UKLA Announces Not-For-Profit Lubricant Specification Organisation

In 2008, EU customs registered over 49,000 cases of infringing goods intercepted at the EU’s external border. The cost of counterfeiting and privacy to the UK economy could be as high as £30 billion and could be costing 14,800 jobs for Britons. And whilst tobacco, medical products and clothing are the largest groups affected the UK oils and lubricants market is also a victim, as the performance of poor quality lubricants can affect a vast range of products and equipment, from cars to construction vehicles and motor bikes to metalworking machines.

In order to address the problem, the United Kingdom Lubricants Association (UKLA) has launched a not-for-profit subsidiary dedicated to protecting the integrity of lubricating oil performance standards against false or misleading claims.

The new organisation – the Verification of Lubricant Specifications (VLS) – aims to protect consumers of lubricants from purchasing products that make incorrect claims by providing an independent, objective, credible and trusted means to challenge and verify lubricant specifications and performance claims.    

Commenting for the UKLA, President John Alton says: “The VLS objective is to establish a transparent UK Lubricants market with fair competition and accurate performance and OEM specification approval claims, which will enable consumers to make informed and conscious specification and purchasing decisions.”

He goes onto say that the organisation has no intention of curtailing the marketing of cheaper, cost-effective lubricants, provided they are accurately described and labelled.

All too often, misrepresented lubricants that do not conform to the specifications and performance claimed by their marketers, are sold into the UK Market, placing consumers and equipment at risk and distorting the market.

VLS appreciates that, in some cases, this misrepresentation is due to a genuine lack of understanding and, as an organisation, realises that it must strive to increase the level of specification education for consumers and marketers alike. Equally, it recognises that the culprits are in the minority and the vast majority of lubricants supplied into the market are completely fit for purpose. 

Commenting on the operational aspects of the organisation, technical review panel member Kevin Duncan explains that where a case of possible misrepresentation is brought to the attention of the VLS it will, using total anonymity throughout, independently investigate and check compliance of the products to industry standards within the UK marketplace; and its performance claims.

“We will engage with manufacturers, relevant authorities and industry bodies to ensure that inaccurate or false claims are corrected.” says Kevin. “Our main focus is to educate and, if necessary, ensure that remedial action is undertaken to improve compliance, whilst ensuring that the entire engagement process incorporates the right-of-reply.”

All tests results will be published and where fault is confirmed and where remedial or corrective action is not undertaken, the VLS will publicise information concerning non-compliant products as well as providing relevant information to industry bodies and Authorities.

Another aspect of the organisation’s role is to raise market awareness through publicly reporting findings from its investigations on the quality of lubricants sold in the market; and promoting the importance of lubricant quality and performance specifications within every UK-based lubricant market.

Case outcomes will also be communicated to VLS members and participants, industry bodies and relevant authorities and, where remedial or corrective action is not undertaken, VLS will provide relevant information to ensure that the necessary course of action is taken.

The Verification of Lubricant Specifications is currently welcoming membership from all industry participants. For further information visit www.ukla-vls.org.uk or email the UKLA Director General on admin@ukla-vls.org.uk.

For further information contact:
Rod Pesch, Director General, United Kingdom Lubricants Association Limited
Berkhamsted House, 121 High Street, Berkhamsted, Herts, HP4 2DJ, UK
Tel: 44 (0)1442 870161 Fax: 44 (0)1442 875922
E-mail: admin@ukla-vls.org.uk Web: www.ukla-vls.org.uk

For press information contact:
Simon Cantillion, Cantillion King Advertising
16 The Cornhill, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 2JT, UK
Tel: 44 (0)1453 755551 Fax: 44 (0)1453 751525
E-mail: simon@cka.co.uk Web: www.cka.co.uk

About The Verification of Lubricant Specifications
The Verification of Lubricant Specifications is a not-for-profit subsidiary of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association, which dedicated to protecting the integrity of lubricating oil performance standards against false or misleading claims. It aims to protect consumers of lubricants from purchasing products that make incorrect claims by providing an independent, objective, credible and trusted means to challenge and verify lubricant specifications and performance claims.    

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About Us

Verification of Lubrication Specifications (VLS) - a subsidiary of the United Kingdom Lubricants Association - is an independent organisation providing a credible and trusted means to verify lubricant specifications and aims to bring transparency to the lubricant market place and protect and educate the end user. VLS is a membership organisation open to any lubricants manufacturer, marketer or associated user or seller who operates within the UK lubricants marketplace. For further information on the Verification of Lubrication Specifications visit www.ukla-vls.org.uk or email the UKLA Director General on admin@ukla-vls.org.uk. For further information on the United Kingdom Lubricants Association visit www.ukla.org.uk.

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Quotes

The VLS objective is to establish a transparent UK Lubricants market with fair competition and accurate performance and OEM specification approval claims
John Alton (UKLA President)
We will engage with manufacturers, relevant authorities and industry bodies to ensure that inaccurate or false claims are corrected
Kevin Duncan (VLS Technical Review Panel Member)
Our main focus is to educate and, if necessary, ensure that remedial action is undertaken to improve compliance
Kevin Duncan (VLS Technical Review Panel Member)