The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has taken the lead role towards the establishment of a National Vehicle Homologation Programme for the Ghanaian automotive industry.
It is also finalising Ghana’s Automotive Standards, in line with international vehicle standards with consideration for conditions in Ghana.
To fulfil the task, the GSA has put together a 43-member national Multi-stakeholder technical committee on automobile standards to work on the 22 draft standards for vehicle parts and systems, which are proposed adoption of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) international standards.
The committee includes; representatives of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, National Road Safety Commission, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, Academia, vehicle manufacturing companies, Ghana Auto Dealers/Auto Part Dealers Association, Suame Magazine, Customs Excise and Preventive Service of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Standards Authority,among others.
Commenting on the development, Mr MacMillan Prentice, a member of the GSA Auto Team, said the Authority was bracing itself in preparation for the launch of the national vehicle standards.
“By the time that the first car is manufactured, the producer will already know what the standards which will be acceptable for Ghana and the sub-region,” he said, adding that the GSA has trained its personnel to ensure that they work with clear, transparent procedures for homologation.
Automotive Homologation is the process of certifying vehicles or a particular component of a vehicle that it has satisfied the requirements set by various statutory regulatory bodies.
It is mandatory to get this approval to export automobile products or components.
Ghana recently signed Memoranda of Understanding with five global automobile manufacturing companies – Volkswagen, Sinotruk, Nissan, Suzuki and Renault – to establish assembly plants, to among otherthings, create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
The government expects to have these plants operational this year, and plans to introduce a National Automotive Policy ahead to guide and Regulate the industry.
The policy, among other things, grants the GSA the responsibility for the homologation of all vehicles manufactured in Ghana, including; Kantanka Automobile, an indigenous firm, which has been assembling its brand of vehicles for the local and international markets.
Currently, Ghana’s vehicle fleet is dominated by vehicles of varying and uncertified standards.
Over 70 percent of passenger vehicles imported into the country are 5-12 years old and no homologation certificate is currently required to assemble or import a vehicle in Ghana.
As part of measures to transform Ghana’s vehicle fleet into a safe, modern and environmentally efficient vehicle fleet, Compulsory Vehicle Standards are required to ensure all vehicle components and parts meet the appropriate Ghana’s standards, and their proper assembly and testing are confirmed by the Ghana Standards Authority and a Homologation Certificate is issued.
This will occur before vehicle registration by the DVLA.
The objectives of Vehicle Homologation are to ensure safety of road users and vehicle owners by protecting them against vehicles not suited for the climatic and road conditions in Ghana, increase the overall level of security and protection from vehicle theft and cloning.
“The government’s plan for the agenda is on course and the GSA is taking the lead to ensure that aspects of quality and safety of vehicles have been addressed and procedures for homologation are clear and transparent to encourage Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the sector”, Mr Prentice concluded.
Established in August, 1967, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) is the National Statutory Body responsible for the management of the nation’s quality infrastructure.
The GSA’s mission is to contribute to the growth of industry, protect consumers and facilitate trade through metrology, standardisation and conformity assessments (that is Testing, Inspection and Certification).
It provides the necessary assurance that goods and services are of Acceptable quality and also promotes the growth of industry, enhances sustainable development and contributes to good public governance.
The Authority is legally mandated to undertake National Standards development and dissemination, Testing Services, Inspection Activities, Product certification scheme, Calibration, Verification and Inspection of Weights, Measures and Weighing and Measuring Instruments.