How To Import Goods From China To Ghana

China is probably the biggest market in the world for importation of different kinds of products.

There are so many goods you can import from China into Ghana and sell for good profit but how exactly do you go about the process to import goods from China to Ghana?

What are the importation requirements and regulations?

This post will try to explain not just how to import from China but the general importation requirements and procedures in Ghana.

Steps To Import Goods From China

Firstly: You need to start by scouting for the type of goods
you want to import.

Be diligent about it and balance your
decision with proper reasoning.

You have to make the list
of products you think that will sell in Ghana, We mean
products that are not common in the market or products
that are common but still hot cake.

Keypoint – China Laptops, Pads, Mobile phones, Children
toys of all kinds, and Shoes are known to sell very well in
Ghana. While this is not a recommendation by us, you can
as well look into that direction and see if it fits into your
desired goods for importation.

Secondly: Having isolated some of the goods you think can
do well in the market in Ghana and decide on the
particular one you want to import, the second step is to
make a selection of merchants that deals with those goods
in China.

You don’t have to travel to China as the case may
be except you have much amount of money to foot the
travel bill.

All you need to do is to make use of some of the
China popular merchant websites such as Alibaba.com.

Keypoint – It’s easy to identify trusted merchants on a
website like Alibaba.com due to the stringent security
procedures they employ in certifying their trusted
merchants.

So, you don’t have to be afraid of contacting a
merchant online, it is very safe and secure to some
reasonable extend.

But that doesn’t mean the system is
infallible, you still need to take serious precaution
especially if big amount is involved.

Thirdly: Start negotiation with the merchants to find out
whose terms of contract will be most suitable to you.

There
are some important things you’d have to agree upon apart
from the price of the goods.

You will have to discuss and
agree on method of shipment and mode of payment.

As someone who is new to international trade, buying and
importing goods from a country as diverse and deep as
China can be a bit risky sometimes, it is therefore advisable
that you use escrow services where possible for payment
to dealers on Chinese sites.

You may start by buying smaller quality of product for a
particular dealer over time to establish how trust worthy he
is.

Then you increase your order gradually.

Verified
merchants are dealers who have been doing business
successfully on the site without any complain.

Those are
people you want to be patronizing; so before you place
order with any dealer, check if he is verified.

Method of shipment is another critical factor to look into
and agree upon and don’t forget that the type of shipment
you use can greatly influence the final price of your goods.

But should be the least of your concern since are not the
cosigner.

The method is the dealer’s to worry about as long
as you have agreed and settled the price of goods.

Little things to note however is that while DHL and UPS
offers easy, fast, and secure shipment, it comes with a
higher price which will drive the final cost of your goods
higher irrespective of who is paying for shipment.

If a
merchant is shipping through DHL or UPS, they must have
added the cost to the price of the goods. (-_-)
Free On Board is the most popular system used for freight
shipping, in conjunction with the port of loading.

With this
arrangement, the seller is responsible for transporting the
goods to the port for shipment and also take care of the
loading charges.

From there the responsibility of clearing
the goods from your own port and transporting it to your
final destination and paying all costs of transport,
insurance, etc becomes yours.

The Guideline For Importation In Ghana

Though the Ghana Port Authority (GPA) have made several
claims in the past of how they have changed the face of port
operation in Ghanaa, We can assure you that things are still
the same if not worst over the past years.

Therefore,
you have to prepare for the long list of unnecessary huddles
and bureaucratic bottle neck.

But if the goods you are importing is a product in high
demand, you can be sure of making your money in millions
to cover all the hardship you went through.

The good news
is that importing from China isn’t as hard and costly as
importing from other countries in Europe and America.

Below is a vital information about importation procedure in
Ghana.

Please, share your opinion below after reading and
let’s take the discussion further. You can ask questions or
help others find answers to their question.

A shipping company intending to bring cargo into a
Ghanaian sea port has to clear the ship by obtaining Ship
Entry Notice (SEN) two months in advance from the
Operations Department of Ghanaian Ports Authority.

The
customer, in the alternative, could obtain clearance through
a registered and licensed agent based in Ghana.

This is without prejudice to all other regulations guiding the
operations of other relevant government agencies and
international laws regulating maritime operations.

The
procurement of a Ship Entry Notice is a guarantee that a
vessel would have berthing facility on arrival in Ghana.

This in essence means that the ship does not come to
queue and thus incur demurrage.

There are two categories of goods for the purposes of this
guideline:

Merchandise And Raw Materials

Types Of Cargo Requirements

There are two categories of goods for the purposes of this
guideline:

(a) Merchandise and Raw Materials

(b) Personal Effects

it is no longer mandatory that the consignee engages the
services of a registered Clearing and Forwarding Agent in
respect of merchandise and raw materials.

In such cases,
the consignee may opt for self clearance as is the case with
personal effects, where the owner may clear the cargo when
familiar with the clearing procedure.

Bill of Lading

The consignor/shipper sends the Bill of Lading in advance
of the arrival of the ship to the consignee/importer.

This
document contains the following vital information:

(a) The name of the ship carrying the goods.

(b) The description of the goods along with their marks and
numbers.

(c) The date of departure from port of loading

(d) The weight of cargo.

(e) The terms of contract of affreightment.

Procedure: Import

The importer/consignee takes the Bill of Lading to the GPA
Central Office for Planning and Information of the
appropriate port for details about the arrival date of the ship
and her allocated berth.

This information can also be
obtained from the shipping company
The importer or his agent completes the Bill of Entry and
registers it with the Ghanaian Customs Service.

The consignee or importer proceeds to the shipping
company to effect Shipping Company Release of the goods

There, the Bill of Lading is cross-checked and compared
with the ship’s manifest.

After certifying the correctness of
consignee’s documents, a blank form called Delivery Order
(D.O.), supplied to the shipping company by the Ghanaian
Ports Authority, is then issued to the importer.

The consignee or his agent competes the Delivery Order and
returns same and the Bill of Lading to the shipping
company.

The shipping company then scrutinizes the details on the
Delivery Order, endorses it and withdraws the original of the
Bill of Lading from the consignee or his agent.

Thereafter,
the lower portion of the Delivery Order is detached and
handed back to the importer who holds it as evidence of
shipping company release.

The main body of the Delivery Order is sent to the Marketing
Department of Ghanaian Ports Authority at the specific port.

The Marketing Department then raises all necessary bills
through a computerized system, marries the Release Note
copy of the Customs Bills of Entry with the shipping
company’s Delivery Order, after which bills are authorized.

The bills are then vetted by the Audit Department after
which payments are effected at designated bank.

The necessary delivery sets are then produced using
information contained in the Delivery Order and
subsequently transferred to the transit shed or delivery
point.

The consignee or his agent then proceeds to the
appropriate transit shed or delivery point to effect delivery.

After loading, cargo pass is issued to the consignee or his
agent who then proceeds to NPA gate for security checks
and final exit.

Facilities And Insensitive

The GPA provides various cargo handling equipment for
both containers and general cargo.

Roro facilities are
available at the ports. Free storage period of six days from
the last day of a ship’s completion of discharge are allowed
for importers to clear their goods.

Ship Manifest is a summary of all Bills of Lading due for
discharge at a particular port.
Delivery Order is a printed form supplied by the GPA to
shipping companies for purposes of delivery of goods to the
rightful owners.

Terminal Delivery Order is a document on the presentation
of which a consignee or agent is authorized to take delivery
of consignment at an GPA terminal, delivery point or shed.

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