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Iso 12931 what is in it for brand owner and why adopt it

Counterfeiting is a growing menace for brand owners and Government authorities alike. In the last decade the problem has expanded rapidly and is now not limited to luxury goods and developed economies alone. This activity now exists all over the world and covers pharmaceuticals, FMCG and even mobile phones, to name a few sectors, and causes huge losses to government, industry and the people at large.

To counter this onslaught, the proactive brand owners have resorted to using authentication solutions to protect their brand. With the availability of various authentication solutions, the brand owners now have a wide range of technologies to choose from. And they need to very carefully decide the correct strategy and technology to reap the full benefits offered by the solution. Choosing an authentication solution needs careful risk assessment and the criteria for selecting the right solution to address these. Several aspects relating to cost, compatibility, feasibility and reliability have to be looked into, and then once the decision is taken, proper implementation and post implementation benefits reaped also need to be studied. Each brand owner implements a customised solution, so there aren’t any standard cure-all options available.

ISO efforts….

Thankfully, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) recognised these issues, and has recently published a new ISO Standards entitled “Performance criteria for authentication solutions for anti-counterfeiting in the field of material goods”. This document can be procured from this link - This new standard, referenced as ISO 12931, sets out the performance criteria for customised authentication solutions for material goods. It is to be noted that ISO 12931 does not cover protection of id documents, banknotes and other similar financial documents. This also does not cover track and trace technology and mentions that track and trace technology solution on its own is not an authentication technology.

The implementation of these standards will allow an organisation to learn from the collective good business practices adopted by companies and government authorities the world over, and determine the level of the reliability of the various solutions and assessment methods to test the efficacy of the solution. It addresses identification, implementation, integration and verification issues to provide a complete overview of the solution.

This is a wonderful tool that ISO has provided to all brand owners and governments and with increasing implementation, the consumers will get the protection that has long been overdue.

For more information, please write to us at

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Iso 12931 what is in it for brand owner and why adopt it

  1. 1. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 ISO 12931 - What is in it for Brand Owner and why Adopt it By Pradip Shroff
  2. 2. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 ISO 12931 Performance criteria for Authentication solutions used to Combat counterfeiting of Material goods
  3. 3. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Respect to copyright Note: This presentation is a summary and is not intended to serve as a substitute for purchasing and reading the full ISO 12931 standard. To fully understand ISO 12931 and the recommendations made for authentication solutions please purchase The Standard at: alogue_detailhtm?csnumber=52210
  4. 4. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931  ISO (International Organization for Standardization) worldwide federation of national standards bodies.  ISO Tech committee prepares International Standards.  Each member body interested in a subject has the right to be represented on that committee.  Draft International Standards are approved only if at least 75 % of the member bodies casting a vote approve it. ISO, Tech Committee, Standards
  5. 5. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931  This International Standard sets out the performance criteria for purpose built authentication solutions.  These authentication solutions are designed to provide reliable evidence making it easier to assess whether material goods are authentic or counterfeit.  It was not drafted or designed to define a sole means of authentication.  It does not specify how technical solutions achieve these performance criteria.  It focuses on material goods and is not intended to apply to, for example, goods used in the financial sector, official administrative papers, identity documents or to downloadable products.  Track and trace on its own is not an authentication solution and is therefore outside the scope  It does not deal with economical criteria aiming to correlate performance and costs of the authentication solutions. The Scope
  6. 6. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931  Diagnosis – The risk assessment  Prescription – Selection of The authentication elements  Post Prescription – Multi level Inspection  Follow up – Review and Assessment of risk Authentication Process
  7. 7. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931  What are the counterfeiting issues, the consequences and likelihood of the counterfeiting threat?  Which of my material goods are being counterfeited or have the potential to be counterfeited?  In which locations are we experiencing counterfeiting and how are the counterfeits being distributed?  What is the manufacturing and supply chain environment?  How and by whom will the authentication process be performed?  What is the impact of human error on the solution (process and authentication)? Assessment of counterfeiting risk
  8. 8. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Typical logistic chain M a n u f a c t u r e r R e g i o n a l W / H Wholesal e Dealer Distrib utor Retailer Consu mer Key Accounts Transit Risk A B C D E
  9. 9. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 1. Physical characteristics such as static, dynamic, durability, environmental, feature (overt, covert or machine readable) 2. Attack resistance of authentication element such as tampering resistance 3. Integration process (security, manufacturing, compliance etc.) 4. Attack resistance of authentication tools Assessing Authentication Solutions –Basic Parameters
  10. 10. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 ISO has categorized authentication solutions as ISO 12931 – Defined authentication solutions Human Senses Authentication Tool Forensic Analysis Off the shelf Purpose built General audience OVERT COVERT - - Restricted audience OVERT COVERT COVERT COVERT Track and Trace technology when used alone is not considered to be an authentication solution. As such is not covered by this International Standard.
  11. 11. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Typical logistic chain M a n u f a c t u r e r R e g i o n a l W / H Wholesal e Dealer Distrib utor Retailer Consu mer Key Accounts Transit Risk A B C D E
  12. 12. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Authentication solution – Multi level inspection Inspector / Authentication element End user Retailer Whole seller Authorised personnel Accredited / notified laboratory OVERT COVERT Forensic
  13. 13. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 The 5 Step Process (TIS) Step 1 Risk Analysis and Identification of Issues Step 2 Develop Solution Step 3 Implement Solution Step 4 Multi Level authentication/ inspection Step 5 Evaluation and Measurement
  14. 14. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Beyond ISO from my experience
  15. 15. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Value in the 21st century lies in building brand. Brand Owner's basic role is to SECURE that brand World Council for Corporate Governance
  16. 16. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931  Team leader – CEO/ Brand Owner  Members –Representative from Marketing/ product development, marketing research, sales/logistic, packaging, manufacturing, regulatory and/or law, buyer, finance/accounts  Outside consultant Brand risk management team
  17. 17. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931  Do not tender for product - Tender for vendor  Manufacturer should be using multiple technologies  Secure manufacturing operations  Prefer Technologies - patented and/or exclusive  A research based innovative vendor  Vendor to have a written ethical policy Security buying – Important considerations
  18. 18. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931  Annual Business plan – The brand plan to include Brand Protection plan  Review every quarterly as a business review process.  Progress made in implementation,  Review any event, New Risks  Plan for revising/ upgrading the solution. Business review process
  19. 19. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Counterfeiting must be fought EffecttoGovt. • Reduction in public health crisis / illness / life • Loss of tax revenue • Increased enforcement cost • Funding of criminal activity* • Loss of Government image Effecttomanufacturer • Lost revenue • Liability crippling law suit as incident of counterfeiting increasing health and security problems for public • Brand integrity Effecttoconsumer • Loss of life / illness: According to WHO a fifth of the one million annual death from malaria could be prevented if all medicines for it were genuine and taken properly.
  20. 20. © 2013 HOMAI ISO 12931 Thank You For more information, please contact Pradip Shroff or HOMAI at