From September 2, this year, all textiles imported into the country should be cleared at Ghana’s three designated points of entry, the Vetting Committee on Imported African Textiles at the Ministry of Trade & Industry has directed.
Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade & Industry, who inaugurated the committee and a reconstituted Task Force in Accra recently to deal with the situation, said pirated textiles had invaded the Ghanaian market lately.
The Taskforce has been mandated to seize and destroy all pirated Ghanaian textile designs in the country.
The three designated points of entry are Tema Port, the Kotoka International Airport and the Takoradi Habour.
In August, 2010, a Taskforce was inaugurated to deal with the issues.
But it has been reconstituted to include representatives from the National Security Council, Ghana Union Traders Association and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The Taskforce, together with the Vetting Committee, among other things, are expected to ensure that importers who engage in the illegal activities are dealt with in accordance with the law.
In line with the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Governments are obliged to take measures to promote intellectual property including copy right, trade mark, trade name and patent.
Mr. Iddrisu noted that government was worried about the reduction in the number of workers employed by the textile industries, stating that in the 1980s local manufacturers used to employ over 30,000 formal workers.
The Vetting Committee would receive samples from companies registered with the Ghana Standards Authority and deposit these with approved samples at the ports for easy identification by the port officials.
The Minister further said all importers of African prints must be registered with the Registrar-General’s Department and submit a monthly return on the importation of properly labeled African prints.
In total, the 19 members of the committee took the oath of office and oath of secrecy administered by the Minister.
The Taskforce is chaired by Appiah Doyina of the Ministry of Trade & Industry while the Vetting Committee is headed by Easmond Arde-Acquah of the Ghana Standards Authority.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey