Traders seeking to export products from Ghana to other states within the ECOWAS region, will from March 2019 need a certification mark from ECOWAS for their products to be recognized as authentic and of good quality.
The certification mark which is called the ECOMARK would be provided to all 15 ECOWAS countries for it to be issued to traders by institutions in charge of standards.
According to the Economic Community for West African Countries, the move forms part of efforts to reduce the production and sale of substandard products in the region.
Aka Jean Joseph Kouassi who is the Chief Technical Advisor for the West Africa Quality System Programme told Citi Business News that embossing the stamp will come at a cost to exporters.
“They would have to pay because it is an avenue for them to sell their products. Officers will take samples of their products to be sure the quality is right before they issue the certification, “he noted.
In Ghana, the Ghana standards Authority will issue the ECOMARK certification on behalf of ECOWAS.
An exporter will need this certification and other certifications from the Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority for their products to be recognized as authentic in all the 15 countries.
This cover every product including milk, body creams, textiles, and even meat. The logo has the African map in the middle of a circle with the correct sign at the top of the map.
It has the inscription ECOWAS CERTIFIED at the top and ECOMARK at the down part of the Circle. Mr. Kouassi says this will facilitate trade in the region.
“It is for the good of consumers and also an opportunity for traders to appeal to other people outside their home market.”
The ECOWAS is currently embarking a program which seeks to protect consumers across the region.