The Chief Operating Officer of the Ghana 2008 Local Organising Committee, (LOC) Mr Magnus Rex Danquah has said his outfit has had the best of cooperation with the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) in checking the inflow of unlicensed and counterfeit products into the country towards the Africa Cup of Nations.
He described the working relationship between the two bodies as “very effective arrangements that should lead to the drastic reduction, if not total cessation, in contraband trading of Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations products as well as in the counterfeit and other forms of unlicensed trade.”
Mr Danquah's comments follows the recent increase in arrests by the LOC taskforce made up of CEPS and other security agencies, adding that the procedure would be subjected to constant review to ensure its effectiveness.
In a press release copied to the GNA Sports, the Operating Officer said the purpose of the alliance is to clamp down on the illicit production, import and sale of goods branded with the name, logo, the mascot and even the replica image of the trophy.
“All of these are registered trademarks of the LOC on behalf of the Confederation of Africa Football, (CAF) the rightful owners of the Ghana 2008 championship”.
Mr Danquah said the LOC has provided CEPS with the list of all importers and traders who have been licensed to deal in Ghana 2008 tournament products in line with the understanding agreed upon.
He said the list would be updated by CEPS upon notification by the LOC together with complemented physical samples as well as digital images of the authorize products to differentiate genuine items from counterfeits.
He added that salient security features aimed at differentiating genuine items from fake products have been put in place.
Mr Danquah said CEPS has undertaken to utilize the World Customs Organisation's Custom Enforcement Network (CEN) as an enforcement tool for communicating and soliciting for the support of other nation's customs administration.
The Chief Operating Officer noted that it would be important for the public to know about every confiscation and consequent destruction of counterfeit products or smuggled goods to be carried out under the supervision of the LOC and CEPS.
Mr Danquah expressed the readiness of LOC and CEPS to coordinate responses to the media through issuance of joint press releases and statements as well as through direct invitation to the media to be present at the scene of the action.