Colchester MP Bob Russell had raised concern that printer manufacturers are using chip technology to stop the manufacture of refills.
He has also expressed concern that the new European Union's Waste Electrical and Equipment (WEEE) Directive could hit the growing remanufacturing industry for ink and toner cartridges.
The Department of Trade and Industry said the directive would not affect the 100 companies that remanufacture ink and toner cartridges for reuse. Some 30% to 40% of the cartridges are presently reused or recycled.
The DTI said existing technology to prevent refill affected "a very small proportion of goods sold''.
But it warned it would take action if new devices were brought in to hinder the remanufacture industry which government wants to "flourish''.
This was first published in July 2003