From October 1, 2014, every importer will have to possess a Certificate of Conformance before they can bring goods into the country, the Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Dr George Crentsil, has announced.
He said the decision was to prevent Ghana from becoming the dumping ground for inferior goods. Mr Crentsil was speaking at a stakeholders workshop for selected members of the public on the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (G-CAP) in Cape Coast.
“We will not allow Ghana to be a dumping ground for inferior goods, Dr Crentsil stressed.
He explained that under the G-CAP being implemented by the GSA, goods being imported into the country would be tested and checked to ensure they met international standards.
He indicated that a lot of substandard goods had flooded the Ghanaian market because very little had been done in the past to check and test imported products.
Dr Crentsil said in line with the decision, the GSA was engaged in discussions with two international service providers who would test and check products before they were shipped, while all the shipping lines had been directed to demand the Certificate of Conformance from importers before shipping their products.
“We will not allow people to maximise profits by bringing in inferior products into the country,” he stated, adding we cannot afford to use our scarce foreign exchange to buy fake and inferior goods for our people.”
Touching on the problem of unapproved borders, Dr Crentsil conceded that they had provided easy access for fake and substandard goods to be brought into the country.
He said GSA would collaborate with other agencies to curb the activities of smugglers, while periodic market surveillance exercises would be mounted to rid the markets of such goods.
The Head of the Fisheries Department of GSA, Mrs Jessica Nkansah, for her part, said G-CAP would promote consumer health by ensuring that environmentally friendly and safe products entered the country.
She noted that the trust between buyers and sellers was gradually eroding because consumers were being continuously made to buy goods of poor quality.
The Central Regional Officer of GSA, Mr Kwesi Baiden, called for stiffer measures to protect the borders from infiltration by smugglers.