HOW TO REGISTER FOOD PRODUCTS IN GHANA

HOW TO REGISTER FOOD PRODUCTS IN GHANA

The registration of food products is a process that involves a review of the manufacturing process, an assessment of food safety and quality, and confirmation of compliance with FDA labeling regulations.  The registration of any food product with the FDA is a very slow process and can take between one or two months to be completed from the date samples are submitted for laboratory tests.

The registration of pre-packaged food is valid for three (3) years and must be renewed by the end of the third year. The registration shall be approved by the Authority before any importation of the product, other than those used as samples for the purpose of this application, into the country. These guidelines can be found on FDA website: www.fdaghana.gov.gh

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) exists to protect public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs. The objective is to provide and enforce standards for the sale of goods, herbal, and medicinal products, and cosmetics. Other enforcement includes drugs, medical devices, and household chemical substances.

The FDA thus regulates the manufacture, importation, and exportation, distribution, use and advertisements of foods, drugs, food supplements, herbal and homeopathic medicines, household chemical substances, tobacco, etc. All food products imported, advertised, sold or distributed in the country must first be registered with the FDA under section 18 and 25 of the Food and Drugs Law, 1992 (PNDCL 305B) and section 4(b) of the Food and Drugs (Amendment) Act 523, 1996. A certificate with a registration number is then issued with respect to the product. In addition, only companies duly registered by the Registrar General’s Department are permitted to import food and drugs.

According to the FDA’s General Labelling Guidelines, “food” includes any article manufactured, sold or presented for use as food or drink, chewing gum and any purpose whatsoever.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), formerly, Food and Drugs Board (FDB) is the regulatory authority with the responsibility of implementing the Food and Drugs Law of 1992, (PNDCL 305b). Part seven of the Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 mandates the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) to protect and promote public health by ensuring that food and drugs consumed in Ghana are wholesome and safe.

Since its inception, one of the ways the FDA has enforced laws is through the process of registration of products. In an effort to avoid food adulteration, the Authority undertakes inspection of food processing facilities in Ghana, destination inspection of imported products, verification of exports and post-market surveillance.

Registration requirements for imported pre-packaged foods

An applicant shall, for the registration of imported pre-packaged food adhere to the following;

  1. Purchase and complete the under listed forms ;
  • Imported Food Product Information Form (FDA/FM05/IM/02)
  • Warehouse Location Form (FDA/FM05/IM/03)
  • Application for Registration as a Food Product Importer Form (FDA/FM05/IM/01) and, where necessary
  • Application for Dry Food Storage Facility License (FDA/FID/FM-DFW/2013/07)
  • Application for Cold Storage Facility License (FDA/FSD/FM-CFW/2013/07)
  1. These forms must be filled with the necessary details and submitted to the FDA office.
  2. Completed application forms should be submitted to the FDA in addition to the following:
    • Business Registration Certificate
    • Certificate of analysis performed in the country of origin must be provided. A comprehensive certificate of product analysis issued by the manufacturer indicating the name and designation of the analyst.
    • Submit Sanitary or Phytosanitary (SPS) Certificate where applicable;
    • Certificate of manufacture and free sale, issued by an accredited health authority,
    • Radiation certificate for food product where applicable;
    • Documentation substantiating any claim on health, nutrition, superlative, comparative, etc. on the label; where applicable
    • Six (6) product samples of each product must be sent to the FDA for physical/laboratory analysis and vetting which takes about four to eight weeks
    • A copy of the product label
    • Total registration fee as stated in the FDA fee schedule (non-refundable)
    • All importers must submit the certificate of registration of brand name/ trademark, in the name of the owner of the trademark, to the FDA;
  3. The importer should present a letter of invitation for the inspection of the factory/warehouse stating the full location or address of the manufacturer, name of contact person, current phone and fax numbers and e-mail address.

 

Registration requirements for locally manufactured foods

Any applicant for the registration of locally (Ghana) prepared foods must adhere to the following;

  1. Purchase and complete the under listed forms ;
  • Imported Food Product Information Form (FDA/FM05/IM/02)
  • Warehouse Location Form (FDA/FM05/IM/03)
  • Application for Registration as a Food Product Importer Form (FDA/FM05/IM/01) and, where necessary
  • Application for Dry Food Storage Facility License (FDA/FID/FM-DFW/2013/07)
  • Application for Cold Storage Facility License (FDA/FSD/FM-CFW/2013/07)
  1. These forms must be filled with the necessary details and submitted to the FDA office.
  2. Completed application forms should be submitted to the FDA in addition to the following:
    • Business Registration Certificate
    • Certificate of analysis performed in the country of origin must be provided. A comprehensive certificate of product analysis issued by the manufacturer indicating the name and designation of the analyst.
    • Submit Sanitary or Phytosanitary (SPS) Certificate where applicable;
    • Certificate of manufacture and free sale, issued by an accredited health authority,
    • Radiation certificate for food product where applicable;
    • Documentation substantiating any claim on health, nutrition, superlative, comparative, etc. on the label; where applicable
    • Six (6) product samples of each product must be sent to the FDA for physical/laboratory analysis and vetting which takes about four to eight weeks
    • A copy of product label; and
    • Total registration fee as stated in the FDA fee schedule (non-refundable)
    • All importers must submit the certificate of registration of brand name/ trademark, in the name of the owner of the trademark, to the FDA;

 

Guidelines when registering your food product in Ghana

  • The product labeling should be in English
  • The label must have the contact details of the local distributor/marketer/representative of the product
  • The label must indicate clearly the product’s mineral composition, volume, net weight, place of manufacturing
  • Food product labels must not contain any adjective describing the product as having superior/additional health and nutritional benefits. This contravenes UN convention on food labeling.
  • The storage facility for your food products must be fumigated by a pest control company before the storage facility can be licensed.

The Food and Drugs Act requires all food products should carry expiry dates and/or shelf life. The active ingredients should be specified on the packaging where applicable. The FDA regulation states that the expiry date should be “at least half the shelf life as at the time of inspection at the port of entry.” This means that the inspection date (by FDA after custom clearing) until the expiration date of the product should be equal to or greater than half of the total shelf life of the product (date of production until expiry.)

Get your product registered and avoid product confiscation and hassles at the Ghana Ports when you ship your products.

What has your experience been in registering products at FDA? It will be good to hear from you

 

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