top of page
  • Writer's pictureRaniel Admin

Customs Information

Import Procedures 

When importing goods into Ghana, the right procedures with respect to clearance of goods, must be adhered to after the goods have been shipped.

Goods will be successfully imported with the assistance of  Customs Agents,  

These are individuals and/or entities who have been given the permit and/or license to operate as mediators between the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and importers and exporters to facilitate trade and to assist in the movement of goods to-and-from the territory of Ghana and other countries. They, therefore, ensure that all the proper procedures are followed throughout the shipping process until the goods depart from Custom’s custody. 

There are three (3) types of Customs Agents in Ghana. They are: 

  • Customs House Agent (CHA) 

Customs House Agent (CHA), also called Customs Broker or Customs Clearing Agent is a person licensed to act as an agent for transaction of any business relating to the entry or departure of conveyances or the import or export of goods at a Customs-controlled area. In Ghana, CHA licenses are issued and overseen by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). 

  • Freight Forwarders 

Freight forwarding is the high – efficiency method of shipping goods from one destination to another by way of various transport carriers, including sea, air, rail, and road. A freight forwarder is the representative who acts as an intermediary between a shipper and the shipper’s preferred transportation service carrier. Hiring a freight forwarder to import and export goods on your behalf can make the process much less daunting and stressful. 

  • Shipping Agents 

Shipping Agents are shipping companies or ship management companies that oversee transporting of goods from point A to point B. They provide the services of crewing, insurance (crew and vessel), quality and safety services including certification of the vessel (ISM and ISPS), purchasing (spare parts, lubricants, victuals, chemicals, etc.), employment of the vessel (chartering) and others. 

Shipping companies may be owned and operated privately, publicly (government) or a combination of both in the form of partnership. Please see for more information. 

When Importing goods into Ghana, these Customs Agents need to be employed at different points of the process to facilitate the shipping and clearing of goods. They are licensed and overseen by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority. 

See procedures below:  


This section covers the documents required for clearing imported goods in Ghana. One must be in possession of the under-listed documents before or at the time the imported goods arrive at the ports of Ghana to facilitate the clearing process. 

  • Original waybill or Bill of Lading 

  • Attested invoice. 

  • Packing list 

  • Import Declaration Form (IDF) from Ministry of Trade 

  • Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from GRA or Ghana Card PIN 

  • Required permit(s) from any of the regulatory agencies, dependent on the type of goods. i.e. Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), etc. 



The procedures to be followed to successfully clear imported goods are described in this section. 

Submit declaration in Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) front end by the clearing agent which must include all the above requirements before or after the arrival of the goods. 

The ICUMS will process the declaration in the following stages: 

  • Classification 

  • Valuation 

  • Approval

Pay duties and taxes at the participating banks if the declaration is successfully processed through the ICUMS using the tax bill generated. This is done by the Clearing Agent and the duty to be paid is dependent on the cost of the goods, type of goods and rates specified for the goods. 

Verify declaration then select the examination officer through ICUMS. 

Tax bill received from the bank is presented to the examination officer or scanning officer or releasing officer at exit gate depending on the risk levels with different colour indications: 

  • Red – Mandatory physical examination. 

  • Yellow – Digital scan. 

  • Green – Released at the gate but scanned automatically on the way out of MPS port. 

Goods positioned for physical examination which were already scanned, are examined upon discharge. 

Convey released goods to the exit gate for a security check accompanied by the waybill. 


Importing a vehicle involves the process of purchasing, shipping and clearing the vehicle once it arrives in the country. When purchasing and shipping a vehicle, all relevant documentation must be kept properly to ensure a smooth clearance process.  

Checking Duty of Vehicle in ICUMS 

The duty likely to be paid on an imported vehicle can be checked in ICUMS using the information below. 

