International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Circuit Breaker Industries

Participating to ensure fair competition

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CBI the leader in the
South African cable industry

Circuit Breaker Industries Ltd (CBi), a South African company that manufactures low-voltage switchgear, has actively participated since 1983 in the work of SC23E (Circuit breakers and similar equipment for household use), SC17B (Low-voltage Switchgear and Controlgear) and TC 64 (Electrical Installations and protection against electric shock).


CBi recognizes the reality of a new economic war being fought on the standards front, with many countries and companies competing for ever-smaller market shares. Despite the aims of the World Trade Organization, the company says, subtle and not-so-subtle efforts are made to exclude certain products, such as voltage-dependent residual current devices (RCDs), from some regions by including clauses in standards that prohibit their use.


Separation of the types of product into different parts of standards has also contributed to the problem, says CBi, because countries or regions can now adopt certain parts and effectively exclude some types of product while claiming compliance with the WTO TBT Agreement.


CBi has actively campaigned for the removal of such prohibitions in standards and has had success with IEC 60947-2, a standard in which the requirements for RCDs are not defined by the technology used. The company’s participation in IEC technical committees, at subcommittee and working group level, has been specifically targeted at ensuring that International Standards neither close the door on innovative solutions, for example in RCDs, nor stifle the freedom to sell products in all parts of the world.


Standards today are a powerful tool both to promote and potentially to inhibit trade amongst nations, says CBi, and companies that wish to survive must actively participate at all levels in the standards development process.

About CBI

Circuit Breaker Industries LTD (CBi), is a South African company that manufactures low-voltage switchgear, as well as transformers, electricity meters and protection relays. It is the leader in the South African cable industry, producing power and telecom cables. The company is part of the Reunert Limited,employs over 700 people and exports to more than 50 countries worldwide.