New legislation launches preventing the sale of specialist custom hologram printing equipment to criminals

Legislation has been passed in England and Wales which helps prevent the illegal use of custom hologram printing equipment. The Specialist Printing Equipment and Materials (Offences) Act will come into force in May, and will make it an offence to supply printing equipment to those who will attempt to use it for criminal purposes.

The law will cover both printing equipment and the paper and other consumables used in security printing. This means that high security documents such as certificates and event tickets will become much harder for criminals to produce. In addition, it also applies to the production of holograms, making it even harder to fraudulently reproduce holograms using specialist equipment.

This new legislation brings England and Wales closer to the US, which already outlaws similar activity. Under the new law, anyone who sells custom hologram printing equipment with the knowledge that it will be used for criminal activity can be fined or sent to prison for up to 10 years.

The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) has welcomed the move, calling it a significant step forward in the fight against fraudulent reproduction of security documents. Ian Lancaster from the IHMA said: “The Act will be very welcome and has to be seen as a positive move to support governments and industry in their fight against crime and terrorism at a time when ID document forgery is on the rise. This will also benefit brand owners tackling the problem of counterfeiting because they will be reassured that they will be using holograms supplied from bona fide sources as part of brand protection strategies.”

He added: “Holography continues to play a key role as a highly effective, extremely flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters. All involved in the supply chain will be reassured by the presence of holograms on products and recognise the benefits they provide.”