Counterfeit IET publications worth nearly £70,000 have been seized by Kent Trading Standards in Dover.
A shipment of 845 counterfeit copies of the IET Wiring Regulations was intercepted by staff from the UK Border Agency as it made its way to the UK from Latvia, which based on the retail price of legitimate copies, was worth in the region of £67,000 according to Trading Standards officers.
Following the seizure, the IET has issued a warning to the industry to ensure that copies of key publications are purchased from reputable sources or directly from the IET through its website as counterfeits have the potential to cause harm if they include false or incomplete information.
Mark Coles, technical regulations manager at the IET, said: “An illegal shipment of this size confirms that the counterfeiting of electrical standards publications is becoming a source of profit for criminals. With this in mind, we must ensure that as an industry we are even more vigilant about the resources we purchase and consult.
“The IET is a charity that prides itself on reinvesting profits into the development of new publications and the dissemination of vital information.
“Buyers may think they are getting a bargain by purchasing a counterfeit copy of an IET publication, however, in such cases where pages are missing or printed information has been corrupted, the picture is not complete which leads to errors and dangerous practices being carried out.
“In short, the production and purchase of fake publications is compromising the safety of the electrical industry and potentially putting people at risk of serious injury or even death.”
The IET has called on the members of the electrical industry to get in touch if they believe they have purchased a fake copy of the regulations in order to help the organisation ascertain where counterfeit copies of key publications are being sold.
Mark Rolfe, Kent County Council Trading Standards manager, said: “This is an unusual demonstration that criminals will counterfeit anything to make illegal profit.
“These books are a vital resource for legitimate electrical contractors who rely on them to make sure the work they do in our homes and workplaces is safe. A legitimate contractor would have no way of knowing whether these fakes contain complete and correct information for them to rely on. ”
To report suspicious copies of IET publications email firstname.lastname@example.org