UK ⇆ Ghana Shipping Rates 2019

UK ⇆ Ghana
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Sea freight

LCL Southampton to Tema & Takoradi port
  • 1 cbm:  £153:00
  • 5 cbm:  £500.00
FCL Southampton to Tema & Takoradi port
  • 20ft: £950.00
  • 40ft: £1310.00

Air freight

London Heathrow (LHR) to Accra Kotoka International Airport. (ACC)
  • 100kgs: £170.00
  • 200kgs: £280.00
  • 500kgs: £542.00

*Terms and conditions apply.

* Rates are subject to space availability and may change without prior notice.
* This special offer is valid for general cargo and does not include any hazardous, valuable or live stock cargo.

Ghana trade and export guide

1. Ghana export overview

Many UK businesses operate in Ghana. They include well-known companies such as Barclays, Standard Chartered, Vodafone, Tullow, Blue Skies, British Airways, G4S, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline, Astra Zeneca, and Diageo.

Benefits for UK businesses exporting to Ghana include:

  • immediate access to all ECOWAS markets
  • English is the official business language and widely spoken
  • 100% foreign ownership permitted
  • judicial system based on English common law principles
  • large consumer base with a growing middle class
  • developing as a regional hub for opportunities in other west African markets
  • export-free zones where goods traded with other countries are exempt from customs duties and some laws

Strengths of the market:

  • expanding stock market
  • well developed financial and legal services
  • comparatively well developed infrastructure compared to most west African countries
  • availability of skilled and trainable labour

2. Challenges doing business in Ghana

Challenges to be aware of include:

  • erratic power supply nationwide
  • obstructive bureaucracy
  • some corruption (56 out of 168 on the corruption index)
  • high unemployment and poverty
  • underdeveloped capital market
  • macroeconomic instability with some International Monetary Fund (IMF) restrictions on government spending
  • a poor (but improving) social infrastructure

You should ensure you take the necessary steps to comply with the requirements of the UK Bribery Act.

Read the Overseas Business Risk report for Ghana.

2.1 Scams

UK businesses should be wary of potential malpractice aimed at enticing foreign companies into bogus deals including:

  • request for contract registration or pre-qualification advance fees also known ‘419 fraud’
  • transfer of funds from fictitious, over-invoiced or failed contracts
  • promise of phantom contract or supplies
  • sale of crude oil at below market prices
  • invitation to share property or inheritance
  • request for invitation letter for company representative to visit UK
  • request for bank details or bank accounts
  • cheque payment fraud or credit card fraud

You should not send goods on the strength of a cheque received or credit card, especially if you’ve had no prior dealings with the contact.

If the opportunity is genuine payment before despatch of goods should be standard practice. All business should be on fully secured terms, with cash up front or confirmed irrevocable letter of credit and reconfirmed by a bank in the UK.

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Ghana if you’re in any doubt about the bona fides of business contacts.

3. Growth potential

Ghana’s economy slowed down to an estimated 3.5% growth rate in 2015 according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is as a result of severe power shortages and fiscal consolidation.

The economy is expected to recover in 2016, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth around 5.9%. This is bolstered by:

  • improved oil and gas production
  • increased private sector investment
  • improved public infrastructure development
  • political stability

4. UK and Ghana trade

The UK is one of the largest foreign investors in Ghana. Ghana was the UK’s fifth largest export market in Sub Saharan Africa in 2014 with bilateral trade in goods and services totalling £1.05 billion.

Top UK goods exports to Ghana include:

  • beverages
  • medicinal and pharmaceutical products
  • road vehicles
  • electrical machinery and appliances
  • machinery specialised for particular industries
  • iron and Steel
  • textile fibres (not manufactured)

5. Opportunities for UK businesses in Ghana

Department for International Trade (DIT) provides free international export sales leads from its worldwide network. Search for export opportunities.

Find more information on Department for International Trade (DIT)’s Aid Funded Business Service which helps you identify opportunities to supply products and services to the international aid agencies.

5.1 Oil and gas

Oil reserves are estimated at around 2 billion barrels. There have been about 24 new oil and gas discoveries since the Jubilee discovery in 2007.

Oil and gas production will be boosted by the:

  • TEN fields which are on track for output in July/August 2016
  • Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) oil and gas project with oil production expected to start in 2017 and gas in 2018

Opportunities exist in virtually every area of the petroleum industry, both upstream and downstream.

Contact [email protected] for more information on opportunities in the oil and gas sector.

5.2 Financial services

The financial services sector is growing in Ghana. There are investment opportunities for UK companies who can work with local businesses in:

  • mobile financial services
  • micro/agro insurance
  • financial technology (fintech)
  • finance infrastructure development with Public Private Partnership (PPP) options and private equity/debt investments

UK fintech firms can particularly look at partnerships, training and transfer of technology.

