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Counterfeiting is a growing menace for brand owners and Government authorities alike. In the last decade the problem has expanded rapidly and is now not limited to luxury goods and developed economies alone. This activity now exists all over the world and covers pharmaceuticals, FMCG and even mobile phones, to name a few sectors, and causes huge losses to government, industry and the people at large.
To counter this onslaught, the proactive brand owners have resorted to using authentication solutions to protect their brand. With the availability of various authentication solutions, the brand owners now have a wide range of technologies to choose from. And they need to very carefully decide the correct strategy and technology to reap the full benefits offered by the solution. Choosing an authentication solution needs careful risk assessment and the criteria for selecting the right solution to address these. Several aspects relating to cost, compatibility, feasibility and reliability have to be looked into, and then once the decision is taken, proper implementation and post implementation benefits reaped also need to be studied. Each brand owner implements a customised solution, so there aren’t any standard cure-all options available.
Thankfully, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) recognised these issues, and has recently published a new ISO Standards entitled “Performance criteria for authentication solutions for anti-counterfeiting in the field of material goods”. This document can be procured from this link - http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=52210. This new standard, referenced as ISO 12931, sets out the performance criteria for customised authentication solutions for material goods. It is to be noted that ISO 12931 does not cover protection of id documents, banknotes and other similar financial documents. This also does not cover track and trace technology and mentions that track and trace technology solution on its own is not an authentication technology.
The implementation of these standards will allow an organisation to learn from the collective good business practices adopted by companies and government authorities the world over, and determine the level of the reliability of the various solutions and assessment methods to test the efficacy of the solution. It addresses identification, implementation, integration and verification issues to provide a complete overview of the solution.
This is a wonderful tool that ISO has provided to all brand owners and governments and with increasing implementation, the consumers will get the protection that has long been overdue.
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