  • Chassis number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) 

  • Model 

  • Year 

  • Make 

Relevant Documentation for Vehicle Clearing 

  • Bill of Lading or Waybill (Shipping instructions) 

  • Title 


Clearing Without an Agent 

It is possible to clear a vehicle at the port without the assistance of an agent. However, to do this, one needs to register with the Customs Division of GRA as a Clearing Agent. 

The individual needs to put in the request in writing or apply to electronically, to the Commissioner – General, to be a Clearing Agent.


Secondly, the individual needs to go through all the necessary processes put in place by the Authority before approval of his/her eligibility would be granted. 


Vehicle Duty Calculation 

The first purchase price, which is the manufacturer’s price at the time the car was manufactured is needed for Vehicle Duty Calculation.  

It will attract an extra 50% depreciation after which it will come down to Free on Board (FOB) then the current exchange rate is applied before the freight and insurance are considered. 

  • Primary Charges 

  • Third Party Charges 

  • Dispensation for Right - Hand Steering Vehicles 

  • Restricted Vehicles 

Please Note 

  1. It is vital for vehicle importers to make the needed enquiries with relevant parties before they carry on any importation of vehicle(s) to prevent difficulties in meeting all the clearing requirements at the ports of Ghana. 

  1. Once a consignee has the Title and Bill of Lading of the vehicle, they can pay duty before it arrives at the port. 

  1. No one is exempted from payment of duties except the President, state institutions and diplomatic missions. In cases where a vehicle must be sold by any of the to an individual or private company, duties must be paid before the change of ownership is made. 


In certain circumstances, the Ghana Revenue Authority can repay an amount of a customs import duty paid on the importation of goods into the country. Section 104 of the Customs Act 2015, Act 891 provides for such customs import duty refund.  

The Authority can either: 

Repay i.e. refund an amount of import duty that has been paid or 

Remit i.e., waive the payment of import duty that has not yet been paid. 

When GRA can Refund or Remit Import Duty 


The Authority may allow a refund where: 

1. Contract of Sale 

You import goods in pursuance of a contract of sale and had paid the duty but the description, quality, state or condition of the goods at the time of release from customs custody was not in accordance with the contract, and you have either: 

Returned the goods to the supplier, with the approval of the Commissioner-General, or 

Abandoned the goods in accordance with laid down procedure or destroyed the goods under customs control. (NB. This condition is applicable when the goods have not been subjected to use after release from Customs custody) 

2. Goods Shipped without the consent of the Consignee 

3. Overpayment of Duty 

4. Erroneous Charges 

5. Unaccrued penalty 

6. Duty paid prior to the forfeiture of goods 

7. Duty paid on goods that are lost by accident 

8. Commissioner- General’s directive 

9. Duty payable or paid by a person on goods pre-entered 


Claims for Import Duty Refund 

You can make a claim for refund of import duty within Ninety (90) days of the date of release of the goods from customs’ custody. 

Revocation of Import Duty Refund 

The Authority shall withdraw, reverse or demand for the repayment of import duty refunded where: 

(a) It is established that the authority short-levies or refunds a duty in error; or 

(b) It establishes that a person owes duty or tax arrears that person shall within thirty (30) days of a written request by the Commissioner – General, refund the money or pay the duty or tax arrears owed. 

Any person who is dissatisfied with a request above may appeal against the request within fifteen (15) days. 

Where Commissioner-General does not receive an appeal within the relevant period and the period expires, the Commissioner-General shall take adequate measures to ensure that the person does not transact any business with the Authority and that person pays the duty in arrears. 

This is the process of receiving goods or parcels from outside the country through the post office. The items can be imported through the Accra Central, Accra North (Kwame Nkrumah Circle) and Tema Post Offices, as well as all regional post offices across the country. 

Steps in importing through post: 

Every import that goes through the post comes with a Delivery Note (DN). This comes together in the recipient box. 

The post office counter staff will verify whether the parcel belongs to the recipient by verifying the identity of the recipient. 

The parcel is then opened by the recipient for examination. 

