Duty Charges For Importing Cars To Ghana You Need To Know

How To Calculate Import Duties For Vehicles In Ghana

Ghana uses the Harmonized System Code to handle imports and exports. The code contains the list of goods that come in or go out of the country. There is a duty payment on each consignment, based on their category, type, size, value, etc. according to the regulation. Since the code is public, importers should prepare ahead by checking it beforehand and estimating what amount they are going to pay. Importation can sometimes be challenging, mainly because of the sheer amount of duties and taxes to pay to get the goods out. But how does one calculate import duty on cars in Ghana?

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Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF)

After checking the category of a good, the next step is to calculate the specific duties for it. All the fees to be paid are a percentage of the Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF). The CIF is a sum of the cargo value (product price), shipping cost, and sea freight/transport insurance cost.

Import Duty On Cars

Of all the import charges in Ghana, the import duty is the most important. Depending on the item’s category, the tax to be paid ranges between 5 — 20%. Vehicles generally attract a 20% cost. That is for new cars. Calculating the import duty for used autos is a little more complicated than that. Import duties for used cars are based on the CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight). The cost, however, is calculated differently from that of new vehicles.

Home Delivery Price (HDP)

For used vehicles, the rate of depreciation (according to its age) is deducted from the Home Delivery Price (HDP). The sum of the new HDP and handling charges then form the ‘Cost’ part of the CIF. The following table shows the depreciation prices for different ages of vehicles:

-6 months First purchase price (FPP)
6 months - 1½ years 85% of FPP
1½ years - 2½ years 70% of FPP
2½ years - 5 years 60% of FPP
5 years+ 50% of FPP

Note that, for duty purposes, the age of the car is calculated from the date of its manufacture. Other factors that could influence the import duty include the size of the vehicle and its purpose. If you are unsure of what your import duty would be, you should use an online import duty calculator to determine that.

Overaged Penalty: According to the Ghanaian Revenue Authority website, vehicles older than ten years attract a penalty as follows:

Private Motor Vehicles Commercial Vehicles(Bus Coach or Van) Commercial Vehicles(Trucks and Lorries)
-10 years: NIL -10 years: NIL -10 years: NIL
10 - 12 years: 5% of CIF 10 -12 years: 2.5% of CIF 10 -12 years: 5% of CIF
12 - 15 years: 20% of CIF 12 - 15 years: 10% of CIF 12 - 22 years: 10% of CIF
15 - 25 years: 50% of CIF 15 - 20 years: 20% of CIF 22 years+: 30% of CIF
25 - 35 years: 70% of CIF 20 - 25 years: 50% of CIF
35 years+: 100% of CIF

Other Charges

These charges apply across the board.

  1. Value Added Tax (VAT): 12.5%.
  2. National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL): 2.5%
  3. GETFUND Levy: 2.5%
  4. AU Levy: 0.2%
  5. ECOWAS Levy: 0.5%
  6. Exim. Levy: 0.75%
  7. Examination Fee: 1%
  8. Special Import Levy: 2%

Import Duty On Cars In Ghana - Experiences


By calculating the levies together, a car could cost up to 47.45% in duty charges before entering into the country. For all other taxes apart from the import duty, the rates are the same for both used and new vehicles.

Importation is usually very stressful, but you can save yourself the stress by finding a good shipping company that would handle it all for you. Keep in mind that they also would want their cut from your money.

Side Note:

Before importing a car, even after estimating the cost, ensure that you have extra money when it is your first time. You cannot tell the exact amount to pay if you do not do your homework correctly. Many people only consider the price of the vehicles and shipping costs but ignore to check the levies. Do not make this mistake.

Key Learnings

Do note that once your vehicle gets to the port in Ghana, you have to clear it within 60 days, and else you would risk forfeiture to the state. Finally, it is essential to gather a lot of information before importation, especially if you have not shipped anything into the country. Of course, it is filled with bureaucracies but if you know what the regulations and duties are ahead, you will not find it as difficult as it usually is for many people.

But just have it in mind that it is always the best practice to consult a professional custom clearing agency at the port where you want to clear your vehicle from the customs. By doing so, you will get a quote and proper insight on duty and other charges to pay before you even choose an agent. "Do It Yourself" works here only when you know what you are doing correctly.

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