Imports for greater scrutiny

-after Food and Drug, GRA pacts

The Government Analyst Food and Drug Department says it is encouraged by recent cooperation agreements it has forged with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), which will allow it to inspect imports at the various ports-of-entry prior to them being released on the domestic market.

In a press release, the Department said the agreements will also allow it to access information on importers.

It noted that it has always viewed border control and inspection as effective tools of Import/Export Inspection and Certification and Food Control in its efforts to ensure the quality and safety of foods, human drugs, veterinary drugs, cosmetics and medical devices on the local market.

Under Section 22 of the Food and Drugs Act, the Department has the right to examine Customs Entries and to take samples of regulated items imported into Guyana to ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of such articles.

The provisions enshrined in the Act also empower the Department through the inspector to “Take samples of food, drug(s), cosmetic(s) or device(s) and these shall not be delivered to the importer until the analyst has reported upon the samples taken.”

“If it appears from the report of the inspector or the analyst that the sale of the food, drug, cosmetic or device would be in contravention of this Act if sold in Guyana,” the [item] shall not be admitted in Guyana for the use as a food, drug, cosmetic or device, the law also says.

The Importation Regulatory Requirements include, among other things, issuing a permit to importers of all articles that are under the remit of the Department.

“Thus importers must submit the necessary Quality Assurance and Control Documentations to demonstrate Good Manufacturing Practices and the quality and safety of the articles,” the Department said. Label declarations of regulated articles must also be in English and comply with mandatory label requirements, it added.

In addition, articles must arrive in Guyana with 75% of stated shelf-life. Accordingly, the Department is urging all importers to comply with its regulatory procedures to facilitate the unimpeded clearance of imported items through the GRA.

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