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Bipartisan Customs Bill Combats Counterfeit Semiconductors

Legislation allows greater collaboration between U.S. government, semiconductor companies to root out dangerous counterfeits

Published Thursday, February 11, 2016 12:30 pm

WASHINGTON—Feb. 11, 2016—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), representing U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research, today applauded congressional approval of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644/S.1269), bipartisan Customs legislation that includes a key provision to combat counterfeit semiconductors. The bill requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to expeditiously share information and samples of suspect counterfeit parts – including semiconductors – with rights holders, enabling quick identification of counterfeits.

“Counterfeit semiconductors pose significant risks to public health, safety, and national security,” said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. “The Customs bill Congress approved today will help reduce this risk and root out counterfeit semiconductors by ensuring open communication between Customs officials and semiconductor manufacturers, who are best-equipped to identify counterfeits. This legislation is good news for the semiconductor industry and consumers of our products – and bad news for semiconductor counterfeiters.”

Semiconductors are embedded into countless products and systems that perform critical functions in our society, and the failure of a single component in one of these products or systems can have dangerous consequences. SIA has long advocated for a multi-pronged approach to combatting counterfeit semiconductors. In December, SIA urged House and Senate leaders to approve the Customs legislation in order to better help identify shipments of counterfeits.

CBP has previously redacted images of suspect counterfeit semiconductors and delayed sharing information with companies that play a vital role in determining if parts are counterfeit and require seizure. Enactment of this legislation would allow CBP to use the expertise of rights holders in determining if parts are counterfeit, thereby helping prevent counterfeit products from entering the United States.

The threat of counterfeit semiconductors can also be greatly reduced by buying semiconductor products either directly from Original Component Manufacturers (OCMs) or their authorized distributors or resellers. This was the chief recommendation of SIA’s anti-counterfeiting white paper.

“We applaud Congress for approving this bipartisan legislation and urge the President to sign it into law in short order,” Neuffer said. “Doing so will help ensure the safety and security of technologies that are critical to America's economic and national security.”

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