Just two months since CPR became a mandatory requirement for cables, the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) believes non-compliant Declarations of Performance (DoPs) and inaccurate marketing material are misinforming and confusing the marketplace.
Despite extensive campaigns from the ACI and many in the cable supply chain there is evidence that DoPs and CE marking on labels are being incorrectly drafted and applied, potentially rendering them invalid.
Peter Smeeth, of the Approved Cables Initiative, says: “At this stage it is too early to assess whether such discrepancies are due to lack of knowledge or whether there are elements of deliberate misinformation. We have spent many months educating the market place on CPR and since July 1 we have been monitoring the UK cable market for any infringements.
“Already we are seeing labels with no unique identifier, incorrect reference to the intended use of the product, incorrect classification marking and some instances where no DoP number is shown. We are aware of one cable manufacturer that has examined many DoPs during the first month of CPR and has found fewer than 20% to be correct.”
CPR places strict requirements upon all manufacturers and suppliers (including those importing cable into the EU):
- All relevant products must be tested and classified.
- Relevant DoPs are to be drawn up and made available to cable purchasers.
- Relevant product labels must carry the CE marking, the class of performance, unique DoP reference number, scheme of assessment and ID of the relevant Notified Body.
Where a DoP is not valid then the cable must not be placed on the market or sold through the supply chain.
Wholesalers and distributors are also reminded that under CPR they are required to ensure that relevant cable bought and sold is CPR compliant – failure to do so could mean they face legal action from Government enforcement agencies. To comply, cables must have a declared classification, a DoP and be CE marked and labelled. Where it is believed a cable does not comply it should be withdrawn or recalled.
“The ACI is also aware of discrepancies in the description of EN 50575 on DoP labelling as well as the classification of cables, and there are several examples of misleading marketing material in circulation. Whether this is accidental or deliberate, it is bringing added confusion to the market. Where such instances are brought to our attention we will inform relevant authorities,” continues Smeeth.
“This however raises a further issue concerning the ability of the authorities to conduct effective market surveillance and we would support any improvements that can be made to strengthen the ability to find falsely declared products, and to enforce their withdrawal from the market quickly.”