International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2004
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(Position as of December 31, 2003)
Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: February 2, 1994.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Ghana is the Ghanaian cedi.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateThe exchange rate of the cedi is determined in the interbank foreign exchange market. The average exchange rate is based on the average rates reported by authorized banks in their transactions with each other or with their customers. Rates are quoted by authorized dealers for certain other currencies, with daily quotations based on the buying and selling rates for the dollar in markets abroad. On August 31, 2003, Ghana joined the W-ERM II of the WMAZ, which requires that the spot exchange rate between the cedi and the dollar be maintained within margins of ±15% around the central rate. However, the authorities have yet to implement these measures.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements related to transactions covered by bilateral payment agreements are made through clearing accounts maintained by the Bank of Ghana (BOG) and the central banks of the countries concerned. Proceeds from exports to countries with which Ghana does not have bilateral payment agreements must be received in the currency of the importing country (if that currency is quoted by the BOG) or debited for authorized inward payments to residents of Ghana for transfers to other official accounts related to the same country and for transfers to the related clearing account at the BOG.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsThe Exchange Control Act prohibits the quotation of prices and the acceptance of payments for goods and services in foreign exchange. However, authorized dealers may conduct their business in foreign exchange.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
InoperativeGhana has agreements with Bulgaria, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and the Slovak Republic. There have been delays in the settlement of clearing balances on these agreements.
Regional arrangementsGhana is a member of the WAMA.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlThe BOG records and confirms foreign capital inflows and administers foreign exchange for official payments and travel. All foreign exchange transactions by the private sector are approved and effected by authorized banks without reference to the BOG.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents may purchase, sell, and hold gold coins and jewelry. Buying and selling of gold in any other form require authorization.
Controls on external tradeGhanaian residents may not buy or borrow any gold from or sell or lend any gold to any person other than an authorized dealer. Imports of gold other than those by or on behalf of the monetary authorities are not normally licensed. The import duty on gold, including bullion and partly worked gold, is levied at a uniform rate of 25% in addition to the VAT. All exports of gold are subject to BOG approval.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyThe exportation of Ghanaian banknotes is permitted up to 05,000.
Foreign currencyResidents traveling abroad are permitted to carry up to the equivalent of $3,000. In addition, resident travelers are permitted to carry up to $5,000 or its equivalent in traveler’s checks or bank drafts for direct purchases. Nonresident travelers may export foreign currency they have declared on entry.
On imports
Domestic currencyTravelers may reimport up to the equivalent of the 05,000 that they were allowed to export.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyConversion is not allowed, except for approved purposes.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThe accounts may be credited with transfers from other foreign exchange accounts, and with the proceeds from sales of convertible currency. They may be debited for payments, for transfers to other foreign accounts, and for purchases of external currencies. Nonresident account status is granted to embassies, delegations, consulates, and offices of high commissioners in Ghana and to the non-Ghanaian members of their staff. It is also available to international institutions and foreign-registered companies operating in Ghana, and to nonresident Ghanaians.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsImports valued at the equivalent of $5,000 or more are subject to destination inspections.
Letters of creditMost imports are effected with confirmed LCs established through authorized banks on a sight basis. Imports on a collection basis are permitted.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Negative listImports of narcotic drugs are prohibited, and imports of small and dangerous weapons are restricted.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThe maximum tariff rate is 20% of the c.i.f. value of imports. Importers without a taxpayer identification number are subject to a 5% withholding income tax on the value of their imports.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExporters are required to collect and repatriate in full the proceeds from their exports within 60 days of shipment; proceeds from exports of nontraditional products may be sold at market rates upon receipt in the banks.
Surrender requirementsNontraditional exports are not subject to surrender requirements, while 20% to 40% of gold and 98% of cocoa export proceeds are surrendered to the BOG.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirements
Preshipment inspectionAll exports are subject to customs inspection.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesCocoa exports are subject to a tax that is calculated as the difference between export proceeds and payments to farmers, together with the Cocoa Board’s costs if proceeds exceed payments. Lumber exports are subject to a 7% tax (calculated on the f.o.b. value).
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfers
Trade-related paymentsFreight charges may be paid to the local shipping agents; the transfer of funds to cover such charges is normally permitted, provided that the application is properly documented.