The Customs Officer at the post office counter will then calculate the duty payable based on the classification of the item. The cost of postage is used as the freight value and a 1% charge imposed. 

The duty is paid at the Ghana Post Counter. Two receipts are issued i.e. The receipt for the Ghana Post administrative charge, and the receipt for the Customs duty charged. 

The receipt is then taken to the Ghana Post counter before the recipient is given the item. 

Please Note: 

The insurance value on the item is taken into consideration when calculating the duty to be paid. 

Some items are restricted goods and recipients must obtain a permit from the relevant Government agencies before being permitted to clear. 

If goods are not claimed within three (3) months, they are confiscated to the State and auctioned off. 

These are goods which by all trade standards are illegal and are strictly barred from entering the country due largely to the tendency to breach international trade laws, spread diseases, and cause destruction among others. 

Absolute Import Prohibitions Table 

Tariff No. 

Commodity Description 


6A. 1 

Animals and carcasses infected with disease: Animals or carcasses infected with disease within the meaning of the Disease of Animals Act, 1961 (Act 83) or any part of such animals or carcasses. 



Beads of inflammable celluloid: Beads composed of inflammable celluloid or other similar substances. 



Coffee, raw, imported overland: Raw coffee imported overland or by inland waterways. 



Coin not up to standard: Coin currency in any foreign country or any money purported to be such, not being of the established standard in weight and fineness. 

Currency Act, 1964 (Act 242) 


Food, contaminated: Meat, vegetables, and other provisions. 

Declared by a Health Officer as unfit for human consumption PNDCL 305B/F.D.B. L Act 523, 1996. 


Knuckle dusters and life preservers. 



Literature, scandalous: Books, newspapers and printed matter which in the opinion of the Commissioner – General (subject to any directions of the president of Ghana) are defamatory, scandalous, or demoralizing. 



Money, base or counterfeit: Base or counterfeit coin or counterfeit notes of any country. 

Currency Act, 1964 (Act 242) 


Obscene articles: Indecent or obscene prints, paintings, photographs, books, cards, lithographic or other engraving or any other indecent or obscene article. 



Weapons, dangerous: Knives such as flick knives and paper knives which in the opinion of the Inspector – General of Police are considered dangerous weapons. 



Goods prohibited by any law: All other goods, the importation of which is prohibited by any law in Ghana. 


Export table

Conditional Import Prohibitions / Import Restrictions 

These are goods imported strictly requiring licenses, certificates and any other form of approval to ensure they are regulated to meet the statutory requirements before entry. 

Under the ECOWAS Common External Tariffs, Ghana now operates Five-Band Tax Rates. These are: 

Zero (0) Rated - Essential Social Goods 

5% - Necessities, basic raw materials, Capital Goods, Specific Inputs 

10% - Inputs and Intermediary Products (Semi-Finished Goods) 

20% - Finished Goods (final Consumer goods) 

35% - Specific goods for Economic Development 

Note: The above enumerated tax rates are not in respect of Import Duty only; they are also an imposition of the following: 

Value Added Tax, National Health Insurance Levy, Ghana Education Trust Fund, Import Excise Duty, Examination Fee, African Union Levy, ECOWAS Levy, Processing fee, Special Import Levy, Import Levy 

Interest charge, State Warehouse Rent. 


Export Procedures and Items 

All exportable items/articles/commodities in Ghana have been categorised into two (2) groups;  


  • Traditional Exports and  

  • Non - Traditional Exports 


Traditional Exports 

They comprise products such as cocoa beans, logs, electricity, fresh fish, fresh yams and mineral ore (Unprocessed gold, diamond, bauxite, etc.). These items could be changed depending on Government Policy. 

Non-Traditional Exports 

Please see Import - Export Act, 1995 (Act 503) for more information. 

Basic Requirements for Export 

Any company or enterprise which intends to deal in exportation of exportable goods or items in Ghana must: 

  • Be registered with the Registrar-General’s Department. 

  • Be registered with the Ghana Export Promotion Council and obtain a number. 

