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08.11.2004 Regional News

Workshop on inter laboratory comparison in Mass Measurement opens

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Accra, Nov. 8, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Presidential Special Initiatives (PSI), on Monday said besides quantity, quality and conformity of goods with relevant standards, correct measurements are essential in international trade.

"Reliable measurements are a prerequisite for fair trade, quality assurance and certificates acceptable on the international level, protection of citizenry and of the environment against harmful effects of these development," he said.

Mr Asiedu was speaking at the opening of a four-day training workshop on Inter Laboratory Comparison in Mass Measurements organized by Physicalisch Technische Bundersanstalt (PTB), Germany's higher Authority for Metrology and the West African Economic Monetary Union (UEMOA).

The workshop is part of a technical co-operation project initiated by PTB in 2001 for Ghana and nine Francophone countries in West Africa to improve calibration facilities in relevant laboratories.

The Deputy Minister said the World Trade Organisation recently cited lack of acceptance or recognition of foreign test results as one of the most serious impediments to free trade.

"The rejection of such test results do require further testing at the point of delivery by designated laboratories even when adequate testing has been performed in the country of origin."

Mr Asiedu appealed to the German Government through the PTB to offer additional help in terms of staff training, access to appropriate standards of measurement or reference materials and proficiency testing programmes and to make available adequate equipment with facilities for maintenance to laboratories in the sub-region to solve the problem with inter laboratory comparison.

Mr Lawrence Yankey, Acting Executive Director of Ghana Standards Board, said consignments of goods tend to gain easy access onto target markets if accompanied by reliable and accurate test reports.

He called on the German Government to provide assistance for the establishment of an Accreditation Body in the ECOWAS Sub-Region to see to the accreditation of calibration laboratories in the countries of interests.

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