Industry body presents united front against illicit trade

CAIT logoA new organisation with the aim of tackling counterfeit and contraband goods on the international stage was formed in Brussels this week.

The Coalition Against Illicit Trade (CAIT) brings together several commercial organisations involved in the fight against counterfeit and smuggled goods and says it will focus on encouraging cooperation among stakeholders and sharing best practices with a view to developing "practical solutions that can be applied across industries."

Part of that objective is the development and promotion of open technology standard, according to the founder members of CAIT, which include Domino (now part of Brother), Essentra, Arjowiggins, Atos, FATA Logistics, Fracturecode and Aegate.

Membership of CAIT is open to all companies and organisations who share the coalition's objectives and principles.

"Illicit trade affects us all - the proliferation of counterfeit and pirated goods drains S1trn from the global economy every year and puts millions of people out of work," said Florent Denjean, business unit director at Arjowiggins.

"Unsafe, untested products pose a huge risk to consumers all over the world, while governments are being systematically deprived of hundreds of billions in tax revenues. This has got to stop."

CAIT cites figures from US non-governmental organisation (NGO) Global Financial Integrity which place the total retail value of illicitly traded goods at $650bn, rising to $2trn if associated financial flows are included.

The trade in illicit goods also fuels associated criminality, being a significant source of income for organised crime, human traffickers and terrorists around the world, from the Maghreb to Northern Ireland, it says.

"The mission of CAIT is one we and our fellow members are passionate about," commented Eric Lequenne, international business development manager at Atos.

"It is well past time different industries came together to work towards a common goal."

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