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UK Cable industry takes a stand against rogue traders

The great and the good of the UK cabling supply industry gathered in London this week for the launch of the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI). This is a proactive and co-ordinated plan that will investigate and address the issues of unsafe, non-approved and counterfeit cables in the UK marketplace and to educate the supply chain on the dangers.

UK Cable industry takes a stand against rogue traders

The initiative is being supported by a host of industry trade bodies including the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC); Electrical Distributors Association (EDA); Electrical Contractors Association (ECA); Electrical Safety Council, and NICEIC.

The electrical media, trade organisations, legislators and members of parliament gathered to hear Michael Simms, director energy & telecom cables at Prysmian Cables & Systems, and president of the British Cables Association (BCA), introduce the initiative, which he described as being "the most important campaign undertaken by the electrical supply industry in the past 20 years."

The BCA has estimated that up to 20% of cable product in the cable systems supply chain is unsafe, non-approved or counterfeit, which poses a significant health and safety threat. The ACI, with industry and regulator support, will be taking a determined approach to this problem, and aims to educate the electrical industry about the problem and make them aware of the associated issues and implications.

The presence of unsafe, non-approved and counterfeit cables in the supply chain seriously undermines confidence in approval standards as well as causing a life threatening risk to the public - over 25% of all electrical fires are attributed to electrical products or faulty wire and cables. "Dangerous cables, often fraudulently marked or completely unmarked, are coming into the UK through ruthless importers who are not complying with their legal duties under UK regulations," said Simms. "This cable is then in our supply chain, sold on to installers and end users through wholesalers that supply cable, and therefore breaking the law."

It is the intention of the ACI to name and shame any companies, wholesalers, distributors or installers who persistently use or handle dangerous, non-approved cables. It will regularly test samples of cables suspected of being unsafe or non-approved, and if found to be unsafe, details will be passed to the relevant authorities.

The ACI is asking anyone who has concerns or suspicions about any cables to contact it at 01908 267300 or

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