The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has granted a certification trademark to Scotch Whisky in South Africa, which is the beverage’s seventh largest market in terms of volume.

The certification trademark is one of the first foreign registrations in South Africa, which will allow for tougher enforcement against counterfeit Scotch Whisky products.

It is reported that the UK earns £139 every second from exports of Scotch Whisky, which is equivalent to more than £4bn a year.

“This registration offers Scotch Whisky a greater degree of legal protection.”

Last year, exports to the South African market are said to have increased by 20.7% to £144m, with nearly 100 bottles shipped per minute.

SWA CEO Karen Betts said: “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 that 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.’

Scotch Whisky is one of the UK’s largest beverage exports. The legal protection of Scotch Whisky is said to be key to the industry’s export success. South Africa joins more than 100 other countries that secure specific legal protection.