Only seven out of the 204 electrical items tested by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) at Opera Square and Zongo Lane in Accra conform to the authority’s standards.
The GSA inspected and tested the electrical items, including wire cables, switches, bulbs and extension boards, in August this year and the failure rate amounted to 96 per cent.
The items were seized in an operation codenamed “Quality Police” embarked upon by the GSA, in collaboration with the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).
In the same operation, 127 pieces of footwear were seized, with only seven of them turning out to be of good quality.
Briefing journalists on the operation in Accra on Monday, the Director General of the GSA, Prof. Alex Dodoo, described the smuggling of substandard goods into the country as a crisis situation.
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Since the fake electrical gadgets posed danger to life, he said, the GSA would intensify its inspection to clear them from the system.
He said most of the electrical items did not have labels or places of origin.
He said some of the importers disguised the fake items and cleared them through the ports, while majority of them smuggled the items into the country through the eastern and the northern corridors.
Prof. Dodoo said some individuals wanted to turn Ghana into a dumbing ground for fake products and indicated that the recent inspection was to discourage that, in line with the GSA Board’s policy of zero tolerance for substandard goods.
For instance, he said, the country lost about GH¢5 billion annually through the importation of substandard, poor quality goods which affected health and life and led to the collapse of businesses and loss of jobs.
He said the GSA would continue to collaborate with the CID and Customs officials to prevent the smuggling of substandard products into the country.
“Trade has to be based on standards. We will ensure that the products come in properly,” he said.
Prof. Dodoo said the GSA would prosecute the importers and traders of fake electrical gadgets and footwear, adding: “The GSA will adhere to the law and will be strict and offer no favours.”
He said the authority would destroy the fake electrical items and footwear and that the importers and traders would be made to pay for the cost of the destruction.
He said a few of the importers who had problems with their labelling would be made to do a relabelling of their products.
The Board Chairman of the GSA, Dr Akwasi Achampong, said the authority was seeking to promote the establishment of businesses and indicated that the importation of fake products had the tendency to discourage investors.
He, therefore, urged consumers to collaborate with the GSA to flush out fake products from the system.
“We want to buy something that will last long and save lives; we want to make sure that businesses succeed,” he said.