A freight forwarder at Ricks Logistics has described Ghana’s port as an easier route for the importation of vehicles. The clearing agent confirmed that the customs officers at the ports, especially in Tema, make their work less hectic.
“With genuine documentation, anyone can easily import a used-car. Those with false documents are the ones who suffer to get their vehicles through the ports,” Ernest Buabeng stated.
Ghana like several African countries imports used-cars mostly from Europe and America. According to research conducted in 2015 by Carmudi (Jumia Car), an online automobile marketplace, Ghana was rated the most price-friendly when it came to buying used-cars in Africa. The report quoted about $17,000 as the average cost of buying a used-car in Ghana.
The freight forwarder confirmed this research by listing Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra and Sonata, Kia and Honda as the most popular brand of used-cars that are typically cleared at the ports. Ernest Buabeng, who has been in the business for the past ten years, cited the cheaper cost of importing these vehicles especially, in their damaged form as the main reason for their popularity.
“Ghanaians usually prefer to import these brands when they are damaged because they are cheaper and easier to get out of the ports. These cars are later fixed and sold at higher prices or used by the importers,” he indicated.
“Benz, Range Rovers and BMWs are the least common cars we get to clear since they are quite expensive and are used by fewer Ghanaians,” Buabeng added.
With accurate documentations, it takes about three days to clear a vehicle from the ports. Before a car is imported, prospective buyers can find the estimated import duty by contacting the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet). GCNET requires the chassis, model, engine capacity and the year of manufacture to provide a quote for the import duty.
“The bill of lading, which is the receipt of the shipment of cargo, the car’s invoice and other documents can be provided to us,” the Operations Manager with Global Packing Services indicated, “those are what you need to get the car cleared from the ports,” Kofi Sarpong noted.
Aside the conducive factors at Ghana’s ports, online marketing has also enhanced the sale and purchase of used-cars. The use of websites and mobile apps makes it straightforward for importers of cars to list and connect with prospective buyers.
“In the comfort of your home or office, you can view the cars, compare prices and when satisfied, you can get in touch with the sellers using a website or mobile app. A lot of sellers are using various online platforms and this has contributed to the growth in their sales,” says the Managing Director of Jumia Classifieds in Ghana, Akua Nyame-Mensah.