The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) on Friday warned dealers in counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliances to desist from the illegal business as the authority would not countenance any business entity that exposes the public to danger.
The authority also warned retailers and shop attendants who intentionally mixed genuine goods with counterfeit products. “Our market surveillance mechanisms have been deployed across the country…we are monitoring your operations,” Mr Francis Mensah Akpaloo, GSA Standards Officer, stated.
He noted that GSA would continue to ensure conformity to standards, and reassured consumers that the authority would consistently ensure that companies adhere to standards and that products in the market are safe, efficient and good for the environment and for public consumption.
Mr Mensah Akpaloo stated during a post-workshop analysis engagement forum with the management of Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult), organisers of the National Anti-Counterfeit Electrical Products and Electronic Appliances Campaign, and other stakeholders in Accra.
The post-workshop analysis engagement forum with stakeholders focused on the two previous workshops organised by CDA Consult in collaboration with GSA at Ho, Volta Region, from December 12 to 14, 2017, and the second workshop at Sunyani, Brong Ahafo Region, April 14 to 16, this year.
The post-workshop analysis engagement forum was to take stock of the national campaign, which is on the general theme ‘Avoid Patronage of Counterfeit Electrical Products and Electronic Appliances’.
The CDA Consult National Campaign seeks to assist stakeholders to identify counterfeit electrical products, expose the dangers associated with patronage of counterfeit electrical products and create a platform for security operatives to enforce laws against the sale of counterfeit products in the country.
Mr Mensah Akpaloo, who is also GSA Technical Supervisor and a major resource person at the workshops, also advised the public to avoid patronage of counterfeit electrical products, and advised the public to “purchase electrical products and electronic appliances from the manufacturers authorized distributors or retailers”.
He also urged the public to scrutinise labels and packaging of products before purchasing to detect any missing dates and codes or any unusual sign on the product, which should serve the foundation to be extra cautious about the quality of the product.
The GSA Technical Supervisor cautioned the public, “Verify authenticity of electrical products and electronic appliances through regulatory apps, which helps to detect if a product is original or fake.
“When shopping for electrical or electronic appliance, you may stumble across a product with a price far below what other competitors are selling their product for.
“If this happens, you have probably spotted a counterfeit electrical product. Do not be tempted to purchase it because it costs less…counterfeiting is essentially unacceptable.”
Francis Ameyibor, CDA Consult Executive Director, who briefed the stakeholders on the two workshops and exhibitions, noted that the campaign has achieved remarkable success.
“We have managed to put the issues of counterfeit electrical product and electronic appliances on the national radar. We are building the necessary forces, and more importantly, the public awareness is gradually waking up to the dangers of fake goods,” he said.
He noted that alongside the workshop and exhibition, a survey was conducted to gather data on the impact of counterfeit electrical products in the regions, and the report would be published in August to aid stakeholders to understand the problems associated with counterfeits.
Ameyibor commended the media, Services Merchandise Limited, New Lucky Electricals, Glamossey Hotel at Sunyani, and Safexty International Ghana Limited for the support.
He also commended public institutions, including the Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Police Service, and Electricity Company of Ghana, for the commitment and support to the campaign.
The CDA Consult Executive Director, however, expressed concern about the poor response from other stakeholders – electrical and electronic companies, dealers and retailers – to the campaign.
“The reluctance of these major companies who deal in electrical products and electronic appliances in supporting the campaign is strange and raises lots of questions.
“CDA Consult has created a holistic platform for all stakeholders; we must all join to fight counterfeiters in our society…no one should sit on the sidelines; we must work together to sanitise the market,” he said.
Mr Ameyibor said currently in Ghana, counterfeit electrical products had assumed popularity because the profits were outsized, and it is also difficult to pinpoint where bad products were originally made and who was responsible for importing them.
The CDA Consult Executive Director said the crusade would intensify efforts to equip public officials with basic information to recognise electrical counterfeit items at first sight.
He said, “CDA Consult is creating the platform and would build the necessary forces against the proliferation of counterfeit electrical products. We are focusing on raising awareness among the public regarding counterfeiting.”
He said the national crusade against the proliferation and use of counterfeit electrical products was also aimed at discouraging the patronage of counterfeit products and to direct preference towards genuine electrical products.