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Legal bases

Legal basis since 1997

In 1996 the Parliament adapted the Agriculture Act (Landwirtschaftsgesetz LwG) according to the modified requirements resulting from the transition to a quality oriented, ecological and multifunctional agriculture. With effect from 1st July 1997 an article was included.

(Article 16 of the Agriculture Act of 29th April 1998: Designations of origin, geographical indications) which obliges the Federal Council to create a register for designations of origin and geographical indications.


Swiss PDO-PGI Ordinance

On the basis of the article of the Agriculture Act the Ordinance of 28th May 1997 (SR 910.12) on the protection of designations of origin and geographical indications of agricultural products and processed agricultural products (PDO-PGI) was finally issued.    

The ordinance determines the kind of designations to be registered, their protection, as well as the registration procedure and the requirements placed on the certification bodies.


Mutual recognition of PDO and PGI between Switzerland and the European Union

The Swiss PDO-PGI Ordinance is to a large extent based on the European Regulation (EEC) 2081/92 of 14th June 1992 on the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and food. A first step towards the mutual recognition between the European Union and Switzerland was taken with the bilateral contracts.
On 1st December 2011 the mutual agreement took effect between the European Union and Switzerland. Consequently the Swiss PDO and PGI (with exception for eau-de-vie (brandy) that is subject to a different legislation, as well as for the Emmentaler PDO) protected within the European Union. In return, the PDO and PGI of the European Union are protected also in Switzerland.

Protection of the Swiss PDO and PGI in Russia

Since 1st September 2011 there has been a bilateral agreement between Switzerland and Russia on the protection of geographical indications of origin and designations of origin. This way and along with the PDO-PGI specialities registered with the Federal Office for Agriculture also country, canton and area names are protected, as well as the Swiss emblem and the Swiss cross. Inversely, also numerous geographical indications in Russia are protected in Switzerland.


Responsibility of the Federal Office for Agriculture

The Federal Office for Agriculture is responsible for receiving the PDO-PGI registration applications, to decide on their conformity with the requirements contained in the ordinance, to keep the register of designation inscriptions and to supervise the certification bodies.


© 2017 Swiss PDO-PGI Association

Further information

> Ordinance SR 910.12
> Artikel 17
> Richtlinien für die Verwendung des Art. 17

Landwirtschaftsgesetz (LwG):
> Law
> Artikel 16
> Artikel 182

Federal Office of Agriculture
> Website
> PDO-PGI-Register