The Coalition Against Illicit Trade, today launches its latest white paper that brings the expertise and research of its members to examine the benefits of digitalisation of the solutions implemented to fight illicit trade. According to the latest OECD and EUIPO report “Mapping the routes of trade in fake goods”, the depth and breadth of international trade routes in counterfeit and pirated goods continue to expand.
The problem is further exacerbated by the complexity of the supply chain of the products usually targeted by counterfeiters and smugglers, which often involve a variety of stakeholders and partners across multiple geographies. In its new white paper ‘Implementing Digital Solutions to Address the Issue of Cross-border Illicit Trade’, the Coalition highlights the need to think and design inter-connectable systems and well planned approaches to supply chain security but also consumer safety.
It also emphasises the importance of improved cooperation between companies and authorities, countries of origin and destination, between independent standard setting bodies, economic operators and supply chain, regulators and enforcement authorities in the effort to fight illicit trade.
Comprised of some of Europe’s most experienced supply chain solution providers, CAIT’s paper stresses that new digital techniques to help tracking, tracing and authentication are constantly being developed, but argues that only a well-designed, principal-based regulatory framework or voluntary technical standards at a multi-state or global level will ensure that these new solutions are applied effectively and on a wide scale to prevent criminal activity.
Craig Stobie, Director Global Sector Management at printers Domino, one of CAIT’s founding members, said:
“The members of the Coalition Against Illicit Trade continue to be committed to sharing best practice and advancing the debate on tracking, tracing and authentication solutions. This paper brings together our own insights but also observations and expertise from other industry players to study the benefits in digitalisation in fighting counterfeiting and illicit trade fit for the 21st century.
The market has evolved tremendously over the past years, with even Blockchain now used for tracking and tracing. But even the most advanced and sophisticated applications will be inefficient in an inadequate regulatory framework. Therefore we call for elevating illicit trade fight on a cross-border level, beyond the limits of a single country or a bloc, as only such policies will ensure the interoperability between systems and operators, while taking into account that different markets have different enforcement needs and abilities. ”