Combating illicit trade and counterfeiting

Illicit trade and counterfeit products pose serious challenges with negative consequences for governments, brand owners, distributors, retailers and consumers.

GS1 members are dedicated to combating illicit trade by extending GS1 standards-based solutions to accelerate deployment, limit disruption, and increase interoperability with consumer-facing applications.

GS1 standards are well suited to combat illicit trade.

In recent years, GS1 has worked with government agencies, economic operators and others to explore how global standards can help combat illicit trade. GS1 Open Standards have been recognized by agencies and economic operators as important tools in the fight against illicit trade through unique and reliable product identification.

The European Commission has formally called for the establishment and operation of a pan-European traceability system for products and tobacco products using GS1 tools.

GS1 open standards are specified in the European Regulation on Combating Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products..

EU Regulation 2018.574 mentions the possibility of using GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) to uniquely identify tobacco products and GS1 Serialized Shipping Container Codes (SSCCs) to identify transportation units. This traceability system will help eliminate the circulation of non-compliant and illicit tobacco products, thereby better protecting public health and reducing tax losses. 

More information can be found at GS1