As a major player in the African region, it's important to know the correct protocol for shipping to Ghana.
Main Country Facts
Like many smaller countries around the world, Ghana used to be a British colony. In 1957, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to break from colonial rule and become a fully-independent nation. Unlike many other former British colonies, Ghana no longer has any formal connection to the United Kingdom. While Ghana does deal with some of the corruption that is so rampant in African politics, the country has done better than many of its neighbours and benefits from a higher level of stability than the region is known for. The 1992 constitution created a democratic system of government that has become a model for other African nations. Despite the advancements the country has made, it is still subject to the regional propensity for unrest, and local conflicts often create inflation and depreciation of the local currency.
Ghana has a strong economic base in its vast and rich natural resources. It is considered to be a middle-class country. Top commodities include gold and cocoa. Ghana also draws foreign investment for its diamonds, lumber and manganese. More recent years have seen an increase in marketable oil, which has been a boon to the economy, providing jobs and opportunities to the country's 24.3 million citizens. Still, more than half the working base relies on agricultural products to meet their daily income needs. In addition, management and labour outsourcing deny many skilled citizens of Ghana the opportunity to use their talents to earn a more fair wage.
When shipping to Ghana, it's important to know that the governing agency that publishes and oversees the regulations is the Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventions Service. While there are a few selected exemptions to the Ghana customs fees, almost everything that moves into the country will be subject to some type of added fee or duty.
Some things cannot be shipped to Ghana at all. This prohibited category includes things like:
In addition, sea containers used for shipping cannot be used to move goods across the country.
Some things can come into the country, but only with the proper permission, licensing and forms. Different products require licensing from different agencies, so always check the CEPS website for specific information before sending parcels that may contain restricted items. Some restricted items to note are:
The Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventions Service provides a well-maintained and easy to navigate website that provides a full array of information for importing goods to the country. Import information is found here.
While English is the official language of Ghana, and likely what will be used for customs forms, keep in mind that the recipient of the package may speak any of a number of standard local dialects; the country has at least nine languages that are considered acceptable and common for business and personal communication. There are also a large number of ethnic groups within the borders of Ghana, and customs can vary widely. Many groups have strong female leadership, so don't be surprised if you find yourself communicating with more women than you are accustomed to. People in Ghana value reputation and responsibility, so top-notch business and shipping practices will go a long way to shipping success in this region.
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