April 9, 2015
The association noted that public tenders for printer cartridge that exclude remanufactured cartridges “are a regular nuisance for ETIRA members” and other companies in the European industry. It added that “almost every week” it approaches public bodies in Europe issuing tenders that “either exclude remanufactured [cartridges] from tendering” or give an “illegal preference to OEM cartridges and/or non-OEM new-builds”.
In 2014, ETIRA was successful in an attempt to act against a southern German hospital tender, which was open to “OEM and new-build non-OEM cartridges, but explicitly excluded remanufactured cartridges”. This was followed by two more oppositions undertaken in March this year, against another hospital in southern Germany and a tender from a “major city” in northern Germany, which ETIRA learned this week had been withdrawn, and new tenders “will be published”.
The association’s process includes sending a “protest letter” stressing that the exclusion is illegal, and also reminding the public body or organisation that “they should be careful when including new-build toner cartridges in the tender, as it could make them liable for possible infringement of OEM patents by these models”. ETIRA also reiterates that many new-build toner cartridges “have no end-of-life solution, and as a result they may wind up in landfills, polluting the European environment”.
The association commented that the withdrawal of the two German tenders that excluded remanufactured cartridges is “another example of ETIRA’s successful lobbying for a level playing field for our trade”. The European Parliament changed EU law in January 2014 in order to take “social and environmental aspects of products into consideration, instead of just lowest price”, and ETIRA commented at the time that the changes would hopefully “ensure better quality and value for money when public authorities buy or lease works, goods or services”, as well as making it easier for SMBs to put in bids for procurement contracts.
Vincent van Dijk, ETIRA’s Secretary General, stated of the changes at the time: “In public tenders, our industry has always suffered from unfair competition by others. Since the start of the economic crises, public authorities often simply choose the cheapest product offered, which in many cases was a Chinese patent-infringing new-build cartridge.
“So doing, they neglected the environmental burden and loss of local jobs that these products represent. I hope the new EU rules will allow remanufacturers, being only small and medium-sized enterprises, to capitalise on their added value: the environment-friendly reuse of a product, and produced by local workers, thus saving natural resources, and creating local jobs.”
Categories : World Focus