Importers selling unlicensed products to be prosecuted – GA-FDD

…imported brewed beverages without labels will be seized


Products without correct labelling (GA-FDD photos)

n a bid to ensure that unlicensed or smuggled commodities are not sold on the Guyanese market, the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Administration (GA-FDD) on Tuesday warned importers and distributors of the labelling requirements attached to brewed products.
Brewed beverages constitute beer, stout, shandy and malt products. For such products to meet the standards for importation, GA-FDD Director Marlan Cole indicated, via a press release, importers, distributors, wholesalers, supermarkets and retailers should ensure that the labels of all products imported into Guyana include name and address of the local importer or distributor, among other requirements.
This is in keeping with the laws of Guyana – Food and Drug Act, Chapter 34:03, Section 18 and the Caricom Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) Regional Standard (CRS 40:201X) on labelling of brewed products. Imported beer, stout, shandy or malt products that are non-compliant with this labelling requirement will be refused entry into Guyana.
In addition, manufacturers of local products must be able to furnish a copy of their No Objection Letter in cases of cottage industry or a valid Licence to Manufacture issued by the GA-FDD to ply their trade at wholesale and retail outlets in Guyana.
Businesses were informed that inspectors of the GA-FDD will be enforcing these requirements along with Environmental Officers (Sanitary Inspectors) in the regions and municipalities. Legal proceedings will be taken against those who are guilty of non-compliance.
“Failure of Importers, Distributors, Supermarkets, Wholesalers and Retailers to ensure compliance with all the above requirements will see enforcement proceeding and legal action being taken against non-compliant commodities found in their possession and or their businesses being placed before the courts in accordance with the laws of Guyana – Food and Drug Act Chapter 34:03., for trading in unlicensed products or improperly labelled imported brewed products,” Cole stated
These measures are being taken in the best interest of consumers to ensure unlicensed or smuggled commodities that may have been manufactured, processed, transported, stored, or were exposed to unfavourable and insanitary conditions are not released for sale on local markets. Using such products can put consumers at risk, exposing them to the inherent dangers associated with food fraud.
Letters have already been dispatched to importers and distributors across the regions, informing them of the requirements.
In September 2020, the GA-FDD acquired international accreditation of its Inspectorate Division. The International Standard Organisation (ISO) 17020 achievement was conferred by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The accreditation scope included inspection, sampling and product destruction for food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices.
The Department at that time stated that the importation of substandard food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices would be an occurrence of the past. It posited that document submissions and all requirements must now be met, and there would be no compromising of its system, which would have a negative impact on its accreditation.