AUTHENTIX® RECEIVES EXPORT ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION

     |     

ADDISON, Texas, May 20, 2019 – Authentix, Inc., a U.S.-based technology solutions provider specializing in supply chain security and authentication programs, was presented the 2019 Export Achievement Certificate (EAC) on May 16, 2019, by the United States Department of Commerce for the company’s continued success and expansion in international markets.

The EAC award was originally created in 2001 by the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service division. The award recognizes U.S. based enterprises that successfully entered a new foreign market. Today, the EAC may be given to both first time and experienced exporters that have completed a noteworthy export transaction or that successfully introduced a new product line in a foreign market.

Authentix has worked with U.S. Commercial Service for 13 years as it continues to grow and deliver advanced authentication solutions to commercial companies, national governments, and leading central banks across the globe. With over 25 years serving the international marketplace, Authentix is proud to deliver supply chain security on five of the seven continents.

“The U.S. Commercial Service has supported Authentix’s presence in global markets with local knowledge and experience that connects the right stakeholders and decision makers to our mission to safeguard the integrity of global commerce. With their help, we have been able to grow our footprint internationally and deliver advanced authentication solutions to help our customers thrive in a global economy,” states Kevin McKenna, CEO of Authentix.

The U.S. Commercial Service visited Authentix headquarters in Addison, Texas on May 16, 2019, where Ana Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. Operations, delivered the award to Authentix. “Exporting businesses like Authentix are the engine of the U.S. economy. I am pleased to have presented an award for effective export activities to Authentix, and gratified that the U.S. Commercial Service had an opportunity to help facilitate their global success,” said Ms. Guevara.

About Authentix:

As the authority in authentication solutions, Authentix helps customers thrive in supply and distribution chain complexity. Authentix provides advanced authentication solutions for governments, central banks and commercial products, ensuring local economies grow, banknote security remains intact and commercial products have robust market opportunities. The Authentix partnership approach and proven sector expertise inspires proactive innovation, helping customers mitigate risks to promote revenue growth and gain competitive advantage.

Headquartered in Addison, Texas USA, Authentix, Inc. has offices in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa serving clients worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.authentix.com. Authentix® is a registered trademark of Authentix, Inc.

 

Media Contact:
Sonyett Bailey
Senior Director, Corporate Marketing
sonyett.bailey@authentix.com

Assuring Fuel Integrity from Pipeline to Pump

     |     

By Kevin McKenna, Chief Executive Officer, Authentix

Leveraging Data to Drive Actionable Insights

In a recent survey conducted by Oil & Gas IQ, over 200 downstream industry leaders were asked about the importance of supply chain fuel integrity in delivering on their brand promise. Not surprisingly, 76 percent of respondents said it was very important and 19 percent responded it was somewhat important. Despite the importance of this matter, only 26 percent of the respondents said that they had access to the required data to assure supply chain fuel integrity.

This lack of supply chain data and subsequent corrective and preventative actions exposes brand owners to the ubiquitous risk of fuel manipulation. Fuel manipulation can occur through negligence, system failures, or deliberate illicit acts. Regardless of the cause, when it occurs it can have damaging and lasting effects on consumer confidence and the integrity of branded products – resulting in lost revenue and competitive advantage.

View the full Fuel Quality Industry Report

 

The Looming Risks of Fuel Manipulation

Many think fuel manipulation isn’t happening in their country or market, or that it is happening at a scale that can be considered part of the cost of doing business, perhaps in the range of five percent of the volume of product sold. Our experience at Authentix is that the volume is typically much higher – in many cases more than 30 percent of the volume of product sold. Petroleum products present a lucrative opportunity for those who wish to deliberately manipulate fuel supplies for their illicit gain. Perpetuating the crime is a simple exercise of price arbitrage – obtain a product at a low price and sell it at a higher price. Lower prices can be obtained from outright theft, subsidized products, smuggling, lower grade products, or adulteration of products with solvents, waste oils, or any low-cost liquid criminals can obtain. This is big business that often goes undetected as represented in a 2017 Ernst & Young report that estimated the illicit fuel market to be $133 billion a year.

