The Chipping of Goods Initiative

The United Kingdom launched a new initiative against the organized trade in stolen goods, including boats in 2001. What happened to this good cause for boat owners and the marine trades?

The Chipping of Goods Initiative will use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in a silicon chip implanted in consumer goods — including boats — that will reveal the origin and ownership of the product, government officials said.

The move is welcomed by the British Marine Industries Federation (BMIF), which will use funds provided by the government under the initiative to re-launch its flagging Boatmark scheme.

Boatmark was set up in 1995 as a joint venture between the BMIF and Equifax HPI, a specialist in secure and confidential registration and identification schemes.

The scheme was endorsed by the British government and had the backing of all UK marine police forces. It also won the support of major finance and insurance companies operating in the marine industry and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

However, the scheme did not reach its target number of craft, mainly due to the registration cost to builders.

The funds from the Chipping of Goods Initiative will enable the scheme to be promoted at no cost to the industry. This will, said BMIF executive director Howard Pridding, allow the database to be expanded to reach the critical mass numbers where it becomes a viable and valuable proposition.

“Boatmark will be relaunched to the industry in about a month’s time,” said Pridding. “We have some things to tie up with HPI before then.”

What happened to this good cause for boat owners and the marine trades?

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