ACI supports call for better product recall system

The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) is supporting The Electrical Safety Council’s call for a more effective product recall system following concerns in its own industry over the effectiveness of the current system. The call by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC), a UK wide consumer safety charity, follows the emergence of a number of serious incidents involving recalled products and has led the ESC to call for manufacturers to face unlimited fines if they undertake inadequate or slow recalls.

Manufacturers who delay or take inadequate action in a recall situation currently face only a £5,000 penalty but the ESC would like to see tougher fines based on a percentage of profits from the recalled product. The change in legislation would it believes help ensure manufacturers respond quickly and effectively in recall situations.

The ESC is also inviting Trading Standards to set out clear and unambiguous guidelines on exactly what a manufacturer should do if one of their products is subject to a recall.

Research by the ESC shows that on average only 10-20 percent of recalled electrical products are ever returned, exposing millions of people in the UK to the risk of fire or electrocution. Since 2007 there have been 266 recall notices for electrical items.

In addition to the proposed changes, the ESC has outlined proposals for a new, centralised product registration system which could help manufacturers trace their products to the consumer in a recall situation.

Peter Smeeth, spokesperson for the ACI said: “This is an important initiative and we support the Electrical Safety Council’s call for change. By improving the system and offering a more effective route to consumers, we hope that manufacturers will be able to speed up product recalls and manage better the process of removing potentially dangerous products from the marketplace.”

We hope that the cable supply chain will take a long hard look at what is happening in the food supply chain and wake up to the problem it has created.  Let’s hope it’s soon for sake of UK cabling and public safety.

Further information can be found on the ACI website at

Notes to editors
The Approved Cables Initiative is addressing the issue of unsafe, non-approved and counterfeit cable entering the UK marketplace.  Anyone with information or concerns about a suspected faulty or counterfeit cable should contact the ACI who will test samples and if found to be unsafe supply details to relevant industry regulators and legislators.  ACI can also provide guidance where appropriate to installers.
For suspect importers, manufacturers and distributors, the ACI is direct in its approach to investigate and publicise the results. This is the first initiative of its kind in the electrical industry with the framework to proactively communicate, educate, investigate, eradicate and legislate.
The ACI is an industry-wide working group with supply chain representative bodies including Electrical Distributors Association (EDA); Electrical Contractors Association (ECA); Electrical Safety Council; British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC); British Cables Association (BCA);  Energy Networks Association (ENA); Ascertiva Group; SELECT and JIB.

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