The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) says it will destroy all inferior products seized from manufacturers, importers and retailers in a bid to sanitise the market and discourage the trade in inferior products.
Unlike before when seized goods were confined to state-bonded warehouses for long periods of time, the standards enforcement agency, as part of its zero tolerance for substandard products this year, will destroy such inferior products immediately they are seized.
The Director of Corporate Communications of the GSA, Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the swift destruction of inferior products would serve as a “high disincentive for anybody who wants to indulge in such trade”.
“Previously when we seized them, we kept them for sometime before we destroyed them because we needed to go by some procedures, but right now we have informed the Ministry of Trade and Industry, our board of directors and the central government to destroy such goods,” Dr Amponsah-Bediako said.
He explained that since all stakeholders agreed that substandard products were unacceptable, “we can go ahead and destroy them”.
Dr Amponsah-Bediako said the phenomenon was “one of the greatest problems and challenges the country was facing since it destroyed the market for genuine businesses”.
He said to get rid of such inferior products; the GSA had to introduce more stringent measures to ensure that nobody had the incentive to introduce such products on the market.
“What we have planned to do is that we want it to serve as a disincentive by ensuring that once products are seized they are destroyed immediately.
“When we do it consistently for sometime, many people will refrain from that act,” he noted.
Only way out
To permanently clamp down on inferior goods from the market, Dr Amponsah-Bediako said the immediate destruction of inferior products when they were seized was “the only way out”.
He explained that sometimes when goods were confiscated for a long time, some of them were smuggled back to the market and that had necessitated the immediate destruction of seized inferior products.
“That is the more reason why we don’t even want to keep substandard products for a certain period of time.
Once you seize it, you destroy it in the next hour or within a day.
“We only need to make sure that we get samples to show as evidence that the goods were substandard but once there is such evidence, you go ahead and destroy it so that there will be no room for manoeuvring on the part of anybody,” he said.
High intelligent alert
Shedding light on the GSA’s strategy to clamp down on rogue importers who flood the market with inferior goods, Dr Amponsah-Bediako hinted that the authority had put in place a strategy called “high intelligent alert” to help identify importers of inferior products for prosecution.
He said the GSA was collaborating with other state agencies, including the police and some trade associations to clean the market and rid it of all inferior products.
“We are in league with so many people, including the police and trade associations who are collaborating with us to clamp down on such importers,” he said.
However, nationwide market surveillance which was started last year will be sustained and extended to other parts of the country to complete the cleaning exercise and ensure that products on the markets are of the required standards.
Dr Amponsah-Bediako, however, advised consumers to be circumspect when purchasing goods and resolve to shun inferior products.
“We cannot do it alone and that is why consumers have to help us and resolve not to purchase inferior products because when nobody is patronising these products, the importers will be discouraged to ship them into the country,” he said.