NELMA Pursues Legal Cases Against Counterfiet Use of IPPC HT Stamps
NELMA continues its efforts to protect the integrity of the IPPC program on behalf of its wood packaging subscribers. The past couple of years have yielded critical proactive and ongoing legal pursuit of those individuals and companies that choose to counterfeit IPPC HT marks or use stolen IPPC stamps. In four recent cases brought before U.S. District Courts by NELMA, significant judgments have been ruled against wrongdoers in Wisconsin, New York, and New Hampshire for counterfeiting stamps and/or trademark infringements involving stamps.
While there will be those that believe they can just copy a stamp from an image seen online or a mark from an existing wood packaging unit, the theft of a legitimate stamp from a certified wood packaging manufacturer is of primary concern. As a subscriber to NELMA’s program, you are well aware of the stamp inventory safeguard requirement at your facility. The size, format, and number of stamps assigned to a facility are regularly checked by the NELMA Inspector, with any deviation from the official inventory taken extremely serious. NELMA’s subscribers are required to report missing stamps immediately by contacting the NELMA office with full details in order to determine appropriate actions to protect the facility and NELMA. This can be costly stamp replacement with a new facility number or Suspension of Service that prevents the use of any stamp for six months. Safeguarding procedures include:
- Full education of facility personnel on the importance of stamp accountability and protection,
- A stamp check-out, check-in system with monitoring program, and
- Holding worn out stamps for pick-up by the assigned NELMA Inspector.
Not only is the program’s integrity on the line, but the reputation and associated financial liability of the facility if non-compliant wood packaging materials containing pests and marked with their facility’s number gets rejected at a foreign port.
Feel free to discuss with your assigned NELMA Inspector at any time, or contact the NELMA Office with questions or comments at any time, free-toll (800-819-6040)