‘Implementation Of GCAP Will Affect Businesses’

The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF) says the implementation of the Ghana Conformity Assessment Programme (GCAP) will have economic implications for small and medium scale traders who buy from the open market and not directly from manufacturers.

It has therefore, called on the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to allocate more time for consultation between stakeholders before implementation to resolve all pertinent issues.

The GSA intends to implement the programme that ensures that specific products imported into the country meet the requirements of the technical regulations and standards set by GSA and are of the required quality.

In line with that the importer would have to present a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) to Customs before clearing the goods, those arriving without a CoC will be subject to a penalty.

Speaking at a press briefing here yesterday the President of GIFF, Joseph Agbaga, said small and medium scale traders constituting the majority of importers shopped from the open market in Dubai, Turkey and China among others because they did not have the financial muscle to buy from industries where they could obtain CoC.

As a result he said the new requirement could affect their business, increase unemployment and impinge on revenue at the ports.

The meeting was aimed at outlining implications of the programme and concerns that need to be addressed for a smooth implementation of the programme.

Mr. Agbaga said the World Trade Organisation’s guidelines stipulate that implementation of programmes of this sort should be preceded by education and consultation with stakeholders, running publications to sensitise the public and setting implementation date at least three months from final publication.

He noted that the short notice given by the GSA for the implementation of the programme left much to be desired.

“It will interest you to know that some shipment already come with CoC based on international standards and we believe that if these requirements are well communicated to the importing public arrangements can be made for suppliers to make it available free of charge to importers,” he said.

Mr. Agbaga wondered why after doing away with pre-shipment inspection for almost 15 years the GSA would come back to introduce a requirement that was pivoted on pre shipment inspection.

He acknowledged that though implementation of the programme had enormous benefits including reduction in the risk of making Ghana a dumping ground and conservation of hard earned foreign exchange there was need to resolve all doubts and earn the support of all stakeholders.

From: Godfred Blay Gibbah,Tema

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