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Holograms suggested as route to tackling counterfeit trade 
Hologram technology could help track non-counterfeit shipments. Credit: Holoptica

Holograms suggested as route to tackling counterfeit trade 

Holograms could be used as part of a track and trace system to help crack down on counterfeit shipments, according to an international trade body.

The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) suggested using holograms in the maritime sphere after the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) outlined plans to tackle counterfeit volumes in a new Know Your Customer (KYC) best practices paper.

The paper outlines a voluntary framework of practices for companies to follow when reviewing the trustworthiness of potential customers, and the IMHA said hologram technology can enable carriers to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product.

IMHA chair, Manoj Kochar, said: “Global brand owners and maritime companies will see off the back of this latest initiative how relatively low cost yet effective hologram technologies can be of benefit.

“When included as part of a supply chain track and trace system, for example, holograms are brought to the fore as weapons in tackling counterfeiting and securing authentication.”

Any counterfeit shipments that does not feature such technology would become recognisable, and the IMHA said that even fake holograms could be identified with a “carefully thought-out authentication solution.”

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated the value of global trade in counterfeit goods in 2013 totalled US$461bn.

The director of the ICC’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) scheme, Sophie Peresson, said a collaboration between brand owners, carriers and forwarders could help bring this figure down.

Peresson said: “We all have our own perspectives and experiences, but we needed to create something which works well for all of us:  voluntary best practices which aim at helping companies to prevent the maritime shipment of counterfeits and which fit into the supply chain procedures of the companies.”