The laws governing the importation of vehicles into Ghana is the Ghana Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) (Management Law) PNDCL 330 of 1993, Sections 46, 47, 48, 78-94, 123-192. This law is complemented by CEPS (Management) Act 1998, (Act 552), Act 565, Act 598 of 14th April, 2001, Commissioner’s Orders and other Service instructions on vehicles.
Vehicles are categorized by the engine capacity e.g. 1.6cc, 2.0cc, 2.5cc, etc.
The age of a motor vehicle imported under the law is calculated with effect from the year in which the motor vehicle was first manufactured. The age of a vehicle is a crucial determinant in valuation for duty purposes. In arriving at the age of vehicles, Customs uses the model year reckoning index which normally gives a round year age point e.g. 1990 or 2000 or the dealer chart matrix.
The model year reckoning index vehicles are those whose ages can be determined from a letter in the 10th position in a 17 character rotation counting from the left. Such vehicles include:
For example, an Opel Vectra vehicle with the chassis number viz: WOL000087N1658971 is a 1992 model.
Vehicles that have their ages falling under year of manufacture are the vehicles whose age can be determined from charts based on the records of manufacturers’ batches of production. Such vehicles include:
German, Japanese and Dutch vehicles e.g. Mercedes Benz, M.A.N Diesel, Toyota, Nissan, DAF etc. These vehicles have their ages determined by reading a chart furnished by the dealers of the type of vehicle.
NOTE: The use of log sheets and seat belts alone to check or confirm the age of vehicles is not reliable. What is on log sheets are more often dates of first registration of such vehicles and not dates of manufacture.
Data has been collected and collated on the values and ages of vehicles over the years. Manufacturers and dealers of motor vehicles have furnished Customs with brochures, booklets and other documents which give the values and other information on the vehicles.
All vehicles imported into the country unless specifically exempted under the PNDCL 330 or other enactment attract the following:
In addition, the various categories of vehicles attract overage penalty when they are more than ten years old.