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02.04.2008 Business & Finance

GSB worried over influx of imported inferior goods despite efforts

By Accra Mail
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Despite efforts by the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) and other related institutions to protect consumers from cheap imported products; many more inferior items continue to flood the Ghanaian markets, an official of the Board said yesterday.

Mr Frank .K. Nagetey, Head of the Destination Inspection Unit of the GSB who made this observation on Monday admitted that, it had not been easy to identify all the inferior and dangerous goods coming into the country because of the activities of smugglers, who kept changing the sources of their imports.

Another factor he mentioned was the conditions at the various borders, which he described as “porous”, giving smugglers the field day to operate.

“The ignorance of the ordinary consumer can also not be ruled out,” Mr Nagetey said when he addressed a day's seminar on inspection of high risk goods for Freight Forwarders in the Western and Central Regions at Takoradi on the topic “Guidelines for Inspection of High Risk Goods”.

He, therefore, called on various consumer associations to join in the effort to protect the interest of the public.

“About 90 per cent of imports from China and Dubai are of very inferior quality,” Mr Nagetey said but blamed local importers for ordering such inferior goods using poverty as an excuse.

Citing an instance, he said, electric cables imported from these countries have been found to be of very poor quality and his outfit had put in measures to ensure that such good were adequately tested before they were cleared from the ports.

Mr Nagetey also mentioned products such as, mosquito coils and bleaching creams from these countries that contained dangerous chemicals and therefore warned consumers to be wary of these items.

He said household electrical items that do not conform to the labelling standards and requirements of the Energy Commission would not be certified for clearance.
The importation of used mattresses and used LPG gas cylinders, have been banned, while the GSB had proposed to the government to ban also, used lorry tyres.

Mr Peter Fleku of the GSB Special Projects Division urged participants of the seminar to advise their clients to always renew their registration with the GSB at the end of each year to avoid undue interruption.

They must also ensure that, all goods met the labelling and inspection requirement and noted with concern that there were a lot of malpractices within the import business.

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