DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV.com PLC.
Craig Stobie is global life sciences manager at Domino, a British-based developer of commercial inkjet printing, thermal transfer printing, print and apply machines, digital printing presses and laser printing products.
Last year, the European Commission reported that more than 40 million products suspected of violating an intellectual property right, with a total value of nearly €650m, were detained at the EU’s external borders.
The same report mentioned above also acknowledged a 15% rise in goods intercepted by Customs compared to the previous year. Accordingly the European Union has brought forward legislation to tackle the issue in two of the sectors most affected, pharmaceuticals and tobacco.
This legislation, under the Falsified Medicines Directive and Tobacco Products Directive, brings in sweeping requirements across EU member states that makes it a legal requirement for manufacturers to mark their products with a unique identifier, a tamper-proof code or marking, that allows both supply chain operators and authorities the ability to track and trace a product through often complex supply chains.
This is meant to prevent diversion and smuggled or counterfeits entering the market. Additionally, the legislation makes it a requirement that a products are also marked with security feature to authenticate genuine products, which can be related to the identifier or separate.