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How to estimate the cost of clearing an imported car from Ghana’s ports

 One major challenge with vehicles imported into Ghana is the cost involved in clearing them from the ports. Most vehicle importers become overwhelmed with the clearing cost which they may have not anticipated to be such high either due to misinformation or no information at all about the clearing cost  forcing disappointed importers to abandon vehicles at the ports due to their inability to raise funds to clear their vehicles.

home used cars Ghana, imported cars
estimating the cost of clearing used cars at Tema port

   It has therefore become necessary to write this article to serve as a guide in helping potential car importers to estimate the cost involved in clearing vehicles.


  The process used in valuating and calculating import duties and other taxes involves certain technicalities and factors like age of car, engine capacity, model year etc.. The following calculations however could help you make a good estimate of the cost involved. Note that these charges are those that are paid directly to the customs. Other charges like agency fees (depending on your clearing agent), handling charges, demurrage if any etc are not paid to customs and it would be advisable to consult a professional freight forwarder to help with exact calculations. Customs clearance however forms a major part of the clearance process here in Ghana.

   Before proceeding with the actual calculations, note the following taxes levied on vehicles in Ghana

  • Import duty ………………………….. ………..5, 10 or 20% of CIF value of a car
  • Import VAT……………………………………. 12.5% of duty inclusive value (CIF + duty)
  • NHIL (Health insurance levy)…………..  5% of duty inclusive value
  • Examination fee……….………………………1% of CIF value
  • ECOWAS development levy…… …………5% of CIF value
  • Export development (EDIF) levy……. 0.5% of CIF value

Also the rate of  Import duty levied on a car is dependent on certain factors

Vehicles with cylinder capacity not exceeding 1900cc     ……………                       5% of CIF value as duty

Vehicles designed to carry 10 or more persons eg mini van   ………..                   5% of CIF value

Vehicles designed for transport of goods eg trucks, tipper  ……..…..                   Also 5% of CIF value

Vehicles with cylinder capacity more than 1900cc but less than 3000cc …….…  10%

Those with more than 3000cc cylinder capacity                                       ……..    20%

Vehicles designed to carry more than 30 persons eg buses ……..……. 0% rate of duty.



Now lets consider this scenario.

   A used 2010 Toyota Camry with an engine capacity of 4600 liters was purchased for $6000, handled and shipped to Ghana at a freight of $1500 and an insurance package of $200. The manufacturer’s price at the time of manufacture or Home delivery Value (HDV) of the car was $20000. Lets calculate the amount to be paid for Customs purposes.

The calculations

Vehicle is 5 yrs old as at 2015 hence depreciation to be applied is 50% of HDV as actual cost “C” for customs clearance purposes.

                                                        Cost of vehicle                = 50% [20,000] = $10,000

                           Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF)         = (10000+1500+200) = $11700

 Hence value to be used for duty and tax purposes is   $11700.

  • Import duty is 20% (CIF value)                           = 20% [11700]  = $2340

           Import duty to be paid therefore is               = 2340.

  • VAT 12.5% of (CIF + duty)                                 = 12.5% [11700 +2340] = $1755

           VAT to be paid therefore is                            = $1755

  • NHIL 2.5% of ( CIF + duty)                                = 2.5% [11700 +2340]  = $351

           NHIL levy to be paid therefore is                 = $351

  • Examination fee 1% (CIF value)                         = 1% [11700]  =$117

            Examination fee to paid is                            = $117

  • ECOWAS dev. Levy 0.5% (CIF)                         = 0.5% [11700] = $58.5
  • Export Dev. Levy EDIF, 0.5% (CIF)                  = 0.5% [11700] = $58.5

TOTAL customs charges =(2340 + 1755 + 351 + 117 +58.5 + 58.5) = $4680.

 Assuming the exchange rate at this period of time is $1 to GHC3

Hence Total charges to be paid                                       = 3 * 4680 = GHC 14,040

# For the purposes of overaged penalty, lets assume the vehicle was manufactured in 2003 and hence 12 years old by 2015. All things being equal an overage penalty rate of 5% of CIF value would be added to the overall charges already computed, thus 5%[11700] =  $585.

Hence total charges for this overaged vehicle        =585 +4680 = $5262

Converting to GHC,                                             3 * 5262 = GHC 15795

Please note that all figures ( purchasing price of vehicle, cost of freight and insurance, HDV etc are all assumptions of the writer for the purposes of this calculations) With the right and actual figures however you can follow the above processes to estimate the custom charges of your vehicle. Note once more that these calculations are charges that are aid directly to customs, there may be other clearing cost to be incurred such as agency fee, demurrage, handling charges etc.


Hope this article was helpful please do well to leave your comments and fell free to share this article with your friends. for further enquiries and more information you can send an e-mail to info@ghanashippingguide.com  or denlatey@gmail.com (for quicker response)


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