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News

Holographic protection could stem tide of counterfeit goods from China

International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) : 23 April, 2013  (Technical Article)
The International Hologram Manufacturers Association comments on a UN report identifying China as the source of three-quarters of all counterfeit goods
Holographic protection could stem tide of counterfeit goods from China

The trade body representing the global hologram industry is urging organisations to review and if necessary redouble their brand protection and authentication strategies to stem the ‘haemorrhage’ of counterfeit goods flowing out of china.

That’s the stark message from the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) which was commenting on a new UN report that says a staggering 75% of all the fake goods seized worldwide between 2008 and 2010 came from China.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODCO), these counterfeit goods make up almost 2% of global trade while organised crime groups, who deal in fake goods and drugs among other items, are pocketing $90 billion annually across the Far East region.

The ‘Transnational Organised Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment’ is the most comprehensive study yet on the subject.

The report is a sobering reminder that the war on counterfeiting is far from won, says the IHMA, and will be a wake-up call for those desperate to protect brands and profits not only in the Far East but worldwide.

“More action needs to be taken quickly if China’s counterfeit haemorrhage is ever to be checked, let alone stopped,” says Ian Lancaster, the IHMA’s General Secretary (pictured).

“Brand owners and those authorities responsible for legislation are sure to be alarmed at this report. More needs to be done - and quickly - to begin to deal with the problem and this might include increased integration of holograms as part of brand protection strategies.”

Increasing adoption of holography in places like India and east Europe reinforces the hologram’s position as a pre-eminent security feature in the global anti-counterfeiting fight.

Security holograms on items like liquour bottles will ensure quality and check smuggled and illicit liquor while bottles not displaying security holograms will be seized and destroyed.

“Holography has a key role as a highly effective, highly flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters,” Lancaster said.

“All involved in the supply chain - manufacturers, distributors, consumers, tax authorities - will be reassured by the presence of holograms on products and recognise the benefits they provide.”

The use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated in ISO’s 12931 standard, on authentication solutions, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from the counterfeits coming out of China. Even those that carry a “fake” authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.

Coincidentally, this week over 1,000 people from governments, law enforcement agencies and brand owners are gathered in Istanbul at the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, where a major theme is the deployment of technology to combat fakes. Ian Lancaster will be speaking at the Congress on this topic.

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