Conformity - Challenges and needs

Challenges and needs

Over the last two decades, global trade has experienced unprecedented growth, reaching more than $32 trillion in 2022, greatly simplifying access to any products, independent of their origin, and contributing to increased wealth worldwide. 


However, rogue manufacturers and traders may take advantage of this by releasing counterfeited and substandard products in the market, resulting in safety and quality issues, and eventually damaging the reputation also of legitimate operators and brand owners. 

To mitigate these risks, many regulatory authorities have already established programs that require exporters and importers to have their products certified against applicable standards. While in some cases, the conformity statement can be based on self-testing and declaration, for many product categories, it must be done by independent Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) companies accredited by the authorities. For products that conform with the required standards, manufacturers can mark their products (directly or indirectly on their packaging) with a “conformity mark”, assuring consumers of their quality and safety.

Despite these TIC programs, substandard and illicit products continue to enter regulated markets. Authorities, law enforcement and TIC companies cannot stop all rogue operators from falsifying documents or producing counterfeit certificates. Once a non-compliant product is released to the market, it is, in practice, challenging to identify it as such and to trace it back to the culprit.