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02.11.2007 Editorial

Complaints On Standards

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The Ghana Standards Board's (GSB) complaint of difficulties it was encountering in complying with standards in the country is just one of the lamentations from the implementation authorities.

The board must therefore take the lead in ensuring that rules for standards are complied with so that the country would not become a dumping ground for inferior goods.

Ghana needs such an action now because all manner of goods ranging from T-roll to medicine have flooded our markets from all parts of the world as though there are no control for goods entering the country.

Although Ghana enjoys trade liberalisation policy, it however cannot open its doors to every item in the world. It is the duty of the government to protect locally-manufactured goods as a source of encouragement for local manufacturers.
The country's custom officers and all other border personnel at the entry points must ensure that the appropriate taxes and levies are paid on all goods entering the country.

Apart from that the quality of those goods must meet accepted standards to prevent the country from becoming dumping grounds for inferior goods.

Many inferior goods are being smuggled into the country from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). As such, those goods are relatively cheap and the locally-manufactured ones cannot compete with them.

Typical examples are the imitated traditional textile prints with local names which find their way from Asia and other parts of the world into Ghanaian markets.

It might be true that GSB is not responsible for enforcement of standards, but the board has the power to certify the quality of a particular product or reject it.

As for the patronage or otherwise of a particular product, all that the board can do about it is not to allow it into the country. But after the product has entered the country, the board can hardly prevent the people from patronizing it.

The provision of level playing fields for both locally-manufactured and foreign goods would be of benefit to the people, because quality goods would be made available to the people.

The board as the gate-keepers of society, must do something better to protect the people from the use of shoddy goods.

By this, we are not suggesting that inferior locally-made goods should be encouraged to remain in the system.

The time has now come for GSB to be given more powers to compel people to go by standards in the country.

DAILY GUIDE notes that compliance with standards is a mark of enlightenment in a society.

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