Customs regulations and required documents
Personal effects import regulations
Ghana is a conservative and deeply religious country. Although modern and progressive attitudes also prevail, you should show respect for traditional values and morals.
Dress modestly in public.
Wearing military clothing including camouflage is prohibited.
Don’t become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for drug related offences are severe. Even possession of small amounts of marijuana can lead to a prison sentence in excess of 5 years, usually after a lengthy and expensive legal process. Bail is not normally granted. Class A drugs like cocaine are likely to be laced with other substances. Foreign visitors, including British nationals, have died after taking these drugs.
Carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times, and put the original document in a safe.
There is a zero tolerance towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Ghana. This could lead to a custodial sentence between 3 and 25 years.
Anti LGBT rhetoric/hate speech by religious leaders and government officials and a local media that tends to sensationalise homosexuality, can incite homophobia against the LGBT community. Although there’s a small gay community, there is no ‘scene’ and most Ghanaians don’t accept that such relationships exist. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
Photography near sensitive sites like military installations or the airport is strictly prohibited. Ask permission if you want to take a photograph of a building where there are guards on duty. Beware of self-appointed officials trying to charge fees to take pictures of well-known sites of interest.
Ghanaian family law is very different from UK law, particularly when child custody becomes an issue.
UNIPASS Port Revenue Collection System
The Ghana Revenue Authority in April 2020 announced the implementation of the newly integrated UNIPASS/Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) at the Tema Port and other ports of entry across the country. The UNIPASS/ICUMS replaced the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) run by the Ghana Community Network Services, commonly called GCNet, and Customs World of Dubai.
In general, all imports are subject to customs duties. However, Ghanaian law provides exemptions for government, diplomatic personnel, NGOs and some others. Ghana operates under the Customs Valuation Code (CVC), the value assessment method of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ghana also has a Destination Inspection Scheme, which means that imports are inspected at the port of clearance in Ghana rather than prior to export. In September 2015, the Ghana Revenue Authority took over all destination inspection processes at Ghana’s ports. For more information about imports to Ghana, visit the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority import information page: https://gra.gov.gh/
Aside from a few items that are exempt from the payment of customs duty, all imports are subject to import duty plus Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT is calculated on the duty-inclusive value of the goods at rates contained in the HS manual. The extractive industries have sector-specific exemptions and duties.
The tariff system, which has been simplified and harmonized with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) trade liberalization program, has only four ad valorem import duties: 0 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent and 20 percent. The standard rate of duty is 20 percent. The zero-rate duty continues to apply to agricultural and industrial machinery, solar, wind, and thermal energy, and educational materials.
Click here to view : Country Guides
Free import by persons over 18 years of age:
Click here to view : Country Guides
Prohibited imports include narcotics, mercuric medicated soap, toxic waste, contaminated goods, certain tobacco products, certain agricultural materials and other goods prohibited by local law. For a complete, current list of import restrictions, visit the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) website: https://gra.gov.gh/
Click here to view : Prohibited restricted imports
Arms and ammunition are restricted items and can only be imported after issuance of a special permit by the Ministry of Interior.
The import of certain endangered species of plant, live animals and their products is prohibited or restricted under CITES.
For further details please refer to CITES: www.cites.org.
Crew members customs regulations:
Cats and dogs must be accompanied by:
For more information to obtain an import permit, contact the Veterinary Services Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, P.O. Box M161, Ministries Accra, Ghana or by email: [email protected] .
On arrival inspection will take place by the Veterinary Regulatory Unit at Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Pets may enter as passenger’s checked baggage in the cabin or as cargo.
Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Ghana.
Exempt: baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Ghana if passengers do not leave the terminal.
Currency Import regulations:
Local (Ghanaian Cedi-GHS) and foreign currencies: up to USD 10,000.- or its equivalent. Passengers are required to declare the amounts to Customs and fill the BOG Foreign Exchange Declaration Form (FXDF) at the port of entry (or departure). Amounts exceeding USD 10,000.- will be seized.
Currency Export regulations:
Same regulations as for Import apply.
Click here to view : Airport tax regulations details
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No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Kotoka International Airport is open. Commercial flights are operating to and from Ghana. Check with your travel company for the latest information. Land and sea borders remain closed. COVID-19 protocols at the airport may be subject to change as the new screening process evolves. See the guidance from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority
At present all passengers arriving are required by the Government of Ghana to:
The Government of Ghana has stated results will be available within 30 minutes of the test taking place at the airport. As such passengers should be prepared for additional time to move through and exit the airport. During busy period when there may be a large number of passengers disembarking at the same time the testing area may become busy.
