Describes the country's standards landscape, identifies the national standards and accreditation bodies, and lists the main national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.
Last Published: 7/27/2017
Overview

Ghana generally follows British or European standards. Ghana uses 220V, 50 cycles for electricity and the metric system of measurement.

Standards

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), formerly known as the Ghana Standards Board is the authority responsible for developing and promulgating standards as well as ensuring that the quality of goods imported into Ghana meets acceptable standards.

The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) also regulates and certifies food, drugs, cosmetics and other products that have health implications for consumers. This situation does involve some overlap between the two bodies, a situation which the government of Ghana (Ministry of Trade and Industry) is attempting to resolve.

NIST Notify U.S. Service

Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to report to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member countries. Notify U.S. is a free, web-based e-mail subscription service that offers an opportunity to review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that can affect your access to international markets.

Conformity Assessment

Under Ghana’s Conformity Assessment Program, some imports are classified as “high risk goods” (HRG) that must be inspected by GSB officials at the port to ensure they meet Ghanaian standards. The GSA has classified the HRG into 17 broad groups, including food products, electrical appliances and used goods. The classification of HRG is vague and broad, and its scope has raised numerous questions. For example, the category of “alcoholic and nonalcoholic products” could presumably include beverages, pharmaceuticals, and industrial products under the same classification. The process requires prior registration with GSB as an importer of HRG and GSB approval to import HRG.

The importer must submit to GSA a sample of the HRG, accompanied by a certificate of analysis or a certificate of conformance from accredited laboratories in the country of export. Most often, the GSB officials conduct a physical examination and check labeling and marking requirements and ensure that goods are released within 48 hours.  The fee for registering each HRG is based on the prevailing exchange rate and can be downloaded from the GSA website. There is also a testing fee in addition to the registration fee. The fee is not fixed but based on the number and kinds of parameters tested.

The GSA publishes most of its fees on its website. U.S. companies, however, have expressed concern that the program standards being utilized are unknown. In addition, U.S. companies assert that independent third party certifications and marks may not be recognized, resulting in costly and redundant testing.

Product Certification

Under the Ghana Certification Mark Rule, all products are required to be certified by the GSA. Ghana has no mutual recognition agreements with any U.S. organization. However, GSA has a mutual recognition agreement with Japan. The EU has appointed GSB as the authority for certification of fish and fish products.

Accreditation

There is no accreditation body for certification in Ghana. Although laboratories do not require accreditation, the GSA intends to accredit laboratories in testing using the requirements of ISO. Establishments in the communication and education sectors require accreditation by the National Communications Authority and National Accreditation Board respectively.

Publication of technical regulations

The GSA sends proposed technical regulations and standards to stakeholders for comment. Technical regulations are also sent to all WTO members for comment. The GSA is the National Enquiry Point for Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) issues.

Final technical regulations or standards are published by the GSA in the national gazette, called the Ghana Gazette.

Contact Information
The Executive Director
Ghana Standards Authority
P.O. Box MB245, Accra, Ghana
Tel. +233 302-500231, 500065/6, 506992-6
Email: info@gsa.gov.gh

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