Whisky shelves

Scotch whisky has won greater protection in Australia

Scotch whisky has been given extra protection in Australia from fake products, after the name was registered as a trademark.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the Australian market – which was worth £84m in 2013 – was one of the worst markets for selling fake Scotch. 

It claimed the authorities carried out little enforcement after the drink was removed from the country’s Food Standards Code in 2000, and the SWA had taken action against more than 40 brands of fake Scotch since 2005. It also lobbied the UK government and European Commission to raise the issue with the Australian government. 

The SWA applauded the new trademark today, calling it a “major breakthrough” that would make it easier to crack down on fakes and protect consumers.

“It has taken time and effort to achieve this result,” SWA’s legal adviser Alan Parker said. “Scotch whisky exports are of immense value to the economy so overseas protection is vital. We will be monitoring the market and will use our new protection for Scotch whisky to take decisive action against fakes.”

However Parker warned that the onus to prevent the sale of fakes was still likely to rest on the industry.

Sales of Scotch whisky are protected by Geographic Indication registration across the EU, China and other markets. In January the government announced a new verification scheme in order to crack down on sales of adulterated Scotch whiskies abroad.