All arriving passengers should be prepared to comply with Ghana’s COVID-19 Health Protocols. This may, depending on the test result of individuals or others on the flight, involve time in quarantine or in a Government Health facility. Quarantine and / or medical costs can be expensive so it is important that all passengers arrive with adequate access to financial resources. The Government of Ghana also advise that all arrivals should have valid insurance. It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
Transit passengers, except where they will remain in the airport throughout or those who were diverted to Accra for an emergency, will also be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing as outlined above.
Ghana hasn’t granted any visa exemptions or extensions for visitors during the pandemic so all British nationals will need to visit the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) office in person to extend their visas. It isn’t possible to call about an individual case or to book an appointment in advance. Office opening hours are 8 am to 5 pm. The GIS office is off Ako Adjei overpass on Independence Avenue in Accra.
You need a visa to enter Ghana. Ghana’s UK visa service re-opened on 3 September. Visit the Ghana High Commission website to stay up to date and to make an online application in due course.
Ghana recognises dual nationality. To avoid visa fees, Ghanaian-British nationals should register with the Interior Ministry in Ghana and get a Dual Nationality card. Production of this card at point of entry into Ghana will indicate that a visa is not required.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ghana.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid for entry or transit through Ghana. However, ETDs are accepted for exit from Ghana.
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
If you are travelling to work in a volunteer programme or for work experience you should be fully aware of the terms and conditions of your stay and be sure that you will be working for a reputable organisation before you commit yourself to travel.
If you live in Ghana you should register with the National Identification Authority (NIA) of Ghana and get a non-citizen Ghana card. This applies to:
A non-citizen Ghana card is required to apply for a residence permit, for admission into educational institutions in Ghana, for all financial transactions including opening a bank account, payment of taxes, registration of sim cards, and applications for public or government services, facilities, approvals and permissions. You can complete this registration process at any one of the following places:
National Identification Authority
Near Gulf House
Telephone: +233 (0) 302218080
Ghana Immigration Service
(off Ako Adjei Overpass)
Telephone: +233 (0) 302258250
9 Kakramada Road
Telephone: +233 (0) 302746212
Some branches of CAL bank can also provide this service. You should ask your local CAL bank branch if they’re able to help you. Failure to procure the non-citizen Ghana card constitutes a criminal breach.
Demonstrations in the capital Accra are normally well policed and peaceful, but sometimes they occur at short notice and can cause disruption. See Local travel.
Most visits to Ghana are trouble free, but criminal activity does occur and can range from incidents of petty crime to opportunistic crime, to violent crime such as robbery, burglary and serious assault that can include the use of weapons. Take sensible precautions. Avoid carrying large sums of money or valuables, use a hotel safe whenever possible and be particularly vigilant when withdrawing cash from ATMs.
Take care at public beaches and avoid going to the beach on your own. Theft is the main problem, but there have been isolated incidents of violent crime and sexual assault in areas popular with tourists.
Theft of luggage and travel documents occurs at Kotoka International Airport and in hotels. Make sure your passport is secure at all times and don’t leave baggage unattended. Be wary of offers of help at the airport unless from uniformed porters or officials. All permanent staff at the airport wear an ID card showing their name and a photo. ID cards without a photo are not valid. If you are being collected at the airport, confirm the identity of your driver by asking for ID. British nationals have been robbed by impostors who have approached them before the main arrivals area pretending to be their driver.
There has been an increase in street crime in Accra. If you’re visiting Accra you should be vigilant, particularly at night. Avoid travelling alone and where possible try not to walk to and from destinations. There have been cases of violent robberies involving foreign nationals who have been attacked and robbed at gun point.
There has been an increase in petty crime, like pick pocketing, bag snatching and opportunistic theft on certain roads in Accra. The main areas of risk highlighted by the police are: Graphic Road, George Walker Bush Highway, Accra Mall Roundabout, Awudome Cemetary Road, Pokuase-Amasaman Road, Teshie-Nungua road, Labadi beach area and the Kokrobite beach area. You should be especially vigilant in these areas; keep windows up and vehicle doors locked.
