By María Luisa Santa María and Delfina Sejas.

On November 4, 2021, Resolution 60/2021 of the Argentine Ministry of Tourism and Sports was published in the Official Gazette. This Resolution approves the “Regulation of the Argentine Country Brand” (the “Regulation”), along with the “Manual of Use of the Argentine Country Brand” (the “Manual”) and the “Argentine Country Brand Certificates”.

Back in July 2021, the “Argentine Country Brand” had been designated as the official brand of the Argentine Republic by means of Decree 460/2021, which sought the regularization and standardization of the national image.  This involved a renewal of the Country Brand.

(i) What is the Argentine Country Brand?

The Regulation provides a definition of the Country Brand as: “a tool for the promotion of the Argentine Republic, aimed at achieving the international positioning and the promotion of tourism, culture, sports, Argentine talent, exports and the promotion of direct foreign investment”. Indeed, this brand intends to act as an identifier of the country, representing national values. Its goals are to contribute to the growth of exports and improve the image of the country, among others.

The brand consists of the name “Argentina” with the following characteristic design and logo:

However, the Manual establishes some possible variants. Further technical information on the application parameters of the brand may be found in the Manual, identified as “Anexo 2” at the following link “BOLETIN OFICIAL REPUBLICA ARGENTINA – MINISTERIO DE TURISMO Y DEPORTES SECRETARÍA DE PROMOCIÓN TURÍSTICA – Resolución 60/2021“.

(ii) Who is authorized to use the Country Brand?

The Argentine State is the owner of the trademark. Specifically, the enforcement authority is the Country Brand National Office, under the Tourism Promotion Secretary, dependent of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Additionally, the Argentine Ministry of Tourism and Sports may authorize the use of the Country Brand by appointed “representatives”, or may grant use licenses to human or legal persons, governed by public or private law, domestic or foreign.

The use of the Country Brand can be allowed to registered trademarks that distinguish Argentine products and services. It is necessary to bear in mind that the applicant must have a portfolio of entirely Argentine products. Otherwise, authorization to use the Country Brand would not be granted.

The authorization to use the Country Brand can also be granted to works protected by copyright, and to both national and foreign events seeking to promote the country’s image. Finally, the Regulation allows the use of the Country Brand by the so-called “representatives” who are those people with outstanding achievements in the field of culture, science, sport or activities that represent, spread and promote national values.

(iii) How can the license of use be obtained?

In order to obtain the license to use the Country Brand, the application must be processed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports through the Remote Procedures platform (TAD, by its acronym in Spanish “Trámites a Distancia”). The application is then evaluated considering the positive actions that allow the diffusion of the Argentine culture and values, ​​and also, the promotion of the Argentine’s image.

Certain companies will have priority to obtain the license of use, amongst others: 

  • Innovative companies
  • Companies associated with international affairs (environment, nutrition, recycling, alternative energy sources)
  • Companies associated with relevant aspects of the Country Brand: technology, innovation, biotechnology, knowledge economy, culture, tourism, health, logistics)
  • Companies recognized in Great Place to Work rankings.
  • Companies with a strong corporate social responsibility practice and B companies.
  • Disruptive and innovative SMEs
  • Entrepreneurs and start-ups
  • Companies managed by women or integrated with women in managing positions.

Once the examination is concluded, a decision is issued. If it is favorable and there are no observations, the certificate containing the license to use the Country Brand will be issued in favor of the applicant for a period of two (2) years. If the license is rejected, the applicant can request a one-time reevaluation by submitting the documents he deems necessary for a new examination.

(iv) Nature of the License of Use

The license of use is non-transferable and non-exclusive. It is granted for a period of two (2) years, and renewable for one additional term of two years.

(v) Prohibitions of Use

The Regulation establishes a series of prohibitions for the use of the Country Brand referring to political and religious purposes or activities, or when the activities are contrary to the promotion of the country’s image. On the same line, use that leads to negative consequences on the perception of the country’s image is neither allowed. The Regulation provides examples of this prohibited conduct that demeans the perception of the country’s image, such as, causing damage to public health and environment, generating social conflicts or affecting national interests and capacities, among others.

(vi) Grounds for Suspension

There are causes that may lead to the suspension of the authorization to use the Country Brand. The following causes may be mentioned as examples:

  • When the Ministry of Tourism and Sports receives complaints or reports on use that infringes the Regulation.
  • When the conditions that supported the granting of the license of use are not fulfilled.
  • When the licensee uses the license of use in products outside the scope of those authorized.
  • When the licensee has more than one (1) license of use, and one of them is revoked or suspended.

If any of the grounds for suspension occurs, the licensee will be granted a period of ninety (90) calendar days to correct the observations. Once this period has expired without compliance, the license will be revoked. Thus, the licenses for use may be revoked due to non-compliance with the rules of the Regulation, failure to remedy the observations within the term granted, or falseness of the documentation or information submitted.

As a result of the termination of the license to use, the licensee must cease the use of the Country Brand, withdraw the products associated to it from the market, destroy them or renew them so that they are not identified anymore with the Country Brand.

OJAM BULLRICH FLANZBAUM provides legal advice on the obtention of the license to use the Argentine Country Brand. We would be happy to assist you.

For further information please contact:

Share post: