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Flexible Cords

Flexible cords are used in many commercial, industrial, and residential applications, including appliances and extension cords.

The primary purpose of the section is to provide a forum where manufacturers can meet to discuss non-commercial issues of common interest to the industry.

Key activities include:

  • Response to National Electrical Code (NEC) making panel (CMP) decisions (overcurrent protection)
  • Writing and maintaining tri-national cord set and power supply cord standards through CANENA
  • Developing a new quarterly statistical report to determine industry net sales by channel and location of distribution
  • Adding a new quarterly economic indicators report
  • Working with the Wire and Cable Division Safety, Health, and Environmental Committee and EPA in developing a new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Clean Air Standard
  • Investigating increase of counterfeit power and control cable products into the US market from overseas
  • Attempting to gain European HAR Mark approval for US manufacturers


  • All fixture wires, appliance wires and flexible cords as so classified by the National Electrical Code, by Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or by Canadian Standards Association excluding those types specifically covered in the Power and Control Cable Section, the Building Wire and Cable Section, and the High Performance Wire and Cable Section.
  • Cord sets and power-supply cords, flexible and applicable wire of the types included in 7-XC-I, cut to length, with any trimming operation thereon, and with or without a molded on fitting or an attached wiring device.

Please see the section scopes document, available in the right call-out area, for more information.

Click here for detailed product scope information.

Technical Activities

Standards play a vital part in the design, production, and distribution of products destined for both national and international commerce. Sound technical standards benefit the user, as well as the manufacturer, by improving safety, bringing about economies in product, eliminating misunderstandings between manufacturer and purchaser, and assisting the purchaser in selecting and obtaining the proper product for his particular need.

NEMA devotes much of its time, effort, and resources to voluntary standardization activities.

1. The section is very involved in the technical activities related to two UL standards:
- UL 62 - Flexible Cords and Cables
- UL 817 – Cord Sets and Power Supply Cords
Members are also participating in the technical aspects linked to:
- UL 498 - Standard for Safety for Attachment Plugs and Receptacles,
- UL 1363 – Standard for Relocatable Power Taps

Members also monitor a fairly large number of other UL standards that could affect their products.

2. Members of the section have strongly supported two major harmonization efforts under the CANENA auspices:
- Flexible Cords - harmonization of UL 62, NMX-J-436-ANCE and CSA C22.2 No. 49 standards. The harmonized documents are in the process of being approved by their respective countries. The process is scheduled to be complete in 2006.
- Cord Sets and power Supply Cords – harmonization of UL 817 and CSA C22.2 No. 21. The harmonization documents will undergo several rounds of evaluations (comments and ballot) in 2006 in Canada and US.

NEMA holds the secretariat of both technical harmonization committees involved in the effort.
Members also supported a multi-section effort to harmonize all Wire and Cable test methods. The documents involved are: UL 2556, CSA C22.2 No. 2556-04 and NMX-J-556-ANCE-2004

3. The Flexible Cords section is also involved in the international standardization efforts at the global level. Section members are involved in the IEC SC23G US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for US National Committee. NEMA holds also the secretariat of the TAG.

4. The section is involved with the cyclical reaffirmation of the National Electrical Code by making and evaluating proposals in the area of its product responsibility.

Government Affairs

Through NEMA, the section develops industry positions on legislative and regulatory initiatives that may affect member products, markets, and customers. NEMA's work has resulted in contributions to public policy development and in promoting competitiveness, technological progress, and public safety. On the Government Affairs homepage members can search for and e-mail federal representatives to convey opinions regarding energy policy or other issues related to the electroindustry.

NEMA Government Affairs provides specific services to its members and information in the areas of Environment, Health & Safety; Energy; and International Trade & Commerce.

Market Economics

Through NEMA, member companies are able to develop and implement tailored, industry-specific market and statistical programs that benefit participating companies. Reports may include:

  • Product orders and sales
  • Market forecasting
  • Shipments by trading areas
  • Channels of distribution
  • Financial and operating ratios
  • Wages and benefits
  • Foreign trade

The association also conducts economic analyses on the impact of legislation and regulations on member products, and monitors and reports on key industry market indicators. All programs comply with NEMA statistical confidentiality policies. For more information, please see Business & Economy.


Membership in NEMA is open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture in North America of a product within the NEMA scope and for sale in the open market. Membership of foreign firms is subject to product section policies and NEMA Board of Governors approval.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. Each product section establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget.


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