The standards Directorate is responsible for the development, publishing and promotion of standards in accordance with the Standards decree of 1973 (NRCD 173).
OUR VISION: To become a model of excellence for the development and dissemination of standards and related subjects.
OUR MISSION: To develop, adopt and disseminate standards in an efficient manner to government, private sector and consumers in order to improve the competiveness of Ghana.
Standards have become an integral component of Ghana’s economic, legal and social systems but their crucial role is often not recognized. The Standards Directorate in its core function develops national standards and maximizes the benefits of international standards through adoptions. This enhances the competitiveness of the Ghanaian industry and advance global trade. Standards have extremely wide applicability and constitute a critical factor in quality management, assurance and control.
Benefits of standards to consumers:
- Standards ensure consumer protection.
- Standards promote and protect economic interests of consumers, industry and businesses.
- Standards ensure improved quality and reliability.
- Standards ensure better operation and compatibility between products and services.
- Standards ensure the availability of effective consumer redress.
- Standards ensure that consumers have easier access to and greater choice in goods and services.
Benefits of standards to government:
- Standards are vital resource for Ghana Government when developing public policy.
- Standards reduce technical barriers to international trade, thus positioning Ghanaian industries to compete in the world economy by facilitating the movement of goods and services.
- Standards are used to regulate and monitor industry so as to prevent poor business practices.
- Standards help make laws consistent.
- Standards offer an alternative to regulation, while still ensuring that products and services are safe and of good quality.
Benefits of standards to SMEs:
- Standards minimizes installation and start-up costs.
- Standards inspire confidence in your business.
- Standards assist businesses to meet mandatory regulations.
- Standards ensure improved quality and reliability.
- Standards create a competitive advantage by improving the quality of goods and services.
- Standards open new markets by assuring new customers that the quality requirements of products and services are met.
- Standards improves efficiency and reduce waste in businesses.
DEPARTMENTS UNDER THE STANDARDS DIRECTORATE
- Food, Agriculture, Chemistry and Material Standards Department
Responsible for the development, maintenance and dissemination of Standards on food, Agriculture, Chemistry and Materials.
The Food, Chemistry and Material Standards Department is one of the departments within the Standards Directorate. It has three standards development bureaus;
- Food and Agriculture standards,
- Chemistry standards and
- Materials and Textiles standards
The department also hosts the National Codex Contact Point.
The Department also represents the Authority on several national policy making committees in providing technical advice on issues relating to standardization in the areas mentioned.
The Department contributes to international and regional standardization efforts in the development and harmonization of International and Regional Standards with organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), African Organization for Standardization and the ECOWAS Commission under the ECOWAS Standards Harmonization Mechanism (ECOSHAM). This is done through National Mirror Committees made up of relevant stakeholders.
- Food and Agricultural Standards Bureau
The food and agricultural standards bureau develops, maintains and disseminates standards for processed foods, raw agricultural produce and fertilizers, for industry, regulators, government, consumers etc.
The bureau hosts the Secretariat of the ECOWAS Harmonization Committee for Food and Co-hosts the Secretariat for International Organization of Standardization (ISO) sub-committee on Cocoa in a twinning arrangement with the Netherlands Standardization Institute.
- Chemistry Standards Bureau
The chemistry standards bureau develops standards for areas such as paints, varnishes, lubricants, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, plastics, rubber, paper, water, petroleum, rubber, environmental quality and herbal medicine etc.
- Textiles Standards Bureau
The textiles and garments bureau develops standards for various textile fabrics and leather as well as provides specifications for garments, ornaments and handicraft.
National Codex Contact Point (CCP)
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is a body established by the FAO/WHO under the joint Food Standards Programme. Its mandate is to develop international food standards. Codex standards ensures food safety and fair trade practices in the food trade. It is also one of the three International Standards setting bodies cited in the WTO agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures responsible for Food Safety.
