EU Commission Rejects Imaging Equipment Agreement
The Brussels based European Commission has finally responded to the lengthy review of the imaging equipment industry which saw the establishment of a voluntary agreement (VA) in Europe.
In short, the Commission claims the VA is not “green” enough, and it will prepare its own set of regulations for imaging equipment and supplies.
On page 6 of its report, the Commission stated, “Regarding imaging equipment, the Commission has assessed the revision of the Voluntary Agreement proposed by representatives of the sector and concludes that accepting this revision would not achieve the objectives considered in the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), and cannot be considered compliant with the guidelines on self-regulatory27 instruments in particular regarding the possible re-use of consumables. As announced in the CEAP, the Commission will launch the preparation of regulatory measures for this product group.”
Back in November, 2016, the Commission established a set of guidelines to allow industry groups to establish their own self-regulated measures.
The 16-page, March 30, 2022 Communication From the Commission clearly states that the agreement struck by OEMs and the aftermarket to deliver a greener solution does not meet the objectives of the Commission.
In commenting on Linkedin about the decision, Zoltan Matyas, said, “In the Circular Economy Action Plan, Europe is proposing new rules to make goods circulation on EU markets more eco friendly, circular, reparable, manufacturable, and energy-efficient throughout their entire lifecycle, use, repurposing, and end-of-life.”
Industry leaders in Europe are already speaking out about the impact of this decision. Some are disappointed that the VA has been rejected by the Commission.
This latest decision is going to “hurt” the OEMs who must allow printer cartridges to be reused without having firmware updates locking out their use. This is good for the aftermarket, in my view.
This also means that aftermarket companies, whether they be manufacturers or distributors, will need to focus more on providing supplies that are eco-friendly. Many cartridges being imported into the EU from Africa, China and Central Europe will have to meet the new regulations.
Further, it is my view the Chinese suppliers, for example, will meet the tougher new regulations, and not only with remanufactured cartridges, but with cartridges using new technologies that will meet the new EU regulations. I do not, for a moment, believe the EU will be rid of products coming from China. But it is true they will need to meet the new standards.
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