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E-waste counterfeiting poses “serious threats”

July 10, 2015

E-waste recycler ERI warns that e-waste is being used to “make counterfeit electronic parts” that sometimes even end up in military technology.ewaste web

US-based ERI (Electronic Recyclers International) Chairman John Shegerian stated that counterfeit electronics from China into the US market pose “serious threats”, as the “standard of counterfeiting has advanced to such a level that it has become difficult to distinguish [counterfeit parts] from branded parts”.

Shegerian cited a recent US Senate Armed Services Committee report that found counterfeit electronic parts from China “end up in defence systems in the US”, with e-waste “shipped from the US and other parts of the world to China […] being used to make counterfeit electronic parts”. Both e-waste recyclers and brokers in the US and abroad who “promise responsible recycling” had been found to have “illicitly ship huge volumes of broken computers to China”.

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The study also found that nearly 1,800 cases of “suspected counterfeits in defence equipment” had been identified, including in “missile systems, helicopters and submarines”, and Shegerian and ERI have called for “further tightening” of international export policies “so as to ensure that non-working electronic scrap [is] domestically recycled”, preventing it from “landing in the hands of counterfeiters”.

To achieve this, “necessary amendments need to be carried out” to export policies to “prevent exports of materials that may cause threat[s] to national security”, as “responsible recycling of all unwanted electronics […] is crucial”.

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