New trade standards enforcement begins - To check substandard products
New trade standards enforcement begins - To check substandard products

New trade standards enforcement begins - To check substandard products

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has started implementing new standards in the local business space to discourage trade in substandard goods in the country.

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The move comes as part of the government's efforts to improve the quality of goods on the Ghanaian market and protect consumers from potentially harmful products.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, has consequently pledged to enforce the relevant trade standards in order to encourage trade in quality goods in the country.

The minister said the government would work closely with the relevant agencies, particularly the Ghana Standards Authority, to ensure that only high-quality goods were manufactured, imported or sold in the country.

“This will involve rigorous testing and inspection of products before they are allowed onto the market, as well as increased penalties for those found to be selling substandard goods,” he said. 
 

Appointment

Mr Hammond was speaking to the media after he appointed the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, Professor Alexander Nii Oto Dodoo, as the “Custodian of Weights and Measures” in Ghana.

The appointment, effective September 11, 2023, is in line with Section 60 of the Ghana Standards Authority Act, 2022 (Act 1078).

The minister said over the years, the development and enforcement of standards had been relegated to the background, emboldening rogue manufacturers and traders to flood to markets with substandard products.

Beyond ridding the markets of substandard goods and services which could be detrimental for the country’s development and the health of individuals, the minister said the new era of standards enforcement would also expose Ghanaian businesses to the international market.

Mr Hammond said his commitment to enhance fairness and accuracy in trade through the enforcement of standards in trade and commerce was non-negotiable.

Statement

A statement issued by the ministry last Thursday said the Director-General, as the custodian, “is expected to appoint and deploy inspectors of weights and measures for the effective administration of weights and measures”.

“As provided for under the Ghana Standards Authority Act, the inspectors shall examine every weight, measure or instrument for trade and industry, including health, safety and environment devices, for the purpose of verification.

They will also compare the weight, measure or instrument with the corresponding working standards,” it said.

Already, about 250 trade standards officers are undergoing training to be deployed as inspectors across the country.

The appointment is to ensure that “Ghana aligns with international standards in metrology (the science of weights and measurement), which is vital for international trade and collaboration, and establish Ghana as “a reliable and compliant partner on the global stage”.

“The Custodian, empowered by Section 62 of the Act, has the power to enter premises and require the production and examination of the weight, measure or instrument in that place.

“The inspectors can seize the weight, measure or instrument for the purpose of comparing the seized weight, measure or instrument with a working standard.

It is an offence to obstruct an inspector in his line of duty,” it stated.

It added that the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority, would implement “extensive engagements” with the business community and the trading public to create awareness of the importance of weights and measures, and the impact they have on businesses and trade.

“Accurate measurements are fundamental to economic growth as they instil confidence in consumers, ensure that consumers receive what they pay for, and that businesses operate on a level playing field,” the statement stated.

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