The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has registered 'Scotch whisky' as a certification trademark in South Africa, which is the seventh largest Scotch whisky market by volume.
'Scotch whisky' is one of the first foreign registrations in South Africa with protection, making enforcement against counterfeit products being sold or passed off as Scotch whisky easier.
Scotch whisky exports earn the UK £139 every second, totalling more than £4bn annually. Exports to South Africa increased by 20.7% to £144m in 2017, with nearly 100 bottles shipped there every minute.
Greater degree of legal protection
According to SWA, the legal protection of Scotch whisky is vital to the industry's export success. South Africa joins over one hundred other countries where 'Scotch whisky' has been granted specific legal protection.
SWA chief executive Karen Betts commented: "The registration of the 'Scotch whisky' certification trademark in South Africa is a milestone for Scotland's national drink in our largest export market in Africa, and one of the largest in the world.
"This registration offers Scotch whisky a greater degree of legal protection and will allow us to prosecute rogue traders who seek to cash-in on the heritage, craft and quality of genuine Scotch.
"Consumers can enjoy Scotch whisky confident that South Africa stands behind Scotch whisky as a Scottish product, produced according to traditional methods."