Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Barriers
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Nontariff Barriers and Import Restrictions

Ghana imposes import bans on certain pharmaceuticals. Ghana justifies some of these bans on safety grounds. For others, it is an import substitution policy meant to restrict the local market for Ghanaian pharmaceutical manufacturers. There are 49 specific categories of pharmaceutical-related inputs and/or  goods that are banned. 

Any product containing the following banned substance will be confiscated and destroyed at cost to the importer and a penalty will be imposed: Iodochlorhydroxyquinoline and its derivatives (0.1-0.5%); Methaqualone and its salts: Phenylbutazone, its salts and derivatives;  Sercobarbital (Quinalbarbitone); All formulations with plain Ephedrine; Chloroquine for malaria;  Nimule;  Forecoxae; Rosiglitazone; Ketoconazole Tablets; Codeine containing cough syrup, and  Sulphathiazole.

The importation of the finished products of some typical medicines is banned to encourage local manufacturing.  Only raw materials may be imported for local manufacture. This includes some typical medicines such as aspirin, folic acid, Guaifenesin, Ibuprofens, multivitamins, Paracetamol, tetracycline, and oral hydration salts, among many other goods.  See the Ghana FDA’s full list and guidelines for importation.  

Further, commercial imports of second-hand handkerchiefs underwear, mattresses, and sanitary ware are prohibited. Importation of used liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, toxic waste, turkey tails, foreign soil, rough diamonds, and medical soap containing mercuric iodine is also prohibited.

Since 2014, Ghana has limited the quantity of import permits issued for poultry and poultry products, although the current government no longer enforces a domestic purchase requirement as a condition for import. Ghana has banned the importation of tilapia since 2014 in order to protect local fishermen. Ghana requires certificates for imports of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural goods.