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Key Resources
counterfeiting resources The following is a collection of key resources you will find useful in your company's efforts to mitigate counterfeit risks.

Industry efforts to develop best practices are still evolving.  ESCS will continue to update CombatCounterfeits.com with relevant information as it becomes available; however every company should have a risk mitigation strategy appropriate to their own operations.  The organizations and other links provided here can be invaluable sources of information in that process.

Industry Associations
Aerospace Industries Association - www.aia-aerospace.org
The Aerospace Industries Association is the premier trade association representing the nation's major aerospace and defense manufacturers.  Recognizing the need for an industry-wide effort to combat counterfeits, the AIA formed The Counterfeit Parts Integrated Process Team as a forum for development of best practices.

SAE International - www.sae.org
SAE develops industry standards, including the ISO 9001, AS9100 and AS9120 certifications for manufacturers and distributors.  The SAE is nearing completion of a new standard, AS5553 - "Counterfeit Electronic Parts; Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation, and Disposition".

GIDEP - The Government & Industry Data Exchange Program - www.gidep.org
GIDEP logo GIDEP provides for the sharing of technical information, including suspect counterfeit parts. Membership ensures distributors are kept aware of specific counterfeit risks reported by fellow GIDEP members.

ERAI, Inc. - www.erai.com
ERAI logo ERAI is a privately held global information services organization that monitors, investigates and reports issues that are affecting the global supply chain of electronics.  Since 1995, ERAI has been the industry's primary reporting and investigation service, providing information and risk mitigation solutions to electronics professionals worldwide.  ERAI is comprised of Original Component Manufacturers (OCMs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Distributors (franchised and independent), Contract Manufacturers (CMs), government agencies and associations serving the industry.

CACP - The Coalition Against Counterfeiting & Piracy - http://www.thetruecosts.org/index.php/cacp
The CACP is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as a consortium of interests working together to combat counterfeiting of all intellectual property.  ESCS was a founding member in 2006, and the organization now has over 600 member companies and organizations.

Quality Certifications
International Standards Organization (ISO) - www.iso.org
ESCS believes all manufacturers should require their independent distributors to be at least ISO 9001-2000 certified.  The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) certifies all registrars.  To find a registrar, you can do a search on their site by clicking the "Directory" link on their main page.  Another reference listing registrars can be found at www.qualitydigest.com/pdfs/isoreg.pdf.

Enhanced counterfeit risk mitigation is provided by Aerospace AS9120 certification, which extends the ISO 9001 standard with 86 additional requirements controlling inventory, lot traceability and supplier management.  ESCS strongly recommends manufacturers require their distributors to be AS9120 certified.

You can view any company's AS9100 or AS9120 certification status and most recent audit results on the IAQG's OASIS database at www.sae.org/oasis.

Who's Certifying Quality?
Not all ISO or Aerospace Registrars are equal.  Confirm who has registered your distributors, and who is performing their audits.  This information is available for all AS9100 and AS9120 certified companies on the OASIS database.

The registrar for ESCS is National Quality Assurance (NQA), who are also the registrar for NASA and other top-tier companies, and can be highly recommended.

ISO 9001 vs. AS9120 - You Decide
Aerospace manufacturers must be certified to the Aerospace AS9100 standard - more stringent than the ISO 9001 standard for general manufacturing.  For distributors, the AS9120 standard flows down the manufacturer's AS9100 requirements for inventory control, lot tracing and vendor management, ensuring manufacturers have consistency throughout their supply chain.

You may feel it's commendable to see your distributors have achieved an ISO 9001 certification, and it is... but it's up to you to decide if you can afford NOT to flow down your critical parts control to your suppliers.

Compliant vs. Certified
This one's easy!  Beware the supplier who promotes they are "ISO 9001 compliant" or "AS9120 compliant".  According to whom?  Anyone can buy a box of documents and put their company name on the binder.

If they are truly operating to the standard, why not simply schedule a certification audit?

Quality Certificates - What's Important
Ask your distributors for a copy of their most recent ISO 9001 or AS9120 certificate.  What you should check:

  • Initial registration date
  • Certificate expiration date
  • Date of last surveillance audit

  • For ISO 9001 companies, annually ask for the results of their last surveillance audit, and for AS9120 companies, annually check the OASIS database to see their audit results.

    Click here to view ESCS's AS9120 certificate as an example.