Global Industry Reacts to I-ITC Decision Over Ninestar’s STMC Credentials
Reactions to the International Imaging Technology Council’s (I-ITC) decision to not renew STMC certifications for Ninestar have flowed in quickly following an announcement on October 24, 2023.
The I-ITC is responsible for overseeing the STMC (Standardized Test Methods Committee) which promotes, trains and manages the standardized test methods for the printer cartridge industry. Receiving the highly respected STMC certification for your cartridge remanufacturing and manufacturing business is highly sought by industry professionals around the world.
The I-ITC Board of Directors met to discuss the current trade ban imposed on the Ninestar Group of companies by the U.S. government as led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The US Government claims Ninestar has worked with the government of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region through a third-party agency to recruit, transport, transfer, and receive Uyghur laborers out of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to work in its manufacturing facilities in the city of Zhuhai, located in the Guangdong Province.
It is a claim refuted by Ninestar, which on August 23, 2023, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other related parties of the U.S. government before the U.S. Court of International Trade.
“The Int’l ITC Board of Directors, along with the STMC Chairman, considered the issue carefully, but in the end, the decision was unanimous,” said Executive Director Tricia Judge. “The ethical issues just demanded that we not put our quality seal of approval on products made by slave labor.”
A number of industry leaders, from China, India, Europe, Africa, Australia and Latin America, have independently contacted RT after hearing the latest news about the non-renewal of Ninestar’s STMC certification. Each expressed surprise and disbelief over the action.
“STMC is about technical standards, not politics,” said one person. Another added, “The STMC is being used as an instrument to fulfill the US Government’s policy actions. It’s all geopolitically motivated.”
Yet another reflected on the high standards that STMC has brought to the global industry and reflected “it is a dark day when STMC is used by one nation to attack another.”
“Yeah, everything is now based on politics,” said another. “You can hear the money talking,” said another.
The chatter on Chinese social media reflected support for Ninestar from its competitors. “What does STMC or any other certification have to do with this issue.” Yet other chats, respectfully said the I-ITC has every right to make the decision but it sends a very confusing message throughout the industry about what STMC is supposed to represent.
The I-ITC Board and the STMC Committee chair jointly stated they have the view that if Ninestar were to keep its STMC certification then it would facilitate enhanced sales of products identified by the United States as likely to be produced by slave labor.
One astute leader, not connected in any way with Ninestar, commented, “The I-ITC’s decision has no affect now in the US market because Ninestar’s products are no longer sold there. So, why was this action necessary?” This person added that it could only be seen as an intentional act of overreach to “minimize Ninestar’s technical capability and reputation in other world markets.”
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