How to Import from China to Ghana
Posted January 24th 2023
Importing goods from China to Ghana can be a daunting task, especially for small businesses or first-time importers. Fortunately, by working with a freight forwarder like Manc Global Logistics, the process can be made much easier and less stressful. In this post, we will outline the pros and cons of using a freight forwarder, as well as the importance of working with a supplier/sourcing agent in China.
The first step in importing from China to Ghana is researching your product and supplier. It is important to thoroughly research the product you wish to import and the supplier you plan to use. This includes understanding the specifications, pricing, and quality of the product, as well as ensuring that the supplier is reputable and reliable. You can use trade shows, industry associations and government resources as a starting point or speaking to businesses who are already importing from China to Ghana. Some business owners will be happy to point you in the right direction, based on their experiences in the industry.
Once you have found a suitable supplier, the next step is to obtain the necessary documentation. In order to import goods from China to Ghana, you will need to have a bill of lading, commercial invoice, and certificate of origin. This is usually handled by your freight forwarder, as part of a consolidated shipment, typically, in a 40ft container.
You may also need to obtain import licenses or permits from various authorities in Ghana, including Ghana Foods and Drugs Authority (if you are importing consumables), Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) etc. Whiles these permits may be required, majority of goods from China imported into Ghana may not need one and it's best to confirm this with your freight forwarder, prior to placing your final order.
The next step is to choose a freight forwarder. A freight forwarder like Manc Global Logistics will work with you on the logistics of shipping your goods from China to Ghana. A freight forwarder will typically provide you with a warehouse address where goods can be delivered to and warehoused, until they are ready to be loaded into a container. This will typically involve transporting your goods by sea or air, depending on the size and urgency of your shipment. As your goods are being delivered to the freight forwarder's warehouse, they will be able to measure and reweigh your consignment to generate an invoice for payment of freight and customs duties. This helps gives an idea of how much you will pay for your goods, once it's been shipped to Ghana.
Importing from China to Ghana is charged based on the amount of space your require in a container, measured in Cubic Meters (CBM). One cubic meter is measured as 100x100x100cm, with prices currently ranging from $220 to $290, depending on the final destination of your shipment in Ghana. A freight forwarder will handle the transportation of your goods, customs clearance, and delivery to your destination. This can be a huge advantage for businesses who do not have the resources or expertise to handle the logistics themselves.
Using a freight forwarder like Manc Global Logistics can provide many benefits, including expertise in logistics and customs clearance and being a reliable procurement partner. A freight forwarder will also be better placed to handle any issues that may arise during the importing process.
Moreover, freight forwarders typically have established relationships with shipping companies and customs officials, which can make the process of importing goods much smoother and more efficient. A freight forwarder will typically have a network of sourcing agents and procurement partners and they can point you in the right direction, for product sourcing. This reduces time spent on searching through 1000s of search engine results on sites like alibaba.com to find the right product at the right price and with a reputable manufacturer.
In contrast to the above, there are also some downsides to using a freight forwarder. One of the main cons is that working with a freight forwarder can be more expensive than handling the import process on your own. Additionally, you may have less control over the logistics of your shipment, as the freight forwarder will be making the majority of the decisions. With this in mind, the pros of working with a freight forwarder far outweighs the cons hence we would strongly recommend the use of a freight forwarder for your China import business, due to the ease and hassle-free nature of using this setup typically comes with.
Working with a Sourcing Agent in ChinaIf looking for a reliable and reputable supplier isn't your cup of tea, we recommend working with a sourcing agent. When it comes to finding a reliable supplier in China, it's important to be cautious when using sites like alibaba.com. While there are many legitimate suppliers on these sites, there are also many scammers and fraudulent companies. One way to protect yourself is to use a sourcing agent in China. A sourcing agent is a local representative who can help you find and vet suppliers, as well as negotiate prices and terms. However, it's important to keep in mind that working with a sourcing agent can also be more expensive than finding a supplier on your own.
7 Steps to Importing from China to Ghana with An Agent.
- Research and find a reputable agent: Before importing from China to Ghana, it is important to find a reputable agent who can assist you with the process. This can include researching agents online or through industry associations, as well as asking for recommendations from other businesses who have imported from China to Ghana. At Manc Global Logistics, we work with vetted sourcing agents who have built reputation for themselves across China and are able to assist with all kinds of sourcing projects, including factory visits, product inspections, price negotiations etc.
- Identify your product's supplier(s): Work with the agent to identify the products you wish to import and the suppliers you plan to use. The agent can assist you in researching and vetting potential suppliers to ensure they are reputable and reliable.
- Sampling: If placing a large order of several 1000 units, it goes without saying that samples MUST be requested. Requesting samples will help you confirm the quality of the product being ordered and to point out any imperfections or manufacturing errors, prior to confirming your order with the manufacturer. To reduce the time involved in receiving samples from manufacturers, sourcing agents can receive samples on your behalf for inspection. A sourcing agent will thoroughly inspect your goods to ensure that they meet the quality and specifications that you agreed upon with your supplier.
- Negotiate prices and terms: A sourcing agent can assist you in negotiating prices and terms with suppliers, including the price of the goods, delivery dates and any special requirements.
- Obtain necessary documentation: The agent can assist you in obtaining the necessary documentation for importing your goods, including a bill of lading, commercial invoice, and certificate of origin.
- Payment and follow-up: Once the goods have been received and inspected, the agent can assist in the payment process and follow-up with the supplier to ensure everything went smoothly
- Arrange for shipping and logistics: The agent can assist you in arranging for the shipping and logistics of your goods, including transportation, Chinese customs clearance and delivery to your destination in Ghana. Whiles this may be a convenient option, there are several China-Ghana shipping companies who offer competitive shipping rates via sea and air freight, including Manc Global Logistics hence you are better off searching the market yourself for the most competitive rate available. After all, the profit in any business is in the buying process, not the selling.
In conclusion, importing goods from China to Ghana can be a complex process however, working with a freight forwarder like Manc Global Logistics can make it much easier. Moreover, it's important to be aware of the pros and cons of using a freight forwarder and to work with a reliable supplier/sourcing agent in China. By being cautious and doing your research, you can ensure that your China-Ghana import business will be a successful one.