Russian Government Considers RFID Tags On All New Clothing

The Ministry of Industry and Trade says RFID tags could help fight against counterfeit goods

The Russian government is considering RFID tagging all labels on clothing and footwear fabricated and sold throughout Customs Union member-states (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), reported the Russian daily Izvestia in late December. Officials believe this is the only remedy for an ongoing plague of counterfeiting.

The government estimates that more than $30 billion worth of phony clothes and shoes are shipped into Russia on a yearly basis, and volumes are swelling.

RFID (c) Albert Lozano, Shutterstock 2014Track that hoodie

According to a report by the Federal Customs Service quoted by Izvestia, about 70 million counterfeit items have been apprehended in Russia alone since 2007. In 2012, Russian law enforcement confiscated more than $300,000 worth of counterfeits – followed by another $170,000-plus in just the first six months of the next year. Fake clothes, footwear and toys made up the lion’s share of the seized goods.

The technology provider for the tagging has not been selected yet. Only two companies in Russia – Rusnano’s subsidiary RST Invent and Mikron – produce RFID tags, Izvestia noted.

Clothes makers are not particularly happy over the move, the newspaper emphasized. They believe purchases of RFID tags and RFID readers will cost them dearly, forcing them to raise prices.

This article originally appeared on East-West Digital News.

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