Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Customs Regulations
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Ghanaian customs practices and port infrastructure continue to present obstacles to trade. Officials have introduced risk-management approaches, such as the Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System. However, approximately 60% - 80% of imports are still subject to inspection on arrival by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Service, causing delays and increased costs. Importers report erratic application of customs and other import regulations, lengthy clearance procedures, and corruption. The resulting delays can contribute to product deterioration and result in significant losses for importers of perishable goods. Additionally, Ghana’s ports suffer from congested roads and lack a functioning rail system to transport freight, creating long waits for ships to berth at cargo terminals and for containers to be transported out of the ports. Ghana Ports and Harbor Authority (GPHA) is working to modernize both the Ports of Tema and Takoradi. Ghana has launched several initiatives over the past couple of years to support online information and processing of trade transactions, including the development of a National Single Window.

The Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) platform processes documents and payments through a single window that provides an end-to-end trade facilitation and automated customs operation and management system. The ICUMS fee is 0.75 percent of the Free on Board (FOB) value of imports. In addition, for some products, Ghana may apply a one percent customs processing fee which is assessed on Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) plus the duty on the import.

Customs valuation: Ghana has an opaque system for assessing the value of goods for customs valuation.  Although its law provides that it should generally assess customs value based on the agreed transaction value between the seller and the buyer, in practice, Ghana applies a wide range of references prices or benchmarks. Ghana’s practices for assessing the value of imported used vehicles are particularly complex.  Interested traders should contact Commercial Service Ghana to discuss the specifics, which are subject to frequent change.

Additional potential reforms to Ghana’s customs regime have been negotiated at the World Trade Organization (WTO).  According to the U.S. Trade Representative’s National Trade Estimate Report, Ghana ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in 2017, but it has not yet submitted transparency notifications related to: (1) the operation of the single window and (2) the use of customs brokers.  Those notifications were due to the WTO on July 22, 2021, according to Ghana’s self-designated implementation schedule. Ghana has not yet notified its customs valuation legislation to the WTO, nor has it responded to the Checklist of Issues that describes how the Customs Valuation Agreement is being implemented.  WTO Members pressed Ghana to make these submissions as a part of Ghana’s Trade Policy Review at the WTO in June 2022.

Technical Barriers to Trade / Standards

(See the standards section below)

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Barriers

To address human health risks, Ghana prohibits the importation of meat with a fat content by weight greater than 25 percent for beef; 25 percent for pork; 15 percent for poultry; and 30 percent for mutton. Imported turkeys must have their oil glands removed. Ghana also restricts the importation of condensed or evaporated milk with less than eight percent milk fat by weight and dried milk or milk powder containing less than 26 percent by weight of milk fat. There is an exception for imported skim milk in containers.