The Ghana Standard Authority is blaming the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for its inability to effectively implement the ban on the importation of used underwear.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Standards Authority, Mr Kofi Amponsah Bediako, speaking to Onua Business News revealed that the introduction of a digital scanner by the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority makes it difficult to ascertain if goods being imported into the country were used or new.
Mr Amponsah was explaining why used underwear were still being traded on the market, he said before the introduction of the digital scanners, officials from the Ghana Standard Authority did the inspection manually and therefore were able to open packages. This made it easy to detect whether imports had some of the banned sanitary products.
However, manual inspection was time consuming, therefore Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority introduced digital scanners. This makes it virtually impossible to detect if the imported goods were used or new.
Checks by Onua business news at major markets in Accra revealed that the trade in used underwear continues to boom as demand also surges. The underwear are sold from GHc5 upwards, the traders revealed that most people patronize the used underwear because they are of higher quality.
They however complained of stiff competition from products imported from Asia, especially China. With as low as GHC2 one could get ladies panties to buy, this they say is making them lose some of their customers.
Many of the used clothes found on the Ghanaian markets are imported from Europe.
The importation of used underwear and other sanitary products was banned in 1994 but never implemented until 2011 when the ban was enforced. According to the Ghana Standards Authority, used pants – and other second-hand goods such as handkerchiefs and mattresses – are unhygienic and could pose health hazards.
Story by Rosina Foster |Onua Fm|3news.com