Trade between nations has always made a significant contribution in terms of increasing a country’s wealth. Studies show that over 80% of all trade between countries is seaborne. Ports in Ghana play a major role in the rise of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which in turn helps in the development of its economy.

The aforementioned success wouldn’t be possible without the country’s prized sea ports. Ghana has a long history of sea port trade that dates back from the arrival of the Portuguese, Dutch and British in colonial eras.

Ghana has a total of 2 sea ports namely: Tema Port, Takoradi Port, with plans to build a new port at Keta underway. Ghana exports precious metals like: gold, bauxite, manganese and other commodities including: cocoa, coffee, timber and petroleum amongst others. Below, we shine the spotlight on the main ports in Ghana.

Ports in Ghana

Tema Port

Commissioned in 1962 and located only 30km east from Ghana’s capital Accra, along the Gulf of Guinea. Tema Port is the crown jewel of all the country’s seaports. This port is the third busiest port in west-Africa, only behind Lagos, and the combined forces of Lome and Togo Terminal.

Tema port is co-owned by the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, Meridian port services (MPS) and APM Terminals. It handles 80% of the nation’s international cargo. In 2006, the Port of Tema handled 7 million tons of imports and 1.1 million tons of exports on 1994 vessels. Included in the cargo were 425.4 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo.

The port has 12 deep-water berths on two quays with a paved apron offering 2.2 thousand square meters. Quay 2 contains a dedicated state-of-the-art container terminal with a quay of 570 meters with a depth of 11.5 meters.
The port also includes facilities for roll-on/roll-off vessels, a berth for oil tankers, warehouses, transit buildings, and facilities for cold storage.

The Port of Tema offers 77.2 thousand square meters of paved storage area for containers, conventional cargoes, and steel products. Closed storage areas of a total 25 thousand square meters are made up of six sheds with capacity to store a total of 50 thousand tons of cargo.

It also includes five off-dock container terminals that receive, store, and deliver containerized cargoes. Services at this port are top tier thus, customers can ease their minds over security when it comes to their shipments.

Takoradi Port

Located in the western region, the Takoradi port is the oldest port in the country. Construction began in 1921 and completed in 1928 under the Guggisberg administration (colonial era). Managed by the Ports and Harbours Authority, the Takoradi Port receives and exports high volumes of we mentioned earlier, Ghana exports a variety of commodities for foreign trade.

Takoradi ports exist to handle most of these exports so as to ease the burden on the Tema ports. It handles 65% of total export and 20% imports with about 600 vessels visiting it. Takoradi Port also helps land locked countries like Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso’s international trade activities.

Due to the discovery of oil in commercial quantities (about 70 nautical miles from the port), the port is busier than ever before. There’s been an increase in 600 vessel calls to 1628 annually since 2019.

Ports in Ghana and harbours authority

The Ghana Ports and Harbours authority was established as a statutory corporation under Ghana’s provisional Defense Council Law (PNDCL 160 of 1986) to build, plan, develop, manage, maintain, operate and control all port activities in the country.

The Authority also handles trade activities relating to handling companies, importers and exporters, ship chandlers, terminal operators, warehouse companies, dock labour pool operators amongst others.

How to clear your good at the Ports (2021)

For many, the idea of clearing your goods at the ports may seem overbearing. However, with the needed funds, a trusted clearing agent and adherence to the prescribed guidelines, you can clear your goods in no time. It’s worth noting that the cost of clearing cargo differs based on the location and other relevant information related to the cargo.

  1. The first step requires you to present your agent with the clearance documents. The clearing agent responsible for the clearing process reviews the clearance documents (bill of landing, commercial invoice, etc.).
  2. The next stage requires the Unique Consignment Reference (UCR), Import Declaration Form (IDF which is granted on the GC Net platform) and Customs Classification and Valuation report (CCVR) from the WEST BLUE I.T platform after the clearance agent has successfully reviewed the declaration.
  3. The CCVR reveals the risk level assigned to the cargo shipping the goods. The levels of risks are indicated with three different colors. There are Red (high or dangerous risk), Yellow (medium risk) and Green (low risk).
  4. Customers are charged additional fees based on the level of risk associated with the cargo. After the cargo transporting the goods arrive at port, the agent will attain location and information related to the cargo.
  5. This information line in conjunction with the Customs Classification and Valuation report (CCVR) with Import Declaration Form (IDF) is used to prepare the Bill of Entry (also known as the Customs Declaration).
  6. After the Bill of Entry has been endorsed, customers are then directed to pay the required duty and taxes to the assigned bank with a reference number.
  7. After the payment has been successfully confirmed, the Customs Officer assigned to the Declaration will then proceed to endorse the Declaration and other documents.
  8. After the endorsement, the client pays the terminal fees and has his goods conveyor (driver) report to the Customs Preventive Section (CPS) for exit verification before the goods will be allowed to leave the port.

The customs gate security then runs a check at the gate to ensure that the Customs Preventive Section has performed their function then proceeds to update the status of the container as “Exited Port”. With this, the customer is now free to convey the goods to a chosen destination.

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