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Duties and Tax Exemption

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please see the following link: 4.1 Ghana Government Contact List

Emergency Response

[Note: This section contains information which is related and applicable to ‘crisis’ times. These instruments can be applied when an emergency is officially declared by the Government.  When this occurs, there is usually a streamlined process to import goods duty and tax free.]

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?
(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

Yes, 01 Aug 1968

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Yes, 30 May 2003 

OCHA Model Agreement

No 

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

Yes, 18 Jun 1998

Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)

Yes, ECOWAS 28 May 1975

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

[Note: This section should contain information on the usual duties & taxes exemption regime during non-emergency times, when there is no declared state of emergency and no streamlines process (e.g. regular importations/development/etc.).]

Ghana’s government passed its humanitarian assistance-related legislation in 1996. The law established NADMO, but to this day no humanitarian response policy has been issued to accompany the law. Ghana offers tax exemption on humanitarian cargo. This tax exemption applies only to goods for health and education. NGOs must pay import duties on all other goods.

 Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

Import Exemptions, Tariff Number 3AF.2 concerning the Diplomatic Missions: (a) All goods imported by or for the official use of any United Nations body/agency, Diplomatic Mission or Consulate.

Also exemptions under the second schedule of the value added tax act 1998 (ACT 546) as amended states the Exemptions for Government, Privileged Persons, Organizations and Institutions.

Non-Governmental Organizations

To qualify as an NGO in Ghana, organisations are requested to register as non-profit companies under the companies’ code of Ghana 1963, and with the Department of Social Welfare supervised by the NGOs Desk of the Ministry of Manpower and Employment. NGOs are also to ensure full compliance with the companies Code, namely to keep proper books of account and to have their accounts audited.

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure

Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation)

 N/A

Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart)

N/A

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicle & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

Invoice

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGOs

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes, 1 copy, UN and NGOs

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes, 1 copy, UN and NGOs

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Packing Lists

Yes, 1 copy, UN and NGOs

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Other Documents

Import licence from Food & Drugs Authority

 

Import Licence from Food & Drugs Authority

  

Permit from The National Telecommunication Authority

Additional Notes

All medicines should be registered at the Food & Drugs Authority otherwise a deposit of US $20,000 is applicable until the registration of the medicine.

Customs Clearance

General Information 

Customs Information

Document Requirements

Invoice from Supplier, Packing List, Customs Declaration Form which is printed by the importer after the validation of the entries of details from FCVR and relevant documents related to the consignment into Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) / Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNET), Final Classification and Valuation Report (FCVR), Bank Payment Receipt, Relevant Permits.

Embargoes

On some items from Nigeria (2016)

Prohibited Items

Pornography and obscene materials/literature, raw coffee, beads of inflammable celluloid and mercuric medicated soaps, foreign soil, counterfeit currency and products, used refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, animals and carcasses infected with disease.

General Restrictions

Diamonds, films, cinematograph, goods bearing designs and imitation of money, gambling machines, plants, plant products, plant diseases or pests, soil, manure, grass, and other parking material liable to harbour dangerous diseases or pests of plants, Explosives, including nitro-glycerine, dynamite, detonators, gun cotton blasting powder, other substances used to produce explosives but excluding ordinary gun powder, percussion caps, rockets or fuses, arms and ammunition, handcuffs, machines for duplicating keys, milk, condensed or evaporated, containing less than eight per centum by weight of milk fat, and dried milk or milk powder containing less than twenty-six per centum by weight of milk fat, nets and traps for animals, paper, airmail printing, press rotary ticket printing, mercury, weapons for discharge of noxious liquids, certain spirits.

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

D&T Exemption Certificate

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Invoice

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Packing Lists

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO

Same

Same

Same

Same

Same

Phytosanitary Certificate

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO

No

No

No

No

No

Other Documents

Appropriate import permit

N/A

Appropriate import permit

N/A

N/A

Appropriate import permit

Additional Notes

High Risk Goods require inspection and certification from either CEPS Laboratory or Standards Board such as: Food Products, Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics & Medical devices, Electrical appliances, Electrical products (bulbs, switches & sockets), Electrical cables, Electronic products, LPG Cylinders & accessories, Toys, Chemicals and allied products, Building materials, Used goods (second – hand clothing), Petroleum products, Pyrotechnic products, Motor vehicle batteries, Alcoholic and non-alcoholic products, African textile prints, Arms and ammunition, Machetes/Cutlass, Vehicle spare parts and industrial machinery.   

Transit Regime

Transit Trade is a Customs regime by which goods destined for other countries enter the country through one entry point and leave the country by road or rail through another entry/exit point. The goods are normally covered by a security /bond. The goods in transit may be tracked by satellite, electronically monitored, or by human escort for these services a fee may be charged. The main transit routes are:

  • Tema-Kumasi-Tamale-Paga
  • Tema-Kumasi-Tamale-Hamile 
  • Aflao-Accra-Takoradi-Elubo
  • Takoradi-Kumasi-Tamale-Paga

Transit operators are advised to follow the assigned routes as well keep the customs seals or tracking devices intact to avoid tax evasion. 

Warehousing is a Customs regime by which imported goods are stored in a bonded warehouse without the payment of import duty and other taxes on the goods at the entry point. This Customs indulgence affords the importer the opportunity to defer the payment of duty and other taxes until the goods are delivered for home consumption or are re-exported. The under-mentioned goods may be warehoused in a Bonded Warehouse within the period indicated against them:
 

Type of Good  Allowable Period
 Perishables3 months
General Goods12 months
Raw MaterialsUp to 2 years

 

There will be no option for the re-warehousing of general goods. Perishable goods may, however, be re-warehoused for a limited period of only one month upon application and approval by the Commissioner of Customs.