Ghana - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

Identifies common practices used in selling in this market, including sales material that needs to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2022-03-24

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.

Banking Systems

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.   Previously, banking in Ghana was dominated by state-owned institutions and showed few signs of competition. Within the last decade, however, some state-owned banks have been privatized under the government’s Divestiture Implementation Program. 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

Since the enactment of the 2006 Foreign Exchange Act, there are no restrictions on payments for goods and services being imported into Ghana. However, 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.