WHAT IMPORTERS SHOULD KNOW
1. What is Destination Inspection (DI)?
Destination inspection is the inspection of imports at the port of clearance.
It was introduced in Ghana in April 2000 to replace Pre-shipment Inspection. Pre-shipment inspection involved inspection of imports before shipment from the country of supply.
2. Which Inspection Companies Are Involved?
The Government of Ghana has appointed:-
a. Gateway Services Limited (GSL)
To be responsible for inspection of imports through the sea ports and
b. GSBV Company Limited
To be responsible for inspection of imports through Kotoka International
Airport, land frontiers and free zone companies. GSBV is also responsible
For physical inspection of goods classified by the Ministry of Trade and
Industry as “High Risk”.
3. Steps Importer Should Take Before The Goods Arrive in Ghana.
- Irrespective of the point of clearance of goods, Importer will buy an Import Declaration Form (IDF) from the Ministry of Trade and Industry offices countrywide, or from any of the under-listed Banks in Accra.
- Barclays Bank
- Standard Chartered Bank
- National Investment Bank
- Ghana Commercial Bank
- Merchant Bank
- Trust Bank
- Agricultural Development Bank
- Cal Merchant Bank
- Prudential Bank
- The IDF shall be submitted to the appropriate Inspection Agency twenty-one (21) days prior to arrival of the goods in Ghana. Specifically, the importer is required to submit copies of the following documents to the offices of GSL (goods by sea) or GSBV (goods by air or land frontiers);
- The Completed IDF
- Proforma Invoice
- Supplementary Information Document (SID) which is obtainable from the inspection companies.
- Ten (10) days prior to the arrival of the goods in Ghana, the importer shall submit to the appropriate inspection company the following.
- Final Invoice
- The Packing List
- Bill of Lading with IDF number indicated
4. The Final Classification And Valuation Report (FCVR)
On the basis of correct, appropriate and complete documentation, and relevant information provided by the importer, the inspection company will issue a Final Classification and Valuation Report (FCVR) to the importer.
The FCVR indicates:-
- The assessed amount of duties and taxes to be paid as well as access to the appropriate clearance channel of the goods(Green, Yellow, Red)
5. Fast Clearance
The fastest route to get FCVR issued in good time and therefore rapid clearance of our imported goods is to ensure that genuine documents, correct and complete information are provided.
6. Gateway Pass
Irrespective of the risk level (Red, Green, Yellow) of a commercial consignment, a gateway pass shall be issued to the importer by the appropriate inspection company before the goods can be cleared from the port.
B. PROCEDURE FOR CONTAINER MANAGEMENT AT THE SEA PORT.
1. Container depots are being established outside the main port of Tema as part of measures towards facilitating clearance of goods and decongesting the port.
In order to enhance movement of containers to the various depots upon discharge, as well as promote identification of the containers for stacking on the basis of the channel designated by GSL, it is now obligatory for all commercial importers to transmit the IDF number by phone, fax or email to their suppliers overseas. They are further to compel their suppliers to request that the Shipping Line/Agent include the IDF Number on the Bill of Lading.
2. At least 72 hours prior to arrival of the goods in Ghana, the Shipping Line/Agent will provide GSL with the Import Container List (ICL) in electronic format. The ICL will among other things contain the container numbers and their respective IDF Numbers.
3. GSL will indicate on the ICL the relevant risk levels associated with each IDF Number (Green, Yellow, or Red).
4. GSL will then return copies of the fully completed ICL, inclusive of the assigned risk levels, to CEPS, GPHA, and the appropriate Shipping Line/Agent.
5. When the vessel arrives, GPHA and Shipping Line/Agent will use the ICL to segregate the containers according to the appropriate risk levels.
6. Containers bound for container depots but having risk level “Yellow (Scanning)” will be directed to the scanner site in order for such containers to be scanned before onward transportation to the container depot.
7. GSL/Scanco will retain the scanned image until the Importer wishes to clear the goods.
8. FCVRs for High Risk Goods are referred from the Long room to Chief Collector Outdoor (CCOD) for joint physical inspection to be conducted by CEPS/GSBV.