August 4, 2020
The Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East and Africa (ICCE) welcomes the UK Government’s recent commitment to spend £705 million ($920 million/ €781 million) on border control infrastructure, in preparation for the UK leaving the European customs union and single market, and urges the Government to set aside some of these funds to support efforts to crack down on the importation and supply of counterfeit, unsafe or illegal products and on smuggling.
As ICCE explains, in 2019, UK ports handled 483 million tonnes of freight, 206 million tonnes of which was UK-EU trade. However, the UK market, including the internet, is awash with fake products. An OECD report in 2019 estimated that up to £13.6 billion ($17.76 billion/ €15.06 billion) of fake goods were shipped into the UK in 2016; this represents 3% of total imports.
ICCE estimates the global imaging consumables industry is currently threatened by a €1.6 billion ($1.88 billion) black market in counterfeit imaging supplies. Counterfeit goods undermine consumer confidence and cheat consumers of the quality they expect from branded consumables, ICCE added. They can be environmentally unfriendly and fund organised crime. ICCE said its members have received reports of counterfeit cartridges containing petroleum which, if used, could cause a printer to explode with potentially severe consequences for the user.
ICCE comments further that “the supply of counterfeit imaging consumables also threatens the jobs and livelihoods of workers across the UK and the EU.” The ICCE and its members added that they stand ready to assist UK border authorities and other law enforcement to regain the advantage over the counterfeit suppliers which are currently penetrating the UK.
Editor’s Opinion: Counterfeiting is a crime of passing off a fake product as an OEM brand and one we should all challenge. That said OEMs don’t always make a distinction between their brands and the legitimate aftermarket. Citing the impact on employment doesn’t help either since most, if not all imaging consumables are produced outside of the UK/EU. Reusing consumables would reduce the market for counterfeit products and easily create 20,000+ jobs in the UK/EU.
Categories : World Focus