- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has formed a new partnership with Procter & Gamble (P&G), as part of a Donations Acceptance Program designed to prevent counterfeit P&G products from entering the United States, according to a news release from CBP. P&G intends to donate testing devices to verify the authenticity of various P&G products entering the country.
- The Donations Acceptance Program is the first of its kind for the CBP. Of concern are violations of intellectual property rights, as well as counterfeiting.
- Upgraded equipment to test the veracity of P&G products will be added as technology and necessity require.
The perception of counterfeits has mostly been relegated to luxury and specialty items. Just before the Super Bowl, the CBP seized 171,926 counterfeit sports- and entertainment-related items worth roughly $15.6 million, while more than $55,000 worth of fake Nike sneakers were intercepted in January.
The donation of special verification devices by P&G to the CBP indicate that personal care products are also at risk for falsification.
E-commerce shoppers have long been warned against purchasing ersatz versions of costly makeup, perfume and skincare items, but few alerts exist for basic products like soap and shampoo such as offered by P&G.
But the market must be profitable enough to justify the development of inhibitory technology.
Whether other companies also engaged in the production of common drugstore items such as powders, deodorants or toothpaste will soon produce their own confirmation equipment is uncertain. It's also unclear how much would be saved by introducing testing hardware and software — or if the costs would outweigh potential savings.