  • Get a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the Ghana Revenue Authority or a GhanaCard PIN. 

  • Procedure for Traditional Export 

  • Obtain a Bank of Ghana Exchange Control Form A2 from your bankers. 

  • Complete the Customs Declaration Form electronically and submit to Customs via the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS). 

  • Attach all relevant documents ; Certificates, Permit etc. 

  • When the declaration is validated by Customs, present goods to Customs at the Export seat to the Exit Port or Station for Customs Inspection or Examination. 

  • If Customs is satisfied with the examination, the goods are then released for export. 

  • Procedure for Non - Traditional Export 

  • Submit Customs Declaration electronically. 

  • Attach all relevant documents ; Certificates, Permit etc. 

  • When the declaration is duly validated by Customs, present goods to Customs at the Export seat to the Port of Exit or Station for Customs Inspection or Examination. 

  • If Customs is satisfied with the examination, the goods are then released for export. 

  • Relevant Certificates / Permits for Export 




COCOBOD export permit 


Timber products 

Permit from Timber Industry Development Division, Forestry Commission 


Mineral ore 

Minerals Commission Permit 


Manufactured / Processes Goods 

Ghana Standards Authority Permit 


Coffee /Shea nuts/Cashew nuts 

COCOBOD export permit 


Food and agriculture produce 

Phytosanitary Certificate from Plant Protection and Regulatory Service or MOFA 


Palm oil 

Food and Drugs Authority Permit 


Rock and soil samples 

Permit from Geological Survey Authority 



Convention Trade and Endangered Species (Cities from Department of Game and Wildlife) 



Permit from Veterinary Service Division of MOFA 


Chemicals including plants 

Environmental Protection Authority Permit 



Permits from Ministry of Health, Food and Drugs Authority 



Permit from Museum and Monuments Authority 


Non-ferrous scraps 

Permit from Ministry of Trade and Industry 


Other scraps including electronic waste 

Permit from Ministry of Trade and Industry 


Human remains 

Death Certificate from Birth & Death Registry 

Export table

Export Restrictions 

Export Restrictions are goods that can be exported but have restrictions on quantity or specification based on either international laws or the trade policy of Ghana. All restricted goods require certificate(s) or permit(s). This applies to both traditional and non-traditional export commodities. 

Export Prohibitions 

These are goods banned from export either by international or local laws. These unlike restricted items are completely banned and cannot be exported. Such items or commodities include: 

Round log (12 Species including Rosewood) 

Narcotics / Psychotropic substances 

African grey parrots 

Endangered animal species 

Currency more than $10,000.00 

Rattan canes and bamboo 

Obscene and pornographic materials 

Any other goods prohibited by international laws 

Note: All exports are Zero-rated. However, the following attract Export duty 

Cocoa Beans – To be determined by the Ministry of Finance 

Hydrocarbon Oils (e.g. Aviation Turbine Kerosene (ATK) 


Obligations of Passengers 

The following obligations apply to all passengers using Ghana’s air and seaports as well as land borders: 

Passengers should not enter or disembark from a ship, aircraft or vehicle without permission from Customs. 

All passengers must go by the most direct route to the Customs examination area and produce all baggage. 

Passengers should make written or oral declarations of goods and baggage imported by them to Customs. 

During examination, documents called for are to be produced for scrutiny and all questions relating to goods must be answered. 

The passenger’s Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration (PUBD) must be completed to account for part of one’s baggage, which has arrived in advance or left behind to arrive in another aircraft, ship, vehicle, or by post. 

All Arms and Ammunition must be declared to Customs. 

Foreign currency may be declared on BOG Foreign Exchange Declaration Form (FXD Form 4A) other notices about foreign currency restrictions can be found on Bank of Ghana website 


Passenger Baggage Concessions 

Baggage and personal effects include: 

Clothing and personal effects on the body, such as glasses, earpiece, etc. 

