Feta is Greek, even if it’s not intended for the EU

15 July 2022

The protected designation of origin “Feta” may not be used for products from Denmark. Even if they are intended for markets outside the EU. So ruled the EU Court of Justice on 14 July 2022.

The European Commission had filed a lawsuit against Denmark for not preventing or stopping the use of the nameFeta for cheese produced in Denmark and intended for export to third countries (outside the EU).

Feta is a protected designation of origin (PDO) and can only be used for cheese that:

  • Originates in Greece
  • Conforms to the applicable product specification.

Denmark denied having done anything wrong. It claimed that the applicable regulation applies only to products sold in the EU and not to exports to third countries.

On 14 July 2022, the Court of Justice ruled in Case C-159/20 that Denmark has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law. The Court has given Denmark a deadline to comply.

Denmark was also accused of infringing its obligation under the principle of sincere cooperation. However, the Court ruled that this is not the case. Indeed, the export of products unlawfully using a PDO is likely to weaken the European Union’s position in international negotiations aimed at ensuring the protection of EU quality schemes. But Denmark hasn’t taken any action or made any statements potentially having that effect. 

Wij helpen jou graag verder!
Je bent welkom met al jouw juridische vragen. Contacteer ons voor een vrijblijvend intakegesprek.