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66 SMT Magazine • March 2015 Consumers are accustomed to finding China Compulsory Certification (CCC) or CE (Euro- pean Conformity) markings on products. These markings provide a level of confidence that products displaying them meet certain industry standards; inspection and tests were performed to determine whether they met prescribed stan- dards. Consumers might be surprised, however, to learn of a gaping hole when it comes to coun- terfeit components or knock-offs. Regardless of the markings displayed, these items aren't cov- ered. For the average person, it's difficult to de- termine if a product is authentic or bogus. Price alone isn't a reliable indicator any longer be- cause counterfeiters of luxury items have discov- ered that selecting a slightly discounted price, still better than an outlet store, will entice more people to buy their merchandise than a heavily discounted price. The thinking behind this log- ic may be that such a huge discount only serves to reveal the item as counterfeit. Recently in the United States, a series of counterfeit avoidance measures to identify counterfeits, mitigate their impact, monitor their presence and design stan- dards to prevent their infiltration were adopted by the Department of Defense (DoD). These standards, AS6081 and AS55553, compliment quality management programs already an es- sential part of the manufacturing, assembly and distribution processes. Although the implemen- tation of counterfeit avoidance regulations im- proves efforts made against this rapidly growing epidemic, mitigation of this issue still remains in its infancy. roots of a Trillion-Dollar Problem The International Chamber of Commerce es- timates the total global value of counterfeit and pirated products could reach a $1.7 trillion by the year 2015 [1] To help put this figure into per- spective, the proposed DoD budget for 2015 is $495.6 billion [2] . A $1.1 trillion spending bill re- cently passed by Congress further demonstrates the potential impact counterfeits represent. Money from counterfeit sales fund criminal ac- tivities, terrorist organizations and destroys U.S. jobs; these are just a few examples of the im- pact. As Chairman of the United Sates Nation- al Committee/International Electro-technical Commission (USNC/ICEQ) and Secure Compo- nents CEO, I've worked with groups of individuals and organizations to safeguard not only U.S. consumers, but consumers worldwide. Although these efforts are growing every day, at the core of this community are peo- ple who've been in this scuffle from the beginning and continue to work diligently toward its eradication. Like so many now common com- mercial applications, these efforts can be traced back to the military complex. Recognizing the growing presence of counterfeit components in U.S. systems, tracking failures to substandard parts and the oppor- tunity older systems presented, the by Todd kramer SeCure CoMponenTS llC kramEr On cOUnTErFEITS a Summary of counterfeit avoidance: Development & Impact ColuMn

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