Over 12,000 substandard electrical fittings, close to 5000 packets of illegal cigarettes destroyed
Following a series of nationwide mandatory inspections, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) on Tuesday seized and destroyed a quantity of cigarettes, electrical fittings and equipment, and safety matches that failed to comply with its standards.
Head of the Product Compliance Department, Quincy Troyer explained that these items are regularly monitored at the ports of entry, warehouses, bonds, and sales outlets, with inspectors examining them in accordance with the specific requirements for each product.
“Those products failing to meet the requirements of the standards will be placed on hold, pending the submission of a test certificate or [Declaration on Conformity of Origin] by the stakeholder. They will be given 21 days to adjust their nonconformity. After those 21 days would’ve expired, we are then forced to remove those products from the business place and have some amount of destruction involved,” Troyer said.
From January to date, inspectors seized 12,670 electrical fittings and equipment, including lamp holders, wires, cables, circuit breakers, panel boards, extension cords, power outlets, and plugs.
Some of these items were found to be without labels while others did not specify the country of origin, directions for use, and certification marks to prove that they were tested by an independent lab for quality.
Furthermore, all labels, brochures, instruction manuals, and leaflets associated with these products are required to be written in English and accompany the products at the time of sale.
Meanwhile, 4730 packs of cigarettes were destroyed for missing key details such as a pictorial warning taking over 60 per cent of the package, manufacturing date and batch number.
“The GNBS is mandated by the Tobacco Control Act of 2017 and our responsibility is to ensure proper labelling of those products. We would have found some illicit cigarettes on the market through our surveillance exercises and when we find those illegal cigarettes, we seize them immediately. So, you’re not given any grace period to address it because it’s illegal,” Troyer added.
Confiscated cigarette brands included Raquel, Memphis, Gold Mount, and most evidently, Atlanta, which Troyer said was seized primarily in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
In accordance with the Guyana National Standard (GYS) 28:2022 “Specification for safety matches”, 1340 packs of safety matches were seized for failure to comply with stipulated standards, most notably not being labelled in English.
Troyer explained that the GNBS is ultimately aiming to sensitise stakeholders to these standards and encourage them to ensure that the products they are offering to consumers are of good quality.
“The importers, dealers, and manufacturers of these products are required to register annually with the GNBS. We will guide you through the process of registration and we will sensitise you to the requirements of the standards. So, when you go to make a purchase overseas or even locally, you are aware of the requirements of the GNBS so you can make informed choices in doing so,” Troyer said.
“We also encourage you to supply samples prior to the importation, so you can check them to ensure they’re in compliance with the standard so you won’t have to go through all these inspection processes,” Troyer added.