In addition to building the capacities of the Ghana Immigration Service and Custom Division of Ghana Revenue Authority to prevent any sub-standards goods entering into the country, the countryâ€™s borders need to be strengthened for which Lawrence Osei-Boateng, Senior Commercial Officer, Ministry of Trade and Industry has proposed a national taskforce on illicit trade on all products across the country to clamp down on counterfeit products.
Mr Osei-Boateng speaking on the topic, Illicit trade and counterfeit goods, at panel discussion in Accra on the Ghana Journalists Association programme said that on September 3, the Ministry seized 165 pirated textiles and arrested perpetrators at Makola Market to serve as a deterrent to potential offenders.
He said that the issue of pirated goods is worrying because it affects the businesses of local manufacturers and called for concerted efforts to address the problem.
Mr Osei-Boateng observed that, in 2006 the Ministry in collaboration with the textile industry set up a taskforce on counterfeit textiles and that pieces of pirated textiles had been seized from warehouses and the open markets, which had been destroyed as part of efforts to save the local textile industry.
The pirated textiles had fake patent or registered logos of local manufacturing companies such as the Akosombo Textiles Limited, Ghana Textiles Print, and Printex as well as copied labels of the Ghana Standards Boards.
Mr Osei-Boateng said that the influx of pirated textiles in the country prevent potential investors into the country because organisations would like to invest in an atmosphere of sound, quality and safe environment.
Mr Charles Asante-Bempong, Project Manager of the Ghana Employersâ€™ Association said that the body supports and promotes the economic and social interest of employers to ensure peace and national growth.
Mr Asante-Bempong said that the association has organised a stakeholders' workshop in Accra to sensitise the public on the fight against the influx of counterfeit products and illicit trade on the Ghanaian market.
He expressed concern that the low penalty fee for pirated textiles are not punitive enough and urged the government to review the amount to make it more proactive and minimise the flow of fake goods.
According to Mr Maxwell Kogbe, Standards Officer at the Ghana Standards Authority, most of the pirated goods entered into the countryâ€™s market through unapproved points and that the Authority is working to combat the issue and called on the public to report any such activities to facilitate the process.
Mrs Owusua Adansi Ofori, Senior State Attorney of the Registrar Generalâ€™s Department said that there is the need to collaborate with stakeholders to intensive education on counterfeit products and intellectual property rights to address the problem.
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