Binoculars, Sports requisites, toys, and articles for household use (such as perambulators, pictures, glassware, linen, cutlery, crockery, and plates) which are shown to have been in the passenger’s personal or household use for a reasonable period. 

Photographic films, plates, and sound recording tape but not including such materials if imported for the purpose of commercial photography or sound recording.

Instruments and tools for personal use of the passenger in his profession or trade but NOT INCLUDING arms and ammunition, motor vehicles, fabrics, in pieces, provisions, stationery, portable or perfumed spirits, tobacco goods, wine saddlery or any goods imported for the purposes of trade.

The items involved must be for the use of the passenger concerned and NOT for sale or intended for other persons.

In the case of electrical goods, these should have been in the bona fide use of the passenger for at least six (6) months to qualify for the concession.

The Green & Red Channels 

On arrival at the airport, the following channels are available for travellers: 

The Green Channel: The passenger may use the channel if he/she is sure to be carrying goods which are free of duty and are allowable under the passenger baggage concessions. 

The Red Channel: Passengers who carry the under-listed goods are obliged to use the Red Channel: 

Commercial goods.

Restricted goods/ drinks more than allowed quantities. 

Goods imported temporarily. 

Items That May Be Imported Free of Duty 

Passengers Unaccompanied Baggage Declaration (PUBD) 

Removal Articles 

Personal Effects of Ghanaians Who Die Outside the Country 

Responsibilities of Passengers, Importers and Exporters 

Customs is obliged to encourage the spirit of joint responsibility among all partners in international trade and investment, and movement of persons across borders. 

Customs strives to deliver professional service to such clients as passengers, traders, business/commercial interests and the public which are considered as critical stakeholders to Customs operations in international trade. On the other hand, customs expect its stakeholders to display a high level of tax compliance and conduct honest transactions. 

Hence, clients must strictly adhere to the following: 

Customs Warehousing 

The term Customs Warehousing defines a Customs procedure with which imported goods are stored under the control of the Customs Division of GRA. Goods are kept within the secured confines of a Customs Bonded Warehouse or Private Bonded Warehouse, without payment of import duties and taxes. 

Warehoused goods undergo various forms of handling to improve packaging or prepare them for shipment. Handling process may vary but includes grouping of packages, sorting and grading and repacking. It is not intended to alter any essential character of the goods themselves. 

Process for Acquiring Licence for a Private Bonded Warehouse 

Application and plan to be submitted. 

Application for the approval and licensing of any premises as a Private Bonded Warehouse is to be submitted on Form C.66 (available at the Accra Collection – Warehousing office, located at Jamestown) to the Sector Commander. The form must be accompanied by a plan of the proposed warehouse and its situation in relation to other buildings and thoroughfares. 


  • Inspection of proposed Customs Warehouse 

  • Marking of Warehouses 

  • Security 

  • Licence 


Required Supporting Documents 

Other documents required for Private Bonded Warehouse Licensing include: 

Certificate of Registration 

Certificate of Incorporation (Where Applicable) 

Certificate to Commence Business 

Company’s Code (Where Applicable) 

Passport picture (s) of owner(s) or Director (s) to be supported with photocopies of National Identity Card/Drivers’ Licence(s)/Bio Data Page of Passport(s) 

Police clearance of criminal records of Directors(s) 

Particular of other directorships 

VAT Registration Certificates 

Tax Clearance Certificates (Renewable Annually) 

Site plan 

Block plan 

Valid building permit 

Directional map to warehouse 

Ghana National Fire Service Fire Safety Certificate (Renewable annually) 

Environmental Protection Agency Certification (Where applicable) 

Food and Drugs Authority certification (Where applicable) 


Requirements for Registration of Manufacturers’ Licence 

Certificate of Registration 

Certificate of Incorporation (Where Applicable) 

Certificate to Commence Business 

Company’s Code (Where Applicable) 

Passport pictures(s) of owner(s) or Directors: to be supported with photocopies of National Identity Card/Drivers’ Licence(s)/Bio Data Page of Passport(s) 

