The Ghana Association of Importers and Sellers of Used Refrigerators, have made known their intentions to convene a protest, if, government does not reconsider its ban on used fridges it imposed some years ago.
Dealers in these used refrigerators say the ban has rendered over 100 thousand people jobless.
Speaking on the issue, the Secretary of the Association in the Ashanti Region, Henry Boadi said the lives of members have never been the same since the imposition of the ban adding that, there is currently apprehension, frustration and betrayal.
A ban was imposed on the importation of used refrigerators in 2013 and the Montreal agreement prescribed a ban on the use of R12 gases which is said to be harmful to the Earth’s ozone layer. The standard and certified gases which are supposed to be used in the filling of refrigerators compressors are R600A and R134A.
The Association Secretary, further disclosed that, however, their goods bearing these standards are still ceased at the ports.
“When our fridges are imported, they are deliberately ceased by customs officials at the port which is frustrating and has rendered most of our importers and sellers jobless.”
The Association is also questioning the government’s commitment to establish a refrigeration assembly plant is in the country as it was said in 2012 that, a consultant was contracted by the Energy Commission to draw up a 5-year business plan for the establishment of a refrigerator assembly plant.
The Secretary stated that, this plan is yet to be seen.
“What we are asking the government is if they are not able to honour their promises they should allow us to do our business.”
The ban on the importation of used refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners took effect from January 1, 2013 following the implementation of the Legislative Instrument (LI) 1932 (2008) which bans the importation of those used items.
Following the passage of the law, a grace period of two years was put in place to allow importers and dealers to readjust their operations.
The association of dealers of used refrigerators, however, pleaded with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology to extend the deadline.
A decision was, therefore, arrived at by the two ministries and the dealers to extend the deadline to December 31, 2012.
The Energy Commission said that, the move to ban the importation of used fridges came as a result of their high energy consumption and the dangers they posed to the environment.
The commission revealed then that, Ghana loses some revenue through energy wastage, hence the need to phase out those gadgets which consume excessive electric power.
Old and used fridges, for instance, are noted to contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a group of organic compounds containing elements including carbon, fluorine and in many cases, other halogens and also hydrogen
Not only did the law ban the importation of used refrigerators but also the importation of incandescent bulbs, which also consume high electricity, into the country.