BY Cecil Mensah
A seventeen-member National Seizure and Disposal of Pirated Textiles Taskforce, have been reconstituted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) to seize and destroy pirated textiles to safeguard the textile industry.
The Taskforce is made up of officials from the National Security, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Ghana Police Service, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Customs Excise and Prevention Service (CEPS) and Ministry of Trade Industry, Association of Textiles Manufacturing Companies.
The rest are Ghana Textiles, Garments and Leather Workers Union (TEGLU), Textiles Distributors Association, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Associtiation of Small Scale Textile Producers.
Inaugurating the taskforce, the out-going Minister for Trade and Industry, Alhaji Haruna Iddrisu, appealed to the members of the taskforce to conduct their business in the various markets with civility.
He said, in the early eighties, the textile and garment industry used to employ over thirty thousand people, but now the situation was not the same because of the activities of pirated textiles particularly from China.
He said, the activities of pirated textiles, have over the years affected the contribution of the textiles industry to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
He was hopeful that the taskforce would help fight the mence by physically identifying the hub for the distribution of pirated textiles in the country to protect the intellectual property of the textile companies.
He said, since February 18, 2014, the Ministry in consultation with stakeholders in the industry embarked on a sensitization exercise to educate dealers on the dangers of importing pirated textiles.
He said, a bill would be laid in Parliament to establish the International Trade Commission to harmonize all trade activities in tune with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) measures and principles.
He called on the textiles manufacturers to make use of the Standard Board Authority to assist them catalogue all their designs circulating on the market.