GHANALogistic and forwarding services in Ghana
English (local language), local languages and dialects
Gross national product (GNP)
USD 39.2 Mia.
GNP per person
Financial exports to Switzerland
CHF 32,2 Mio.
Financial imports from Switzerland
CHF 1’585 Mio.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Ghana
Switzerland and Ghana maintain good relations and can look back on a long-standing exchange which has been fruitful for both countries. The focal points of these relations are the flourishing trade, particularly in cocoa and the Swiss government’s cooperation program.
Ghana is Switzerland’s second most important trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa: in 2014 Switzerland had a volume of trade with Ghana amounting to CHF 1,717.6 million (CHF 1,585.4 million in imports, CHF 32.2 million in exports). Ghana is, in particular, Switzerland’s most important supplier of cocoa and its second most important supplier of pineapple. Switzerland has had a trade deficit with Ghana for many years (CHF 1,553.2 million in 2014).
Swiss exports to Ghana consist largely of machinery, in particular equipment for food processing (grain processing, cocoa, chocolate) and pharmaceutical products.
Dimensions and weights
1 Cedi (C) = 100 pesewas (p).
ISO code: GHS (harmonised system)
Import licences (Specific Import Licences) are required for most goods. Only some goods can be imported within the scope of the “Open General Licence”. The goods must be loaded before the licence expires. Goods shipped after the licence has expired will be treated as illegal imports. No loading may be carried out before a licence is granted. The licence is generally valid for 12 months. Public sector imports are carried out by the “Ghana Supply Commission”. (GSC: Chief Executive, POB M 35, Accra, Tel.: 0023 3-21 – 22 81 31, Fax: 0023 3-21 – 66 84 52). The “Ghana National Procurement Agency” (GNPA) is the state import authority for certain goods, including those in the food sector.
Importers, organisations and individuals can buy foreign currencies for imports from the banks or “Forex Bureau” with no limitations. Requests for transfers must be accompanied by appropriate documentation. The buyer must be identified.
Standard VAT rate: 15%
Destination Inspection (DIS)
The Destination Inspection Scheme (DIS) entered into force on 01/04/2000. Final control of the goods is carried out at the port of destination.
Terms of payment and tenders
An irrevocable letter of credit confirmed in Germany is recommended; only in exceptional cases can documents against payment (D/P) be used. Tenders should in principle be submitted on the basis of CFR Tema or Takoradi (Accra for air freight). Prices should be indicated in EUR and Cedi. Imports on a collection basis are subject to authorisation. Authorised banks will request evidence that the country of origin of the goods and the supplier’s headquarters are identical to open or confirm letters of credit. If this is not the case, the letter of credit will be opened in the name of the manufacturer. There are alternatives (ask the Chamber of Industry and Commerce or professional associations). When concluding business, including the processing of letters of credit, pounds sterling (£) are recommended as the opening of letters of credit in sterling is faster than for other currencies.
Tenders in English.
On 2 April 2015 Ghana is introducing a compulsory procedure for the advance notification of sea shipments, known as the Advance Shipment Information (ASHI) system. ASHI provides the competent authorities, the Ghana Shippers‘ Authority GSA, with the necessary information on the shipment of goods before arrival in the Ghanaian sea port. The data sent in advance through ASHI enable an early risk analysis to be carried out and the shipment to be tracked.
The new procedure of registering in advance should simplify and accelerate customs clearance with significant savings when it comes to demurrage and other port fees. In accordance with the ASHI procedure the shipper/freight forwarder must first register with the Belgian company Antaser Afrique BVBA to be able to apply for the necessary ASHI document there. The following documents must be submitted in electronic form together with a copy of the application: freight invoice, commercial invoice, export declaration, packing list and consignment note.
Designations of origin
Goods with misleading statements about the origin must have a designation of origin (“Made in …”).
Imported goods must contain the information specified by the GSA (standardisation authorities). Electronic devices must have safety instructions and guarantees.
No special labelling regulations are known.
Robust, weatherproof packaging.
Use of the IPPC standard ISPM no. 15 for wooden packaging.
Only samples with no retail value which are recognised as such by the customs controller are duty free.
In general, only fully devalued samples are recognised.
Shipping and accompanying documents
a) 3 customs invoices in English on a special template (Combined Certificate of Value and Invoice) for goods which clear customs based on their value (strict regulations for filling in the customs invoices). Ask the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. No certification.
b) Commercial invoices must contain the details found within the customs invoice. The FOB value must be indicated. Conclusion of insurance in Ghana, CIF value may not be invoiced. Certificates are not required.
Based on the importer’s instructions. It is recommended that the following declaration be made: “We confirm that the goods covered by this invoice are supplied from stock”.
c) Certificates of origin are not required.
d) Uncertified bills of lading, packing lists, English, 2 copies.
e) Postal packages and airmail packages up to 20 kg: 1 APC and 1 customs declaration in English.
f) Packing list required.
Important note: all outgoing document shipments should include one customs invoice more which may be required for claim settlement in certain circumstances. Do not send customs invoices to importers before paying for the shipment.
If invoices are requested by the importer before the goods have been paid for, including “not valid for customs purposes” on the invoices is recommended; in this case do not sign the invoices.
To note in particular: since 06/09/2010 the UCR number must be given on the consignment note, packing list and inspection certificate. This is the Unique Consignment Reference Number recommended by the World Customs Organisation. This must be requested from the importer. More details on www.ghanatradenet.com