HP has seized counterfeit products worth US$7.18 million during a 15-month operation across Southeast Asia, as the vendor clamps down on fraudulent suppliers.
Spearheaded by the HP Anti-Counterfeiting and Fraud (ACF) Program, the initiative tackled corruption across Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
With the aim of raising awareness on the severity of the fraudulent supplies market in Southeast Asia, the program is designed to combat the production and distribution of counterfeit ink and toner printing supplies.
In a joint effort with local law enforcement authorities, HP executed more than 17 raids and five arrests in impacted markets.
“Seizures from these raids consisted of items like finished and unfinished cartridges, packaging materials and various sets of labels,” a statement from HP read. “Counterfeit printing supplies pose a serious threat to consumers and businesses alike.
“The use of counterfeit supplies can often result in printer damage, malfunctions, and is not covered by printer hardware warranties. More importantly, it can result in lost revenue and unnecessary downtime for business.”
Globally, sales of all counterfeit goods reached US$1.2 trillion in 2017 and is predicted to increase to US$1.82 trillion by 2020.
“HP regularly conducts checks and raids to reduce counterfeits in the supply chain, and protect customers and businesses that work with HP,” the statement added. “This process decreases the likelihood of customers and partners unintentionally purchasing counterfeit ink and toner, hence slowing down these supplies from reaching the marketplace.”
Aside from enforcements and raids, large and medium-sized businesses that are HP customers can request a Customer Delivery Inspection (CDI), a protection service if they suspect that counterfeit products are included in delivery.
HP also "proactively protects" channel partners and customers from unauthorised printing supplies through the Channel Partner Protection Audits (CPPA), an audit for the vendor's partners. Partners who pass the CPPA can communicate this to customers.
“This in turn, gives partners and customers the peace of mind that their ink and toner print supplies are 100 per cent genuine,” the statement said. “Through the ACF program, HP aims to protect businesses from the problems that can result from counterfeit supplies.”
According to HP, businesses should be wary of dubious sales methods such as bulk sales on online auction sites and dramatically reduced prices.
Furthermore, the vendor advises organisations to buy only from authorised HP sales partners to avoid falling victim to counterfeiting, alongside "explicitly asking" for Original HP products when purchasing or tendering.