Trademark recognition means that the description “Scotch Whisky” can only be used on whiskey produced in Scotland in accordance with the production and labeling requirements.
Lindesay Low, SWA Deputy Legal Director, said: “Hong Kong is an increasingly important market for Scotch whisky, with exports to the region worth over £31m in 2022. Improving the protection of Scotch whiskey in developing markets is a priority for the SWA legal team, as consumers in these markets explore and deepen their knowledge of Scotland’s national drink.
“Hong Kong’s recognition of the Scotch Whiskey Certification Mark gives consumers in the marketplace confidence and certainty that what they are buying is a genuine quality product,” Low added.
The requirements state that Scotch can only be made from raw materials such as water, grain and yeast and aged in Scotland for at least three years in oak barrels.
Prior to trademark recognition, the protection of Scotch relied on the law of passing off, which involved costly and complex legal proceedings.
The SWA also said Hong Kong is now one of more than 100 global territories that have officially recognized Scotch as a Scottish product.
Brian Davidson, British Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, said: “This milestone recognizes Scotch Whiskey as a symbol of Scottish heritage and craftsmanship. We are grateful for the continued appreciation from Hong Kong consumers – now they can have even more confidence in where the Scottish national spirit comes from.
Scotch is already protected as a geographical indication (GI) and trademark in mainland China and as a GI in Macao.