ICCE partnerships with OKI Europe to fight counterfeit printer supplies in Turkey

ICCE industry partnerships and shared market intelligence are supporting a major fightback against the €1.6bn market of counterfeit imaging products1, with OKI Europe confirming a crackdown on counterfeit operations that has led to a string of seizures.

A recent intelligence-led operation resulted in a successful raid in Kandira, in the Marmara region of Turkey, where counterfeit OKI packaging and 10,000 counterfeit OKI security holograms were seized. In 2018, 254 counterfeit OKI toner cartridges were also seized following an inspection in Istanbul.

Ongoing investigations in the country have identified three other companies dealing in counterfeit OKI products, with local law enforcement authorities now involved. The recent investigations and raids in the country are part of a sustained international campaign to crack down on counterfeit OKI consumables and prevent them from entering authorised distribution channels.

“OKI has been an active member of ICCE for over 10 years and greatly values the relationships we have established,” says Ivana Laskodyova, Consumables Product Manager EMEA, OKI Europe Ltd.

“Together we are strong, especially when it comes to sharing market intelligence: there have been many instances where members of ICCE have discovered counterfeit OKI goods and provided important leads that resulted in counterfeit stock being investigated and destroyed.”

Growing threat

In 2014, months of intelligence-gathering by OKI Europe and a specialist partner agency led to counterfeit OKI printer consumables with a market value of more than one million Euros being seized in the country. The operation was carried out by OKI in conjunction with seven other printer manufacturers, all members of the ICCE group.

According to the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office, the rising trade in counterfeit and pirated goods now stands at 3.3% of world trade. Most counterfeit goods picked up in customs checks originate in mainland China and Hong Kong, with the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, India and Turkey also named as major countries of origin2.

One of the biggest challenges for the print sector is the widespread harm that counterfeit goods can cause, from poor print quality and damage to the performance and lifespan of a printer, to the potential risk of customers being exposed to dangerous chemicals.

As with other counterfeit products, as well as damaging the IP and reputation of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), profits from counterfeit consumables may be used to fund criminal groups and activity1.

Originality matters

All OKI Original imaging products undergo extensive research and rigorous testing and are manufactured to exacting specifications to prevent accidental damage and ensure that customers achieve high-quality results and promised page yields. To identify them as OKI Original Consumables, OKI products feature holograms containing key visual features.

In April 2019, OKI also implemented a serialisation programme to identify serial numbers that are not OKI Original products to help prevent these goods penetrating its authorised channel.

“OKI takes brand protection extremely seriously and we have developed a number of key initiatives to detect counterfeit goods,” confirms Ivana Laskodyova. “Our commitment to delivering quality products for customers means taking action to help prevent them being cheated into buying inferior, non-original OKI products believing them to be OKI Original Consumables, which could damage OKI’s brand and reputation in the market.

“Working as a product manager and in other roles in the distribution channel has given me a great deal of insight into how counterfeiters operate. It has also highlighted how easy it is for customers to be blinded by the price tag and fall for the tricks of the counterfeiters.”

Every OKI Original Consumable can be identified via a unique ID plus 3-digit validation code. OKI customers wishing to check products are genuine should enter the product serial number into OKI’s online authentication tool.

To avoid purchasing counterfeit products, OKI advises customers to always buy OKI Original Consumables through an authorised OKI reseller.

  1. http://www.icce.net/
  2. https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/trade-in-fake-goods-is-now-33-of-world-trade-and-rising.htm