Minimize Risks with a Comprehensive Fuel Integrity Program

When a comprehensive fuel integrity program is deployed with sampling, testing, analysis and enforcement, our customers have been able to effectively stop fuel manipulation and achieve returns on investment in many cases of over 10 times. A key tool Authentix uses to combat fuel manipulation and facilitate the tracking and authentication of fuel products is the application of unique chemical markers coupled with proprietary analyzers to detect and measure the markers in the fuel. This lock and key combination of markers and analyzers facilitates the rapid and definitive authentication of products throughout the supply chain – enabling you to detect manipulation from multiple sources. To date, we have marked and protected over two trillion liters of petroleum products across the globe to identify and ameliorate issues such as grade swapping, product adulteration, or quality issues (e.g., incorrect additive dosing, water contamination, etc.).

Over the last few years, we have transformed our solutions to merge the physical authentication results from fuel sampling and testing with ubiquitous data sources (e.g., volume flows, pricing information, truck tracking, etc.) to aggregate and analyze data via the Authentix Information System (AXIS®). AXIS enables our customers to proactively operate their supply and distribution chains for competitive advantage. This transformation has been enabled and accelerated by four ongoing industry trends:

  • Increase in data collection, enabled by better connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cheap computing power and cloud infrastructures available
  • Improved analysis algorithms and inexpensive machine learning software available
  • Excellent open-source software options for data science programming and analysis

Today we are leveraging cloud architecture, simplifying data collection solutions while accelerating adoption of additional IoT sensors, and investing in proprietary data solutions to increase our ability to provide actionable insights to our customers. AXIS delivers insightful data analytics to isolate anomalies, reveal opportunities for fraud, and identify trends in unauthorized product placement, so you can act to maintain the integrity of the supply chain. By extracting the full value of customer, market, and supply chain data, and combining that with the integrity and responsiveness of our people, our customers gain a significant competitive advantage.

Enabling our customers to thrive in today’s complex supply chains requires more than a chemical marker and a device for measurement. It requires nuanced sector expertise and the means to collect, aggregate, and analyze supply chain data from multiple sources. It requires collaborative partnerships to leverage the growing ecosystem of IoT applications and data sources to deploy solutions quickly, and then learn, adapt, and drive toward predictive analytic solutions built on the AXIS platform. All of this contributes to our vision of creating a world of confident commerce – consumers can be confident they are getting what they pay for, and brand owners are confident they are competing on a level playing field to deliver on their brand promise.

Download Blog PDF Here

Doing Business on the Blockchain – Applications for the Lubricant Sector

     |     

Jeff Conroy, Chief Scientist, Authentix

Mention blockchain and many people will immediately think of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies that have been dominating headlines over the past few years. Although cryptocurrencies are an example of blockchain technology, there are many other uses for the underlying fundamental properties that blockchains provide.

A general definition of blockchain is a distributed, append-only, immutable digital ledger. A blockchain is the connecting (or chaining) of packages of information together in a verified record by a network of users with an agreed upon protocol. This network of users and the record may be publicly available like the well-known cryptocurrencies, or it may be private and require permissions to access like the Hyperledger Fabric that is the basis of many commercially available blockchains for business use.

The protocols in different blockchains may have different advantages for different applications, but the important concept is that the ledger entries (data) are used as the input to a function.  That digital data is used as a set of inputs to a protocol (mathematical functions), the output of which is another set of digital data.  Once calculated (and validated by multiple parties) the ledger of transaction is updated with the new entries (a new block), and the answer to the function is published (added to the chain). These answers for each block are intertwined in the protocol so that all the past entries and the values calculated for the ledger cannot be changed without a different answer being arrived at by the algorithm.  The new blocks would fail to give a correct answer, and nothing would be added to the chain.

The shared possession and processing of the blockchain amongst users acts as a means of instant validation of a historical set of data in that blockchain. No data can go into the blockchain unless it is formatted correctly, processed by the agreed upon protocol, and the new blockchain confirmed by multiple parties as being a valid record given those inputs. In the purely digital world, a blockchain can provide assurance that the all steps taken in a procedure have been undertaken, approved, and immutably recorded for future reference.

However, when we tie a blockchain to the physical world, more elements are needed to ensure a secure record of transactions is produced. While a ledger provides a record of a series of steps or transactions involving digital data, the generation of data such as ASTM test results, API certifications, or volumes of a product shipped between parties must also be done in a way to ensure the data produced is authentic. As in other supply chain solutions, the key is to design the protocol by which the physical to digital transformation of data is robust to accepting falsified data.

