The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is set to commence the regulation of the importation, storage, processing and marketing of bitumen in the country effective January 2024.

The new regulatory framework, which will have inputs from the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), seeks to streamline the bitumen supply chain and to ensure compliance with national quality standards.

The new framework spells out who qualifies to obtain a licence and also the national standards for bitumen and guidelines to follow, for the supply of the product, among other things.

Director of Economic Regulation and Planning at NPA, Alpha Welbeck, who made the disclosure at a media briefing in Accra, urged industry players to use the remaining period of 2023 to regularise their operations with the authority.

“Existing bitumen facilities and new entrants will have to acquire a licence before they will be allowed to operate in the industry beginning 2024,” she emphasised.

The bitumen industry possesses enormous potential to contribute to the growth and development of the economy due to its use in road construction.

Although bitumen is a petroleum product, little has been done in terms of monitoring and regulating the product compared to the other petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, LPG etc.

In 2014, a study was carried out to ascertain the supply chain practices and to obtain some baseline information of happenings in the bitumen industry.

Following the study, the NPA, together with stakeholders such as the GHA, GRA – Customs Division, GSA and some existing players, have collaborated in the development of guidelines for the supply of bitumen, culminating into a new regulatory framework set to be implemented in January 2024.

A public notice is set to be issued on the requirements for obtaining a licence in the coming weeks to enable existing players and new entrants alike take the necessary steps in regularising their operations ahead of the 2024 deadline.

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