The GSMA and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) are collaborating in the fight against the counterfeiting and fraudulent trading of mobile devices.

By integrating the GSMA’s mobile device database with the WCO’s IPM mobile platform (a security gateway through which the authenticity of products can be verified online), it is claimed that customs officers will be able to better assess device shipments.

The IPM platform also allows manufacturers or rights holders to share product information, which is made available in real time to customs organisations and can be added to their consignment checking procedures.

Customs officers and rights holders will also have the ability to contact each other via the platform.

The move is intended to improve cross-border trade procedures, assist with the rapid detection of counterfeit goods and secure the international trade supply chain.

“The trading of counterfeited mobile devices is a global issue that has a number of severe consequences to its victims, such as safety concerns related to the release of substandard devices, as well as an impact on the reputation and revenue of rights holders,” said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd.

Tanzania is one of the latest countries to crack down on counterfeit phones. The government blocked somewhere between 1.8 to 2 million devices that did not have authentic international mobile equipment identity.