In Ghana the Codex Contact Point (CCP) acts as a liaison between the CAC Secretariat in Rome and the country. Coordinating all relevant Codex activities at the national level. The CCP thus acts as a link with the food industry, consumers, traders and all other concerned parties to ensure that the government is provided with the appropriate balance of policy and technical advice upon which to base decisions relating to the Codex work.
The CCP also hosts the Secretariat of the National Codex Committee (NCC) and its subsidiary committees. The NCC serves as a consultative group to the Government of Ghana on food safety matters. The NCC collaborates with state institutions to generate scientific data to support the Codex Standards setting process on priority commodities for Ghana as well as organizing food safety sensitization workshops and public lectures. It is responsible for the development and approval of national positions regarding international Codex standards on food products.
The Committee is made up of stakeholder institutions from both public and private sector responsible for food safety.
Engineering and Basic Standards Department
The Department is responsible for the development, maintenance and dissemination of Standards in the following areas:
- Electrotechnical Products
- Building and General Construction
- Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy
- Metrology and Measurement
- Renewable Energy Resources
- Telecommunication and ICT Equipment
- Oil and Gas
- Management Systems
The Department contributes to international and regional standardization efforts in the development and harmonization of International and Regional Standards with organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the ECOWAS Commission under the ECOWAS Standards Harmonization Mechanism (ECOSHAM). This is done through National Mirror Committees made up of relevant stakeholders.
The Department also represents the Authority on several national policy making committees in providing technical advice on issues related to standardization in engineering
Technical Coordination Department (TCS)
Responsible for the Coordination of the standards development work, managing and dissemination of standards and other trade related information.
The TCS department is the hub of all standards and other related publications, L.Is, Gazettes, Bulletins, Acts/Laws etc
It is responsible for the overall Coordination of the Standards Development process at GSA, and the dissemination of Standards and Trade related Information.
The department is also responsible for managing all the International Affiliations and Agreements in the area of Standardization, Technical Regulations, Conformity Assessment and Metrology.
The department is responsible for the preparation and publishing of the annual GSA catalogue of Ghana Standards.
THE ACTIVITIES OF TCS DEPARTMENT
The following desks are responsible for the activities at the department:
- The Standards Coordinating Desk
- The Documentation and Information Centre (DIC)/Library
- The WTO/ TBT National Enquiry Point (NEP)
- The International Desk
- The Standards Monitoring/Promotion Desk
The DIC (Library)
The DIC is the hub for Ghana Standards, International standards and standards of other National Standards bodies, Journals and Reference materials. It serves the departments of GSA and the General Public.
It serves as the Sales Point for all National and International Standards as well as Electronic Sales of Ghana Standards.
The Library is open to the General Public during working hours from Monday to Friday.
The Standards Coordinating Desk
The desk co-ordinates the standards development process specifically, the registration of New Work Items, coordinating the Public review/ Enquiry stage of draft standards among relevant stakeholders, editing of final draft Standards through to the publishing of completed Ghana Standards.
In collaboration with the Legal department, the completed standards are gazetted
The Desk is responsible for the control of all published Ghana Standards
WTO/TBT National Enquiry Point
World Trade Organization (WTO) members are required to be as transparent as possible on issues relating to standards in accordance to article 10.7 of TBT agreement, all technical regulations and procedures of assessing the conformity of goods and services to relevant standards. Members are therefore to notify WTO secretariat, indicating the standards and technical regulations being prepared or in the process of adoption.
It is in this scope that member countries are required to set up an Enquiry Point to handle information on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). The National Enquiry Point (NEP) is responsible for all notifications of the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. Ghana receives and sends notifications to and from the WTO.
It also provides Trade related information to help stakeholders in Ghana access their target markets (Export). It responds to Technical enquiries from other WTO members regarding Ghana’s domestic Regulations.
The Ghana Standards Authority National Enquiry Point has been designated as one of the two WTO Reference Centers (RC) in Ghana. The WTO RC provides Government Officials, Industry, Academia, and the general public with a dedicated physical location where any relevant trade-related information, trade and tariff databases as well as other relevant documents on the WTO can be accessed.