In the development of a finished lubricant, a blockchain could be used to carry the complete audit trail in the various production process. For example, the specifications, batch, and quality control results for base materials and additives can be recorded as they are produced according to accredited suppliers’ quality management systems. The procurement of such accredited materials can be tracked, and their use in a blended product verified by the production systems in place at blending facilities. The final QC values of finished goods can be recorded by the approved methods internal to producers or by independent third parties. All information can then be associated with batch, lot, or even individual container identifiers as part of the delivery and distribution process.

With proper physical controls in place, a blockchain can provide a validated audit trail of digital data that would accompany a finished product to verify the authenticity, provenance or properties of the products in the marketplace. When following established protocols for sampling, testing, and distributing physical products, tying a blockchain to a lubricant production process would allow quick verification of compliance. This would replace the disparate information systems, third-party audits and lack of common protocols that make fast and easy validation of materials difficult today.

This article can also be found in the February 2019 edition of Lubes, The European Lubricants Industry Magazine.

Download Blog PDF Here

What Defines a Successful Fuel Authentication Solution

     |     

By Kristi Browne, Senior Vice President, Services, Oil & Gas, Authentix

Certain operational functions and services are essential for an end-to-end fuel authentication solution that helps you mitigate risks to maximize revenue and gain a competitive advantage.

Protecting your brand is critical to thriving in today’s complex supply and distribution chain. When your branded fuel leaves the terminal, you expect it to be of the highest quality and purity. You also expect the same of the fuel that is provided to your customers at the pump. But in the downstream fuel supply chain, there are many variables that can negatively impact fuel integrity – putting both your revenue and brand’s reputation at risk. Without the right tools and technology to detect manipulation, you can never really be sure if what you’re delivering to your consumers are what they are expecting.

Unfortunately, fuel manipulation is not uncommon as the oil and gas industry operates with increasingly complex supply chains. And it’s easy to lose control of complex systems. When fuel enters your supply chain, it moves through fuel terminals to wholesalers and retailers that may include franchisees, oil marketing companies, sub-distributors, carriers, open dealers, and independent store owners. Fuel manipulation can occur at any stage of that journey.

Fuel marking is a very effective way to protect your brand from manipulation. A successful fuel authentication solution identifies both intended manipulation and inadvertent quality problems at distribution terminals with the use of advanced fuel markers and analyzers. But taking a proactive approach and determining the right authentication solution to fit your specific organization’s needs can seem daunting. Where do you begin? Developing an in-house solution is likely not feasible due to the lack of necessary tools and expertise. So how do you find the right partner to help you defend your supply chain from fuel manipulation? The key is choosing a partner that intimately understands your industry and your challenges and can provide comprehensive services and support – from strategy to implementation and beyond.

Get advice from a pro

Because the downstream supply chain is so complex, a fuel authentication solution is not going to come “off the shelf.” That means you’re going to want to partner with an organization that listens to and understands your specific needs and can draw from experience in solving all fuel manipulation problems, even the most complex. This knowledge will allow them to define your problem, then establish goals for the best solution to solve it.

Choose some design wizards

When designing your fuel authentication solution, the partner you choose should have a large “toolkit” so that they can pick and choose which tools and technologies should be included in your solution. When they have a breadth of advanced options in both overt and covert marking and analyzer systems, a range of technology (without being “married” to any specific one), and the flexibility to make changes as circumstances change, odds are they will develop and implement a solution that works for you. Of course, needs differ from company to company. You may have an urgent need for a legally-defensible, lab-authentication-based fuel marker. Or you may need instantaneous field authentication. You might even need both. A good fuel authentication partner will provide you all the options that lead to a successful outcome.

Follow great planning with great implementation

It’s not unheard of for fuel authentication programs to look good on paper but fall well short in the real world so it’s vitally important that your authentication partner has a great track record in implementation. This includes executing the solution as designed, deploying the right technology and tools, training your field personnel as needed, and managing the implementation process from beginning to end.

Choose a partner that stays with you for the long haul

A great authentication partner is never going to put your solution in place, brush their hands off, and walk away. They’re going to stay by your side to provide operational support, measure results, perform periodic auditing, and assign a dedicated resource to oversee the program. They should be unequivocally invested in your success.

Expect data that you can act on

Your authentication partner should provide a robust information system that uses sophisticated data analytics and intelligent reporting capabilities to enable you to make informed decisions and take the proper corrective action to best address the fuel manipulation problem over time. Advanced technology and a sound strategy are essential to shutting out fuel manipulation. With the right fuel authentication partner, you can confidently protect your brand and product from the terminal to the pump.

