Methods of Payment
Traditional trade finance instruments, such as letters of credit, collections and funds transfer are available to exporters. If a letter of credit is chosen, the exporter should require an irrevocable, confirmed letter of credit to ensure prompt, reliable payment. For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.
Export credit insurance (ECI) can protect an exporter of products and services against the risk of non-payment by a foreign buyer. ECI policies are offered by many private commercial risk insurance companies as well as the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), the government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. U.S. exporters are strongly encouraged to shop for a specialty insurance broker who can help them select the most cost-effective solution for their needs. Reputable, well-established companies that sell commercial ECI policies can be easily found on the Internet. You may also buy ECI policies directly from EXIM. In addition, a list of active insurance brokers registered with EXIM is available at www.exim.gov or 1-800-565-EXIM.
Ghana’s formal banking sector is composed of the Central Bank (the Bank of Ghana) and commercial banks, development banks, merchant banks and a plethora of rural unit banks. As the Central Bank, the Bank of Ghana has the responsibility for implementation of monetary policies. Non-banking financial institutions comprise a stock exchange, insurance companies, the social security and national insurance trust, discount houses, building societies, venture capital companies, mutual funds and leasing companies.
Foreign Exchange Controls
After the enactment of the 2006 Foreign Exchange Act, restrictions on payments for goods and services being imported into Ghana was very rare. In November 2022, however, during Ghana’s financial crisis, the Bank of Ghana announced the temporary withdrawal of foreign exchange support for rice, poultry, vegetable oils, pasta, and fruit among other goods. This measure is yet to be phased out.
In general, banks must submit reports of all payment transactions to the Bank of Ghana. Residents and non-residents are permitted to maintain foreign exchange accounts with local banks. Importers are allowed to undertake imports through direct transfer from these accounts up to $50,000 without pre-submitting documentation (an increase from $25,000 in 2014). Foreign exchange bureaus are in operation throughout Ghana.
The Central Bank has taken steps to stem the tide known as the “Dollarization of the Economy,” which is a trend where many products and services are quoted in U.S. dollars rather than the domestic currency. Although the practice is prohibited, it is still common in advertising and sales of real estate, automobiles, hotel accommodation, rent, and education, especially schools offering international courses. The current rule is for institutions that believe they have a business case for pricing their products or services in U.S. dollars may apply for a license from the Central Bank; however, many businesses that do not have such licenses still engage in the practice. The Central Bank has given strong indication that it will no longer grant such licenses and will strictly enforce the laws by identifying and prosecuting such offenders.
U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks
For an up-to-date list of Ghanaian merchant and commercial banks that have correspondent U.S. banks, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service Ghana.
For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement.