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HP fights against counterfeit products in Africa   
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Thanks to the multi-million dollar Anti Counterfeit (ACF) drive of Hewlett Packard (HP), global leader in technology innovations, 20,000 counterfeit products of the company were seized in Ghana in November 2012.

This was part of HP ACF programme for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and in the view of the company the seizure was “a major success against counterfeiting of printing supplies for HP printers”.

After stopping three suspicious consignments before they could enter the local market, security officials seized a total of nearly 7,000 fake ready-for-sale print cartridges for HP printers and around 13,000 components for the subsequent manufacture of counterfeit products.

The products were intercepted by the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority at Tema Ports, the country’s commercial city.

This year 17,000 of the fake products were seized in Morocco and 3,600 in Mozambique. So far nine million print cartridges and components have been seized worldwide.

Ms Tina Rose, Marketing Programme Manager, ACF Communication, told a counterfeit live demonstration encounter with media personnel in Accra that her outfit has rolled out a seven-year ACF programme.

She used the occasion to unveil HPs latest Mobile Authentication Solutions.

HP she said invests one billion-dollar a year on research to combat counterfeiting.

She said counterfeit products are usually refilled or remanufactured print cartridges packed in unauthorised or fake reproductions of HP packaging.

Ms Rose said the dangers of counterfeit products are that they are sold for the same price the genuine products go for and tends to destroy printers.

The fake products also pose environmental, health and other concerns although it is highly profitable for the criminals dealing in them.

Ms Rose noted that customers are mostly unwitting victims of counterfeiting, explaining that studies have shown that only six per cent of buyers are aware they are purchasing fake products.

She said clients should protect themselves by purchasing HP items only from authorised channels.

Ms Rose said prevention, education and products packaging are the three pillars to help prevent counterfeiting.
Sophisticated packaging and security labels enable partners and customers to spot suspicious products and make it more difficult for counterfeiters to manufacture fake products. Print software then alerts customers when a non-genuine print cartridge is inserted.

HP focuses resources in countries most affected, especially regarding production and distribution, including focussed investigative and enforcement actions to deter growth.

The company also promotes and supports seizures and enforcement actions by authorities, which have a dissuasive effect and would be counterfeiters.

Ms Rose therefore expressed the need for investigation and enforcement by law enforcement agencies in countries where HP products are marketed.

Across EMEA over the last four years, HP has conducted nearly 1,000 investigations, resulting in more than 800 enforcements actions, including raids and seizures by authorities.

World Customs Organisation and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) says counterfeiting drains an estimated 600 billion Euros from the global economy, equivalent to the loss of about five-seven per cent of trade in brand goods worldwide.

In order to continue to protect customers from fraudulent and potentially dangerous counterfeit goods, HP closely cooperates with authorities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Since November 2008, the company has trained around 3,500 police and customs personnel, more than 12,000 HP business partners and about 1,300 corporate customers in the field of anti-counterfeiting.

HP provides a number of direct ways to contact its ACF Programme.

E-mail: To report about suspicious printing supplies or ask questions about the HP ACF Programme EMEA, one should send the details in any language via ACF e-mail ([email protected]

Web: To report suspicious printing supplies via the web including the option to report anonymously one should go to the ACF online reporting form: English, French.

Post: To contact HP via mail one could use the following address: EMEA Anti-counterfeit Programme, Hewlett-Packard International S.á.r I., 150 Rounte du Nant d’Avril, 1217 Meyrin, Switzerland.

HP officials promise to keep the information confidential to the extent permitted by law and will only share it on the need to know basis.

One could also report anonymously using HP’s online reporting form.

HP recommends to clients to explicitly ask for original HP printing supplies products’ when ordering and/or purchasing print cartridges for HP supplies partner in one’s region.

Clients could find authorised HP Supplies Partner at www.hp.com by clicking on HP partner and search for local supplies.

Fighting counterfeits poses significant challenges to brand-holders and business.

In 2011, the anti-piracy consortium Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting Piracy of the ICC, estimated that the yearly global economic and social impact of counterfeiting and piracy is $775 billion and expected to reach 1.7 trillion by 2015.

HP said it in clear terms that counterfeiting impacts businesses and global trade through lost revenue, damage to brands and negative effects on hard earned reputations and consumer confidence.
Source: A GNA feature

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