US govt seeks comment on anti-counterfeit strategy

gavel and lawbookThe US government has asked for written submissions from the public commenting on its strategy to eliminate counterfeit products from the supply chain, including the operations of its Inter-Agency Anti-Counterfeiting Working Group set up last year.

A notice posted on the Federal Register notes that the working group is looking for gaps in the surveillance and enforcement systems that help counterfeiters side-step scrutiny.

"Recent reports issued by the Department of Commerce and the Government Accountability Office have found that counterfeits have infiltrated many sectors of the US government supply chain and have the potential to cause serious disruptions in national defense, critical infrastructure and other vital applications," says the notice.

The working group wants to develop systems for closing out counterfeits that are "flexible enough to accommodate the wide variety of missions across Federal agencies."

Earlier this year, it sent an initial report to US Vice President Joe Biden and Congress which proposed a series of legislative fixes to help tackle counterfeiting, including the adoption of a full track-and-trace system for pharmaceuticals and related products (see IPEC report lays out US strategy on counterfeit medicines).

"This cross-functional working group will identify any gaps in legal authority, regulation, policy and guidance that undermine the security of the US government supply chain from counterfeit parts," says the notice.

As part of that process, the IAWG says it will review current industry standards, the ability of prime contractors and their suppliers to authenticate or trace at-risk items to the original manufacturer, government evaluation and detection capabilities and limitations, and contractual enforcement of authenticity.

Interested parties can file comments until September 16.

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