Ghana Standards Authority
Ghana Standards Authority

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) says the introduction of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (G-CAP) is not to stifle businesses and trade but to protect the health of Ghanaians and to ensure international standards.

Ghana Standards Authority
Ghana Standards Authority

The G-CAP is to address the growing consumers? health, safety and environmental concerns, safeguarding local producers and industry from unfair competition, and reducing the risk of the country becoming a dumping ground for non-conforming products.

The G-CAP would also facilitate swift customs clearance process with the appropriate certificate of conformity (CoC), Mr Kofi Nagetey, Deputy Executive Director, in-charge of Commercial Services, GSA, explained on Wednesday during a stakeholders meeting with importers in Accra.

He said many countries; including Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Indonesia and Russia have all embraced a similar G-CAP in their countries in conformity to international standards.

The G-CAP is a conformity process used to verify that imported products are in conformity with the requirement of applicable standards before exported to a destination country.

Mr Nagetey said the process is aimed at ensuring that specific products imported into the Ghanaian market meet the requirements of the technical regulations and standards set by the GSA and are of the required quality for health and safety of people and also protection of the environment.

He said as the process required more sensitisation, GSA would continue to do more engagements with stakeholders before it is implemented, explaining that ?so far we have not suspended the implementation date of October 2014, that can only be changed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry?.

He further explained that at the recent meeting held with the Parliamentary select Committee on Trade and Industry and other stakeholders over the G-CAP, the Chairman of the Select Committee was the one who recommended for the suspension of the implementation date, but the GSA was yet to decide on that in consultation with the Ministry of Trade.

He said the GSA had already undertaken awareness campaign workshops in all ten regions to sensitise trading stakeholders on the programme while the two partner service providers, the Bureau Veritas and Societal General Surveillance (SGS), supposed to help implement the G-CAP outside Ghana, have also started approaching traders individually to sensitise them about programme.

Mr Nagetey advised importers to ensure that all applicable products under the G-CAP programme meets the technical requirements as prescribed by the Authority and are accompanied with a CoC from one of the service providers appointed.

Most of the importers welcomed the G-CAP but appealed to the GSA to extend the implementation date of October for further education of the programme before its implemented.

Ms Akuvi Delali Dikah, an Importer said the G-CAP was a good programme because it would help sanitise the system of inferior and counterfeit goods. ?We only hope GSA can implement it successfully?, she added.

The importers were taken through the processes of how to go through the certification and the categories of items and products that are supposed to be certified.

With the introduction of G-CAP, importers are no longer expected to pay for testing and certification of their imported goods locally but rather exporters would have to pay it at their countries of origin.

GNA

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