Reported Counterfeits Down in 2018

Great news!!! Reported counterfeit electronic components were down for 2017.  One might think that with the ramp up of the shortage even more counterfeits would be discovered, but exactly the opposite has occurred.  Some speculations for this decrease are;

  • More counterfeit avoidance is being done in the purchasing process.  Weary buyers have likely been more selective who they are ordering from.
  • Government seizures of counterfeit product have potentially caused some international suppliers to give up trying to ship to the U.S.
  • Increased awareness and detection techniques may have stifled sellers attempts to pass counterfeits through previously naïve buyers, causing sellers to give up trying. 

The report at this link only has data up to 2017, but our organization has noticed a decrease in received counterfeits this year as well.  We will have to wait another few months to get ERAI’s final 2018 numbers, but we predict there will not be an increase over 2017. 

ERAI, which was originally created to serve electronic distributors with collection and reporting needs, has been collecting reports of counterfeits for over a decade. They have branched out from accepting reports from distributors only to manufacturers and government as well.  Their database is by far the largest in the industry.  The database is only available by membership, but it is free to report.  Please feel free to ask one of our search experts if you would like us to see if your parts have ever been reported.

General Overview of ISO/IEC 17025 in Relation to AS6081 for Counterfeit Avoidance

ISO logoThe ISO/IEC 17025 specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations, including sampling.  So how exactly does this apply to the suite of SAE G19 counterfeit avoidance standards?  Within the verification of product process in the SAE G19 standards (AS6081, AS6171, AS6496, and AS5553) there are many different tests required in an attempt to verify a part’s authenticity.  To assure that the lab and their technicians are competent in the required counterfeit detection techniques and how to use the associated equipment, labs will soon be required to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025.  Currently there are very few specific instructions on how to use the equipment for counterfeit detection in the published G19 standards.  The yet to be released draft revision of AS6081, Fraudulent/Counterfeit Electronic Parts: Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation, and Disposition, created for independent distributors, is now pointing directly to the AS6171, Test Methods Standard; General Requirements, Suspect/Counterfeit, Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Parts for instructions on how to verify the authenticity of electronic components.  Therefore, in the very near future you will see that for an independent distributor to be certified to AS6081, they will first need to be ISO/IEC 17025 accredited to demonstrate that they are able to perform the counterfeit detection tests necessary.   A certified distributor may alternatively subcontract the work to a lab that is accredited.

To buy a copy of the ISO/IEC 17025 or find more information on the standard click buy ISO/IEC 17025

General Overview of the AS6171 Testing for Counterfeit Electronics

SAEThe AS6171 was developed by a committee of government and industry subject matter experts under the guidance of SAE International.  Its full title is AS6171 Test Methods Standard; General Requirements, Suspect/Counterfeit, Electrical, Electronic, and Electromechanical Parts.  Its purpose is to create a way to evaluate risk and then use the calculated risk to choose appropriate test methods for particular product groups, which are clearly defined within the document.  Its release has been long awaited due to the fact that both government and industry are looking for solid guidance on how to effectively perform risk evaluation and authenticity testing of electronic components.  The standard is planned to be released before the end of 2015.  In its anticipation, other standards, such as the AS6081, developed for independent distribution, are already referencing its utilization in their draft documents.

The AS6171 will be a great standard for your organization if you are looking for vetted test methods to either utilize within your own company or subcontract out to a lab or independent distributor with an in-house lab.

For detailed information on how the AS6171 fits in among all of the other SAE G19 standards (AS5553, AS6081, etc.) on counterfeit electronic components, please see this diagram standards gap analysis.

Man awaits sentencing for selling counterfeit electronic components

On Friday, March 28, 2014, Pennsylvania resident, Hao Yang, will face sentencing for conspiracy to traffic counterfeit electronic components into the United States from China.


After his arrest in June 2013, U.S. Immigration and Homeland Security Investigations identified Yang as a co-conspirator in a scheme to traffic in counterfeit military grade integrated circuits and fraudulently sell them as legitimate American-made parts.


From 2010 to June 2013, Yang and his co-conspirators created and operated several companies in Maryland and Pennsylvania to facilitate the conspiracy. In addition, he maintained numerous bank accounts to deposit his illegal commissions and make payments associated with his counterfeit activities. He also used the commissions he received from his co-conspirators to pay for living expenses and other purchases.


Counterfeit military electronic components sold in the US pose a threat to national security. By using counterfeit circuits, their malfunction or failure could likely have caused serious bodily injury or impaired military operations, personnel or national security.


As part of his plea agreement, Yang will be required to forfeit five bank accounts worth over $59,000, his 2010 Acura purchased with proceeds of the crime, and counterfeit computer software, DVDs, sports jerseys and other items with an approximate value of $280,720. Yang faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.


For more information, please click here.