Carry Cargo are experts in shipping to Ghana and here we have outlined some of the pitfalls and problems that may surface when exporting to that country.
Shipments destined for Ghana require expert knowledge of documentation & customs procedure to avoid time consuming and costly mistakes.
The Ghana market can, if you are not extremely diligent, be a minefield of hidden requirements which, if not met in full can delay an urgent shipment or indeed, result in confiscation of goods.
Our Export team at Carry Cargo International has a wealth of in depth experience, practical knowledge and cultural insight which combine to allow you to have confidence that deadlines will be met and customers satisfied.
From the initial drawing up of Letters of Credit through to request of necessary proofs of delivery, Carry Cargo can advise, highlight elements of risk and help exporters avoid traps.
Independent republic in West Africa within the Commonwealth. Bordered by Burkina Faso in the north, Cote d’Ivoire in the west and Togo in the east.
International Country Code
English and indigenous languages (including Asante, Akan, Ewe, Fante and Ga).
Muslim, Christian, others
Output from the offshore Jubilee oilfield — which began production in 2010 — is expected to double between 2015 and 2017. However, the Government now faces challenges in managing this new revenue while maintaining fiscal discipline and resisting debt accumulation. Also, despite being well-endowed with natural resources, including gold, Ghana still remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. The domestic economy continues to revolve around agriculture, which accounts for about 35% per cent of GDP and employs about 55% per cent of the workforce, most of whom are small landholders. The key crop is cocoa. Thematic priorities under the government’s current Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, which also provides the framework for development partner assistance, are: economic stability; private sector competitiveness; human resource development; and good governance and civic responsibility. A new IMF assistance programme was approved in April 2015 and will guide the Government’s future economic policies.
The legal system is based on English common law and customary law. The cabinet is nominated by the president and subject to approval by parliament. The unicameral parliament consists of 200 seats. The current president is John Dramani Mahama, who took office in 2012.
0800–1230 and 1330–1700 (Saturdays 0800–1230)
Ghana has 109,515km of roads, of which only 13,787km are paved. Many roads outside Accra are in poor condition. The country also has 947km of railway track but services can be slow in comparison to travel by road. Of 10 airports, seven have paved runways.
Ghana has a rather outdated and unreliable telephone system and only 285,000 main lines are in use, most of which are in Accra. The country also has 25.6 million mobile phone subscribers and 3.5 million internet users.
Business Protocol and Social Convention
Generally, Ghanaian business customs are similar to those of the UK. Ghanaian businessmen wear suits during working hours and would expect their visitors to dress in the same manner. It is relatively easy to arrange appointments with local businessmen and government officials. Business cards are widely used.
Agriculture, mining, forestry, light manufacturing, aluminum smelting, food processing, cement production, small commercial ship building, petroleum.
Main Products Exported
Gold, oil, cocoa, timber, tuna, bauxite, aluminium, manganese ore, diamonds, horticultural products.
The exporter will be paid in either US$ or other foreign currency and the recipient of the goods will wire currency direct to the exporter’s bank account.
Major Trade Partners
The Netherlands, China, Germany, Italy, France, the UK, South Africa and the US
Membership of Organisations and Trade Agreements
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO.
Bills of Lading
No special regulations. May be made out “to order”. Weight/measurement details must be stated in imperial and metric units. Through bills of lading to inland points within Ghana are not acceptable.
The original freight account, officially receipted by the shipping company, must accompany all documents when payment is made through a bank.
Certificates of Origin
None, unless specifically required by the customer in the order or letter of credit. If requested then an EC Certificate of Origin must be obtained from your local Chamber of Commerce (see the EC Certificates of Origin topic). If required, the certificate may be submitted in any language, though a translation into French may be requested.
Pre-shipment inspection is no longer required for goods going to Ghana. It has been replaced by the Destination Inspection System. Almost all goods imported into Ghana, regardless of value, are subject to inspection upon arrival. The checks are made to valuation and classification. Upon satisfactory checks a Final Classification and Valuation Report (FCVR) or Gateway pass is issued to allow import to continue. The DIS Exemption List includes:
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is the responsible authority and has appointed the following inspection companies to administer the programme. The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) verifies the details of the Import Declaration Form against the invoice and other customs documents to determine the code and admissibility of the merchandise. The importer may have to pay a fee for the destination inspection which shall not exceed 1% of the total dutiable CIF value as the minister may by legislative instrument prescribe.
Pre-shipment inspection warning
The rules concerning PSI change frequently and exporters are advised to check the current requirements with either your customer or PSI company.
As part of the European Partnership Agreements (EPA), a preferential trade agreement, exporters may be requested to issue the EUR1 Form to accompany the goods. Before completing an EUR1 exporters must confirm shipments meet the appropriate qualification rules (See Customs Notices 827 and 828). EUR Forms and Customs Notices can be obtained free from the Customs helpline on 0300 200 3700.
Commercial invoices to be issued in three copies, originally signed. Invoices must include a full and accurate description of goods, first six digits of the commodity code (HS Code), transport details, weights and dimensions, value and currency of the supply including separate indication of additional costs such as freight and insurance, the shipping term (the Incoterms® 2010 rule, eg FCA, CIP, DAP), country of origin, name and address of the manufacturer and the full addresses of all parties concerned. It is advisable to include the following declaration on the invoice: “I/We confirm that the goods covered by this invoice are supplied from stock.”
Additionally a specially designed Combined Certificate of Value and Invoice (C/V) must be provided for all goods (eg Certificate of Value Form 166 or Form 61). The purpose of this document is to provide the required attested invoice (GRA). It must be completed in triplicate in line with the instructions on the form and signed on the original by an authorised and responsible person. The signature must be witnessed. For prices contact an export documentation supplier such as Chancellor Formecon.
It is a legal requirement to show the full transaction price of the sale on the Commercial Invoice at export. There have been some instances of undervaluing of goods at import and the Customs Authorities are taking a strong line in combating this fraud.
A packing list is required for Customs clearance containing marks, weights and dimensions and content details. No specific form required though generally should be in two copies.
All business is carried out under the current BIFA standard trading terms and conditions which are available upon request.