Protection of geographical indications in Norway

Geographical indication protection, governed by Norway’s national legislation, is a public certification scheme providing legal safeguards for foodstuffs linked to specific regions or traditional specialties.

This strategy, initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, fosters innovation and diversifies local food production, allowing consumers to access a broader product range with reliable information on product origins and special qualities.

The scheme, based on EU regulations, covers agricultural products, fish, and seafood, excluding products like spring water, glacier water, natural mineral water, and game.

The protection offers legal shields against imitation and guarantees the product’s origins, characteristics, production methods, and history. The regulation is set out in the Foodlaw.

Three types of protections can be obtained:

  1. Protected Designation of Origin: Applies to foodstuffs with a strong geographical link. The product must originate, be produced, prepared, and processed in the specified area. Its distinct qualities must primarily or entirely be associated with the geographical environment.
  2. Protected Geographical Designation: This less restrictive protection applies to foodstuffs with a geographical connection. The product must originate and be produced, prepared, or processed in the named area, and its distinct qualities must be linked with the geographical origin.
  3. Traditional Specialty Guaranteed: Requires the foodstuff to have unique qualities that set it apart from similar products. The name must suggest traditional character or distinctiveness, and the product must include traditional ingredients or exhibit traditional production methods.

Any collaborating primary producers or processors can apply for a Protected Designation. In some cases, individuals or organizations may also apply, as can EU producers with EU protection.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority administers the scheme, while Stiftelsen Norsk Mat handles applications and advises applicants.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Stiftelsen Norsk Mat at +47 24 14 83 00 or post(@)