The Ministry of Trade and Industry has rescinded its decision to donate seized pirated textiles to charity.
The ministry had earlier announced it will donate seized pirated textiles to some orphanages in the country.
But the move according to stakeholders violates trade related aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
According to the agreement, seized pirated textiles must be sanctioned with deterrence, including destruction of counterfeit products.
The Textile, Garment and Leather Employees Union (TGLEU) of the Ghana Federation of Labour had earlier lashed out at the ministry for overlooking the WTO trade agreement.
Minister of trade and industry Haruna Iddrisu says donating the pirated textiles to charity will offend WTO protocols and government will fully destroy them.
‘The debate has been on whether when we seize the pirated textile we should give it to charity, but if we do, it will offend our WTO protocols.
It cannot enter the market of commence because if you steal somebody’s intellectual property you should be punished and punished decisively. We will continue to do so’. He said
The country’s textile industry is close to collapsing due to the importation of pirated textiles into the country.
There have been a number of demonstrations by textile workers over the high rate of importation of pirated textiles into the country.
Ghana lost over GH¢300,000, in revenue alone in 2012 due to the smuggling of pirated textiles into the country.
An Anti-Piracy Task Force which was set up in August 2010 and reconstituted in 2013 to deal with the matter was suspended late last year.
It comprised representatives of textile companies, the Police, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
It still remains unclear when the task force will resume its operations.
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