The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) on Friday announced its decision to defer the implementation of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (GCAP) to allow more time for further engagement with all stakeholders.
This, it said, would involve discussions and sensitization programmes to ensure that issues about the GCAP were clearly explained and understood.
Mr Eugene Adarkwa-Addae, Director of Inspection, GSA, during a press conference in Accra, said the decision was arrived at after considering all the views and pleas of some importers requiring for more time for deeper education and thorough understanding of what the programme was all about.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry, he said, had earlier recommended October 1, 2014, as the implementation date, however, under the present circumstances, the programme would be deferred until all necessary consultations and strategic education had been done.
He said the GSA had already embarked upon regional educational programmes in all the 10 regions after the launch of the GCAP, however, education would continue with various associations and groups throughout the country.
Mr Adarkwa-Addae said standards were applied all over the world to ensure that products, whether locally produced or imported, were safe for consumption, thereby, protecting the health needs of the people and the environment.
“Under the GCAP, products to be shipped to Ghana will be inspected by our service providers in the exporting country and where the products conform to standards, a certificate of conformity will be issued by our service providers with a copy being sent to us for our information.
“However, if a consignment or product does not meet specified requirements, a Non Conformity Report (NCR), would be issued and the exporter, on the basis of this, should not export to Ghana,” he said.
Mr Adarkwa-Addae said the overriding reason for the introduction of the GCAP was to ensure the prevention of substandard and fake products on the Ghanaian market.
He said this was also meant to protect the health and safety of consumers as well as ensure the protection of the environment.
Dr George Crentsil, Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority, said the cost would be born by importers whose consignments fell within the threshold of 250,000 to 3,000 dollars.
He said importers whose consignments fell under the threshold would not pay any cost but would still go through the destination inspection and all other necessary checks inside.