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13.09.2005 Business & Finance

Government to realign GSB and FBD

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Accra, Sept. 13, GNA - The Ministry of Trade and Industry is to realign the functions of the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) to reduce the perceived lapses in their operations.

Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade and Industry, who said this at the meet-the- press series in Accra, indicated that the GSB would be upgraded to become an international standards organisation. He said the upgrading would include improving the status of laboratories of key institutions such as FDB, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Veterinary Services and the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services (PPRS) to ensure that they carried out well-coordinated services.

Mr Kyeremanten noted that an export inspection facility and phyto-sanitary and technical barriers to trade at the Kotoka International Airport, Tema and Takoradi Ports would also be established.

The overhauling would cover the enforcement of effective labelling, which would look at price marking, bar coding and weighing scales. Under the Import - Export Cluster, Mr Kyeremanten said a Tariff Advisory Board would be constituted to review the tariff regime and rationalise it to fit into the national development objectives of the country.

The Board would also review, compile and publish all applicable import and export permits and licences and train officers and operators to understand issues relating to rules of origin, subsidies, anti-dumping, toxicology and risk assessment in food safety.

On consumer protection, the Ministry intends to develop a Consumer Protection Policy, enact and review related consumer protection regulations to safeguard the interest of the consumer.

Mr Kyeremanten pointed out that a consumer protection authority and small claims court would be formed in addition to mobile consumer complaints redress centres that would serve as a platform for consumers and producers to settle their differences.

He said an automated industry property management system and electronic copy register would be secured to replace the current paper work at the Register General's Department to eliminate backlog of application for industry property titles, adding that plans were underway to enact and enforce laws to ensure fair trade on the local market.

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