We have recently identified some copies from China 'identical' to four items of Petzl's Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These copies, noncompliant with our standards, are a real danger for the user. Unfortunately, from the outside, they are indistinguishable from an original Petzl product. Petzl immediately launched an information campaign throughout its commercial network and for its clients, as well as legal measures to identify and stop the culprits.
With regards to this incident, it seemed necessary to me to clarify three points to our customers: our approach to counterfeiting, our manufacturing policy and its standards, our organisation in terms of distribution.
The fight against counterfeiting: the Petzl commitment
Like many innovative international brands, Petzl faces deceitful competition from counterfeiters. This competition, contravening international law, poses a risk to the survival of the companies being copied. Moreover, in the case of Petzl, it is also putting the safety of its clients at risk.
At Petzl, the struggle against counterfeiters is an important issue. It comprises several aspects:
- A policy of submitting patents on innovations and original designs
- Monitoring of markets through trade shows and various distribution channels
- In the event of counterfeiting, investigation of production sources
- Legal proceedings before competent tribunals if necessary, possibly leading to the destruction of industrial facilities.
For the record, in 2001 we identified 18 Chinese brands that had copied our TIKKA headlamp, released the previous year. The counterfeiters were stopped and a production mould was destroyed.
A demanding industrial approach
Since its creation in 1973, Petzl has remained a family business that invests in its research and development tools, testing and manufacturing processes. This investment allows us to fortify and modernise, which, for us, embodies the company's know-how and long-term interest. The Petzl production facility is composed of three sites in France and one site in Malaysia, all wholly owned and operated by Petzl. The aforementioned meets the same quality standards and workers' rights as our sites in France.
In terms of contract manufacturing, we work according to our quality standards:
- In Europe with exclusive partners
- In China for the production of certain helmets and the purchase of specific supplies.
For the safety of its clients, Petzl has uncompromising, rigorous requirements. All noncompliant products are systematically destroyed. No noncompliant Petzl product should end up on the market.
In terms of distribution, Petzl relies on a set of distributors that we have selected and trained to our requirements. They manage qualified retailers and resellers under their own responsibility. Petzl products are only available through this network. If you have any doubt over the origin of a product, do not hesitate to contact the Petzl distributor in your country.
For me, these three aspects are the essential bases for preserving Petzl's quality and an honest relationship with our clients. For you and for ourselves, we shall be uncompromising on these issues. Thank you for your trust and support.