WILMINGTON, Del. — DuPont Refrigerants has announced a successful settlement with T.A. Fresco, a company in the Philippines, in a case involving the packaging and sale of counterfeit illegal DuPont™ Suva® 134a refrigerant.
In 2012, DuPont initiated an investigation into T.A. Fresco, 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 “DuPont™ Suva® 134a”.
DuPont negotiated a settlement of the 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. The negotiation also resulted in the 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 present 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,” said 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.”
For more information, visit http://refrigerants.dupont.com.
Publication date: 2/24/2014