ETIRA and DKWU File Complaint Against Lexmark Germany Over Anti-Competitive Practices

June 27, 2023

Brussels, June 27th, 2023 – The European Toner & Inkjet Remanufacturers Association (ETIRA) and Deutsche Kartuschen Wiederaufbereitungs-Unternehmen (DKWU) have jointly lodged a complaint against Lexmark Germany with the RAL gGmbH. The complaint addresses Lexmark’s ongoing practice of impeding the use of remanufactured cartridges through firmware updates and the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Programme (LCCP).

In their formal complaint, ETIRA and DKWU highlighted that Lexmark deployed the FW CSNZJ.081.225. firmware update across its entire printer range in January 2023. This firmware effectively prevents the usage of remanufactured cartridges on Lexmark printers and multifunctional devices operating with the updated firmware. Notably, Criterion of the prestigious BLUE ANGEL eco-label expressly mandates that “the use of refurbished toner modules and refurbished ink modules and containers according to DIN33870-1 and 33870-2 is not prevented by constructive, software-based or other measures.” ETIRA and DKWU identified 119 printer and multifunctional device models from Lexmark that contradicted this criterion due to the blocking firmware and LCCP.

Volker Kappius, an ETIRA Board Member and DKWU spokesperson expressed his concern over Lexmark’s actions, stating, “Lexmark’s exploitation of BLUE ANGEL certification for printers and MFPs, while simultaneously obstructing the use of remanufactured cartridges through firmware updates and the LCCP, is a clear disregard for consumer choice and an example of greenwashing.” Kappius added, “However, it is not just Lexmark that is undermining the credibility of the BLUE ANGEL eco-label. RAL gGmbH, the entity responsible for issuing BLUE ANGEL certifications, has failed to take immediate action, even temporarily, by removing the questioned Lexmark products. How can consumers trust a certification failing to meet its requirements?”

ETIRA and DKWU’s complaint urges RAL gGmbH to conduct a thorough review of all Lexmark BLUE ANGEL registrations, specifically focusing on the presence of blocking firmware and the LCCP.

About ETIRA:

The European Toner & Inkjet Remanufacturers Association (ETIRA) is an influential trade association representing the interests of the toner and inkjet remanufacturing industry in Europe. ETIRA is committed to promoting a sustainable circular economy by encouraging the reuse and remanufacturing of printer cartridges.


For media inquiries, please contact: Vincent van Dijk, Secretary General, ETIRA. Email: Phone: +31 6 414 614 63

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