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The existing cable colour code for fixed electrical wiring stipulated in the Singapore Standard CP5:1998 Code of practice for electrical installations has been amended to align with international standards such as BS 7671 and IEC 60446. The amendments also address our local needs and practices so that the standard of electrical safety will not be compromised with this change.

Cable colour code is for identification of conductors used in electrical installations.

Old Cable Colour Code

From 1 Mar 09 onwards, all new electrical installations, including addition and alteration to existing electrical installations, may use new colour cables of brown, black, grey (for line), blue (for neutral) and green-and-yellow (for earth) as set out in the amended SS CP5: 1998.

New Cable Colour Code

A transition period of 24 months from 1 Mar 2009 to 28 Feb 2011 is given before the new cable colour becomes mandatory on 1 Mar 2011.

During the transition period, either the old or new cable colour code, but not both, may be used.

Starting from 1 Mar 2011, the new cable colour code shall be used in all new electrical installations, as well as addition and alteration to existing electrical installations.

Timeline for Change
Why Is There a Need To Change The Cable Colour Code?

The new cable colour code was first adopted by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) for electrical installations of its member countries. United Kingdom, one of the members of CENELEC, had subsequently revised the IEE Wiring Regulations and adopted the harmonized cable colour code in 2004 to align with the European practices. Hong Kong has also recently aligned their cable colour code with the UK practices.

As more and more countries adopting the new cable colour code, there is no advantage for a small country like Singapore with much lower demand of electrical cables than many other countries to keep the old cable colour code that is different from that of the international community. With the decreasing demand in electrical cables under the old cable colour code around the world, the cost of electrical cables under the old cable colour code may become less competitive and the delivery may become more unreliable in the future. As such, it would make more economic sense for Singapore to adopt the new cable colour code.

How Will the Changes Affect Me?

For people in the trade
You need to know the new cable colour code, the differences between the old and new cable colours for line and neutral cables, how to provide appropriate colour markings and warning notice when both old and new versions of cable colour code exist in an electrical installation, etc. You are advised to read the "Supplementary guide to revised cable colour code" published by SPRING Singapore and attend short courses to familarise yourself with the change in cable colour code.

For Consumers
You are not required to replace your existing electrical wiring or appliances to align with the new cable colour code. However, all new electrical wiring shall comply with the new cable colour code with effect from 1 Mar 2011.

Copyright 2009