Your step-by-step guide to importing containers into Ghana
  • April 27, 2015
  • Guide

Your step-by-step guide to importing containers into Ghana

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Move your containers the safe and easy way

This guide has been collated to answer your every question about importing containers into Ghana.

1. Select a shipping agency

Get in contact with your shipping agency of choice and offer a detailed description of what you wish to ship, the dimensions of your cargo and when you need your goods to arrive by. Your shipping agent will then inform you on the documentation you need to provide.

To export goods out of the Netherlands you need to supply the following documents/info:

  • HS code
  • Export invoice
  • Packing list

It is advisable that your shipping agency supply necessary documentation to local authorities in Ghana once your cargo has left port. The more local authorities know about the arrival of your goods, the faster and smoother the process will be. These documents include:

  • Original Bill of Landing or Telex release form where applicable
  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list

2. Select a container

You can choose to use a container owned by the shipping line or purchase your own. Your shipping agent will be able to advise you on how to go about selecting a container with dimensions that will meet your specific needs.

3. Confirm your booking

Once you have made the initial arrangements, you’ll receive a confirmation that your cargo is booked to be shipped on a specific container vessel. For peace of mind, ask about how to use technology to track your goods on its journey.

4. Appoint a freight forwarder

The freight forwarding company will be responsible for locating your goods in port and forward it on to the next step of the journey, whether this is by road, air or sea. The freight forwarding company will also ensure that your paperwork is properly filled out and supplied to authorities. They will:

  • Fill out and supply the Import Declaration Form (IDF)
  • Prepare customs declaration forms to pass through the GCNet system (Ghana Community Network Services Limited)
  • Organise payment for duty and customs compliance and handling charges in port
  • Load your goods onto trucks to be moved out of port


The Ghana licensing system means that unless a consignee is self-declarant you do not have access to the system and cannot clear by yourself.

Depending on the contents of your cargo, certain certificates may be required, e.g. Food & Drug Board Certificate, Narcotics Control Board Certificate etc.

Like all other documentation the supply of these documents fall under the responsibilities of your freight forwarder.