Revision of Geographical Indication Act B.E. 2546 in Order To Add Value On Agricultural Product: Lessons Learned From EU
As a part of AEC (ASEAN Economics Community), Thailand has faced difficulties due to free flows of goods, workers, services, and capital among region without tariff barriers and other legal measures such as quota, import fee etc. Those factors, as a result, affected small and medium business enterprise since foreign products are in favorite spot with variety and lower price which finally monopolize domestic market. Moreover, free market atmosphere tends to increase chance for other countries to invade, consume, and copy know-how and indigenous knowledge without paying. GI (Geographical Indication) , in this case, comes as a tool to protect domestic producer and prevent unfair competition in free market economy since GI provides consumers the information about outstanding qualification of product relating to geographical area. In Thailand, Geographical Indication Act B.E. 2546, “GIs Act”, has been active for 16 years but it does not function well as a market tools. Firstly, GI Act provides only Protection Geographical Indication: PGI which put a burden on producer. Secondly, it offers special protection for limited products refers to spirits, rice, wine and silk so that other goods never stand a chance of special treats. Thirdly, the Act ignores civil liability and provides only criminal one. Therefore, economic damages cannot be charged if there is an infringement occurs. Finally, problem also lies in complex GI’s registration procedure. In order to apply GI Act as a market tool for adding value on Agricultural Product, best practice in the area, EU, should be studied as a lesson learned. This research, consequently, aims to analyzing EU’s GIs law and its deployment and develops guideline for improving Geographical Indication Act B.E. 2546 (2003) as a tool to promote Agricultural products of Thailand.
Keywords: Geographical Indication, EU, Market Tools, Agricultural Products