The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has said it is confident it will by May 1, 2018 implement the EasyPASS programme – a voluntary trade facilitation scheme, aimed at ensuring that products imported into the Ghanaian market are of the required quality standards to protect public health and save the environment.
According to the GSA, Bureau Veritas has been appointed to carry out the verification process worldwide and deliver the EasyPASS certificate in conformity with the standards which will ensure that imported products are verified before they are brought in.
A statement signed by the GSA’s Board Chairman, Dr. Akwasi Achampong, and copied to the B&FT explained that the programme, which is voluntary, implies presentation of the EasyPASS Certificate for fast-track Customs clearance of imported goods – except products regulated by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) – from May 1, 2018.
The GSA urged the business community to be duly informed that exporters and suppliers will have to contact Bureau Veritas in the country of export. The process involves conformity assessment based on the approved national standards.
Upon satisfactory verification, a certificate of conformity will be issued for the relevant shipment, which should facilitate Customs clearance at the port of destination.
Speaking to B&FT, the GSA’s Director of Corporate Communications – Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, said all inferior products imported into the country will face rejection upon implementation of the programme.
He said the EasyPass is part of measures being taken to prevent substandard goods from entering the country.
“We want to rid the economy of substandard products, and this is the surest way of preventing substandard products from entering the country’s market.
“We encourage all importers to be part of it to ensure that Ghana becomes a safe place for doing business as far as consumer goods are concerned,” Dr. Amponsah-Bediako said.
He encouraged the business community to take advantage of the programme to facilitate clearing goods from the ports while saving lives.
He added: “The agent – Bureau Veritas – will be at all the major importing locations in the world, to examine and send us the report. They have equipment and sophisticated machines to examine these products. Upon arrival in Ghana, there will just be inspection of the certificate”.
A successful implementation of the EasyPass programme will boost Ghana’s confidence within the international business community.
It is also in accordance with adoption of the trade facilitation measures by the World Trade Organization agreement, which will go a long way to drastically reduce time in the clearance of goods from ports as well as attract foreign direct investment into the country.
Dr. Amponsah-Bediako indicated that there have been positive discussions among stakeholders and sector ministries for their support prior to the implementation.
“We have discussed this programme with the Presidency, sector ministers and all stakeholders, and they have fully agreed. We have the support from all of them. It’s a very good programme, except that with every new thing people find it difficult to comply,” he said.