Business News of 2014-04-13

Burning pirated textiles to resume - Task Force

The Task Force on the Seizure and Disposal of Pirated Ghanaian Textiles has said it would systematically pursue its mandate after the sensitization tour currently ongoing across the country.

The Force, therefore, advised all categories of dealers in textiles to clear their stocks of the proscribed products as market swoops to discover and destroy were eminent.

Eugene Adarkwa-Addae, Quality Control Manager of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) gave the warning at a well-attended sensitization workshop in Ho.

He stressed that the authority was not against the importation or trading in textiles, but rather plagiarizing of the designs of others.

Mr. Adarkwa-Addae said the market was now full of African textile prints, poorly and cheaply printed, using stolen designs.

He said in certain cases, these unoriginal African prints had logos and trademarks of the original owners, creating confusion in the minds of the public.

“These behaviours are grossly improper, in fact, criminal; as the perpetrators are infringing the copyright laws of the state, and indeed other international charters,” Mr. Adarkwa-Addae stated.

He expressed regret that some of the textile products were printed with colours which had health hazards for users and, therefore, banned.

Mr. Adarkwa-Addae said all importers of textile products were expected to register designs with the GSA, besides conforming to property rights procedures at the Registrar General’s Department.

Mr. Lawrence Osei-Boateng, Secretary of the Task Force, said the sensitization programme was as a result of a directive by the President that stakeholders in the textile business were educated on the negative impact of trade in pirated textiles on the economy of Ghana as a prelude to implementing the law.

He said as part of the sensitization tour, the general public is also being educated on the special features differentiating pirated textile products from genuine ones.

Mr. Osei-Boateng mentioned the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Customs Division, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Ministry of Trade, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Associations of Textile Producers and marketers, as collaborators in ensuring the policy worked.

He said the burning of seized pirated goods conformed to international statutes which said such goods should not find their way into any market.

Mr. Osei-Boateng said about 6,000 pieces had been destroyed and 1,500 more in the warehouses to be touched, when the operations resumed.

John Amoah, representing Local Textiles Manufacturers, said the burden of knowing and bringing only approved textile prints in the country rested with the importer.

He said the manufacturers of textiles were not asking for protection, but simply that the clandestine use of their designs and trademarks stopped.

Mr. Amoah said going by the law, a new design should be 60 percent to 70 percent different from an existing one.

Emmanuel Acolatse, representing Textile Importers and Distributors Association, complained about over the zealousness of taskforce members.

Helen Adjoa Ntoso, Volta Regional Minister, in a speech read for her expressed regret that textile industries now employ less than 3,000 workers, down from 30,000 in the 1980s.

The traders in their questions and suggestions during an open forum indicated that they (traders) were only responding to the market situation- providing the goods that matched the purchasing strength of the people.

Source: GNA
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