It is good to serve with you in the Chair again, Mr Robertson. I will deal first with the food and drink regulations.
This instrument was made using the powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 principally to make operability amendments to retained EU law. It is technical and does not introduce new policy. It was made using the made affirmative procedure under the Act to ensure that provisions were in place at the end of the transition period. The provisions could be confirmed only within the timeframe that required an urgent procedure because of the ongoing negotiations with the EU and third countries. The amendments made by this instrument primarily concern geographical indications. This includes transitioning obligations in EU wines and spirits agreements. It also extends to trade between the United Kingdom and the EU of wine and organic products.
GIs, as I am sure the Committee is aware, are a form of intellectual property protection for the names of food, drink and agricultural products that have qualities attributable to the place that they are produced in, or the traditional method by which they are made. They are highly valued in the communities that produce them, and as examples of the range of quality British products that are enjoyed around the world. They are also produced around the world and are an important part of the international trading landscape. The UK has signed a number of trade agreements that ensure continued protection for GIs, such as those that were previously protected under EU trade agreements. In some cases, trade deals were agreed but could not be ratified until the end of the transition period, so this SI concerns the bridging arrangements that were introduced to continue the effects of the previous agreements until ratification. It allows us to continue to protect GIs where bridging arrangements are in place. This ensures that the GIs that are already protected in the UK do not lose their protection because of a long ratification process elsewhere.
The instrument also adds an additional category of GI to ensure that a Japanese GI, Kumamoto Rush, remains protected in the UK. It was previously protected in an EU-Japan trade agreement, but it did not fit with any of the new GI product categories that we inherited from the EU. The addition of this category provides a clear basis on which to continue to protect the GI under our own agreement with Japan.
Turning to spirit drinks, the instrument provides for the continued protection of US product names in the UK to reflect the transitioned US spirit agreement. It does the same for Mexican product names once the agreement has come into force. It also enables the retained spirit drinks regulations for GIs to function correctly with regard to procedure and enforcement. As with the spirits amendments, with respect to the transitioned US wine agreement, this instrument makes retained regulations operable.
There are also a number of non-GI provisions. On wine, the regulations provide for a six-month easement on the new requirement for EU wines imported into the UK to be accompanied by a VI-1 certificate, which provides information on the type and analytical composition of a wine. The easement should minimise the potential for disruption to the UK market by allowing EU imports to arrive on the same commercial documents that were used while the UK was a member state. New, simplified certification arrangements are set out in the UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement, which should cover movements of EU and UK-origin wines.
On organics, we have extended our recognition of the EU and EEA states as equivalent, and we have updated their list of control bodies. We have also ensured that organic products from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are allowed to continue to flow smoothly by providing a six-month easement on the requirement for certificates of inspection for such products.
I turn now to the second SI before us, which amends the legislation that applies to organic product labelling in order to ensure that it was operable at the end of the transition period and continues to be so. More specifically, the SI removes the mandatory requirement for the EU organic logo to be featured on organic products sold in Great Britain, and it provides the legal framework for our organic logo, which I have shared before with previous Committees and with the hon. Member for Cambridge, when we have finished developing it. It is still in discussion, as the Committee knows.
The SI also amends the requirement to include a statement of agricultural origin on packaging, so that it refers to the UK rather than to the EU. Where a product has been only partly farmed in the UK, organic operators should use labelling to show whether it is UK or non-UK agriculture. Failure to approve the SI would put our organic operators at risk of regulatory disruption, which could really affect their ability to trade.
In conclusion, the SIs are essential for smooth transition. Without them, we could not meet some of our international obligations. Retained legislation would not be operable, and vital transitional provisions would not be in place. I urge the Committee to approve the SIs.