1. The Government has issued a new Industry Emblem Decree 2011(Decree) to allow manufacturers and growers of Fiji goods to promote those goods under a branded “Fijian made” or “Fijian grown” emblem. Use of the emblem is not compulsory but those who wish to use it must meet certain requirements set by the Decree.
What the Decree Does
2.The Decree came into force on 18 July 2011. Its objectives are to increase import substitution by developing and promoting locally grown and manufactured products, through the use of official emblems. The Schedule to the Decree contains the new “Fijian made” and “Fijian grown” emblems which are shown below.
3. Producers and manufacturers may use the emblems on approved products, provided they obtain a licence from the Minister of Industry and Trade (Minister) or are covered by a ministerial exemption. Their use is not compulsory. The Decree requires the Minister to maintain a register of licence holders and a list of the “approved products” on which these emblems can be applied under licence. Regulations will be made to prescribe forms, fees, procedures and other matters related to obtaining a licence.
4. The Decree repeals the former Industry Emblem Act, Cap 246 which had been in place since 1973. That Act introduced the “Fiji Made” takia (outrigger canoe) emblem. Under the Decree, licences to use the old “Fiji Made” takia emblem are valid until 18 October 2011. The new Decree does not prohibit the use of the old emblem after October 2011. However the intention appears to be for businesses to move to the new emblems. Regulations may be made to cover the transition from the old emblem to the new ones. State copyright in the old emblem may prevent its continued use.
5. Decisions made by the Minister under the Decree may not be challenged.
6. Under section 6 of the Decree, no person may use the new emblems or anything deceptively similar to them for any purpose unless they have a licence or are exempt. Fines can be imposed:
(a) for a natural person, not exceeding $25,000 for a first offence and $50,000 for the second and subsequent offences, or to imprisonment for term not exceeding 3 years or both
(b) for a body corporate a fine of $120,000 for the first offence and $350,000 for the second and subsequent offences.
7. Manufacturers and agricultural producers in Fiji, particularly those who are currently using the old Fiji Made takia emblem, may wish to consider whether they should adopt either of the new emblems on their products.
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The information and opinions in this Legal Alert are for general information purposes only. They are not intended as specific legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice. Munro Leys can accept no responsibility for any loss arising from reliance on the general information contained in this Legal Alert.