The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has suspended the implementation of new approved fees and charges for the certification of imports into the country.
The decision to maintain the old charges was reached at a consensus-building meeting with importers in Accra last Thursday.
This is the second consecutive year that the GSA has had to suspend the implementation of the fees and charges following repeated appeals by industry players to halt the decision, at least till the end of the first quarter of the year, to allow them to recover from the losses they incurred due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The meeting, jointly organised by the GSA and the Ghana Shippers Authority, was to ensure that importers were fully abreast of the new fees and their implications on businesses.
The new fees, which were approved by Parliament in August 2019, were expected to take effect from January last year.
However, their implementation was postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which slowed down many businesses in the country.
The Director-General of the GSA, Professor Alex Dodoo, told the Daily Graphic that the authority decided to postpone the implementation again until an appropriate time, adding that the authority was yet to inform the ministries of Trade and Industry and Finance about the decision.
“Basically nothing has changed in terms of GSA’s charges at the ports, and the only communication is that the situation is as it is; the status quo remains. I hope that makes it very clear and very simple. It is not like we have increased and we are reducing; we have not,” he added.
According to him, the authority was determined to help the government in the ease of doing business in the country by ensuring that all bottlenecks that affected the successful operation of businesses were removed.
He, however, urged stakeholders to support the GSA’s ‘Year of enforcement’ drive to ensure strict adherence to conformity to protect consumers and also promote trade.
The director-general asked importers to “name and shame” colleagues who indulged in the importation of substandard goods to enable the authority to weed them out of the system.
“If we at the GSA fail to work, then most of you here will be out of business or not be interested in doing business in this country because all sorts of substandard goods will flood the market and destabilise genuine competition in the business space,” he said.
Prof. Dodoo said the GSA would introduce import certification for some category of products that were presently not catalogued under any certification.
He said the products would include lubricants and gas cylinders.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms Benonita Bismarck, expressed appreciation to the leadership of the GSA for the decision to suspend the implementation of the new fees.
“I am glad that we have been able to talk, such that the status quo has remained,” she said