A new study prepared by UNICRI on the role of anti-counterfeiting technologies in increasing governments’ and citizens’ safety has been presented in Washington DC on 25th February 2016, during an event co-organized by the World Bank and UNICRI, in the framework of the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development.
The study produced by UNICRI analyses the impact that anti-counterfeiting technologies have in securing the legitimate supply chain of products: contributing to avoid organized crime and other illicit infiltrations, preventing tax evasion, ensuring revenues for governments and protecting citizens’ health and security.
Focused on several products’ categories and different geographical areas, the research has analysed governments’ approach to anti-counterfeiting technologies. Some examples of products for which these technologies are applied include: medicines, wines, spirits, tobacco, mineral water, soft drinks, edible oil, dairy products, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, circuit breakers, sockets, electrical switches, gas and oil.
The research is based on the premise that counterfeiting is a complex phenomenon, impacting society at varying levels, and providing organized crime with increasing possibilities to obtain financial resources and diversify its illicit and licit activities. In the case of counterfeit products, for example, economic losses for legitimate producers are just one of the many consequences created by this crime. The health and safety of citizens are put at risk by the circulation of products, such as falsified medicines, fake toys and fraudulent food and beverages. Furthermore, the counterfeiting of excisable products creates considerable economic losses for governments in terms of a lower level of taxes and revenues collected. Additionally, criminal organizations remain active in more traditional types of counterfeiting, such as counterfeiting of identity documents and banknotes. Several technological solutions exist to support countries in responding to these criminal activities and the report includes their description.
The report, by giving particular importance to the presentation of case studies, shows that supply chain technology can result in benefit to the government. For example, a considerable reduction in smuggling activities was identified in Guyana after the application of a system to secure the supply chain of gas and oil. A series of analyses on collected samples at pump stations revealed that the percentage of smuggled and diluted fuel decreased from a range of 8-15% of the samples to a range of 1-3% of the samples within a 3-year time span.