The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) has entered a new stage of campaigning taking its concerns regarding counterfeit, substandard and defective cable to members of Parliament as it lobbies for change regarding the sale of unsafe cable products in the UK. A comprehensive information pack, containing the ACI’s proposal for legislative change, a selection of media material, information leaflets and BBC footage has been mailed to a carefully selected group of influential MPs and Select Committees.
The ACI’s two year campaign has focused upon a number of informative pieces in electrical and data cables trade media. It has aimed to educate and inform all levels within the supply chain (from specifer, to contractor and distributor) and has seen the profile of its work raised amongst many industry influencers.
Peter Smeeth, spokesperson for the ACI said: “Our focus now is to communicate the scale of the problem to those with the power to develop and change legislation. The industry is being flooded with dangerous and substandard cable and without appropriate legislation and the proper funds to support enforcement the problem will not go away.
“We need to stop this cable from being imported and make those who are guilty of this practice understand that they will face penalties for breaking the law. We have spent many months looking at how other countries manage this issue and the US has the exemplar legislation to cover the importation of dangerous goods where the penalties for breaching are far more rigorous than in the UK. We are bringing this to the attention of key representatives in Government and over the next few months will look to them for guidance on how this can be moved forward. ”
In the UK the ACI is aware that some distributors and contractors are involved in the practice of reselling cable products that fail to meet the UK’s safety standards. The ACI knows of a number of distributors prepared to:
· order overseas manufacturers to produce under specified (insufficient copper) cable and then sell it on to the UK market
· missell data cable, notably Cat5e, for Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) cable
· purchase inferior product from overseas and then sell it unmarked as it will be untraceable
· misuse Trademarks to fool the naive
· sell short lengths (confusing metres with yards, or not even designating the measurement).
“It’s two years since we launched our campaign and our message is perfectly understood in the market. It is time to ratchet up the investigations and present the authorities with cases that show what lengths some will go to in the pursuit of profit with blatant disregard for public safety.” continued Mr Smeeth.
“We know third party approval bodies are changing their rules for admission, auditing and monitoring of cable manufacturers in the UK and overseas. The Health and Safety Executive also shares our concerns, having been tasked by Business Innovation and Skills to investigate the Electrical Supply Industry. We will talk directly with Trading Standards next month (June) at their annual conference and exhibition in Manchester and we are in dialogue with the Fire Protection Association and ABI. By turning our attention to MPs we will ensure that this issue remains front of mind with those who can influence real change. ”
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The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) is an industry-wide working group with supply chain representative bodies that has been established to address the issue of unsafe, non-approved and counterfeit cable entering the UK marketplace.
The first initiative of its kind in the electrical industry the ACI is direct in its approach to investigate and publicise the findings of cables found to be faulty, counterfeit or non-compliant with British, European or International Standards.