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  • Writer's pictureMona Elyafi

Protected Designation Of Origin: Destruction Of Beer Cans...


Original Source: Comité Champagne

On April 17, 2023, the Comité Champagne and the General Administration of Belgian Customs destroyed a shipment of 2,352 cans of American beer with the inscription “The Champagne of Beers”.

These products, destined for Germany, were intercepted in the port of Antwerp in early February. They represent an infringement of the protected designation of origin CHAMPAGNE.

Following this seizure by the Belgian customs, the Comité Champagne - the interprofessional body grouping the Champagne houses and growers, charged with the protection of the Champagne designation throughout the world - requested the destruction of these illicit goods. The consignee of the cans in Germany was informed and did not contest the decision.

The destruction was carried out by Westlandia company in Ypres (Belgium) on April 17 with the utmost respect for environmental concerns by ensuring that the entire batch, both contents and container, was recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.

Infringement of the Champagne designation

Initially, the Customs detention was carried out on the basis of European regulations, which stipulate that goods that infringe a protected designation of origin in the Member State where they are located are counterfeit goods.

Secondly, the Comité Champagne confirmed to Customs the illicit nature of the goods on the basis of the infringement of the designation of origin mentioned by European Regulation 1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 17, 2013 on the common organization of the markets for agricultural products.

Charles Goemaere, Managing Director of the Comité Champagne: “This destruction is the result of a successful collaboration between Belgian customs authorities and the Comité Champagne. It confirms the importance that the European Union attaches to designations of origin and rewards the determination of the Champagne producers to protect their designation”. He would also like to “congratulate the Belgian Customs for their vigilance with regard to the Champagne designation and for their responsiveness.”

Kristian Vanderwaeren, Administrator of the Belgian Customs Service, added: "Every year we do thousands of controls on protected designations of origin. It is very important for us to be able to work closely with organizations such as the Comité Champagne. The Comité Champagne helps train our teams and provides information that allows us to identify whether products are genuine or counterfeit. When a counterfeit is detected, as is the case here, we also agree on the decision to destroy these goods and how to get them destroyed.”

Epernay, April, 18 2023


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