The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and Baxi have joined forces with law firm Emms Gilmore Liberson (EGL) in a campaign to stop counterfeit boiler parts from entering the market.
EGL’s Peter Adkins and Sarah Bingham have taken part in a training video produced by the CIPHE, highlighting the legal implications installers could face if found to be purchasing and fitting non-compliant gas parts.
In the video, Peter covers the various ways in which to identify counterfeit products and consequences the consumer faces, in terms of warranty losses, if found to be using illegal parts. Meanwhile, Sarah explains that it is installers who face liability if these products cause harm, and could face huge fines or even manslaughter charges.
Peter, Director of Regulatory Services at EGL, said: “These parts are available to buy online, and this is part of the problem. Many installers and consumers are not aware they are buying counterfeit goods, which can potentially cost lives.
“It is so important that people are aware of the dangers they present, and how to identify them. If packages are unmarked on delivery then this should ring some alarm bells, and so too if the offer seems too good to be true – in most cases it is.”
CIPHE and Baxi have launched the campaign to unite the industry in stamping out the use of these non-compliant parts, and to make sure installers are aware of their responsibilities. In 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Devlopment (OECD) reported that imports of counterfeit and pirated goods were worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, or around 2.5% of global imports, so it is impossible to imagine that they are not hitting this industry.
Paul Harmer, Technical Director at the CIPHE, said: “We are very keen to bring to light this incredibly important industry issue. We all like to think we can spot a counterfeit part a mile off, but these false products are becoming more and more sophisticated. With the rise of the online marketplace, it can be incredibly easy to unwittingly purchase fake parts or have to respond to a consumer who has done so. However, it is a case of buyer beware. Unless you are buying direct from the manufacturer or a recognised UK-based merchant, that ‘genuine part’ may not be as advertised.”