Police clearance of criminal records of Directors(s) 

Particulars of other directorships 

VAT Registration Certificates 

Tax Clearance Certificates (Renewable Annually) 

Site plan 

Block plan 

Valid building permit 

Directional map to warehouse 

Ghana National Fire Service Fire Safety Certificate (Renewable annually) 

Environmental Protection Agency Certification (Where applicable) 

Food and Drugs Authority certification (Where applicable) 


Other requirements include: 

  • Manufacturing process 

  • Flow chart of manufacturing process 

  • List of plants/machinery 

  • List of raw materials 

  • Statement of composition 

  • List of finished products 

Goods that cannot be warehoused 

Warehoused goods must be approved for warehousing before being moved into approved warehouse facility. 

Perishable goods such as fresh vegetables, fish and meat products are allowed for a period of three months with no option to re-warehouse, or else the goods will be auctioned. 

Secondly, general goods are allowed for a year without an option to re-warehouse and the third group, raw materials, have a grace period of two years with an option of one year to re-warehouse. 

However, there are goods that cannot be warehoused according to Customs Bonded Warehousing regime, effective 1st November 2018. These goods are:  


  • Ethanol 

  • Tomato Paste 

  • Cooking Oil 

  • Canned Drinks 

  • Canned Fish 

  • Lead Acid Batteries 


The Transit Unit is an arm of the Suspense Regime which monitors and reports on road haulage of transit goods from Ghana to inland countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, whilst guarding against revenue leakage associated with the activity. 

On the average, the stated inland countries manage only 60% of the trade volumes of the coastal countries and bear 40-45% more cost relative to coastal countries. 

Given this trade imbalance, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO) found it necessary to develop clear steps to facilitate trade, making the Transit Unit central to deepening bilateral relations in revenue mobilisation. 

Dedicated Transit Stations across the country are Elubo, Paga, Kulungugu, Gonokrom, Hamile, Takoradi, Tema and Aflao. All these stations ensure unhindered movement of Transit goods across the country while observing laid down international protocols. 

The Unit also liaises with the State Insurance Company (SIC) as the national guarantor securing guarantees and bonds on transit Trade. Duties and penalties are claimed from the insurer in case of diversions and other losses. 

In line with international trade standards, the GRA has taken Information Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure and Information Management Systems (IMS) very seriously. Hence, the use of the all-new ICUMS in the tracking and monitoring of road haulage. 


Free Zones  

Free Zone means an area or building declared as a Free Zone by publication in the Commercial and Industrial Bulletin. It includes Single Factory Zones, Free Ports, Free Airports, Free River and Lake Ports among others (Free Zones Act 1995, 504). Unlike other Suspense Regimes, the free zones operations do not require the execution of a bond. A Free Zone (FZ) although located within the territory of Ghana, is for Customs and Tax purposes, legally treated as a “foreign territory”. Therefore, all transactions in a Free Zone are deemed to have been carried out in a foreign land and are subject only to the national laws of free zone operations. However free zone companies remain subject to all other (non-customs) national laws of Ghana. This means goods moving from in and out of the free zone are treated for Customs purposes as like other suspense regimes. Consequently, duties and taxes are not payable unless the goods are moved from the Free Zones into Home Consumption. The Ghana Free Zones program is designed to promote processing and manufacturing of goods through the establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZ). These are to encourage development of commercial and service activities, offering a conducive business environment to produce at minimum cost for export. Free Zones companies are legally permitted to sell up to 30% of their products in Ghana but only after they have completed the correct declaration procedures which are broadly like declaration of import.


There are three types of Free Zones: 

  • Industrial Free Zone for the importation of raw materials for manufacturing of products for exportation. 

  • Commercial Free Zone for the importation of general goods for subsequent sorting, mixing, re-bagging, re-labelling or further processing into finished products for re-export. 

