The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) is confident of implementing a voluntary trade facilitation scheme that will ensure products imported into the Ghanaian market meet the required quality, so that Ghanaians are safeguarded against health/safety hazards.
This move is long overdue, since the liberalised economy that we operate in the country gives room for the dumping of inferior and sub-standard products onto the Ghanaian market, and unsuspecting consumers are thereby short-changed.
Under the guise of free trade, all manner of ‘phony’ products are dumped on the Ghanaian market – from sub-standard cables to fake pharmaceutical products and agro-chemicals that cannot be verified. As a result, there is little evidence to prove the damage done to the environment and individual health.
The Standards Authority is purposed to ensure that only certified products enter the Ghanaian market, and they must be commended for the initiative. 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 imported products are verified before they are brought in.
While lauding the GSA for its vigilance, the whole exercise will not be successful unless importers become a part of it and observe the regulations. Just today, we received news of raids conducted by the Food and Drugs Authority in Kumasi, in search of Tramadol which is being sold over the counter in pharmacies with some quite devastating effects.
With EasyPASS certification demanded by May 1st this year, we believe the incidence of fake pharmaceutical products entering the market will be greatly reduced. This requires the concerted effort of us all, as vigilance in such circumstances is key to its reduction.
Africa and developing countries tend to be a dumping-ground for inferior products since it is assumed we have weak regulatory regimes. It is high time we proved them wrong and prevent such products from entering our world.