Have you been wondering how to export goods from Ghana to other countries? Well, you’re definitely at the right place. Exporting from Ghana is a straight forward process if you know the necessary steps to take.
Exporting from Ghana depends on the country of the buyer, means of exporting, quantities required and necessary documentation. Before you even think about exporting from Ghana, it’s better to have all your documentation ready for export.
Most people who want to export some products from the country do not really know how to go about it. If you fall into this category, then you’re at the right place. In this guide, I will be sharing detailed information on how to export goods from Ghana to other countries of the world.
Exporting from Ghana
So many products are exported from Ghana to other countries of the world. Top export destinations of commodities from Ghana include China, Switzerland, India, South Africa, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, USA, United Kingdom, France, Italy.
According to statistics, the most popular exported commodities from Ghana are precious stones & metals, oil & mineral fuels, cocoa, fruit & nuts, ores, plastics, wood, aluminium, fats & oils, prepared meats and other products
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is the agency saddled with the responsibility of facilitating, developing and promoting Ghanaian exports.
It was established by Act 396 in 1969 as an agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry with the mandate to develop and promote Ghanaian exports.
Types of Export in Ghana
In Ghana, there are two types of exports viz-a-viz traditional and non-traditional export.
Traditional Exports are defined by the Import‐Export Act of 1995 (Act 503) as cocoa beans, logs and lumber, unprocessed gold and other minerals and electricity.
Non‐traditional exports are defined by the GEPA as all products other than cocoa beans, logs and lumber, unprocessed gold and other minerals and electricity.
How to Start Your Export Business in Ghana
You need to have a business before you start exporting goods from Ghana. I’ve detailed a guide on how to export goods from Ghana to other countries of the world. The requirements for exporting goods to foreign countries depend mostly on the kind of product that you’re exporting. Below is a quick guide on how to start an export business in Ghana.
Step 1: Do a Survey
Before you delve into the world of export, you need to research and know everything about the export business. Of course, before now you should as well have goods that you plan to export. Doing a proper survey to shipping goods and starting your own business is a very reasonable decision. You must answer the following questions:
- Do I have the product readily available? Do I have enough production capacity to satisfy my overseas customers? Is the demand for the goods high enough to be worth going into the business?
- How do I establish foreign contacts and customers so as to quickly sell my goods outside Ghana? Which country or countries will be best to export my goods because of high demand by customers? Do I have the capacity to advertise my products overseas in countries of high demand?
- What is the cost of exporting my products from Ghana (export duties and levies)? Can I afford to use flight to export my perishable goods knowing fully well it will be expensive?
- What means of transportation should I employ to export my goods? What are the shipping companies and cargo flights available in Ghana (freight forwarder)?
- Legal requirements. What are those conditions that my company and/or my goods must meet before they are cleared? Who clears my goods before they are transported outside Ghana and on what conditions? What government agency/department certifies my goods okay for exportation and which one am I expected to register with?
These are sincere questions that you must answer in the course of your survey. Remember to go into extensive research, visit Ghana Export Promotion Authority in Accra for some expert advice and registration later.
If possible, meet people who are in the same line of export business to learn from their mistakes and strengths before you think of how to export goods to foreign countries from Ghana.
Step 2: Register your Export Business
To give your business more credibility, you’ll need to register your business with the Registrar General’s Department (RGD). This is important because customers will check your business to ascertain your credibility. I’ve put together a guide on how to register a business in Ghana, check it out.
It is also important to register with the Ghana Export Promotion Council. This is done by anyone who plans to export both traditional and non-traditional products from Ghana to other foreign countries.
Step 3: Search for Foreign Customers
Without your customers, your business will not thrive. For this reason, you need to devote time to search for customers. Since you will work with foreign clients, you have to work on promotion and creating a good visual picture of your company and products you export.
Come up with website design and promote it on web search platforms, such as Google or social media. Facebook and Instagram can also help, depending on the products you plan to export.
You should have a multi-functional website that will display all products, along with your contact information and all the necessary information that the client might need. The Internet is literally the only way for you to get connected with clients and help your business develop. Cooperation with other companies can be also a solution since they can help you to find new partners and build some useful connections.
Documents Needed to Export Goods from Ghana to Other Countries
Exports are classified into two broad categories namely traditional and non-traditional. Although they have similar documentation process, there’s a slight difference.
1. The Export License: Once you begin to export any products from Ghana, it is desirable for you to get a license from the government agencies. This document will be good evidence of legal business for your customers.
2. The Certificate of Origin (CO): It is an international trade document which confirms that the goods to be shipped were produced and packed in a particular country. This type of documents is provided by the exporter and confirms goods’ origin.
3. The Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice is a type of document which is provided by the exporting company. It is a custom declaration for exporting the products overseas.
4. The Cargo Bill: It is a detailed list of a ship’s cargo which comes in the form of a receipt. Usually, this kind of receipt is given by a captain of the ship to the person who ships the goods.
5. Packing List: This is a document which details the contents and often dimensions and weight of each package or container.
6. The Consular Invoice: This is a document that should be submitted before shipping products abroad. It is required to be submitted to the consulate or embassy of the country to which goods are to be exported.
7. The Inspection Certificate: One of the most important documents is the inspection certificate. It certifies that products to be shipped were in good condition at the time of inspection. The document is usually issued prior to the shipment. Such kind of pre-shipment inspection is required by many countries.
8. The Dock Receipt: The dock receipt is issued by the sea freight carrier to prove that your goods are at the carrier’s shipping terminal.
9. The Warehouse Receipt: When goods are stored in a warehouse, the warehouse receipt is issued as proof. The document states the ownership of commodities that are stored in the warehouse or in any other place for safekeeping. Keep in mind that warehouse receipts might be negotiable or non-negotiable.
10. The Destination Control Statement: This document can be issued as part of commercial invoice, ocean or air waybill. It can be also in Shippers Export Declaration (SED). The main purpose of this document is to notify the carrier and all foreign parties, that the item can be exported only to certain destinations.
11. The Insurance Certificate: Of course, while shipping your goods abroad you will have to arrange for the insurance certificate for the shipment. This document provides information on particular insurance coverage, in case of any emergencies. The certificate is your proof of insurance policy and usually contains some detailed information on types and limits of insurance coverage, your insurance company’s contact information, policy number, and the insurance’s expiration date.
In summary, exporting goods to foreign countries from Ghana is a good business but just like every other huge business, most exportation businesses are capital intensive and involves a lot of risks.
Therefore, it is advisable that every new entrant insures the goods to be exported and always use a shipping company with good track records so as to minimize the risks involved in the business.