Kristi Browne is Senior Vice President, Services, Oil & Gas, at Authentix, the authority in authentication solutions. Authentix helps you thrive in supply and distribution chain complexity by providing advanced authentication solutions for governments, central banks and commercial products. These solutions ensure that local economies grow, banknote security remains intact, and commercial products have robust market opportunities. Our partnership approach and proven sector expertise inspires proactive innovation, helping you mitigate risks to promote revenue growth and gain competitive advantage.

Downstream Fuel Manipulation: Protecting Your Brand

     |     

By Chad Crouch, Vice President, Authentix.

Fuel manipulation can have a major impact on your revenue and brand reputation (and you might not even know it’s occurring).

Fuel integrity is a key component of brand protection for oil and gas companies distributing fuel to its consumers. Unfortunately, fuel manipulation is a widespread problem that can severely undermine your brand. How big is the fuel manipulation problem? Ernst and Young estimates that stolen, adulterated and defrauded fuel contributes to $133 billion of losses each year.

Fuel manipulation can be notoriously difficult to detect in the supply chain, but when discovered, the magnitude of the problem can be enormous. In a U.S. court case, for example, a petroleum wholesaler was found guilty of diluting medium and premium grades of gasoline with regular unleaded fuel. The company also represented and sold non-branded, low-grade fuels as branded fuels. Executives at the wholesaler were found criminally guilty and the firm was fined 30 million USD.

Sometimes fuel manipulation is a criminal act, sometimes it’s accidental. Improper dosing or blending of additives into fuels at terminal and retail sites can be caused by equipment failure, human error, or negligence. When that happens, oil companies lose revenue and suffer brand erosion.

Do you feel confident that your branded fuel that leaves the terminal is the same quality as what reaches the retail site and is ultimately sold to consumers? Without the right tools and technology to detect manipulation, you can’t really be sure.

Brand degradation occurs when customers unknowingly purchase adulterated fuels that result in poor engine performance or mechanical problems with their vehicles or other equipment. This will often trigger complaints (directly or on social media) and can result in negative coverage in the news media. Any type of fuel manipulation, irrespective of whether it occurred knowingly or unknowingly, is an exposure that can result in consumer mistrust of your products and cause irreparable damage to your brand.

Environmental damage can be caused by fuels that have been under-additized, leading to greater vehicle emissions, and consequently, more air pollution due to the mixing of waste products or non-petroleum products with your branded fuel.

Damage fuel claims can be devastating for oil and gas companies. If the damage claim stems from a single station operator, damage to the brand can be quickly localized. However, if the source of the problem is broader in scope (i.e., a large retail chain, a route operator, or fuel distribution terminal), the effects of complaints and damage claims can quickly gain momentum, harming the brand’s reputation and running up significant operating costs.

You must defend your downstream supply chain.
The supply chain for an oil and gas company is becoming increasingly complex. The more complex, decentralized and variable the supply chain, the greater the risk of manipulation. When fuel enters your supply chain, it moves through fuel terminals to wholesalers and retailers that may include franchisees, oil marketing companies, sub-distributors, carriers, open dealers, and independent store owners. Fuel integrity can be compromised at any “link” in this complex supply and distribution chain.

The disparity in price between a differentiated or branded fuel and a lower-grade or non-branded fuel creates an enticing arbitrage opportunity that can result in fraud and illicit gain. For example, unethical operators can illegally dilute a high-price and high-value product with low-cost and lower-grade fuel and pocket the difference. Diluting premium fuels with regular fuels of the same brand can place an additional 10% of income in a perpetrator’s wallet, more if the diluent is an unbranded fuel. If the diluent is not fuel but is instead water or a waste product (i.e., used motor oil), the return could be as much as 100 percent.

You can be sure of fuel integrity with an advanced fuel authentication solution.
An effective fuel authentication solution illuminates the supply chain to identify the opportunistic, fraudulent or accidental manipulation of differentiated and branded fuels. This can be accomplished by incorporating covert chemical markers into refined petroleum products and utilizing analyzers to validate the authenticity.

Fuel marking is an extremely effective solution to enable your organization to defend against manipulation and achieve revenue targets for your branded and differentiated fuels. By understanding where you have been compromised in the supply chain, your organization can then take corrective action to prevent future manipulation and ensure your fuel’s authenticity in the long term.