If you’re caught up in an armed robbery, you should immediately comply with the attackers’ demands. Those who have suffered injury or worse during such attacks have been perceived as not complying fully or quickly enough.
Most armed robberies occur at night though some incidents have happened during daytime. Be vigilant and drive with doors locked.
Make sure you lock windows and secure accommodation both at night and before you go out. There have been cases of burglaries in areas used by the international community living overseas, including Airport Residential, Cantonments, Ridge and Kokrobite.
There have been reports in the media of criminally-motivated kidnapping in Accra, Takoradi, and Kumasi, including targeting foreign nationals. Kidnaps can be for financial or political gain, or can be motivated by criminality. If you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.
The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage-taking.
British nationals are increasingly being targeted by scam artists operating in West Africa. The scams come in many forms – romance and friendship, business ventures, work and employment opportunities, and can pose great financial risk to victims. You should treat with considerable caution any requests for funds, a job offer, a business venture or a face to face meeting from someone you have been in correspondence with over the internet who lives in West Africa.
If you or your relatives or friends are asked to transfer money to Ghana you should make absolutely sure that it is not part of a scam and that you have properly checked with the person receiving the money that they are requesting it. If the caller claims to be in distress, you should ask whether they have reported the incident (by phone or e-mail) to the British High Commission in Accra.
If you have sent money to someone you believe has scammed you and are contacted by a police officer for more money to help get your money back, then this is possibly another part of the scam. Scam artists have also been known to use the identity of officials at the British High Commission in Accra. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be an official at the British High Commission, contact the officer using the phone numbers or contact details for the British High Commission.
As a result of occasional local Chieftaincy, land disputes and political tension, isolated inter-ethnic violence and civil unrest can occur at any time; specifically but not exclusively in the Greater Accra, Northern, Savannah, North East, Oti and Volta Regions.
Localised outbreaks of civil unrest can occur at short notice, and can become violent (sometimes involving weapons). Avoid large crowds and political protests. If you’re in these areas, you should remain vigilant, exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities. If this does happen, local police may impose curfews to contain the situation. Curfews usually run from 7pm to 5am but these times can vary. The Interior Ministry may put out a press release, you should check the website.
If you’re travelling in the Upper West or Upper East regions, keep up to date with developments in neighbouring countries, including through FCDO travel advice. There are often no physical barriers along Ghana’s borders, and so the security situation in border areas could change quickly. Take sensible precautions.
Flooding is common in the Upper West, North East, Northern and Savannah regions during the rainy season (March to November). You should monitor local weather reports and expect difficulties when travelling to affected areas during this season.
If you are transiting through Burkina Faso please read the Burkina Faso travel advice
In an emergency, visitors should contact Police on 191, and follow the advice of emergency services.
You can drive in Ghana using an International Driving Permit or a local driving licence. A UK driving licence is not valid. If you’re applying for a local driving licence from the Ghana DVLA, you must get your UK driving licence authenticated by the UK DVLA. You should carry your driving licence or International Driving Permit with you at all times when driving. An International Driving Permit is usually valid for a year and it cannot be renewed in Ghana.
Roads are mainly in a poor condition, particularly in rural areas. Street lighting is poor or non-existent. Avoid travelling by road outside the main towns after dark, when the risk of accidents and robbery is greater. Grass or leaves strewn in the road often means an accident or other hazard ahead. If you choose to drive at night be aware of impromptu police checkpoints.
Safety standards of taxi services in Ghana are often low. There have also been isolated incidents of crime taking place in all types of taxis (including licensed taxis, ‘Tro Tros’ and app-based taxi services). If you travel by taxi, we recommend you use licensed taxis, making sure to check driver IDs and the vehicle condition before you travel. Avoid travelling alone in taxis after dark.
Unlike official taxis, drivers and vehicles of ‘Tro-Tros’ and popular app-based taxi services are not centrally licensed. Driver training and vehicles standards will vary from those expected from similar service providers in the UK. Don’t use ‘Tro-Tros’ outside the major towns and cities.
The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.
A list of recent incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.
In 2006 the International Civil Aviation Organisation carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in Ghana.
There have been attacks against ships in and around Accra’s waters. Be vigilant and take appropriate precautions.
Swimming is dangerous on the beaches along the southern coast of Ghana due to rip tides and undertows.