Exporting guide to Ghana

Overview

The UK and Ghana share a common business language, the same time zone for half the year and good flight connections.

Trade statistics

£680.0 million total UK exports to Ghana for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

71st largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

Links with the UK

Ghana sees the UK as a trusted partner for culture, tourism, education and business, and views the UK’s goods and services positively. Major companies in Ghana include Standard Chartered, Vodafone, Tullow Oil, British Airways, G4S, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Unilever and Diageo.

Economic and population growth

Ghana is developing as a regional hub. It allows 100% foreign ownership of businesses (with capital requirements) and has free zones where goods traded with other countries are exempt from customs duties. Ghana’s population is over 29 million and it has a small, but growing, middle class.

Government economic vision

Ghana’s government has set out a forward-looking plan for industrialisation and economic diversification. This includes stimulating private sector investment in key manufacturing sectors, infrastructure and mining. Increased oil and gas exploration and production is also helping to boost the economy.

Top five UK goods exported to Ghana, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Goods Value (£million)
Textile fibres 67.0
Refined oil 61.0
General industrial machinery (intermediate) 24.2
Meat & meat preparations 22.4
Other manufactures (consumer) 18.1

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Ghana.

Ghana: at a glance

Economic growth

6.5%

Actual figure (IMF, 2019)
The UK is 1.7% (IMF, 2019, actual figure)

GDP per capita

$2,276

Actual figure (IMF, 2018)
The UK is $43,719 (IMF, 2018, actual figure)

Currency

Cedi

Business language

English

Time zone

GMT +0

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Ghana have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Ghana

Preparing to export

Taxation

The UK and Ghana have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Ghana, provided certain conditions are met.

Corporate tax

Company tax rates vary depending on sector, location and whether the company is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Regulations

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

There are many regulatory laws and acts that provide a framework in which businesses can operate. These are regulated by a number of different agencies in the country, including:

  • Registrar General’s Department
  • Ghana Investment Promotion Centre
  • Ghana Immigration Service
  • Ghana Revenue Authority
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Ghana Free Zones Board
  • Petroleum Commission
  • Minerals Commission

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Ghana.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Ghana

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

Payment terms

You should not accept cheques or credit card payments for goods, especially if you have not worked with the contact before.

When you’re sure the buyer is trustworthy, make sure they have paid you before you dispatch any goods. Ask for cash up front or an irrevocable letter of credit that has been reconfirmed by a bank in the UK.

Challenges

UK businesses should be wary of scams that aim to trick foreign companies into bogus deals. Contact our team in Ghana if you’re in any doubt about the trustworthiness of business contacts.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.