Benefits of National Enquiry Point
The business community benefits from the NEP in the following manner:
- Identify standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures applicable to products in target markets
- Improve their competitiveness in both local and international markets
- Provide opportunities for commenting on technical regulations that may affect trade
- Promote trade facilitation by providing national exporters and importers with information on technical requirements from WTO member countries
Information resources at the National Enquiry Point (NEP)
The Enquiry point is located in the library of GSA head office. It responds to written, telephone, e-mail and walk in requests for information by identifying relevant standards and technical regulations available in the existing collection or by consulting other standards organizations or relevant regulatory bodies.
For more information on standards and enquiry point services contact:
- Our Online standards catalogue and
- National Notifications sent to and received from WTO at the RC
You can contact the National Enquiry Point by e-mail at:
The International Desk
Ghana is a full member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The International Desk coordinates Ghana’s participation in International Standardization.
It coordinates all national comments and positions on draft ISO Standards and related documents and subsequently through Electronic balloting our positions are forwarded to ISO.
Ghana is a participating member (P member) in sixteen (16) ISO committees including:
- Food Products
– Cocoa (Secretariat)
- Environmental management
- Cross-border trade of second-hand goods
- Occupational Health and Safety Management systems
- Clean cook stoves and clean cooking solutions
- Bamboo and Rattan
- Management Systems for Food Safety
Ghana also has Observer member (O member) status in nineteen (19) ISO committees including:
Information Technology, Human Resource Management and Domestic gas cooking appliances.
Ghana also participates in the Policy Development Committees of ISO namely:
Committee on Conformity Assessment, (CASCO)
Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO) and
Committee on Developing Country Matters (DEVCO)
The Standards Monitoring Desk
This desk is responsible for monitoring all Ghana Standards i.e. both National Standards and Adopted International standards.
The standards are monitored to check their status; whether they are current, revised, withdrawn or due for Systematic Review. This ensures that standards are maintained i.e current editions of standards are available
How standards are developed
A standard is a document that provides requirements, specification, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. The development of standards is consensus-based, thus, it involves relevant stakeholders who constitute Technical Committees on subjects for which standards are to be developed. Any standard therefore is the collective work of Technical Committees made of academia, researchers, government/MDA’s, conformity assessment bodies, regulators, industry, trade/professional Associations and consumer advocacy groups that work together to develop national standards oriented to meet the demands of society and the market. Standards Directorate acts as secretariat and project managers to these committees in the production of standards.
A Technical Committee consists of experts (from stakeholder institutions as mentioned above) who have a recognized proficiency in a specific field of interest. It is responsible for, the preparation of Ghana Standards in defined fields that reflects national interests within the respective areas.
Technical Committees and their members play a pivotal role in the development of standards. They are established with defined titles and scopes. Ghana Standards Authority currently has about 24 Technical Committees that develop national standards in line with international standards. For more information on every specific Technical Committees, together with their scope and work programme, kindly send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get involved at the Public Review Stage
GSA involves all those with significant interest in the standardization work during the standards development process.
Participation in standards setting is on a voluntary basis, and you can be involved in helping to develop national standards by commenting on the draft standards at the Public review stage.
For more information on how you can be involved at the public review stage, kindly send a mail to email@example.com .
National, International and Regional standards
The technical description of the characteristics to be fulfilled by a product, system or service is reflected by the requirements of the respective national, regional and international standard.
International standards play a crucial role in helping countries increase productivity, access international markets and maximize the benefits of joining value chains. International Standards bring about economic and technologic development, social progress and protection of the environment.
They help to unify technical specifications of products and services thereby opening up global markets with access to new ventures with compatible products and services. Consequently, open, fair, and transparent trade is promoted. Conformity to International Standards helps to increase the confidence of consumers that products are safe, efficient and has minimum impact on the environment.
They are widely adopted at the regional or national level and are used by manufacturers, trade organizations, consumers, testing laboratories, governments, regulators and other interested parties.
