Well meaning Ghanaians and other nationals in and out of the country have continually offered some support by donating certain items like much needed medical supplies for hospitals, used clothing for orphanages etc for charity purposes in Ghana.
Whiles it is a public knowledge that such goods or consignments do not attract customs duty , it is also important to be conversant with the right steps and processes to follow in order to enjoy these duty exemptions.
First and foremost, it is important to contact and acquire the necessary documents or permits from the appropriate ministry or body when importing such goods. The ministry of Health (MOH) for instance has a guide or manual for all prospective donors who may want to import medical supplies for charity purposes. Other government agencies and ministries also have guidelines for similar situations.
It should also be noted that, due to the potential abuse of the duty exemptions tagged with such goods, customs would not just release ‘duty free’ goods (meant for charity) to an individual just because it has been labeled “for charity’. Some philanthropist outside the country just send donated goods consigned to an individual expecting to enjoy the ‘duty free’ regime since its meant for charity, but the right process and documentation must be acquired first. A rather convenient way to prevent delays when goods arrive at the port would be to consign such goods to the government body or ministry concern, that way, that ministry would take care of the clearing and subsequent disbursing of the goods to the appropriate beneficiaries.
Another important point worth noting is that, even though goods meant for charity are exempted from the payments of duty, they are not immune to rent charges, handling cost and demurrage if they should accrue hence it’s important to follow the necessary guidelines to prevent some of this charges (demurrage) and also to ensure that donated items gets to where they are meant to be sent to.
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