Government entities ensure the following services in order to meet the technical requirements set out in the DCFTA and to support the export of goods and services from Georgia to EU markets:
Delivering European Standards – EU standards are accessible for Georgian producers through LEPL Georgian National Agency for Standards and Metrology, which is the member of the European Standard Organizations (CEN, GENELEC), and therefore the only authorized Agency to provide EU standards to producers.
European standards are marked with EN, in the same way as other international standards with ISO or IEC. Like other international standards, the European standard is a paid service and is available for purchase at the LEPL Georgian National Agency for Standards and Metrology.
When purchasing a standard, the producer receives the text of the standard and not the certificate itself. Certification depends on the successful implementation of the purchased standard into the production process.
Conformity Assessment (Certification) – Conformity assessment is a process, which means defining compliance between the product/service and EU directives/standards. After confirming compliance, the certificate is issued.
Conformity in Georgia is assessed by accredited laboratories, inspection, or certification institutions. All these institutions are private entities that have received respective accreditation at the LEPL United National Body of Accreditation, Accreditation Centre.
For the EU to recognize a certificate issued in Georgia and allow the certified product/service to the European market, it is mandatory to have recognition from the Georgian Accreditation Centre by the EU-respective body – EA (European Accreditation).
LEPL the United National Body of Accreditation, Accreditation Centre is a state organization that assigns accreditation to the laboratories, inspection and certification bodies, which for their part provide service to the enterprises. At present, the Accreditation Centre works intensively to receive official EA recognition. After the recognition is received, the EU will recognize the organizations accredited by the Accreditation Centre; hence, the certificates issued by them will be recognized in EU member states.
Registration as a Food Manufacturer – Any person engaged in the initial production of food for retail (including fruit-growing, animal breeding, fishing, mariculture, and milk collection) is obliged to register as a Food Manufacturer. If the producer has an unorganized initial production (fruit picking in own yard and unsystematic selling on-site) and/or production for own consumption, he/she is not obliged to register as a Food Manufacturer.
Registration as a Food Manufacturer can be done at the LELP National Agency of Public Registry (NAPR) of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. To be registered as a Food Manufacturer, one should apply to the LELP National Agency of Public Registry (NAPR) of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and submit owned data in order to be filled in the database. If one is already registered as an entrepreneur, he/she should apply at NAPR for making amendments to food-related activities in the existing registration data. For example, if one is registered as an individual entrepreneur or Ltd, the following changes/additions will be done in the registration data:
- Activity type (add food production, distribution and/or realization);
- Products (meat products, fruit and vegetables, juice, water, etc.).
It should be noted that production without such registration is prohibited and is punishable under applicable Georgian laws. It is important to have exact and factual information about the activity type and produced products in the database. The aforementioned information is a basis for assessment of food-related risks, done by the National Food Agency (NFA). Due to the large and variable information about production type and produced products, the probability of risk is higher and NFA receives decision based on the high-risk probability.
Validation of the Business Operator – A producer engaged in initial production does not require validation as the Business Operator by the controlling body. The validation for the registered business operator is a process that verifies conformity of production with legislation, established during the inspection made in the enterprise by the controlling body. According to the Georgian legislation and EU regulations, validation is not required from the controlling body for:
- Family production; and/or
- Business operator, with initial production;
Certificate of Origin - Certificate of Origin is a document issued by the Georgian Revenue Service, confirming the origin of the product. The purpose of the Certificate is to confirm the Georgian origin (produced in Georgia) of the product. In order to benefit from the EU free trade terms, the product must be produced in Georgia and the Certificate of Origin (EUR 1) must be issued. Additional information can be found here.
Metrological Measurements – Metrology is the science of measurements and their use. One of the major areas of metrology is industrial metrology, which ensures the proper functioning of measuring devices used in industry, production and testing processes (scales, different types of length measurement devices, pipettes and thermometers used in chemical and pharmaceutical production, voltmeters, etc.).
The Metrology Institute of the Agency provides enterprises with the following services: calibration, validation, approval and recognition of the measurement devices; recognition of initial verification results; export/official measurement and other services, defined by the legislation. Detailed information about service areas and prices can be found here.
Intellectual Property – Intellectual property is an important tool for any private company to generate economic benefits in a knowledge-based economy. Intellectual property contributes to the improvement of enterprise competitiveness, which is a prerequisite for country development. In developed countries, business organizations are focused on investing in the business with the intellectual property, obtaining and protecting their rights.
LEPL National Intellectual Property Centre – Sakpatenti registers Intellectual Property Rights in Georgia. Main areas of intellectual property are:
- Geographical indications and appellations of origin;
- Invention/Useful model;
- Copyright and neighbouring rights;
Trademark - Exclusive right in a trademark is valid only on the territory of the country where the trademark was registered. There are two ways of registering trademark rights abroad:
- File an application of trademark registration in the applicable country’s relevant body. In this case, trademark registration in Georgia is not mandatory;
- Distribution of the trademark, registered in Georgia, according to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, including EU countries. For this purpose, applicant or the owner should apply to the Sakpatenti with a statement, indicating all the countries where the rights must be distributed with international registration. The applicable fees should be paid for the procedure. The application, filled in English, in a prescribed form, authenticated by Sakpatenti is sent to the International Bureau. At the same time, the applicant is obliged to transfer the processing fees to the account of International Bureau.
Geographical Indications and Appellations of Origin – Starting from 1 April 2012, the Agreement Between Georgia and the European Union on Protection of Geographical Indications of Agriculture Products and Foodstuff entered into force, based on which the Georgian geographical indications and appellations of origin are protected on EU territory. The agreement provides for robust administrative mechanisms that ensure the protection of Georgian geographical indications and appellations of origin on EU territory from illegal registration and use.
In case of violation of the rights on Georgian geographical indications and appellations of origin, interested parties should approach Sakpatenti and submit the evidence of the fact (photo, control purchase document and information about the place of sale). Sakpatenti, based on the above-mentioned evidence, addresses the EU to suppress the infringement and implement relevant legal procedures.
Invention, Useful Model – Exclusive right on an invention/useful model is valid only on the territory of a country, where the invention/useful model was registered. There are the several ways of registering the rights on the invention/useful model abroad:
- File an application for registration of invention/useful model in the applicable country’s relevant body, but only after filing the application with the Sakpatenti and receiving the permit for filing an allocation abroad;
- In case the country is a party of any regional agreement (The European Patent Convention, The Eurasian Patent Convention, etc.) the application may be filed with the regional office;
- Patenting of the invention/useful model in the other country, including EU member states, is possible based on the procedures according to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). This treaty envisages the filing of an international application to the receiving national body (Sakpatenti in Georgia) and makes it possible to receive patent protection in any PCT Country.