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Is the EU shooting remanufacturing in the foot?

April 6, 2023

A new EU regulation enables OEMs to block companies buying their products.

The EU Regulation 2022/720 of the 10th. May 2022 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to groups of vertical agreements and concerted practises is at the centre of a sign-up or you can’t buy from us strategy they HP appears ot be using.

A Netherlands based remanufacturer who has built up a successful business over many years, and like most small remanufacturer he is buying and selling HP original cartridges to some of his loyal customers. The empty OEM cartridges he collects enables him to offer affordable, high-quality remanufactured cartridges to his other customers. Fulfilling his strong commitment to sustainability and the environment,

But now, his Benelux reseller send him an email recently saying they would no longer sell him HP cartridges unless he registered with HP. The remanufacturer knew that this would be a problem as registering with HP would prevent him from selling remanufactured cartridges.

In February, we reported that one UK-based reseller reported that they had been blocked from purchasing any HP products from their supplier with immediate effect. HP’s Authorised Partner List, which went live on 1 November 2022, requires resellers who wish to purchase or sell Print Transactional Products to be registered on the list.

The Netherlands remanufacturer was faced with a moral dilemma. On one hand, he could register with HP and continue to sell original HP cartridges to his customers. This would ensure a steady supply of cartridges and maintain his business relationships. However, this option went against his values of sustainability, as he would no longer be able to offer remanufactured cartridges, which were his most eco-friendly option.

On the other hand, he could refuse to register with HP and risk losing his supplier. This would mean he would have to find a new source for original HP cartridges or use cartridges from other brands, which may not be as popular with his customers. However, this option would allow him to continue providing remanufactured cartridges and remain true to his commitment to sustainability.

After much contemplation, the remanufacturer decided that he would sign up, and clicked the email link to the HP partner site and just got the buffering wheel of death (we did the same and got the same result) and he abandoned the sign up.

After a little research and a few calls, he found a new supplier for HP original cartridges and plans to continue to offer his customers HP original and remanufactured cartridges. All the while planning to convert them to an alternative printer brand over the next few years.

Is it legal and can they do this? HP says their selective distribution system applies to the European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and believes that the operation of a selective distribution system is permissible in the European Economic Area according to the Commission’s EU Regulation 2022/720 of the 10th May 2022 on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to groups of vertical agreements and concerted practises.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Benelux Business EU HP OEM Resellers UK

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