The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute is working with China's HVACR industry to help eliminate products with a counterfeit ARI Performance Certified seal.

ARI's Chairwoman Deborah Hawkins visited Shanghai April 10 in an effort to foster cooperation between the institute and Chinese officials, and to address intellectual property rights violations in both countries.

"ARI member companies are eager to work with the U.S. and Chinese government officials to ensure protection of intellectual property rights in both our countries," said Hawkins during an industry briefing held prior to the April 11-13 China Refrigeration Exhibition. "We deeply appreciate the steps that have been taken thus far by the Chinese government, and we stand ready to work with all parties involved on solutions to these issues."

As part of the briefing, U.S. Consulate official Jonathan Heimer outlined steps the United States and Chinese governments have taken to deal with intellectual property rights violations.

Following the briefing, Hawkins and other industry representatives walked the show floor with Heimer to highlight ARI member products and identify potential violations. ARI staff also met with exhibition organizers to determine the best way to address such violations in China.

One measure discussed was screening for violations before foreign exhibits reach the AHR Expo. At this year's expo, held in January in Chicago, ARI members identified counterfeit products bearing their brand, as well as the ARI Performance Certified logo, being exhibited by Chinese companies.

"Even though only a small percentage of goods likely bear a counterfeit ARI Performance Certified seal, ARI works very hard to protect the integrity of its certification program and the integrity of manufacturers whose products undergo the series of rigorous tests necessary to obtain ARI performance certification," said Hawkins. "At stake are the good reputations our manufacturers have with consumers who count on the reliability of these products to perform as advertised."

To help its member companies protect themselves from counterfeiting, ARI provides guidance on registering products with the U.S. Customs and coordinating monitoring of their products at U.S. ports, and reporting violations.