Relocating to the Republic of Ghana could be strategic on your part as you may have various income and business opportunities in the country. If you are a US citizen who is moving to the West African nation or a Ghanaian who has been living abroad or is returning home for good, you are allowed to ship some items based on current customs regulations.
Basic documentations would be required by the Ghanaian Customs office. You have to prepare and present your passport and a filled out Ghana Customs Form C.12. This document would contain an inventory of the household goods or personal belongings that you would be shipping from the US to the country.
Basic customs regulations are simple. The household goods to be shipped would not incur any duty if the items have been in your possession or use for six months or more. You would have to bear the burden of proving that you still continue to use the objects and that you do not have the intention to put them up for sale when you arrive at the country. Timing of the shipment is also important. The household items to be shipped should arrive in Ghana within 12 months after your personal arrival.
Duties and restrictions
Just like in other countries, specific duties are imposed on certain items as stated in the local customs regulations. First, household goods or personal belongings that are less than six months old would be subject to taxation. Duties are also imposed on food items (in excessive amounts), prescription medications and electrical appliances.
Take note that you and your family would be allowed to ship only one type of electrical device, free of duty. If you are shipping more appliances, those would be subject to taxes and duties. Likewise, brand new electrical items are not exempt from such charges.
There are prohibitions of course on the types of household goods and personal belongings you could ship to Ghana. Prohibited drugs, deadly firearms or weapons (except with appropriate Ministry of interior license or police withdrawal permit), pornographic materials, counterfeit money, alcoholic beverages, and explosives would not be allowed for shipment into the country.
As for costs, you should be ready to spend a few tens or hundreds of dollars on specific charges. Those may include freight, clearance, shipping line and insurance fees. Do not be surprised to be asked to pay Ghana ports and harbor authority charges as well as possible ‘demurrage or delay’ penalties imposed by the receiving port.
Shipping motor vehicles
If you are not considering buying a new car in the country, you may import or ship the vehicle you are driving now. To process shipment of the car, you would be required to personally drop by the nearest Ghanaian Consulate to obtain necessary Customs clearances.
Cars that are more than five years old would incur graduated penalties, based on the manufacture year. Right-hand cars could be allowed for shipment but with additional charges. Cars above 1,600 cc would incur a duty. You are also required to process and secure Customs Form C.12, proof of car ownership, and your original vehicle purchase invoice.