The European Union (EU) under its trade related assistance and quality enabling program has equipped 28 public laboratories in Ghana and this includes the Ghana Customs Lab with various equipment’s to the tune of Gh1.6 million.
In an event held last week at the Ghana customs lab, the European Union ambassador to Ghana H.E William Hanna commissioned laboratory equipment supplied to the customs lab by the EU-funded program. Present also at the event was the customs commissioner Mr. John Kuudamnuru Vianney in Accra.
In Mr.Hanna’s speech, he reiterated the EU’s commitment and resolve to support Ghanaian public institutions to facilitate trade in the country.
“The EU, via TRAQUE supports Ghanaian public institutions to facilitate trade. To do so, the right equipment must be available in the country to test products that enter or leave Ghana” he said.
The ambassador in his final words was quick to commend the entire TRAQUE team under the auspices of the ministry of trade and industry and the ministry of finance and assured the government of Ghana of its full support through the TRAQUE program.
He said “I am therefore very honoured to unveil the commemoration plaque and would like to reassure that the full implementation of the TRAQUE program in the aim to achieve its objectives is a priority for the European Union. I would like to take this opportunity to convey our special appreciation of the good work done by the TRAQUE team at the ministry of trade and industry with the support of our colleagues at the ministry of finance and this event today is the fruit of its labour”
The program has supported the Ghana Customs Lab with equipment’s worth Ghc1.6 million. This includes the basic and not-so basic materials a lab needs to inspect products being imported and exported. From simple freezers to technically-advanced atomic absorption spectrometers. In total, 31 machines has been funded by the EU in the Ghana customs lab.
Customs Commissioner, Mr. Vianney Kuudamnuru, pledged the support of the customs division to make sure that the equipment are put to maximum use. He also charged the TRAQUE team to support them by “building the capacity of officers at the Ghana customs lab” to enable them effectively and efficiently use the equipment so they don’t end up lying ideal.
Customs are a major stakeholder in the chain of quality of food to be consumed locally or exported. Customs officers do far more than simply stand around at the airports and look through people’s bags. They enforce a multiple of laws for many government agencies and prevent hundreds of cases of illegal smuggling each year. Customs officers assess all people and products wanting to enter our borders.
Their job is to search for banned agriculture products and counterfeit goods, to seize pharmaceutical drugs and to spot terrorist risks. This measure is key to ensure the security and safety of the Ghanaian consumer.
By verifying compliance with the quality standards of the products passing by the airport, the customs officials are permitting Ghana to take part on the international fresh fruits and vegetables trade. A billion dollar business which Ghana should take advantage of.
WHAT IS TRAQUE?
Funded by the EU, TRAQUE aims at offering continuous support to the ministry of trade and industry, in private sector development, trade facilitation and capacity building with special attention to capacity issues in industrial strategy and post economic partnership agreement implementation support as well as standards, national quality institutions, trade and private sector export support organizations.