New legislation for England and Wales aimed at tackling the illegal use of specialist printing equipment is being welcomed by the trade body representing the global hologram industry.
The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) sees the Specialist Printing Equipment and Materials (Offences) Act as a ‘significant’ step forward in the battle to secure the production of genuine security devices such as holograms.
The Act, which received Royal Assent on March 27 and becomes law in May, will make it an offence to supply specialist printing equipment knowing that it will be used for criminal purposes, including the production of ID, passports, banknotes and tickets among other secured documents.
It covers both equipment and consumables, which means that it will apply to hologram manufacturing equipment as well as the holograms themselves.
The investigation and prosecution of criminal activity will be more straightforward under the new legislation, which could see those guilty of breaking the law fined and/or imprisoned for up to 10 years.
The move also brings England and Wales in line with Section 1028 of the US Crimes and Criminal Procedure Code, which outlaws similar activity in connection with ID documents, authorisation features and information.
The IHMA is a member of the Metropolitan Police anti-counterfeiting group Project Genesius, which has provided advice to the UK Home Office in drafting the Act.
Legislation is another sobering reminder that the war on counterfeiting continues to be fought, says the IHMA, and will be a welcome boost for those desperate to protect brands and profits from the multi-billion dollar trade in counterfeit goods.
Ian Lancaster, general secretary of the IHMA, said: “The Act will be very welcome and has to be seen as a positive move to support governments and industry in their fight against crime and terrorism at a time when ID document forgery is on the rise.
“This will also benefit brand owners tackling the problem of counterfeiting because they will be reassured that they will be using holograms supplied from bonafide sources as part of brand protection strategies.
“Remember that criminal counterfeiters have no scruples about who they supply – ID counterfeiters or brand counterfeiters, it’s all the same to them.
“Holography continues to play a key role as a highly effective, extremely flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters.
“All involved in the supply chain will be reassured by the presence of holograms on products and recognise the benefits they provide.”
The use of well-designed and properly deployed authentication solutions, as advocated in ISO’s 12931 standard, on authentication solutions, enables examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product, differentiating it from the counterfeits coming out of China. Even those that carry a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine item if that item carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.
And if the hologram is produced by a company which is a member of the IHMA, especially if they follow ISO 14298 on security print foil production management processes, then customers can be even more reassured that they are getting a secure hologram produced in a secure environment.
Note to editors
The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) - www.ihma.org - is made up of 100 of the world's leading hologram companies. IHMA members are the leading producers and converters of holograms for banknote security, anti-counterfeiting, brand protection, packaging, graphics and other commercial applications around the world. IHMA member companies actively cooperate to maintain the highest professional, security and quality standards.
Issued on behalf of the IHMA by MHW PR Ltd. For further details contact Andy Bruce on +44 (0) 191 233 1300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org