time: 2015-05-15 15:52

Printed electronics company Thin Film Electronics (Thinfilm) has announced that its Near Field Communication (NFC) products will be the first NFC-based solutions to be integrated with the Interface Public-Members (IPM) anti-counterfeiting tool that the World Customs Organization (WCO) offers to its members. The WCO focuses on customs procedures and regulations governing trade between countries, and its members consist of the customs agencies of 179 nations.

The tool, an online and mobile database application enabling rights holders to provide customs officers with real-time data about their products, was first introduced in 2010, and is used by the 85 countries that have joined the IPM program. According to the WCO, the Web-based tool, accessible with a login and password via a dedicated and secure interface, is designed to allow operational data concerning products to be communicated directly to customs officers on the ground, facilitating the identification of counterfeit goods. The tool can also be integrated into existing intranet systems and is available on mobile devices.

Thinfilm's NFC OpenSense and NFC Barcode passive 13.45 MHz RFID tags can enhance brand security and provide a wider range of product protection, according to the company. The tags are designed to be easy to use and work with NFC-enabled smartphones, tablets or industrial readers, with no special hardware or infrastructure required. The NFC OpenSense tag, which was made commercially available earlier this year (see Thinfilm Launches OpenSense Printed NFC Sensor Label for Bottles) offers 128 bits of read-only memory. A unique identifier within each OpenSense tag supports enhanced product authentication, Thinfilm explains, by identifying if a seal has been broken anywhere along the supply chain.

The NFC OpenSense and NFC Barcode tags will be part of the WCO's "IPM Connected" offering, a global network of track-and-trace and authentication solutions interfaced with IPM. All IPM Connected products are available as WCO-approved solutions, and can be purchased by all WCO IPM members. Members who employ IPM will have the ability to use Thinfilm's NFC tags on their products, and a purpose-built application provided by Thinfilm will provide customs officers with real-time authentication capabilities via an NFC smartphone or other reading device. According to Thinfilm, customs officers can simply scan a tag, and IPM will automatically launch the application, allowing them to instantly verify a product's authenticity via a global database.

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