Another benefit of a well-designed fuel authentication solution is its powerful deterrent effect. When fuel retailers know their stations are being randomly audited, and they know the range of penalties that other operators have incurred for diluting fuel, they tend to be much more resistant to temptation and the level of contract compliance increases dramatically. After all, no one wants to be the next case study for the effectiveness of the fuel authentication solution.

You can be your company’s brand protector.
If your company was a football/soccer team, you’d be the goalkeeper. Your team depends on you to protect what matters most. Every day you are protecting your downstream supply chain from unpredictable threats that range from terminal issues to intentional acts of fuel manipulation. If even one ball gets past you into the net, it can have devastating consequences—lost revenue, harm to the environment, and damage to your brand reputation.

Your customers trust you to deliver a quality product, and it is your job to deliver on that promise. With the right fuel authentication solution, you can confidently assure the integrity of your supply chain—from the terminal to the pump.

Chad Crouch is Vice President at Authentix, the authority in authentication solutions. Authentix helps you thrive in supply and distribution chain complexity by providing advanced authentication solutions for governments, central banks and commercial products. These solutions ensure that local economies grow, banknote security remains intact, and commercial products have robust market opportunities. Our partnership approach and proven sector expertise inspires proactive innovation, helping you mitigate risks to promote revenue growth and gain competitive advantage.

Download Blog PDF Here

Coral Gas Introduces a Molecular Marker into its LPG Product to Combat Illicit Dilution in Greece.

     |     

Developed by Authentix, the system is the first of its kind to be adopted by an EU-member state.

Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) is a Greek success story. In recent years, Greek consumers have increasingly switched to LPG, using it both as an automotive fuel and a heating fuel, due to its lower price compared to gasoline or oil. In fact, official Greek sales of LPG reached 215,000 metric tons last year, up from just 4,200 tons in 2009.

Coral Gas, Greece, has played a major part in that success. Formerly known as Shell Gas S.A., Coral Gas S.A. operates as a subsidiary of Motor Oil Hellas Corinth Refineries SA. Through its four plants in Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Crete, Coral Gas has helped make LPG a big part of everyday life in Greece.

The Attack

But with success came a significant problem. Coral Gas was experiencing product quality problems due to dilution. It appeared that LPG that did not originate from the fuel retailer’s depots was being diluted and sold through its network of retail stations. This illicit activity had a negative effect on the Coral Gas brand, as consumers were no longer able to depend on the integrity of the LPG fuel they were purchasing. Manipulated fuel like this can lead to premature engine wear and tear, leading to costly repairs. And of course, it also leads to an erosion of consumer trust in the brand—and that can create significant revenue loss.

Defence

To defeat the LPG dilution problem, Coral Gas has introduced a powerful new “weapon”—a molecular marker, that is added to its automotive LPG products. This advanced authentication solution was developed by Authentix, the sole global provider of quantitative LPG marking technology.

To deter illicit fuel manipulation and protect Coral Gas’ brand integrity, Authentix’s team of subject matter experts in technology, program design and fuel authentication program management, collaborated with Coral Gas to support their business goals. Authentix developed a proactive, innovative solution that utilizes chemical markers built to withstand adulteration and illicit filtering methods. Authentix also provides in-house services and support (advisory, design, implementation and operations).

In the advisory phase, vulnerabilities in Coral Gas’s supply chain were identified. Using this information, the Authentix team provided a design template using its covert markers and analyzers to customize the program to Coral Gas’ needs.

The pilot program: Launched at one retail location in 2017, the pilot phase included the addition of a proprietary Authentix covert marker to Coral Gas’ automotive LPG. Using patented technology validated in both the field and laboratory, the Authentix team added quantitative fluorescent markers to legitimate fuel and measured for dilution. These markers are detected using special, intrinsically-safe readers.

The marker creates a unique fingerprint to identify legitimate fuel at retail sites, and is only visible with a highly-sensitive field detection device. Quantitative measurements of the marked LPG were taken using an Authentix LPX 1000 device reader. The device uses a monochromator principle to detect the presence of the optical marker in the fuel.

The full rollout: On October 8, 2018, Coral Gas began using LPG markers to protect their branded automotive LPG at approximately 350 retail sites, 100 of which are company owned/operated, and 250 that are dealer owned/operated.