  • Service Free Zone which provides services to the Free Zone operators and companies operating outside the Free Zones. 

Customs Procedures for Free Zones Documentation 

Free Zones are directly controlled and licensed by the Ghana Free Zones Authority which undertakes the initial approval before customs procedures begin. 

Customs involvement begins when the Ghana Free Zones Authority notifies the Commissioner-General with an approval letter of a newly licensed operator. 

The application is then referred to the Assistant Commissioner – Free Zone and then to the Sector Commander for processing. 

The Sector Commander where the free zone is located refers the approval letter to the Officer – In – Charge – Free Zone to begin the procedure. 

The Officer – In – Charge – Free Zone creates a file for that company and assigns an officer from the Free Zone to conduct a survey on the location and status. 

The officer submits a report on the company together with Certificate to commence business, Certificate of Incorporation, Statement of Composition if applicable and other relevant documents. 

The Officer – In – Charge – Free Zone forwards the report to the sector commander for comments. 

The report is then returned to the Officer – In – Charge – Free Zone for processing if approved. 

The Officer – In – Charge – Free Zone assigns a Resident Officer to oversee the activities of the operator. 

Officer – In – Charge – Free Zone submits the name of the assigned officer to be entered onto ICUMS 


Free Zone Import Procedures 

Removal of goods from a Free Zone facility 

Export Procedure 

Local Sales (Home Consumption) 

Transfers between Free Zones 

Destruction of Goods 


Customs Collections source 

The Customs Division also features collection stations located at strategic points in the country which monitor the passage of goods and services for taxes. These Stations are dotted across the country in both frontier and inland towns and routinely check for illegal goods whilst ensuring they comply with the tax laws to prevent smuggling and haulage of contraband. 

Customs Collections boast of several checkpoints scattered across the country with varied operational functions. Among these frontier and inland checkpoints are somewhat autonomous Collections which overlook the operations of sub-checkpoints in every region. 

  • Kumasi Collection 

The Kumasi Collection – mainly an inland collection – is made up of three major checkpoints which serve as intermediary transit referral points. The Collection serves as a major source of revenue due largely to the Bulk Oil Storage Terminal (BOST). Officers have been positioned to monitor the receipt and lifting of petroleum products to collect the various petroleum taxes and levies due GRA. Revenue from BOST contributes significantly to the Collection’s total annual revenue target. 

It also serves as a strategic Preventive Post owing to its central location where most major roads from the south to the northern parts of the country are linked. 

At the Kumasi Collection, several ‘uncustomed’ goods and vehicles are impounded every year, yielding revenue in the form of taxes, levies and penalties. 


  • Accra Collection 

Accra Collection is one of the five Customs Offices in the Greater Accra region located at Jamestown. It is the only Customs office under the Customs Division restricted to processing, supervising and monitoring the free zone and warehousing regime. The Collection is responsible for the monitoring and supervision of all Customs Bonded Warehouses, Free zone companies and licensed manufacturers in Accra. 

The office is also responsible for issuing licenses and approving concession applications for manufacturers within Accra. The Collection has an oversight responsibility over the Central Post Office at High Street and the Accra North Post Office at Circle. 

The office is responsible for processing the following regimes: Home consumption following warehousing, Re-export, Home consumption following free zones, Export from free zones, Transfer from bond to bond and several others. 


  • Koforidua Collection 

The Koforidua Collection is a Preventive Collection and serves as a secondary level of security in relation to cargo cleared at the ports and frontier stations as well as bonded Warehouses across the country. 

The functions at the Collection are Revenue and Non-Revenue. The primary Revenue functions are Patrols and Barrier duties. 

  • Other revenue functions include; 

Monitoring of transit goods 

Free zone Operations 

Recovery of duties/taxes with regards to voluntary compliance and uncustomed goods and services 

Collection of revenue on imported parcels at the post offices 

Register and monitoring of manufacturing companies. 

Vehicle registration assistance at DVLA 

Receipt and discharge of petroleum products from Accra Depots to Buipe. 


