The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has extended the on-going registration of all imported products which would be allowed into the country, cautioning importers to undertake the exercise by the end of February 2021 deadline, or risk their goods rejected.
The directive comes in the wake of importers pleading with the authority to consider goods that were already on the high seas before the directive was announced. The authority has, therefore, decided to extend the deadline so that such importers can register the consignment before it is allowed on the market. It has, however, cautioned that non-compliance with the directive within the ‘grace period’ given will not be tolerated.
“By 1st March, 2021 we will not have unregistered products in the port. We are pleading with importers and freight forwarders to play their parts. You do not have to wait till the end of February when you are asked to send your consignment back to where it came from. We are doing that at the land borders; in fact, we have sent a lot of things back to where they came from, especially, pharmaceuticals.
We know that some consignments are already on high seas coming. FDA, being client friendly, cannot decree that the consignment that are already on their way, we are going to destroy them. We have given this grace period from now to the end of February when all the consignments that are contracted already would have arrived. Henceforth, every new consignment that does not comply will go back,” Head of Import and Export Unit at the FDA, Tema, Emmanuel Yaw Kwarteng, told the B&FT in an interview following an earlier stakeholders meeting held at Tema.
He further emphasized that importers who are yet to procure goods from abroad should endeavour to register their products as they will not be given a second chance should the products arrive unregistered.
“At the stakeholder meeting, we said that we are starting registration of products on 1 February 2021, but some consignments are currently on their way coming. Those consignments were contracted before 1st February, 2021, so we know that we will be dealing with those consignments throughout February.
But with any new consignments that come in, the rules are strictly applied. The rule is that it should be registered, if it is not registered, it will be exported to where it came from,” he said.
To further ease the burden of importers and provide them some reprieve, the Authority has reduced its registration fees by 20 percent.
The FDA has therefore assured the general public of its commitment to protect the health and safety of consumers and further advised consumers to patronize only registered products on the market.