Petzl warns of counterfeit climbing products

Over the years, Petzl has discovered counterfeits or copies of several of its products:

  • counterfeit headlamps with the Petzl logo, including headlamps from the TIKKA and MYO lines
  • counterfeit copies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) without the Petzl logo, such as Ascension handled ascenders, the ASAP, etc. 

February 2011 was the first time Petzl discovered identical-looking counterfeit PPE products with the Petzl logo.

The four counterfeit products found do not meet Petzl's safety requirements and are potentially dangerous. To date, only a few counterfeits have been found on the market, and thus far none in North America.

Counterfeit references are:

Croll ascender (B16)

Attache locking carabiner (M35 SL)

Ascension handled ascender (B17 R) – old, blue right-handed version

Rescue pulley (P50) – old version

 

To the company's knowledge, these are the only four Petzl products it has found to be identical counterfeits. No other Petzl PPE products are concerned by identical counterfeits (with the Petzl logo).

Attention:

  • An end-user will not be able to tell the difference between these counterfeits and authentic Petzl products (see below for more information)

  • They have serious quality, performance and safety problems.

For these reasons, Petzl decided to alert its end-users and begin legal action against the counterfeiters.

Petzl is fighting against counterfeiting

Over the past several years, Petzl has been fighting to stop the counterfeiting of its products. Petzl's concern is for the safety and satisfaction of its end-users. These actions have enabled us to stop the illegal manufacture of our products.

How do I make sure that I am purchasing an authentic Petzl product?

To ensure that you have purchased authentic Petzl products, be sure to shop at an authorized Petzl dealer. If you are in doubt, contact the distributor in your country. You can find their contact information with the Petzl dealer locator.

Remarks:

  • Production of the old style blue right-handed ASCENSION ascender (B17 R) was stopped in 2009. The only version in production now is the Ascension B17 SRG,  B17 WRA, B17 WRN:

  • Production of the old version of Rescue pulley (P50) was also stopped in 2009. The only version in production now is the Rescue P50 A:

The counterfeit products have serious defects that affect their performance and strength. There is a significant risk that these counterfeit products could open or otherwise fail at low loads and under normal use.

  • These counterfeit products do not meet UIAA or CE safety standards.
  • These counterfeit products do not meet Petzl safety and quality requirements.

It is very difficult for users to identify these fakes. They have been reproduced in a way that makes them very difficult to identify. The following features have been reproduced nearly identically:

  • Design

  • Color

  • Product markings

  • Batch number

  • Instructions for use (down to the most minor details)

  • Packaging

Petzl is working hard to stop these counterfeits, which put users’ lives at risk, from reaching the market. Only an in-depth analysis allows Petzl to identify these counterfeit products, due to minor differences in the tools used to produce them. To date, only a few counterfeits have been found on the market, and thus far none in North America.

What can I do?

  • Only purchase from an authorized Petzl retailer to be sure that you are purchasing a genuine Petzl product.

  • If you have any doubt as to the authenticity of Petzl products, please help and contact Petzl America at info@petzl.com or (877) 807-3805. For a list of Petzl retailers, please visit:

  • If the retailer from whom you purchased your equipment is not listed, please contact Petzl America at the email and phone number listed above.

For more info visit the Petzl site.

Filed under: Gear News

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Comments

GaryPalmer
200 reviewer rep
4,168 forum posts
February 28, 2011 at 7:34 p.m. (EST)

If these products are identical how do climbers tell the difference?

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
588 reviewer rep
3,079 forum posts
February 28, 2011 at 7:56 p.m. (EST)

If these products are identical how do climbers tell the difference?

They can't. But if consumers buy from reputable dealers/stores, they'll know they've bought the original, safe product. Especially with something as essential as climbing gear, one should buy only new gear from reputable dealers.

So far, no Petzl counterfeits have been found in North America.

For anyone interested, there's an active discussion on this topic already over in the Climbing forum: http://www.trailspace.com/forums/climbing/topics/84877.html

GaryPalmer
200 reviewer rep
4,168 forum posts
February 28, 2011 at 9:06 p.m. (EST)

What made me ask is that I saw an ad today on my local Craigslist about a Petzl product, the ad says;

Brand New Petzl GriGri - $80

Looking to sell a brand new Petzl GriGri. I bought two for a good price, but only need one. This has never been used and is still in the box. Email if interested.

And shows this picture.

Petzl-GriGri.jpg

I know there have been other scams on CL, so how does one look at an ad like this and know whether it is ledgit?

I am not looking to buy, just saw the ad and remembered what your post said here and took a look.

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
588 reviewer rep
3,079 forum posts
March 1, 2011 at 8:06 a.m. (EST)

I know there have been other scams on CL, so how does one look at an ad like this and know whether it is ledgit?

I wouldn't call it a scam. The seller may legitimately want to sell a new piece of gear he or she doesn't need and can't return.

But, I'd never buy climbing gear used or through a non-dealer. You have no way of knowing where the gear came from and you have no way of knowing how the gear was used or what abuses and stresses it may have suffered.

Buy climbing gear and other protective equipment through legitimate dealers only. Since that gear is there to protect you, it's not worth a potential few dollars of savings.

Explorer Robby
141 reviewer rep
218 forum posts
March 1, 2011 at 11:21 a.m. (EST)

My wife's company deals with these rip off of their products all the time. She is a designer here, the stuff is made in China. They find knock offs of their products all the time, mostly on Ebay. Thing is, the products are made by the same factory that makes the product for my wife's company. I suspect that is the case here.

Alicia
TRAILSPACE STAFF
588 reviewer rep
3,079 forum posts
March 1, 2011 at 11:40 a.m. (EST)

My wife's company deals with these rip off of their products all the time. She is a designer here, the stuff is made in China. They find knock offs of their products all the time, mostly on Ebay. Thing is, the products are made by the same factory that makes the product for my wife's company. I suspect that is the case here.

Interestingly, from what I read on the Petzl site linked from the article above, these original Petzl pieces were made in France and the US, though the counterfeit ones seem to be from China.

You're right that counterfeiting is a big problem, and a growing one. I wonder about people who think it's OK to steal others' designs and work. It must annoy your wife to see knockoffs of her work.

I see people do similar things all the time in regard to plagarizing written content and photographs by others. Just because it's relatively easy to cut and paste or copy someone else's work doesn't make it right. 

In the Petzl case it's scary that someone would make counterfeit, untested climbing gear and not care about the safety implications. That goes way beyond stealing, in my opinion.

Explorer Robby
141 reviewer rep
218 forum posts
March 1, 2011 at 12:08 p.m. (EST)

We will continue to have problems just like this as long as we have so many things actually produced in countries that do not value nor protect intellectual rights. It is a big deal when safety is on the line. People buy Petzl products because they trust their lives to it. Counterfeit products in a case like this can actually be deadly. Your advise on buying only from legitmate dealers is very sound.

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