This Department conducts inspection of High Risk Goods imported into the country, for which the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has been appointed as the Competent Authority by the Ministry of Trade and Industry since 2003.
HIGH RISK GOODS
High Risk Goods are goods that have serious health, safety and environmental implications on the consuming public.
The broad groupings of High Risk Goods include:
- Food Products
- Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Medical Devises
- Alcoholic and nonalcoholic products
- Chemicals and Allied Products
- Petroleum Products
- Electrical Appliances
- Electrical products: e.g. bulbs, switches, sockets, Cables, etc
- Electrical cables
- Electronic products
- Building Materials
- African Textile Prints
- Used Goods: e.g. Secondhand clothing
- Pyrotechnic products
- Motor Vehicle Batteries
- Vehicle Spare Parts
- Industrial machinery
- Arms and Ammunitions
- Machetes and Cutlass
- LPG cylinders and accessories
HANDLING/SEIZURE OF NONCONFORMING IMPORTED PRODUCTS
Goods found to be non-conforming to the applicable standard(s), specifications and labelling requirements shall be disposed of in accordance with established Customs procedures.
IMPORTS AND EXPORTS (PROHIBITED GOODS)
Per the L.I 1586, No person shall import for commercial purposes or in commercial quantities any of the following goods which are second-hand or which have been used.
- Men, women and children underpants;
- Mattresses; and
- Sanitary ware
WHAT IS IMPORT INSPECTION?
A system to ascertain the quality and safety of products through conformity assessment at their points of entry.
A process whereby a product, process, service or a system is evaluated with the object of determining either directly or indirectly whether/if the relevant requirements are fulfilled. (The procedure should ensure confidence of consumers, public authorities and manufacturers.)
OBJECTIVES/RATIONALE OF IMPORT INSPECTION
- To promote fair trade practices
- To eliminate illegal importation of fake, adulterated, prohibited and/or inferior/shoddy goods by protecting the interest of the consumer.
- To ensure the available of healthier and safer products on the market.
- To reduce the volume of sub-standard goods at the market place
PROCEDURE FOR THE CLEARING OF HIGH RISK GOODS
- All importers of HRGs shall register with the Ghana Standards Authority
- Importers shall purchase the applicable Ghana Standard(s)
- Importers shall send declaration to the Ghana Standards Authority through GCNet
- All imported HRGs should be accompanied with a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) or
Certificate of Conformance (CoC), with reference to the applicable standard specifications issued by a competent laboratory preferably in the exporting country.
- Failure to provide a CoA/CoC would mean that the consignment could not be cleared until samples of product have been tested to the applicable Standard and found to have satisfied the requirements.
- The importer shall pay a processing and testing fee to be determined from time to time.
Upon arrival, and depending on the risk assessment rating, the goods shall be subjected to the following:
- Visual inspection of product label and assessment of relevant quality attributes at the point of entry
- The inspector may take random samples for verification and review of the rating of brand, exporter and importer.
The goods will be released if the following conditions are satisfied:
- The CoA/CoC is authenticated
- The product label conforms to relevant requirements of the standard
Other documents on the consignment are found to be adequate e.g. permits from other agencies
- Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority shall clear the consignment after satisfactory inspection and electronic release (or otherwise) by an Inspector of Ghana Standards Authority.
- Irrespective of the quality status of the brand and Risk Assessment Rating of the importer and exporting country, the Inspector may take random samples for verification and review of the rating of brand, exporter and importer and for purposes of building relevant database.
- Where GSA is unable to complete Conformity Assessment on HRGs (Import Inspection) detained for quality checks within 24 Hours, the consignment maybe considered for provisional release on the understanding that goods will not be disposed of until the outcome of Conformity Assessment has been determined.
In such circumstances, the importer or his/her agent shall apply formally to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for provisional release of goods to an identified warehouse.
The application should have the following details:
- The Bill of Lading No., Packing list, Declaration (CCVR) No, and TIN
- Name, address and Telephone number(s) of the importer and/or Authorized Clearing Agent.
- The location address of the importer’s warehouse.
- An undertaking duly signed by the importer or his agent assuring GSA that the product released provisionally/conditionally will not be distributed or sold until GSA issues a final release letter to the importer.
The scheme requires all importers to register with GSA and comply with documented procedures for clearance. Importers registration form shall be completed (registration form link) and duly submitted electronically or at any GSA.
LABELLING REQUIREMENTS FOR IMPORTED PRODUCTS
With respect to compliance inspection of imported goods, the following are the labelling requirements as specified in the Ghana Standards Authority General Labelling Rules, 1992 (L.I.1541)
- Labelling requirements for the imported products
- Name of product
- List of ingredients in food
- List of active ingredients and their levels in drugs
- Date of manufacture and Expiry date/Best before/Use by date in respect of food
- Date of manufacture and Expiry date in respect of drugs
- Storage conditions
- Instructions or directions for use
- Net content
- Name and address of manufacturer
- Country of Origin
- Date of manufacture (as applicable)
- Batch/Lot number
- Electro-technical or chemical; characteristics for goods other than food and drugs
- The trade mark or brand name shall not be substituted for the name of a food
- Marks or labels shall be printed, impressed, embossed, or stamped
- Where marks or labels are stamped they shall be in indelible ink and legible.
Information on products should meet the specific requirements of the applicable standard
- All information on the label in a foreign language other than English shall be translated into English. Failure to comply may lead to impoundment of such goods/products
- Electric lamps (florescent lamps and electric bulbs) shall carry information on the ratings, among others.
- All electronic equipment/items and other item where applicable shall carry Guaranty/Warranty information of at least six (6) months
- All electronic equipment/items and instruments shall carry safety information and/or safety signs.
- Batteries must carry clearly the ratings and type
- Air conditioners and Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs) shall carry information on Energy Efficiency Ratings.
To ensure conformity with the requirements of the applicable Ghana Standard and hence the quality status of goods, samples from the consignment shall be drawn for laboratory analysis.
A sample for the purposes of services referred to here, shall mean any product or entity that is brought to Ghana Standards Authority for laboratory testing and investigation.
Testing of samples is carried out to determine either directly or indirectly if the product conforms to applicable standards.
For economic and technical reasons, it is difficult to measure to ensure the entire lot, so samples are taken and measured to estimate the mean value and the dispersion of the lot.
In order to achieve the degree of accuracy and the precision required for the information, the following condition must be satisfied.
- The sample should be adequate in relation to precision required
- The sample should be representative of the lot or population