Scotch Whisky will be eligible under Canadian law to be registered as a protected 'geographical indication' in the country as a result of a landmark deal being signed by the EU and Canada today. 

The EU-Canada wines and spirits agreement will also include rules meaning Canadian whiskies exported to the EU will need to meet the requirements of the European definition of 'whisky' before being allowed on sale. 

Peter Wilkinson, the Scotch Whisky Association's international affairs manager, said: "Trade in spirit drinks between Canada and the European Union amounts to some €200m each year. Today's agreement formalises and strengthens the regulatory framework within which this trade takes place, and will bring significant benefits to spirits producers on both sides of the Atlantic."

The deal will offer similar legal protection to other EU spirits with geographic indications exported to Canada, as well as Canadian spirits on sale in the EU. 

In 2002, Scotch Whisky exports to Canada were worth £34m, making it the 16th largest world market for distillers.