FDA to sanction ‘personal effect’ guidelines violators from next year

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) will from next year sanction importers who violate the guidelines on ‘personal effects’ in the country.

The guidelines spell out volumes and quantity of products that qualify as personal effects before arriving at various ports.

The Director for Centre for Importer and Exporter Control of FDA, Mr. Emmanuel Yaw Kwarteng, said this yesterday in Tema during an engagement by the Food and Drugs Authority and Freight Forwarders on the new guidelines on personal effects.

The meeting was to discuss issues in the sector and how to promote food safety in the country.

He said the importer would have his order, goods would be seized and disposed of at the cost of the importer, order the re-export of the product at the cost of the importer, pay administrative fines and prosecution of the importer in accordance with the provision of the Public Health Act.

Mr Kwarteng said the FDA had in recent times observed a worrying trend where products meant for commercial purpose were cleared at the ports under the guise of “Personal effects’’ which contravenes the Public Health Act 851.

He said registration exercise were ongoing to get a database of all importers of personal effects for monitoring purposes and to aid in investigations and tracking whenever there was any food safety alert or emergency.

Mr Kwarteng said to ensure zero tolerance for unregistered imported products, the FDA and other stakeholders had established guidelines to help streamline the importation of personal effects into the country.

The Director assured of FDA’s commitment to protect public health and safety in the country.

The Head of Operations, Import and Export Control of FDA, Mr Jake Amoako Mensah, in a presentation titled “Guidelines for the regulation of personal effects” said importation of personal effects by a particular importer shall not exceed four imports per year.

He said permits issued for importation of personal effects shall be presented to customs only once.

Mr Mensah said the products declared as personal effects shall not be displayed on the shelf for sale or distribution to the public.

He said individual or a group of individuals shall be permitted to import products declared personal effects, adding that “companies registered with the Registrar General’s Department as an importer of FDA regulated products shall not be permitted to import personal effects.”

The Vice President of International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association, Mr David Nutakor, said such collaboration between the two organisations would promote import and export in the country.

He commended the FDA for the initiative and called for more of such collaboration.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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