Home / News & Speeches / Brands and maritime operators partner to tackle counterfeit goods in maritime supply chain

New “Know Your Customer” Best Practices Paper to be launched at major shipping industry conference in Long Beach.

Representatives from major global brands and maritime companies have developed a set of best practices for the maritime industry to reduce the volume of counterfeits shipped around the globe through additional and more in-depth check on their customers.

Contributors developed the voluntary best practices as part of their on-going collaboration as signatories of an historic ‘Declaration of Intent to stop the Maritime transport of counterfeits’ (DOI) – a joint effort between the global shipping industry and brand owners to stop the transport of counterfeit goods on shipping vessels.

The new Know Your Customer (KYC) Best Practices provides a voluntary framework of steps maritime companies can take to ensure they know even more about who is shipping products on their vessels.

The new document will launch at a major annual conference for container shipping and international logistics professionals hosted by the Journal of Commerce (JOC) on 7 March 2018 in Long Beach, California.

Director of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative, Sophie Peresson, is set to moderate a dedicated panel discussion featuring BASCAP members Bayer, Philip Morris International and freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel, who along with BASCAP are all signatories of the DOI.

“The launch of the KYC Best Practices paper is one more concrete example of the successful collaboration between brand owners, vessel operators, freight forwarders who have come together under the DOI,” Ms Peresson said. “We all have our own perspectives and experiences, but we needed to create something which works well for all of us – voluntary best practices which aim at helping companies to prevent the maritime shipment of counterfeits and which fit into the supply chain procedures of the companies.”

The panel will give insight into the scale of the global counterfeiting issue, and introduce the measures being taken individually by the companies represented on the panel to deal with the problem. The panel will also highlight the joint work being carried out as signatories to the DOI – including the development of a new document on “Know Your Customer” (KYC) best practices that will be unveiled at the JOC conference tomorrow.


18th Annual TPM Conference

As one of the biggest maritime sector events in the world, the JOC’s ‘TPM’ conference brings together vessel operators, freight forwarders and other major players throughout the supply chain with shippers from a range of industries – from energy to consumer products – for five days each year to discuss major developments and challenges.

Attended by representatives of hundreds of companies from around the world, the conference will feature a range of sector case studies. Looking at the consolidation of the maritime industry and the technology and systems which could prove to be game changing, the theme of TPM 2018 is “A New World Takes Shape”.


The Declaration of Intent and KYC Best Practices

The DOI is a voluntary and non-binding statement developed and first signed in November 2016. It acknowledges the “destructive impact” of counterfeits on international trade.

The Principles of the Declaration include a zero-tolerance policy towards counterfeiting, as well as supporting strict supply chain controls, risk profiling and due diligence checks to ensure maritime operators are not inadvertently co-operating with those involved with counterfeiting.

Developed in collaboration between all signatories – both brand owners and maritime operators – the Know Your Customer best practices document sets out a voluntary framework of practices for those companies who provide services in the maritime supply chain to consider when reviewing the legitimacy and trustworthiness of a potential customer. By encouraging companies to improve their checks throughout the supply chain, the signatories hope to stop the criminal exploitation and abuse of this critical global transport channel.

The DOI is an outgrowth of a 2015 BASCAP report on the Roles and responsibilities of intermediaries in fighting counterfeiting and piracy in the global supply chain.  Leading companies in the maritime industry were among the first intermediaries to start working with BASCAP to find solutions, leading to the signing of the DOI in 2016 with BASCAP, 12 brand owners and six maritime companies as signatories.


The scale of the counterfeiting issue globally

According to a report by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the value of global trade in counterfeit goods in 2013 amounted to US $461 billion. This marks an 80% increase on figures from 2008 with trends indicating continuing growth ahead. It is estimated that counterfeits account for 2.5% of total global trade value.

A further report by Frontier Economics, commissioned by BASCAP and the International Trademark Association (INTA), predicts the total annual cost of counterfeiting and digital piracy at between US $923 billion – US$1.13 trillion and predicts this could double by 2022 if current trends continue.

Goods counterfeited are not limited to one type – in addition to luxury consumer goods, criminals are producing counterfeit electronics, toys, shampoos and toothpastes, crop products and even pharmaceuticals.

For more information, contact

  • Dawn Chardonnal
  • + 33 (0)1 49 53 29 07
  • Head of Global Communications