Business News of Tuesday, 17 February 2015
The Ministry of Trade And Industry has given the Ghana Standards Authority the all clear to commence the implementation of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Program (GCAP) in April, 2015.
The program was suspended last year to allow more time for further engagement with all stakeholders after strong opposition from the 8 member Joint Consultative Committee of stakeholders from the Private Sector.
G-CAP is a conformity assessment process used to verify that products imported into Ghana meet the necessary standards at the manufacturing country of origin. The program is expected to prevent the importation of substandard and fake products onto the Ghanaian market.
Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Ghana Importers and Exporters Association (GIEA) have all warned government not to allow the take off of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme since it will add to the increasing cost of doing business.
GUTA had earlier told Citi Business News it will resist any attempt to implement the G-CAP as it will only add to the unnecessary delay in the importation of their goods into the country increasing cost of doing business.
But the Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Standard Authority KofiAmponsah Bediako has told Citi Business News concerns by stakeholders that the program would increase their cost of doing business in Ghana are not true.
‘The ministry of trade and industry has given us the green light to go ahead with the programme but we are to streamline a few things before the commencement date. We are expecting that latest by the first or second of April we will be able to start the programme.
So we are to start the programme that date. We have indicated that education will continue just before the commencement of the programme, even after the commencement education will still continue because our stakeholders must all come on board’. He said.
The Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE) however last week questioned the resistance from associations like the Ghana Union of Traders Association and the Ghana Importers and Exporters Association concerning the implementation of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme.
According to FAGE importers must ensure that laid down standards for goods and products imported meet standards. Speaking to Citi Business News President of the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters Anthony Sikpa said conforming to international standards and that of the country is important.
“As somebody who is in export and know how we struggle to get our products to other markets for me I am all for standards enforcing the standards whether for imports or exports, whether for manufactured or agricultural goods because this world has become global. The only way you can become competitive in a global market place is that you are conforming to international standards that is what they are asking us to do.”
He argues that if you were taking pineapple from here to Europe for example , you will have to conform to the global gap certification, also if you are bringing manufactured goods you need to conform to the ISO standards on that products.
“I am for it but I do not understand where that resistance is coming from perhaps we need to engage the Ghana Union of Traders Associations and let them understand that is for their own good that whatever they bring in is acceptable on this market.”