ECIA: DFARS Not ‘FAR’ Enough
Although the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) has undergone yet another revision, proponents of authorized distribution say that the measure still does not go far enough to protect the electronics industry from counterfeit components.
The Electronics Components Industry Association, which represents electronics distributors and their suppliers, commented in December on the most recent revision to DFARS Case 2014-D005. In effect, the ECIA said definitions pertaining to distribution and common supply chain practices are still unclear.To address the deficits in the wording of the DFARS ruling, ECIA’s December comments focus on “[…] five specific areas: (1) Authorized dealer; (2) Trusted supplier; (3) Policy; (4) Traceability; (5) Flow down requirements.” The issues at stake, as Robin Gray, COO and general counsel for ECIA offered:ECIA believes that the most effective method for avoiding counterfeit electronic parts is to purchase these parts from the original manufacturer and their authorized distributors, and authorized aftermarket distributors and manufacturers. […] Consequently, ECIA recommends, in keeping with its […] recommendations, that the proposed DFARS be amended to reflect the “safe harbor” of buying from “legally authorized sources” and that the processes/procedures for detecting and avoiding counterfeit electronic parts only be used for acquisitions from unauthorized sources (i.e., sources other than “legally authorized sources”). ECIA and other industry organizations have said there must be a clear and direct relationship between DFARS rulings’ terminology and the industry’s actual supply chain operations, definitions, critical terminology distinctions, and best in class anti-counterfeit methodologies. By aligning the legal processes and procedures with actual supply chain processes and terminology, the end goal to further assist DoD in their efforts to “[…] preserve the integrity of the electronic component supply chain” has a greater likelihood of impact and of success.