HP Inc has circulated a partner blacklist as part of its efforts to clamp down on counterfeit print supplies trading.
The Do Not Trade List for EMEA, dated 15 March and seen by Channel Partner Insight, includes four partners that HP says have engaged in counterfeit and/or illegitimate trading.
Two of the partners are based in Germany and one in Burkina Faso, with defunct Beta Distribution the sole UK business listed.
One of the German businesses, Winterholt & Hering, reported sales of €110m for the year ending 31 December 2017, according to the German equivalent of Companies House.
The second, Imcopex, reported revenue of €155m in the same period.
The document states that partners are "not permitted to directly or indirectly trade HP supplies with any company on the Do Not Trade List".
It explains that the rationale is to "keep our channel clear of counterfeiting and improper trade of HP supplies such as grey marketing, VAT fraud and abuse of HP programmes".
Partners that violate the Do Not Trade List may be subjected to "severe consequences" including rebate reclaims, lump-sum payment and partner programme expulsion, HP warned.
In a statement to Channel Partner Insight, HP said: "HP is committed to protecting consumers and partners from counterfeiting and other forms of trade of HP supplies and takes steps to identify such activity.
"Efforts include working in close co-operation with local authorities, offering free delivery inspections to customers, performing regular channel partner protection audits, and attaching security labels that regionalise and serialise HP supplies.
"We now publish the HP Do Not Trade List of companies against which HP has evidence that they are involved in counterfeiting and/or other forms of illegitimate or improper trade of HP supplies. The aim of the Do Not Trade List is to help our partners legitimately source original HP supplies from trusted traders."
Channel Partner Insight contacted both German firms for comment but had only received a reply from Imcopex at the time of publication.
"We are on speaking terms with HP and in one or two weeks we hope that we will be out of the list," said Imcopex managing director Massimo Cadinu.
"I am very positive. When I have something written in my hands I can show it, but the first step is to be speaking with them, which we are."
HP has been on a mission to clamp down on rogue supplies traders since it revealed troubles in its print supplies business in February.
In Q1 the vendor's revenue from supplies fell three per cent globally and nine per cent in EMEA, as online marketplaces and third-party products took their toll.
Speaking at Reinvent in Houston, HP's EMEA print general manager David Ryan said that the vendor would be aggressively combating partners that are trading counterfeit print cartridges.
He said that in the long run, cheap imitations can be less cost effective than more expensive HP originals, because of poor quality and the potential to damage machines.
He also claimed that non-HP devices have been known to fail environmental standards tests.
The HP document also says that a new section has been entered in the vendor's partner terms, explaining the obligations of partners with regards to the Do Not Trade List.
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