A Standards officer at the Ghana standards authority, Charles Kuranchie is asking consumers to be conscious of the products they buy on the market as some lawless persons fake the mark of the Ghana Standards Authority on their products, to deceive the public.
On Multitv’s current affairs programme, PM Express, he admitted that though the authority’s market surveillance team goes round markets across the country to check on the standards of products on sale, the surveillance is yet to hit the hinterlands which remain a challenge to them.
‘’People should be conscious of the products they buy on the market, they must look out for genuine GSA marks which has the license, standards and registration numbers especially with sachet water which becomes too small so manufacturers take the numbers out, it is a challenge’’.
Charles Kuranchie posited that the objective of GSA is ultimately to ensure that products on the market meet both local and international standards and hence the registration processes are now made friendlier especially to small and medium enterprises.
‘’l admit that manufacturers are dwindling in the country because less numbers are coming for certification but the situation is not as a result of cumbersome licensing processes. The procedure to register is no longer bureaucratic’’
The standards officer called on manufacturers who intend to certify their products to apply to the authority and fill the CM1 and relevant product standard form.
Manufacturers must provide their business certificate and quality control procedures after which their documents will be reviewed, and then the factory inspection department will take the products through inspection and assess the manufacturer’s facility.
Samples of the product are tested and if they meet GSA’s standards, a license is issued and manufacturers are allowed to use the GSA mark on their products. He said.
He added that the surveillance team audits the factory and products on the market in course of the year so manufacturers do not breach the standards after successfully acquiring the license.
But Cadmon Dadzie, member of the Ghana chamber of commerce who joined the show by telephone indicated that the registration processes of the Food and Drugs Authority are the same with that of the Ghana Standards Authority; which most times create ambiguities in the licensure and certification process.
He says the situation remains a burden on manufacturers as it takes a lot of time and eventually delays the entire registration processes with the two authorities.
‘’If the GSA approves of my products why should l go through the same process with the FDA, it wastes time and time is money. The two agencies should cooperate and probably merge in the long term to avoid the delays in the process because the situation is frustrating our members’’.
Cadmon Dadzie called on both authorities to clearly draw their operational lines and do some alignments to reduce the delay in the registration process.
He however commended the GSA for making their registration processes less bureaucratic but urged them to decentralize their testing systems to make it more accessible.
Standards officer at the GSA Charles Kuranchie opined that it will be impossible to merge the GSA and the FDA because both institutions have different mandates but rather they will engage manufacturers in more awareness and sensitization programmes to make them understand and appreciate both processes so they do not see them as cumbersome and will be willing to go through them.
He added that the management of GSA is working through to decentralize testing facilities in the country citing Takoradi as an instance as a result of the oil find.