Industry body highlights role of technology in illicit trade fight

A new industry white paper describes how brand-owners can harness technology to help fight the trade in counterfeit and otherwise illicit goods.

The Coalition Against Illicit Trade (CAIT) - whose membership includes eight technology vendors - published the paper to discuss how technologies such as track-and-trace and authentication can help ensure the integrity of the supply chain and protect consumers from fraudulent and potentially hazardous products.

The paper - which can be downloaded here - lays out a set of guiding principles that "enable brands and policy makers to formalise what can be determined as industry most advanced practices."

It also calls for "the adoption of commonly agreed standard-setting methodology with the involvement of recognised normalisation or standard setting independent bodies across affected industries."

The paper aims to be product-agnostic and applicable to a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, luxury goods, alcohol, tobacco, chemicals, cosmetics, toys, gemstones, watches and clothing.

It goes on to say that each industry sector concerned "should be involved in the definition of which information should be collected and stored throughout the supply chain and make information accessible to relevant authorities."

"The development of this white paper enables CAIT and its members to clarify in writing the core principles we believe will help address the global issue of counterfeit and contraband trade and highlight the different track and trace and authentication solutions available," said Craig Stobie, director global sector management and development at CAIT member company Domino.

"We don’t believe that there is one 'silver bullet' for fighting this global issue, given the different challenges faced across industries and geographies," he added.

However, "we do think that by proposing standard-setting methodology we can help frame the current debate to ensure we are best placed to use technology to tackle the criminals."

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