Investment-related payments
Prior approvalPrior approval is required for the payment of amortization of loans or depreciation of direct investments.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsResidents traveling abroad are permitted to carry up to the equivalent of $3,000. In addition, resident travelers are permitted to carry up to the equivalent of $5,000 in traveler’s checks or bank drafts for direct purchases abroad. Nonresidents may reexport foreign currency declared on arrival.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsAll receipts from invisibles must be sold to authorized dealers or held in foreign exchange-denominated bank accounts in resident banks.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsNonresidents may purchase securities listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE); individual holdings and total holdings of all nonresidents in any one security listed on the GSE may not exceed 10% and 74%, respectively. For companies not listed on the GSE, nonresident participation requires the following minimum equity injections to acquire shares: (1) $10,000 or its equivalent in capital goods when the enterprise is a joint venture; (2) $50,000 or its equivalent in capital goods when the enterprise is wholly owned by a non-Ghanaian; and (3) $300,000 or its equivalent in capital goods in the case of a trading enterprise involved only in the purchasing and selling of goods that is either wholly or partly owned by a non-Ghanaian and that employs at least 10 Ghanaians.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese transactions require prior approval from the BOG and the MOF. The transfer or repatriation of proceeds from sales must be reported to the BOG.
Purchase abroad by residentsThere are no controls on these purchases, but the purchase of foreign exchange to buy securities requires the prior approval of the BOG.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese transactions require the prior approval of the BOG.
Bonds or other debt securitiesThese transactions require the prior approval of the BOG.
On money market instruments
Purchase locally by nonresidentsCurrent regulations do not allow nonresidents to bring in foreign exchange for the purpose of investing in local money market instruments (BOG and government securities). However, nonresidents holding accounts in domestic currency may invest in these instruments.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese transactions are not allowed.
Purchase abroad by residentsNo controls apply to these purchases, but the purchase of foreign exchange to buy these instruments requires the prior approval of the BOG.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese transactions are not allowed.
On collective investment securities
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThese purchases require prior approval of the BOG.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese transactions, as well as the transfer abroad of proceeds associated with these sales, including those derived from the liquidation of such securities, require BOG approval.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe purchase of foreign exchange to buy such securities requires prior approval from the BOG.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese transactions require the consent of the MOF.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsCurrently, only a limited local market in derivatives exists. These transactions require BOG approval.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
To residents from nonresidentsBOG approval is required for these credits, which must be channeled through the banking system. Transactions must be supported by relevant documents.
Financial credits
To residents from nonresidentsThese credits require BOG approval.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentAll capital outflows must be approved by the BOG; applications for such transfers must be supported by documentary evidence and are considered on their merits.
Inward direct investmentCertain areas of economic activity are not open to foreigners. Foreign investments in Ghana require the prior approval of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) if they are to benefit from the facilities available under the GIPC Act, under which approved investment are guaranteed, in principle, the right to transfer income from investments and, in the event of sale or liquidation, capital proceeds. Tax holidays and initial capital allowances are also available for such investments.

The minimum qualifying amounts of investment by a non-Ghanaian are as follows: (1) $10,000 or its equivalent in capital goods by way of equity participation in a joint-venture enterprise with a Ghanaian partner; (2) $50,000 or its equivalent in capital goods by way of equity when the enterprise is wholly owned by a non-Ghanaian; and (3) $300,000 or its equivalent in goods by way of equity capital when the enterprise is either wholly or partly owned by a non-Ghanaian, employs at least 10 Ghanaians, and is involved in the purchasing and selling of goods.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentThe GIPC Act stipulates that the assets of foreign investors may not be expropriated. Disputes over the amount of compensation are settled in accordance with the established procedure for conciliation (e.g., through arbitration by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes or the United Nations Commission on International Trade and Law).
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on personal capital transactionsThere are controls on all personal capital movements, except regarding the transfer of assets into the country by immigrants.
LoansThese transactions are subject to BOG approval.
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsThese transfers require BOG approval.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsThese transfers require BOG approval.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsYes.
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsYes.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadBOG notification is required.
Maintenance of accounts abroadBOG notification is required.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)BOG approval is required.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeYes.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeThese purchases are allowed within reasonable or acceptable limits.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsForeign currency deposits are subject to a 9% reserve requirement, and the reserve balance must be held with the BOG.
Investment regulations
In banks by nonresidentsAll banks must have minimum capital of 070 billion. For foreign-owned banks, 60% of capital must consist of convertible currencies brought into Ghana.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThe daily single-currency exposure limit is 15% of the capital base, and that on the aggregate net open position is 30%.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2003
Exchange arrangementAugust 31. Ghana joined the W-ERM II of the WAMZ.

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