Committee to check importation of counterfeit textiles inaugurated

Ms. Hannah Tetteh - Trade Minister

A nine-member vetting committee to serve as information clearing house for the importation of African textile prints, and control the influx of counterfeit textiles, was inaugurated in Accra on Thursday.

It would in addition, scrutinise all textile prints imported into the country to establish that they were not textiles of original products made in Ghana in terms of quality, originality of designs, logo and stamps of the Ghana Standards Board.

Inaugurating the committee, Ms Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, said it should ensure that imported designs were not those already on the Ghanaian markets and owned by Ghanaian originators.

She expressed concern about threats being imposed on the Ghanaian textile industry and livelihoods by the influx of these counterfeits textiles imported illegally onto the Ghanaian markets without paying the necessary custom duties and other revenues and selling them at cheaper prices.

“Such illegal activities put the local manufacturing company into jeopardy and even on a verge of collapse”.

Ms Tetteh noted that more than 70 per cent of fabrics sold on the Ghanaian market were imported illegally and importers invade avoiding taxes and duties and called for intense remedial measures before it slides into irreversible situation.

She impressed upon members of the committee to act professionally in the interest of Ghana by seeking to address the interest of all sides being the government, manufacturers and consumers of the products.

Ms Tetteh noted that from January to March 2011, about 2,000 counterfeit textiles had been ceased from Accra, Kumasi, Mankessim and Akosombo with some being destroyed.

She said the practice, threatened the survival of the three remaining textile factories in the country and called for the need to help protect the intellectual property of and Ghanaian ingenuity.

These are Akosombo Textiles, Ghana Textiles and Printex.

Mr Godwin Attoh of Custom Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, on behalf of the committee said efforts were being made to control all the unapproved routes being used by some smugglers.

Members of the committee are, Mr Appiah Donina, MOTI, Kofi Nargatey, MOTI, Abraham Koomson, Textile, Garment and Leather Employers Union, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Samuel Naa Musa and Mr Prince Hammond of Printex.

The rest are, Mr David Boafo of Akosombo Textiles Limited, Mr Godwin Attoh, Customs Division, Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr Bismark Adu-Asare of Texstyles and Mr Emmanuel Acolaste of Importers Association.

Source: GNA

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