UL notifies of ‘potentially hazardous’ communications cable bearing counterfeit mark

Cable claiming to be Cat 5e riser-rated and known to be sold online bears the UL mark even though the agency has not evaluated it.

Jan 17th, 2013
Underwriters Laboratories issued a public notice about the potentially unsafe cable (bottom) contained in this packaging (top).
Underwriters Laboratories issued a public notice about the potentially unsafe cable (bottom) contained in this packaging (top).

UPDATED WITH COMMENT FROM STARTECH ON JANUARY 25

In a public notice issued January 15, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) identified a specific brand of communications cable that “bears a counterfeitUL mark for the United States and may pose a fire hazard,” according to the organization. “The communications cable has not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate standard for safety in the United States, and is not authorized to bear the UL mark or any reference to UL," UL added.

Further, the notice states that the cable “is missing required flame retardant elements. This may cause an increased risk of fire.”

The box bears the brand name StarTech.com and also has the terms “ISO 9011,” “UL,” “ETL,” and “IECQ” printed on it.

StarTech issued the following statement on January 24: "StarTech.com has been an ISO 9001 registered company since 1998 and is currently certified as ISO 9001:2008 compliant. As such, we take this matter seriously and have issued an internal corrective action report (CAR) and are investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident. Based on the outcome of our investigation, appropriate action will be taken." StarTech.com added that anyone requiring additional information can contact the company's manager of quality and compliance, Mike Avarello, at mikea@startech.com.

The images below of the box and the cable were taken from the public notice on UL’s website. The marking on the cable is difficult to read. According to UL’s notice, the cable jacket includes the following: “CMR Type 4PR 24AWG 75C (UL) E151955-A CSA LL79189 ETL Verified TIA/EIA-568-B.2 CAT 5E UTP 350 MHZ Patch Cable B-8A1004 ROHS Compliant”

UL’s notice also states the cable is known to be sold at overstock.com “and may have been sold at other locations.”

You can see the complete notice from UL here.

More in Cable