Spike in fake products meant to combat Covid-19

The Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), a self-regulated industry body of Anti-Counterfeiting and Traceability Solutions providers, has unveiled the first edition of its report “The State of Counterfeiting In India – 2020”. The report highlights the trends of counterfeiting incidents reported in India for the period 2019 and 2018. According to the report, counterfeiting incidents have risen steadily in the last few years and in 2019 these have increased by 24% as compared to 2018.

The key findings of the report are as follows:

–       The number of counterfeit incidents in India increased by 24% between 2018 to 2019. 

–       The top 10 sectors with the highest number of counterfeit cases reported include Currency, FMCG, Alcohol, Pharma, Documents, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Automotive, Tobacco, Lifestyle & Apparel. Amongst these Currency, Alcohol & FMCG continue to be the top three sectors with the highest counterfeit incidents in the last two years. Among these, the FMCG sector is most vulnerable as counterfeit incidents in the sector increased by 63% between 2018 (79) to 2019 (129).

–       States including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Jharkhand, Delhi, Gujarat, and Uttarakhand are amongst top ten States which need urgent attention to frame anti-counterfeiting policy mechanism. UP continues at the top followed by Bihar, Rajasthan and together these three States represent almost 45% of the total counterfeit incidents reported in India in the last two years.

–       Counterfeiting activities are not limited to high-end luxury items. Common day to day items including cumin seeds, mustard cooking oil, ghee, hair oil, soaps, baby care vaccines and medicine are increasingly reported counterfeited by criminals.

–       A spike in cases being reported about fake hand sanitizers, masks, and PPE kits has been observed during the COVID crisis. Between February to April 2020, more than 150+ cases of counterfeit incidents had been reported including Fake PPE kits, sanitizers, and masks.

Nakul Pasricha, President, ASPA, said, “The trends call for immediate action. Counterfeit products across various sectors in India are causing over INR 1 trillion (1 lakh crore) every year to our economy and the progress to date is simply not good enough to fight this crime of the 21st century.”

(Representational image used)


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