As part of the program, Coral Gas is performing unannounced checks at service stations to ensure the quality and quantity of LPG. In addition, a state-of-the-art electronic system ensures the quality of the gas, accuracy of the mass meter controls, and that the program is being operated correctly by each Coral Gas distributor.

The program is designed to further advance the already-stringent quality controls that Coral Gas has in place. “The application of this molecular tracer system is part of the ongoing commitment to our customers to deliver quality fuels with excellent specifications,” said Coral Gas CEO Panagiotis Charitopoulos. “At Coral Gas, there are no compromises on quality issues and very high standards are maintained throughout our fuel management process.”

This is the first LPG marking system implemented in Europe. Working with Authentix, Coral Gas has implemented an effective solution to ensure that, every day, Coral Gas customers receive the precise, high-quality LPG that their brand promises.

Blockchain in the Oil Industry: Insights shared at the UEIL Annual Congress

     |     

By Dr. Phil Forshee, Senior Principal Scientist, Authentix.

Speaking at the UEIL Annual Congress in Budapest, Hungary on October 25, 2018, I was honored to share my insights in “Building Trust in the Supply Chain – An Introduction to Blockchain.”

Since its introduction in 2008, blockchain has taken the world by storm as the underlying technology for Bitcoin and the exploding cryptocurrency industry. At its core, blockchain is an information technology innovation that will likely change how many systems of record are designed and implemented. By offering immutability and transparency, blockchain can offer significant benefits to enhancing trust across complex business networks.

An application for which blockchain is particularly well suited is supply chain management. Blockchain provides two supply chain elements that are critically important – reliability and integrity. Everyone on the blockchain can see the complete chain of ownership for an asset because all the entities on the chain have the same version of the ledger, providing consensus. Once a record is on the chain it cannot be erased or modified, thereby adding further transparency to the supply chain.

Securing the supply chains of bulk products such as lubricants and refined fuels has its own unique challenges, as bulk products do not lend themselves to using conventional packaging-based security technologies such as 2D barcodes or NFC chips. However, the creation of spectral fingerprints for products (based on molecular spectroscopy) or results from chemical marker analysis can be uploaded to the ledger along with other transactional elements to authenticate the physical product throughout the supply chain.

While blockchain technology by itself does little to address the physical authentication of products, it does create demand for secure technologies to enable authentic physical to digital transformation of a transaction. Verifying the physical end of transactions going into a ledger provides the trusted inputs required to exploit the promise blockchains can provide to a multi-stakeholder supply chain.

Republic of Zambia seeing significant return on investment after beginning to enforce its fuel authentication program.

     |     

In recent years, the government of Zambia became aware they had a problem with illegal fuel dumping and/or adulteration. In fact, Zambia’s Energy Regulation Board (ERB) estimated that these activities were depriving the government of 81 million dollars USD per year in fuel tax revenue. To determine what fuel products were being manipulated, and where in the country the illicit activities were most rampant, the ERB implemented an ongoing fuel authentication program.

In February of this year, fuel from all government depots and certain national-oil-company depots intended for the Zambian domestic market were marked with a small quantity of a biochemical substance that acts as an identifiable “fingerprint” for the fuel. With more than six months of significant data from this authentication program, the ERB is initiating enforcement actions.

Baseline sampling and testing of Zambia’s fuel supply chain have answered the “what and where” questions about fuel manipulation that had previously eluded the ERB. They reveal that 1) there is a high incidence of tax avoidance through dilution of domestic fuel with unmarked products and/or kerosene; and 2) fuel manipulation is most prevalent along the country’s North/South transit corridor.

Based on these findings, the ERB has undertaken targeted enforcement actions. But they are also conducting continuous, impromptu sampling and testing of fuel at all filling stations, bulk fuel storage facilities, fuel tankers, and retail facilities for domestic consumption. The consumers of this fuel include mining and allied industries, construction, transport and logistics, general commerce, and the agricultural sector.

In addition, those who are suspected of conducting illegal fuel manipulation activities have been warned that the ERB working with Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), and the Zambia Police (ZP) are dealing firmly with fuel manipulators.

If an entity is found in possession of, selling, distributing, and/or transporting non-conforming petroleum products, ERB enforcement actions and penalties include license suspension or revocation, and the imposition of considerable fines and/or imprisonment (once convicted) for a period not exceeding two years.

