Fighting product piracy

A new brochure provides anti-counterfeiting guidance

By Zoë Smart

Earlier this year IEC published a new brochure, Piracy in electrical and electronic products: Anti-counterfeiting best practice and strategies. Prepared by CAB (Conformity Assessment Board), the publication provides an overview of the current situation concerning counterfeiting of electrotechnical products and provides concrete advice on tackling the issue.

IEC_Counterfeiting brochure2
The new brochure prepared by CAB provides anti-counterfeiting guidance

A serious threat

Alarmingly, electrical and electronic goods are the second most counterfeited products after pharmaceuticals. These often sub-standard products not only put individuals at risk but can also prove a huge financial liability when they enter manufacturing supply chains as they have not been tested and generally don’t comply with performance and safety specifications.

Counterfeit products negatively impact the economies of both the countries in which they are produced as well as those in which they are sold. Loss of foreign investment and taxes is experienced by countries with counterfeiting operations while countries in which counterfeit products are sold may suffer job losses, lost tax revenues and increased social costs due to death and injuries incurred by the products.

Tackling piracy

While a lot of effort goes into thwarting the production and sale of counterfeit products, it is just as important to increase awareness amongst consumers of the risks such products pose to themselves and their families.

The brochure enumerates some of the more important measures to be taken as part of any anti-counterfeiting strategy and provides tips for identifying counterfeit products. The names of national certification bodies and laboratories that participate in IEC CA (Conformity Assessment) Systems are also listed by country.

The brochure in your own language

In order to encourage NCs to publish versions of the brochure in their own language, we have prepared an InDesign template which you can request by emailing Gilles Humbert. Alternatively, you can provide us with the translated text and we will be happy to lay it out and upload to our website.

English, Korean and French versions of the brochure are available at

IEC_Counterfeiting brochure1 The new brochure prepared by CAB provides anti-counterfeiting guidance
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