Accra, Aug. 16, GNA – Mr Vijay P. Gokaldas, Electrical Product Authentication Expert on Thursday called on Ghanaians to adopt zero tolerance for counterfeit electrical products; as fake goods are death traps, which must be avoided for the protection of lives and properties.
Mr Gokaldas noted that, Ghana must adopt the policy of zero tolerance for fake goods, especially electrical products and electronic appliances, and urged the public to deal with accredited companies and not to take the authenticity of electrical products for granted.
“Actively seek information and education about any electrical product you intend purchasing, as it helps in avoiding counterfeit products,” Mr Gokaldas, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Services Merchandise Limited (SML) stated in Accra.
The Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) and Ghana Standards Authority as well as other state institutions has launched a nationwide campaign dubbed: “Avoid Patronage of Counterfeit Electrical Products and Electronic Appliances”.
The CDA Consult nationwide anti-counterfeit electrical product and electronic appliances campaign seeks to covers the ten Regional Capitals and 150 District Capitals over a period of three years, which covers the first phase of the public advocacy.
Mr Gokaldas whose company SML has join the campaign also called for enforcement of laws against counterfeit goods in the country, “Ghana must work towards not becoming a dumping ground for fake goods”.
He said SML, which is a pro-active dealer, providing quality electrical equipment clubbed with top-notch service to both industrial and commercial projects, considers the campaign as timely; explaining that the proliferation of counterfeit electrical product is a threat to the Ghanaian economy.
The SML CEO noted that everyone involved in the electrical sector - from consumer to manufacturer - has a role to play in protecting and preventing fake electrical products and electronic appliances from entering into the legitimate supply chains.
Mr Gokaldas pledged to support and collaborate with the CDA Consult campaign, which is providing a proactive platform for manufacturers, distributors, importers, installers, contractors, law enforcement, and governmental bodies to join forces to fight against the proliferation of the counterfeit electrical products.
He called on electrical contractors, electricians, retailers, distributors and dealers in all types of electrical products to comply with safety requirements and join stakeholders to deal with product counterfeiting, which is a serious issue.
The CEO of SML, main distributors of Havells, Saachi Electric and Crompton Greaves, established in 1989 in Ghana, also cautioned the public – especially procurement officers to be vigilant, as counterfeiters intentionally mislead the public and everyone along the supply chain.
Mr Gokaldas noted: “counterfeiters do not go to the expense of having products tested and verified by an approved third-party testing laboratory designated at a nationally recognized testing laboratory”.
Contributing to the discussion, the Ghana Standards Authority said the best way to avoid counterfeit electrical products and electronic appliance is to purchase from the manufacturers authorized distributors or retailers.
Mr Francis Mensah Akpaloo, GSA Standards Officer, therefore urged the public to scrutinize labels and packaging of products before purchasing to detect any missing dates and codes or any unusual sign on the product, which should trigger extra caution.
Mr Akpaloo, who is also the GSA Technical Supervisor cautioned the public to compare the price of products to similar products at different retailer shops and “Verify authenticity through regulatory apps, which helps to detect if a product is original or fake”.
Speaking on the sub-theme: “Basic tips for detecting counterfeit electrical products,” Mr Akpaloo explained that product counterfeiting is a form of customer fraud, as a product is sold purporting to be something that it is not.
“When shopping for electrical or electronic appliance, you may stumble across a product with a price far below what other competitors are selling their product for. If this happens, you have probably spotted a counterfeit product. Do not be tempted to purchase it because it costs less, scrutinize it”.
The GSA Standards Officer noted that, counterfeiters are continually finding ways to circumvent detection and intentionally mislead the public and everyone along the supply chain with one main aim of making profit through the sale of cheap and inferior products.
Mr Akpaloo assured the public that the GSA would continue to ensure conformity to standards, stressing that, the authority would consistently ensure that companies adhere to standards, and that, products in the market are safe, efficient and good for the environment and for public consumption.
The GSA Standards Officer commended CDA Consult for creating a platform for stakeholders - regulators, law enforcing officers, manufacturers and dealers, consumers, state and non-state actors to deliberate and adopt common industrial strategy to combat fake electrical dealers.
The CDA Consult is collaborating with public institutions, including; the Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Standards Authority, Electrical Contractors, Electrical Manufacturers, Electrical Shop Owners, end users, contractors, security agencies, and the media in the campaign against the proliferation of counterfeit electrical products in the country.
The CDA Consult campaign also focuses on equipping public officials with basic information to recognise electrical counterfeit items at first sight.
It also seeks to ensure that officials take stiffer actions against dealers in counterfeit electrical products, and also to equip electricians and retailers to be able to distinguish between fake electrical products from genuine ones.