  • Tamale Collection 

The Collection is a very vast area comprising three (3) regions, Northern region, North East Region and part of Savannah Region. The core mandate of the Tamale Collection is to mobilise and collect revenue through imports at the frontier stations and the main office in Tamale. 

The Collection routinely oversees frontier stations activities in revenue mobilisation through; 

Conducting Frontier bush patrol to clamp-down on smugglers. 

Ensuring trade facilitation through processing and clearance of goods and the movement of people across the border. 

Preventing the importation of harmful and injurious substances. 

Supporting the suspense regime, monitoring free-zone and temporary importation of goods within the context of the laid down Customs procedures and processes to avoid revenue leakage. 


  • Kotoka International Airport Collection 

The Kotoka International Airport (KIA) Collection is somewhat at the peak of all Accra Collections because it serves both local and international purposes. 

Unlike the other collections, the KIA Collection renders services such as documentation checks and supervision of import and exports by Customs Officials. These ensure imported/ exported goods do not escape the tax radar and meet the global trading standards. 

Their core functions include Direct Export (Traditional & Non-traditional Exports) and Temporal Imports where transactions are censored for requisite documentation. 

Other functions include Re-export (Re-export of Duty-paid goods & Re-export from Bonded Warehouse) where approvals are sought for applications with the Customs Headquarters whilst ensuring the payment of a 1% processing fee among other requirements prior to export. 

The collection is also charged with the responsibility of supervising the Export of Precious Minerals (Gold).  

Here, the Collection develops varied functions, and they include. 

Escorting and receiving of gold into the vault 

Supervising Assay/loading/sealing of gold at Precious Minerals and Mining Company (PMMC) 

Escorting and delivering of gold at departure 

Ensuring payment of 3% withholding tax 

Supervision of goods through scanning 

Physical examination 

External examination (Diplomatic pouch and biological substances). 

Duties and Tax Exemption 

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link below:  

Click here for the LINK to the 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.] 

In the following table, state which of the following agreements and conventions apply to the country and if there are any other existing ones. 

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 


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 

Export table

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 40F.02 Goods and vehicles imported by or for the official use of a Diplomat or as defined under section 9 of the Exemptions Act. 2022 (Act 1083). 

Tariff Number 40F03 Goods imported under the technical cooperation programmes or project as defined under Section 21 of the Exemptions Act. 2022 (Act 1083) 

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, procedures can be found here. NGOs are also to ensure full compliance with the companies Code, namely, to keep proper books of account and to have their accounts audited. 

Export table

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure: 

Duties and Taxes Exemption Application Procedure 

Generalities (include a list of necessary documentation) 


Process to be followed (step by step or flowchart) 


Export table

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements 

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity) 



NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education) 


Vehicle & Spare Parts 

Staff & Office Supplies 

Telecoms Equipment 


Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGOs 






AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents 

Yes, 1 copy, UN and NGOs 






Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates 

Yes, 1 copy, UN and NGOs 






Packing Lists 

Yes, 1 copy, UN and NGOs 






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 FDA otherwise a deposit of 20,000 USD is applicable until the registration of the medicine. 

Export table

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.  


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, Plant, plant product, plant disease or pest, 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.  

Export table

Customs Clearance Document Requirements 

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity) 



NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education) 


Vehicles & Spare Parts 

Staff & Office Supplies 

Telecoms Equipment 

D&T Exemption Certificate 

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO 







Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO 






AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents 

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO 






Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates 

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO 






Packing Lists 

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO 






Phytosanitary Certificate 

Yes, Original, 1 copy, UN and NGO 






Other Documents 

Appropriate import permit 


Appropriate import permit 



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.   

Export table


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:  





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  

Perishables Three (3) Months  

General Goods Twelve (12) Months  

Raw Materials Up to Two (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 (1) month upon application and approval by the Commissioner of Customs. 

2 views0 comments


bottom of page