World Customs Organisation (WCO) is the only international intergovernmental organisation that deals with customs procedures and regulations governing trade between countries. Its work aims to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of customs administrations across the globe and to help them fulfil their dual role of facilitating trade whilst ensuring its security.
Every year, everywhere in the world, millions of counterfeit products are sold to consumers, resulting in safety issues and damage to brand reputations. For country members of the G20 that represent over 75% of world trade, costs from counterfeit products total €71 billion each year; for France alone, the loss is €6 billion. Yet, the loss extends beyond the financial aspect: the European Union has determined that counterfeit products are responsible for the destruction of 100,000 jobs every year.
As online shopping continues to expand, global consumers are increasingly at risk of receiving unauthentic and potentially dangerous goods. This erodes consumer trust, harms public health and diminishes brand loyalty.
To effectively identify and remove counterfeit goods from the supply chain, WCO needed to provide customs administrations the ability to detect counterfeit products more efficiently, stopping them at the borders.
The WCO has introduced a training and education tool on counterfeit techniques and other intelligence called IPM (Interface Public Members). The IPM provides the possibility to use mobile devices to scan GS1 barcodes found on millions of products.
The GTIN embedded in the GS1 barcode facilitates access to multiple databases providing trusted sources of product information. Scanning barcodes containing the GTIN will enable automatic connection to any authentication services linked to the product controlled. Customs officers will now have access to simple and brief product description for their screening without necessarily including any sensitive information.
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