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Business News of Friday, 22 August 2014

Source: GNA

Product Conformity Assessment Programme launched

Ghana will join the league of countries operating Product Conformity Assessment programme from October 01 and all consignments arriving at Ghana’s port of entry not accompanied by Certificate of Conformity (CoC) will be denied entry into the country.

Importers are required to inform the suppliers to issue Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from a certified laboratory through the Ghana Standards Authority to guarantee customs clearance.

In addition, importers who would dodge the system to import products without CoC would be charged a penalty of 30 per cent of the CIF value of the consignment and the product will be re-shipped to the original destination at a cost to the importer.

Mr Kofi Nagetey, Deputy Executive Director of Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) announced this on Tuesday at a launch of Ghana Product Conformity Assessment Programme (GCAP) in Accra.

The aim of the G-CAP is to ensure that specific products meet the requirements of the Technical Regulations and Standards set in the importing country to protect the health, safety and environment, as well as ensuring requirements of the GCAP.

Mr Nagetey said under the programme it is the responsibility of the supplier/exporter to demonstrate that his/her goods are in compliance through a review of reports from one or a combination of interventions such as laboratory testing, physical inspection and factory audit.

The conformity of the product, he said, is evidenced by the issuance of a Certificate of Conformity usually requested for customs clearance and the quality verification will be done in the exporting country.

The Deputy Executive Director said Ghanaian Exporters must ensure that their suppliers understand the import quality requirements and that their consignments are accompanied by a GCAP CoC from one of the authorised GSA service providers.

“Exporters to Ghana must also ensure that their products or goods meet the regulations and quality requirements of the GCAP before shipment by obtaining the necessary CoC from one of the authorised service providers.

He said the benefits of the programme to importers, government and the public include swift clearance of goods at the points of entry; reduces delay in clearing ; importer and government do not pay anything for the service; enhance trade facilitation; protection of health, safety and the environment, as well as ensuring quality of products.

Mr Ibrahim Mutala Mohammed, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, issues of sub-standard products need to be taken seriously because of its adverse effect on public health, safety and environment.

He said currently, there are various standards for different products that have been designed to ensure that stakeholders along the value chain implement requirements relating to product safety.

The Deputy Minister pledged the ministry’s continue support for GSA to promote fair trade practices; eliminate illegal importation of fake.

“With the launch of this programme a new wave of hope will begin blowing across the country as efforts are made to prevent sub-standard products from entering the country. It is therefore my hope and expectation that the programme will be carried out to its logical conclusion to make the market safe for consumers,” he said.

Dr George B. Crentsil, Executive Director, GSA, said as from August 20 the Authority would embark on awareness campaign workshops in all the 10 regions to sensitise stakeholders on the programme to ensure its successful implementation.

He said consignments ordered before October 1, 2014 would be exempted and urged all partners to cooperate with the Authority to achieve a success.

“Our partners (service providers) shall also be approaching the traders individually on-one-to-one sensitisation of the programme,” he said and urged both Importers and Exporters to collaborate with the GSA to ensure that only quality products gain entry into the country as required by law.