Ghana issued accreditation to inspect, certify fish products for export
Ghana has been issued with an international accreditation licence to inspect, verify and certify fish in all forms before it is sold on the international market
licence, issued by the internationally recognised accreditation body, Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAKKS), was specifically issued to the Fish Inspection Department of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
As such, DAKKS has attested that the Fish Inspection Department of the GSA is competent under the terms of internationally applicable standards as a Type A to carry out inspection of fish and fish products for exports.
The certificate was issued on June 29, and is valid until 2023.
DAKKS is the national accreditation body of the Federal Republic of Germany that is legally responsible for the accreditation of conformity assessment bodies such as laboratories, inspection and certification bodies.
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Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday August 1, 2018, the Deputy Director General in charge of Conformity and Assessment at the GSA, Mr Kofi Nagetey, said the certification implied that the GSA’s competence and credibility in terms of its output would be accepted on the international market.
“The accreditation will facilitate the improvement of Ghana’s fish trade performance on the international market and help create the enabling environment for more fish exports.
“The products will be tested once and accepted everywhere and this will remove the burden of costs resulting from multiple assessments. Products certified by the GSA will gain competitive advantages over non-accredited market participants,” he emphasised.
Additionally, other non-European Union (EU) countries which did not have the accreditation could obtain certified fish and fish products from Ghana, he added.
The Deputy Director General in charge of Operations at the GSA, Mr Charles Amoako, said many efforts went into the processes for GSA to acquire the accreditation which began with an application in 2013.
The requirements for obtaining the accreditation included capacity building of personnel, upgrading of laboratory facilities to meet international standards, improvement of mechanism of the authority, ensuring confidentiality of client information, as well as of the technical competence and management systems at the GSA.
There was eventually an evaluation of the assessment results and eventual acceptance of the application and issuance of the certificate.
Mr Amoako expressed gratitude to the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) for its financial and technical support in the processes.
For her part, the Head of the Fish Inspection Department at the GSA, Mrs Jessica Nkansah, said prior to the accreditation, the EU, in 1998, appointed the department as a competent authority for fish and fishery products that could verify compliance and certify exports onto the EU market.
“With the competence that has been acquired by the FID, GSA over the years, non-EU countries also rely on it to certify their fish exports and, therefore, the accreditation will boost Ghana’s fish certification credential on the international market,” she said.
The GSA is mandated under the Standards Authority Act, 1973 to undertake conformity assessment activities and give permission for a conforming product to bear a mark of conformity called the Standard Mark which provides evidence of compliance to specification.
A product bearing the Standard Mark carries a third-party guarantee which is an assurance that the product has been inspected, tested and conforms to the requirements of an accepted standard.