By Mike Richards Updated: 08/19/2022 Posted: 10/17/2015

Market Overview to Export Salvage Cars to Ghana

Ghana has an extremely busy vehicle import market, due largely to the fact that it is a fairly easy process to move vehicles into this West African country. It is estimated that about 70,000 vehicles are imported every year with a total of close to 300,000 in just five years.

Most of the vehicles imported into Ghana come from three markets: the United States, Japan, and Germany. In addition to the ease of the customs process, Ghana charges fees based on the age of the vehicle with newer cars having little to no extra fee at all. The types of cars preferred to be brought into the country are all readily available in the United States,

Additionally, since Ghana only allows left-hand driving vehicles to be imported, it is easy to find these options in the US.

As a result, the export business to Ghana from America is booming. Numerous ports throughout the United States provide container ship options for exporting used and new cars to the African nation.



  • Import fees are the same for damaged vehicles as they are for new ones.
  • Ghana allows left-hand steering vehicles to be imported.
  • Calculations for duties are done by age of the vehicle.
  • Leniency on the number of documents needed for importing vehicles.
  • Considered the safest port on the West African coast.
  • Well-organized import and customs.


  • Vehicles over the age of 10 years are allowed in Ghana but include a penalty. Between 10 and 12 years is 5%. Between 12 and 15 years is 20% and over 15 years old will include a 50% CIF value penalty.
  • No right-handed steering vehicles are allowed for import.
  • Damaged vehicles receive the same valuation as brand new ones.


Departure Ports Serving Ghana

  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Bayonne, New Jersey
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Galveston, Texas
  • Houston, Texas
  • Oakland, California
  • Long Beach, California


Arrival Ports in Ghana

All arrivals in Ghana are through the Port of Tema. It is considered the safest of the ports on the whole West African coast, so it is a busy port.


Documentation Requirements

In order to import a vehicle into the port at Ghana, you will need the original Bill of Landing, the specialty title if the car is German, and your proof of identification. It is a much easier process than importing cars into some other countries. The whole process is well organized and as long as you have the proper papers in order, it shouldn’t be an issue. There are some things to note, however:

Ghana doesn’t allow right-hand steering vehicles.

Although occasionally, they do get in through the port. There is a ban on them and you will face fines and penalties if you try to bring one in.

If you don’t clear a vehicle for whatever reason after 60 days, then it is forfeiture to the state. At this time, you can lose your rights to the vehicle and it will be seized. If you have trouble with paperwork when importing, then make sure you get this rectified as soon as possible to avoid this issue.

There is no special preference for vehicles with damage. A salvaged or damaged vehicle will face the same fees and charges as any other car would be of the same type.


Import Duties Taxes

All imports into Ghana must pay duties unless you are in the very few that are exempted due to the PNDCL 330. This will most likely not apply to you, so the costs you will need to pay include:

  • Import Duties will be 5%, 10% or 20% of the value of the car.
  • Import VAT will be 12.5% of the value of the car.
  • The National Health Insurance Levy is 2.5%.
  • ECOWAS Levy is 0.5%.
  • The Export Development Fund is 0.5% of the value of the car.
  • The examination fee is 1% of the value of the car.

If vehicles are more than 10 years old when they are imported into Ghana, then they will be subject to overage penalties. The age of the vehicle is extremely important and is calculated based on when the car was manufactured, not when it was available for sale. In American, Canadian, Korean, German, Japanese, and Swedish vehicles the actual age marker can be located as the 10th position letter in the VIN stamped on the chassis of the vehicle.

The duty calculation is based on several factors, including the age of the car as well as:

  • The seating capacity of the vehicle
  • The usage or purpose of the car
  • The engine capacity of the vehicle

All of these factors will play a role in determining fees you will need to pay in order to export the car to Ghana.

To find out more about duties or documents you will need in order to export cars to Ghana, then contact the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC. You can find them at:

3512 International Drive North West
Washington DC 20008

If you are interested in buying cars through an online car auction, then you can easily move the cars to Ghana if that is your ultimate goal. If you work with the proper auction house, then they will help you with the whole shipping process.

From the United States, you only need two main documents so as long as you have them in order, you pay the proper fees, and your car meets standards in the country, then getting through customs at the port should be easy.


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