July 8, 2016
The OEM has seized counterfeit products worth €5 million ($5.5 million) since April, and is “locked in” a number of legal cases across Europe.
CRN reported on the latest details from Kyocera in Europe on its “wider crackdown on the growing amount” of counterfeit cartridges and products. The site noted that levels of “dodgy products” have grown, with the amount seized since April around half of the €10 million ($11 million) that the OEM seized “in the whole of last year”. To add to this, the OEM is “locked in several legal cases across Europe”, including the UK, in relation to counterfeit toner cartridges.
The news site adds that the increased numbers suggest counterfeiting “is becoming more prevalent in the European channel”, while Kyocera claims that the rise is “partly down to more counterfeiters turning to office and IT supplies and partly due to the industry working together better to find the counterfeiters”. With “non-genuine products” in the channel found “in a number of guises”, the OEM notes that its products “fall victim to clever black marketeers”.
The legal cases are ongoing, and so the OEM “could not divulge any more information”, but all the cases relate to the “creation and sale of counterfeit goods”, and it believes that office and IT suppliers “are becoming counterfeited more and more because the authorities have cottoned onto kit which is traditionally targeted, such as handbags and sports kit”. Kyocera advises customers to work “through official, authorised channels”, and is “taking matters into its own hands to try to avoid empty cartridges being misused”.
Jonathan Robbins, Kyocera’s Consumables and Spare Parts Manager, commented: ”We are part of a larger group trying to investigate. We’re part of ICCE, the anti-counterfeit group, and React UK and [we work with] printer manufacturers like HP Inc, Lexmark and Brother. We talk among ourselves and do our own little investigations and if we stumble across other manufacturers then we get them involved as well. It’s about coming together as a big team and everyone attacking the situation.
“The manufacturer makes it look and feel like it’s a genuine toner but it is not a refill and it’s not compatible. They buy the empty toner containers and ship them back to the manufacturing plants around the world, in China, the UAE, Turkey and Eastern Europe. They get refilled with toner and get nice new packaging on the outside – boxes that look identical to ours – then they put them back into circulation and pass them off as being genuine consumables.”
He added: “It started off talking about Gucci handbags and so on, and customs officials are used to those goods coming into the country and [they] shut them down quite quickly. So the counterfeiters are looking for other ways of making money and office goods seem to be the thing they are going for. They mix genuine and counterfeit goods together in a bundle so you can’t see it so much.
“On most of our toners, we have a hologram and the distribution channel has been issued hologram readers – or ‘handy viewers’ – so they can read the barcodes. Also, if they don’t think the packaging is quite right, they should contact me or our team and we will go in and investigate it further.
“Also, we have a toner take-back scheme. If a customer has an empty toner cartridge, they can send it on a free postage label back to a collection point where we remanufacture it. The idea is to take the empty toner cartridges out of the market. If we buy them back, there is no second-hand value in it, where it can be recycled into a counterfeit product.”
Categories : World Focus