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News 29.04.2020

Withdrawal of fraudulent pellet bags from Polish market due to illegal use of ENplus® trademark

The European Pellet Council (EPC), alongside the National Licensers (NLs) and National Promoting Associations (NPAs) of ENplus®, continues to place significant effort and resources into combating all reported fraudulent uses of the protected “ENplus®” trademark, as well as following-up closely on all types of ENplus® related non-conformities.

A recent example is the Polish supermarket chain OBI Centrala Systemowa Sp. z.o.o. which was selling and advertising “MAGMA PELLETS” and “TOP QUALITY PELLETS” branded wood pellets with illicit usage of the ENplus® logo and trademark in several of its stores throughout Poland. These actions not only constituted a severe infringement of Bioenergy Europe’s ownership rights in the ENplus® trademark, but also a case of unfair competition towards competitors, resulting in a non-transparent market. In all cases, consumers were misled into believing that the products met the highest quality requirements of ENplus®, which may have had a severe impact on the maintenance and efficiency of their appliances.

Considering the severity of the misuse and the market risks at stake, EPC initiated its fraud-fighting procedure against OBI and the producer of the fraudulent bags – the Polish company Miami Tomasz Zawadzki Sp. z.o.o., by requesting them to immediately cease the non-authorised use of the ENplus® trademark on pellet bags and on all other communication channels that they used. Additionally, through an agreement with EPC in 2019, the Polish Pellet Council – our ENplus® National Promoting Association – launched legal criminal proceedings against both companies, by lodging a formal complaint with the Polish prosecutor from Gdańsk-Oliwa District Prosecutor's Office in Gdańsk (Poland) with the enforcement of our rights and claims.

As a result of these combined undertakings, MIAMI’s executives ensured full commitment to follow the ENplus® rules by removing the fraudulent bagged pellets from the market (approximately 90 000 bags). What is more, we have recently been informed that OBI’s managers also pledged to withdraw those products from all of their megastores with immediate effect. Compliance to the bags’ withdrawal conditions will be regularly checked and reassessed by EPC in the coming months. The companies nonetheless remain featured on our Blacklist for now for other infringements.

We are committed to pursuing our efforts in protecting the market for certified companies and consumers. To help us achieve this, do not hesitate to continue reporting fraud cases via our online form.