With rising import of fake products, popular brands such as Disney, Nivea, Nokia, Nike and Adidas have joined hands with the Customs department to curb the menace.
The companies owning these brands have agreed to share product information with the Customs department to make the detection of fake products possible.
The department is developing a barcode-based system in partnership with GS1, an international non-profit association, which is engaged in designing and implementing global standards for supply and demand chains, to identify counterfeit products.
The sectors hardest hit by counterfeit goods are cosmetics, smartphones, sportswear and toys.
The technologies being developed to detect fake products include online tools which would act as an interface between Customs officials and foreign brands.
The Customs officials would be able to scan the products and packages using mobile devices.
The idea is to connect the device to several product identification databases and services that will provide officers detailed product information. Simply by scanning the bar codes on goods, the officials would be able to detect the fake products.
“We have been working on it for few months now. The mobile device would be connected to those databases and would send alerts when it detects fake products. The authenticity of the product would be verified by using unique product identities,” an official told The Indian Express. The officials will also be able to trace the entire supply chain of fake products.
Last year, the World Customs Organization (WCO) had signed a cooperation agreement with GS1 to fight counterfeits.
In 2010, the WCO had launched Interface Public Members (IPM) tool to facilitate interaction between Customs and companies to check the menace of fake products.
In 2010, around 300 companies owning big global brands like Sony, Garnier, L’Oréal, Revlon, Johnson & Johnson, Axe, Dove and Bosch-Mico had registered complaints with Indian Customs authority against the import of counterfeit products.
The department had then developed a web-based tracking system — Automatic Recordation and Targeting for IPR Protection (ARTS) — for checking fake products.
Through ARTS, companies can submit online IPR (intellectual property) notice, upload images of genuine goods and trademarks signs and upload images of infringing goods.
The Customs department has also increased scrutinising the traffic along borders. It has also synchronised provisions of intellectual property law and Customs law to prohibit import of goods infringing provisions of Trademarks Act, Copyright Acts, Designs Act, Geographical Indications Act and Patent Act.