Contact [email protected] for more information on opportunities in the financial services sector.

5.3 Infrastructure

Ghana’s infrastructure spending has significantly increased over the past few years following an adoption of a PPP approach to financing development.

A draft National infrastructure Plan has been developed to help address the estimated $1.5 billion per annum infrastructure gap. In addition a Ghana Infrastructure fund (GIF) has been created which will be used to:

  • provide quality and affordable housing
  • improve Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) infrastructure
  • improve transport links
  • expand access to drinkable water throughout the country
  • expand ports, airports etc

Opportunities for UK companies include development of :

  • low cost residential housing and quality high rise apartments
  • industrial and warehousing facilities
  • materials and equipment supplies
  • commercial buildings such as shopping malls, offices and storage
  • water treatment services
  • manpower and training in the rail sector

Contact [email protected] for more information on opportunities in the infrastructure sector.

5.4 Agriculture

Agriculture is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. It’s a major foreign exchange earner contributing an estimated 19% to the country’s GDP in 2015.

Major stakeholders and government are looking for ways to improve agri-business through the use of modern technology.

There are opportunities for UK companies in the following areas:

  • agro processing industry (to add value, reduce post-harvest losses and expand demand)
  • fresh produce handling such as establishment of commercial pack houses for handling of fruits and vegetables
  • processing agricultural products (cereal, fruit, vegetables, livestock and fisheries)
  • technological and support services
  • floriculture

Contact [email protected] for more information about opportunities in the agriculture sector.

5.5 Health

The health sector in Ghana has witnessed significant investment in infrastructure recently.

There are investment opportunities for UK companies in the health sector in:

  • drugs and pharmaceuticals
  • research and development facilities
  • hospital equipment
  • laboratories
  • health centres
  • hospitals and clinics

Contact [email protected] for more information about opportunities in the health sector.

5.6 Education

There is a growing demand for UK education and training services in Ghana. It is important that training companies and institutions identify their main areas of focus for the Ghanaian market and the type of delivery methods they can offer.

The market is open and opportunities for UK companies include:

  • corporate training
  • collaboration with local universities
  • skills training for the oil and gas sector
  • supply of educational products and services to public/private institutions
  • capacity building within the education sector

Contact [email protected] for more information about opportunities in the education sector.

6. Start-up considerations

There are several ways of entering the Ghanaian market:

  • direct exports
  • joint venture
  • appointing a local distributor
  • registering as a foreign company

UK companies intending to invest in Ghana are required to register with the Registrar General’s Department. A certificate of incorporation and certificate to commence business are issued following registration.

After incorporation, companies that are partly or fully owned by foreigners have to register with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). The GIPC encourages and promotes investments in all sectors of the economy except mining and petroleum. Registration is completed after companies have met the minimum equity requirements.

Any investor who will be producing to export at least 70% of its total output can take advantage of the Free Zones Act and locate their businesses within the Free Zone enclaves at Tema or Sekondi. Some of the privileges available to free zone enterprises are exemptions from:

  • tax on imports into the free zone
  • duty
  • other taxes on exports to foreign countries

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Ghana to help find tax and legal advisers before entering into agreements.

7. Legal considerations

Ghanaian business and legal systems are similar to those in the UK.

There are many regulatory laws and acts that provide a framework for businesses to operate in. These are regulated by different agencies in the country such as:

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Ghana to help find tax and legal advisers before entering into agreements.

7.1 Intellectual property protection (IPR)

Copyright in Ghana is the responsibility of 2 independent offices, both under the Ministry of Justice: The Copyright Office and Copy Ghana. Over the past decade, Ghana has made a conscious effort to enact legislation that provides protection for Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

Ghana is a member of or has ratified the main international agreements regarding copyright.

8. Tax and customs considerations

Ghana has a double taxation agreement with the UK.

8.1 Tax

All companies incorporated in Ghana or managed from Ghana are required to register with the relevant tax authorities.

Companies are liable to pay varied levels of taxes depending on the sector of operation. The location of the project and whether the company is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange will also impact the tax payable.

The main forms of taxation in Ghana are:

  • Corporate Tax
  • Withholding Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Valued Added Tax (VAT)
  • National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL)
  • Dividend Tax
  • Customs and Excise Duties
  • Communication Service Tax
  • Companies Income Tax (CIT)
  • Social security fund for staff salaries

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has information on the current tax rates.

8.2 Customs

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) General Customs Guide has general information on duties and taxes. You can find more about import tariffs in the Market Access Database.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) General Customs Guide has general information on duties and taxes. You can find more about import tariffs in the Market Access Database.


UK-Ghana freight options