A team from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Police Service last Friday raided a warehouse at Oyarifa that has been converted into a manufacturing site for the production and distribution of unapproved gas cylinders.
In the process, the team arrested four persons suspected to be workers of the illegal establishment who were busily working at the facility during the raid.
The operation was led and supervised by the Business Development Manager of the GSA, Mr George Anti.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic after the raid, Mr Anti explained that some few weeks ago, the GSA had reliable information that some unapproved gas cylinders had inundated the market and, therefore, began investigations to locate the manufacturer.
He said the GSA’s surveillance in the market identified the manufacturer of the unapproved gas cylinders as Quest Systems located at Oyarifa, and proceeded to shut down its operations.
“Upon the GSA’s investigations, we found out that the company was operating the facility without the necessary permit and certification from the GSA, which means that the authority cannot ascertain the quality of the gas cylinders that they produce onto the market,” Mr Anti said.
Unknown to GSA
Mr Anti said Quest Systems was unknown to the GSA and was not approved to engage in the manufacturing of gas cylinders.
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He explained that only two companies had the approval of the GSA to manufacture and distribute gas cylinders.
They are the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company and Platinum Impex Ltd., manufactures of the Sigma gas cylinder.
“One needs to obtain the necessary certifications before engaging in the manufacturing of such products because when they are not tested before getting onto the market, it could pose serious risks to consumers,” he said.
Given that Quest Systems was operating without the necessary certification that would ensure public safety, Mr Anti said the GSA would keep the facility under lock and key and facilitate the prosecution of the manufacturer to deter others from engaging in similar acts.
“We are not going to allow them to operate and that is why this facility would be kept under lock and key to ensure that they have no opportunity of selling these illegal products on the market,” Mr Anti said.
He said the use of such inferior gas cylinders could pose grave danger to users and in some instances cause domestic fires.
“Some of these inferior products have contributed to some of the domestic fire outbreaks and we must ensure the safety of the public,” he said.
Explaining the rationale behind the exercise, Mr Anti said the GSA’s operation was in line with the Standards Act NRCD 173, which gave the authority the mandate to prohibit the sale of inferior goods.
The GSA is mandated under the Standards Authority Act, 1973 to undertake conformity assessment activities and gives permission for a conforming product to bear a mark of conformity called the Standard Mark; providing evidence of compliance to specification.
As a result, a product bearing this mark carries a third-party guarantee; an assurance that the product has been inspected, tested and conforms to the requirements of an accepted standard.