comment on this article

The £1billion drain

UKEA calls for more action against component counterfeiters. By Mike Richardson.

Counterfeit electronic components are entering the UK market in huge numbers, costing the economy an estimated £1bn a year, according to a paper from the UK Electronics Alliance (UKEA).
The UKEA is calling on Government to combat this problem by increasing the amount of resources put into detection and prevention, introducing tougher penalties for those caught with counterfeit goods, and by fostering greater cooperation between the UK’s trading partners and their customs services.
The paper, which contains detailed recommendations, has been sent to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the UK Intellectual Property office. The UKEA will follow up with a series of high level meetings with a number of parliamentarians to discuss the issue.
Intellect’s electronics manager Henry Parker claims that, whilst industry has a huge self policing role to play in combating the effects of counterfeiting, there are a number of actions that could be addressed more effectively by UK responsible Government agencies.
“This paper not only sets out what UKEA member associations like Intellect, afdec and COG need to do within themselves to improve the current situation, but also offers recommendations that the HMRC and the IP office need to address. In order to support growth of the UK’s electronics industry – and to counteract some of the costs to the economy that counterfeiting is causing – more attention should be paid from outside the sector to address it.”
According to UKEA estimates, the UK has only two HMRC officers directly responsible for intercepting counterfeit goods coming into the UK. The UKEA believes Britain must follow the lead set by European Parliament and US Customs Service.
“There needs to be more effort in the UK playing a leadership role in formulating an international anti counterfeiting trade agreement and raise its head above the parapet,” added Parker. “At present, we don’t have the right level of coordinated action to try and reduce the impact of counterfeiting. This white paper is the appropriate vehicle for us to try and coordinate that effort.”

Interviewed recently, Acal Technology’s sales and marketing director Steve Carr said: “Counterfeiting is driven by the simple economics of demand and supply and by the imperative of obtaining market prominence through the continual release of new and innovative products, which speeds product development and generates a significant reduction in product life cycles.
“In component distribution, as in life itself, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!”

Mike Richardson

Comment on this article

This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Enjoy this story? People who read this article also read...

What you think about this article:

Add your comments


Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Life in the old dog

Many think that 8bit microcontrollers are things of the past, replaced by 32bit ...

Using a new knob

The move to push semiconductor manufacturing processes to ever smaller ...

I/O-intensive FPGAs

Xilinx has released the Spartan-7; an FPGA range that it claims will deliver ...

Between the layers

ZofzPCB is a free 3D Gerber viewer that allows designers to see inside the ...

Circuit protection

Circuit protection is designed as an intentional weak link which can combat ...

A rich vein

Distributors have to contend with an ever lengthening list of challenges from ...

What’s in a name?

A month after rumours started to appear, ON Semiconductor has confirmed that it ...

Making it happen

Speaking at last week’s second annual ARM Forum at London’s Science Museum, the ...

Interesting times

It has certainly been an interesting year for chip giant Qualcomm. Revenues are ...