Illegal Ozone-Depleting Substances Found in Counterfeit Investigation in Philippines
DuPont Refrigerants (DuPont) today announced a successful settlement with T.A. Fresco of a case involving the packaging and sale of counterfeit illegal Suva® 134a.
In 2012, DuPont initiated an investigation into T.A. Fresco, a company in the Philippines, which was supplying refrigerants to a service provider in the shipping industry. An undercover purchase was conducted by DuPont which revealed that T.A. Fresco was selling R-134a refrigerant cylinders with incorrect spelling and markings, which indicates counterfeit product. Upon further testing of the contents of the cylinders, the product was determined to be made up of more than 90 percent R-12 refrigerant. With the assistance of U.S. Homeland Security officials, local police raided the T.A. Fresco warehouse and seized 511 counterfeit cylinders, falsely labeled as “Suva® 134a”.
In third quarter 2013 DuPont negotiated the settlement of this case, which included a formal public apology in a Philippines national newspaper, full compensation for the destruction of the counterfeit refrigerant and monetary compensation for the illegal distribution of this product. Most importantly, the negotiation resulted in disclosure of the source of supply to T.A. Fresco. A separate legal investigation has been opened on the named company in China.
Counterfeit refrigerants continue to plague the industry in terms of potential safety and environmental issues, as well as the possibility of equipment failure. In addition, counterfeit refrigerants can include CFCs (i.e. R-12) and HCFCs (i.e. R-22) in containers marked as HFCs (i.e. R-134a). This raises an illegal import issue and can be in violation of international treaties, such as the Montreal Protocol.
“This case was not only a blatant counterfeit situation but also involved the illegal smuggling of ODS, violating the Montreal Protocol,” emphasized Elizabeth M. Sassano, global brand protection manager, DuPont Refrigerants. “DuPont takes protection of its brands and safety and compliance with environmental international treaties very seriously. We will continue to pursue and prosecute such cases to the fullest extent of the law.”
DuPont is a leading global supplier of refrigerants, using science and technology, market knowledge and global reach to provide sustainable materials and solutions to enhance personal comfort, enable food preservation, improve industrial processing and reduce environmental footprints. For more information, please visit refrigerants.dupont.com. For information on the DuPont Brand Assurance Anti-Counterfeiting Initiative, please visit refrigerants.dupont.com/genuine.
DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.
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