Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry, has announced that with effect from September 13, 2013 all imported African prints shall be regarded as “High Risk Goods” and subjected to 100 per cent physical examination.
He explained that the measure was to clamp down on illegal importation of pirated Ghanaian textile prints, and said imports of textiles would be done only through Kotoka International Airport, Takoradi and Tema ports.
Mr Iddrisu announced these at the joint inauguration ceremony organized for the Task Force on Seizure and Disposal of Pirated Ghanaian Textile Prints and the Vetting Committee on the Importation of African Textile Prints in Accra on Tuesday.
He said that from September 13 all importers would have to declare and announce to the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) the port of entry of any consignment prior to importation.
Mr Iddrisu directed that all importers of African prints needed ‘’to be deemed to be companies that were duly registered with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to submit monthly returns on their imports of African prints’’.
He asked importers to register with the Ghana Revenue Authority for the purpose of tax monitoring.
The 16-member Taskforce and the 12-member Vetting Committee were tasked to start their operations.
Members of the reconstituted Taskforce include National Security Council, Ghana Union of Traders and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
Their objective is to curb the menace of illegal importation of pirated Ghanaian textile prints and to ensure that importers, who engaged in the nefarious activities, are brought to book.
Under the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIP), where goods infringe intellectual property, there is an obligation on the part of Government to take certain special measures.
Article 51-60 of the TRIP agreement mandates Government not to allow infringed goods to enter the channel of commerce but also not to allow the re-exportation of such goods.