Ban On Importation Of Used Freezers, Air Conditioners In Ghana Takes Effect

The ban on the importation of used refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, takes effect from January 1, 2013.

This follows the coming into force of Legislative Instrument (LI) 1932 (2008), which bans the importation of those used items.

Following the passage of the law, a grace period of two years was put in place to allow importers and dealers to readjust their operations.

The association of dealers of used refrigerators, however, pleaded with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology to extend the deadline.

A decision was, therefore, agreed upon by the two ministries and the dealers to extend the deadline to December 31, 2012.

“There has been a complete ban on the importation of refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners. The ban took effect from today (January 1),” the Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, confirmed to graphiconline Tuesday.

The move to ban the importation of used fridges is as a result of their high energy consumption and the dangers they pose to the environment. Ghana loses some revenue through energy wastage, hence the need to phase out those gadgets which consume excessive electric power.

Old and used fridges for instance, are noted to contain Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), a group of organic compounds containing elements including carbon, fluorine and, in many cases, other halogens and also hydrogen.

Dr Ahenkorah said the security agencies at the ports, especially the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) had been notified of the coming into force of the law.

The LI 1932, he said, also banned the importation of incandescent bulbs into the country, which also consumed high electricity.

Dr Ahenkorah said the Energy Commission was working closely with dealers of the used items who had been educated on the effect on the country as a whole.

The commission, he said, was paying for the development of business plan to establish facilities to assemble and manufacture those items locally in the country.

Ghanaian embassies in India, Korea, China and Brazil “are seriously working” to get investors to establish assemblying and manufacturing plants in the country.

The LI 1932 also bars importation of new fridges that do not meet minimum standards spelt out LI 1958 and LI 1970.

A lot of Ghanaians who cannot afford the cost of new fridges rely on second hand products, which have become a big business in the country.