The ERB and other cooperating government agencies are all enthusiastically undertaking appropriate enforcement actions to end fuel manipulation in Zambia. The ERB is optimistic that the effectiveness of the fuel authentication program will help ensure that fuel quality is guaranteed, and that maximum tax revenue can be realized from fuel sales in Zambia.

The impressive progress of the Zambian fuel authentication program is yet another example that fuel authentication programs such as theirs demonstrate a return on investment that is well-documented and compelling.

In addition, they provide other associated benefits—not the least of which is that they can help
governments ensure authentic products are sold in-country to benefit law abiding citizens – not criminals. Fuel marking solutions enable governments to collect more excise taxes without raising taxes for the benefit of citizens and legitimate industries

Two Trillion Liters of Insight- Preventing Illicit Fuel Trade

     |     

Illicit fuel trade is a major, global challenge within the oil and gas industry, the consequences of these unlawful actions being pervasive, from environmental damage to depriving governments of customs and tax revenues and actively supporting illegal activities.

The first Oil & Fuel Theft Summit was held in Geneva in April 2018 which helped to create discourse between high-level stakeholders within the hydrocarbons industry on how we can fight this revenue depriving delinquency. Authentix was a corporate sponsor of the event, where our team provided understandings on the issue, encouraging collaboration and drawing attention to this subject, we sought to deepen awareness.

Authentix insights into combatting fuel trade spans our experience over the last 20 years protecting more than two trillion liters of product in that time.

As the authority in authentication since 1998, Authentix’s extensive, proven experience in public and private sector authentication solutions ensures the programs implemented for our customers are comprehensive, technologically advanced and professionally executed.

We believe a system of fair and open commerce is an agent for good in the world, when that system is compromised civil society is weakened. We feel our company’s beliefs and mission help to ultimately combat illicit fuel trade.

Illicit operators go to where the money can be made. The mechanics of fuel fraud allows for this since price arbitrage drives the opportunity for offenders. In Mexico for example, taking stolen product and selling it approximates to USD4B industry per annum. In Ireland, criminals take subsidized diesel remove dye markers and transport it across neighboring borders to be sold as fully taxed diesel and pocket the price difference. Selling unbranded fuel as branded fuel, dilution or adulteration the possibilities are abundant for criminals to profit. The problem is huge, and the typical illicit trade rate which we have seen in serving our customers is usually about 30%.

In the European Union lubricating oils can be moved without being monitored by Excise Movement and Control System because they are not subject to excise tax in the EU and only a few States apply national taxation on these products. Fraudsters manufacture and transport lubricating oil throughout the EU and then introduce it in the mainstream network and sell it as automotive diesel fuel with the consequential evasion of excise duties.

Technology alone is not the solution. Understanding the job to be done, the desired outcomes to be achieved and how we apply technology to realize those outcomes is the way Authentix helps customers be the heroes.

Customers want to understand where their problems are and what they need to do to solve them.

Fuel markers and field analyzers are a part of the solution but translating data into actionable insights to combat illicit trade is key. Our Authentix Information System (AXIS) is an integrated set of software applications that collects data from testing performed on fuel samples, combined with fuel volume and pricing and other information which allows for intelligent analysis to be done which deliver those actionable insights.

Authentix Services and Support is available to our customers throughout the program and includes advisory services, design services, implementation services, and operational support.

Subsidized fuel looks exactly like full priced fuel, branded fuel looks exactly like unbranded fuel. So, marking fuels is important, since it enables the efficient determination of the identity of fuel products. Fuel marking as a tool within a program is cost effective and makes sense. The proper application of this technology lends to the idea of – its less of what you have but more of what you know from it.

Authentix’s roots are as an analytical chemistry company. Our core capability in developing robust molecular markers, purpose built to withstand adulteration and illicit filtering methods, has earned us the reputation as the premier covert marker developer.

Understanding the desired outcome of a program is significant to our goal at Authentix whether it be protection of a subsidized product, ensuring quality throughout the supply chain, trying to increase the collection of excise taxes or trying to stop smuggling, we focus on devising solutions that address our customer’s needs.

It may sound complicated and customers may seem overwhelmed with available technology solutions on the market, various types of programs being offered but our advice at Authentix is – Do Something!

There are simple approaches to begin deterring illicit activity. Making the issue more visible and having offenders understand the consequences involved in being complicit in this behavior is a preventive move and minimizes the problem. This menace is not going away till we do something.