teagasc, and Enterprise Ireland to promote and develop the spirit drinks sector in Ireland.

Technical Files

GI spirits must have a technical file which sets out the technical specification of the product. The file must demonstrate the geographical link with the country of origin and include; details of the principal physical, chemical and or organoleptic characteristics, the specific characteristics of the spirit drink, a description of the geographic area, and a description of the method for obtaining the spirit drink.

Verification

Under Article 22 of Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 GI spirits placed on the market must be verified as complying with the relevant GI technical file. Verification is an important measure to protect the authenticity and global reputation of Ireland’s protected Irish Spirit GIs, which must be produced in accordance with their respective technical specifications and can only be produced on the island of Ireland.

In 2016, DAFM in collaboration with the Revenue Commissioners and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) introduced a new verification control system for Ireland Spirit GIs.

Irish Whiskey/Uisce Beatha Eireannach/Irish Whisky Technical Note

The Irish Whiskey Technical File (pdf 428Kb)   was successfully submitted to the European Commission in October 2014.

The verification programme for Irish whiskey is undertaken by the Revenue Commissioners. Details of how to apply for verification are provided here

The list of verified 2019 Irish Whiskey premises is been published below: 

In 2017, the Department invited brand owners to apply to have their Irish Whiskey brands approved - see Trader Notice FIDD 2/2017 re Irish Whiskey Brand Owners (doc 26Kb)       

The approved list will be published here shortly.

Irish Cream, Irish Cream Liqueur, Technical File

The Irish Cream Technical File (pdf 379Kb)    was successfully registered with the European Commission in March 2019.

The verification programme for Irish Cream is undertaken by the Department and details of how to apply for verification and the verification checklist are provided below.

The list of verified 2019 Irish Cream/ Irish Cream Liqueur premises is published below:

Irish Poteen/ Irish Poitín, Technical File

The Irish Poteen/ Irish Poitín, Technical File (pdf 378Kb)    was successfully registered with the European Commission in March 2019.

The verification programme for Irish Poteen/Poitín is undertaken by the Revenue Commissioners.   Details of how to apply for verification are provided here.

The list of verified 2019 Irish Whiskey premises is been published below:

In 2017, the Department invited brand owners to apply to have their Irish Poitin brands approved - see Trader Notice FIDD 3/2017 re Irish Poitín Brand Owners (doc 39Kb)       

The approved list will be published here shortly