These standards constitute one of the important bases for the removal of technical barriers to trade as recommended by the WTO (World Trade Organization) in its agreement on TBT (Technical Barrier to Trade) because, generally, they reflect the best experience of industry, researchers, consumers and regulators worldwide, and cover common needs in a variety of countries. As such for our national standards development efforts the first point is the adoption of an international standard if available.
Participation in Regional and International technical committees
The Standards Directorate contributes to international and regional standardization efforts in the development and harmonization of International and Regional standards. It participates in regional and international standardization activities by taking part in Standards setting and Standards harmonization processes.
Ghana’s participation allows Ghana’s inputs in the development of international standards. Issues affecting developing country members at international and regional organizations are also reflected in the International standards during development.
Participation in Regional and International standardization activities has major advantages to Ghana, this includes:
- Representing Ghana in Regional and International Standardization activities.
- Removing barriers to Regional and International trade.
- Influencing Regional and International Standards development process.
- Creating Regional and International Pathways and Market.
- Avoiding the waste of resource by “reinventing the wheel”.
- Improvement of doing business.
- Transferring and acquiring state-of-the-art technological know-how.
- Safeguarding public health and safety by establishing the basis of requirements for application to local or imported products in these regulated areas.
International and Regional Standardization cooperation
GSA also maintains Membership and licensee agreements with the following organizations:
- ISO– International Organization for Standardization (iso.org)
- IEC– International Electro-technical Commission (iec.ch) – Affiliate Plus member
- IEEE– Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (https://www.ieee.org)
- CODEX-CODEXAlimentarius International Food Standards (codexalimentarius.org)
- WTO-World Trade Organization (https://www.wto.org)
- ASTM-American Society for Testing and Materials (astm.org)
- AOAC– Association of Analytical Communities (aoac.org/)
- OIML– International Organization of Legal Metrology (https://www.oiml.org/en)
- CEN–CENELEC – European Regional Standardization (https://www.cencenelec.eu/aboutus/Pages/default.aspx)
- ASME– American Society of Mechanical Engineers
- African Organization for Standardization (http://www.arso-oran.org/ )
- ECOWAS Standards Harmonization Mechanism (ECOSHAM)
Cooperation with other National Standards Bodies (NSBs)
GSA has also signed MOU’s with the following NSBs amongst others
- SABS-South Africa Bureau of Standards (https://www.sabs.co.za)
- BIS-Bureau of Indian Standards (bis.org.in)
- SON-Standards Organization of Nigeria ( http://son.gov.ng/ )
- ACI- American Concrete Institute (https://www.concrete.org/)
- BSI – British Standards Institute ( https://www.bsigroup.com/ )
- ISIRI – Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (http://www.isiri.com/)
BUY A STANDARD.
The standards Directorate is well poised to ensure that standards are available, in line with international best practice and effectively disseminated to drive national economic development and to support governments programmes such as one district one factory and Planting for food and Jobs.
To get an approved standard, a client can get a printed or electronic copy of the standard after payment. Standards and their prices are available through our online standards catalogue.
SALE PROCESS FOR NATIONAL AND ADOPTED STANDARDS
The GSA uses a system whereby after payment of the requested standard, a client presents a receipt to the Library and gets the purchased standard. Purchased standards are also sent to customers who prefer to get soft copies.
SALE OF ISO STANDARDS
ISO members have the key responsibility for the sale and distribution of ISO publications in their national territories, either in their original form or as translations or national adoptions. For this reason ISO has improved access to their standards whereby an “ISOlution webstore” platform has been developed to permit customers to buy ISO standards via ISO member’s website www.gsa.gov.gh
- Cash Payment is made at all the offices (Regional & Head office)
- Bank transfer is made at GSA’s bank account
Further enquiries can be made at:
The Director General
Ghana Standards Authority
P.O. Box M245
NUMBER OF PUBLISHED NATIONAL STANDARDS
- GSA has more than 2700 approved national standards
SALE OF STANDARDS
- Over 800 national standards are sold each year
- Bestselling standards are in area of food and agriculture and include food hygiene, water standards, petroleum and petroleum products, soaps and detergents