In progress

Introducing a risk-based pre-arrival customs process

Strengthening Ghana’s position as a key hub for regional and international business


Ghana is already one of the largest economies in West Africa and an important hub for regional and international business. Yet without an effective risk-based pre-arrival process, customs have to physically inspect 100% of shipments while clearance times and requirements are unpredictable for traders.

What we are doing

We are working with the government and the private sector to introduce fully-automated, paperless processing which will allow traders to supply information on goods and for customs officials to prioritise before shipments arrive at borders. It will significantly reduce the number of physical inspections for low-risk shipments, speeding up clearance and release of goods and creating a better business environment.

Our project involves:

  • assessing the supply chain in Ghana and analysing the import process
  • identifying best practice for pre-arrival and related processes
  • developing a target model for pre-arrival processing
  • reviewing the legal and regulatory framework required to implement the project
  • developing a risk process map and a detailed process description for pre-arrival processing
  • developing a training and HR development plan
  • training customs and other government officials, as well as private sector stakeholders
  • testing and piloting the risk management system and pre-arrival process


The introduction of risk-based pre-arrival processing is a win for the government, the private sector, and the wider Ghanaian population. It will:

  • expedite clearance and release of goods
  • increase predictability and reduce costs for traders and customs
  • improve risk assessment allowing customs to facilitate low-risk shipments and focus its resources on high risks
  • increase the balance between ensuring compliance and minimising disruption and cost to legitimate trade and the public
  • increase staff awareness about risk management

Monitoring and evaluation

We are monitoring and evaluating the project throughout its duration. Key indicators include:

  • percentage of all “green channel” shipments which are released upon arrival without inspection
  • percentage of shipments processed through the upgraded IT system
  • percentage of importers that are satisfied with the upgraded IT system for pre-arrival of manifest and declaration
  • percentage of surveyed importers that are satisfied with the e-payment system

Private sector support

In Ghana we are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities including:

  • advising on risk processes, best practice, legal and regulatory reforms
  • providing training and capacity building
  • supporting project management development and roll-out
  • promoting the project to stakeholders

Project structure 

Phase 1


Analysis and planning

Phase 2


Design and development

Phase 3

In progress

Training and piloting


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Eston Sakala

Eston Sakala, Managing Director, Evolution Logistics and Solutions, Lusaka
Eston Sakala set up his own clearing and forwarding business in 2016 helping traders to move their goods in and out of Zambia – a profession he has been in for 17 years. In three short years he has grown his business from scratch to employ 18 staff with a customer base spanning Zambia’s key import and export sectors. “My goal now is to build capacity in my business, embrace technology and deliver my service to the level of a DHL,” says Eston. “I’d love to see the day when I can sit in front of my screen and watch trucks being processed by Evolution in real time, every minute, every hour. I want to be the go-to business for quick and correct clearances.”
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John Kornerup Bang

Head of Sustainability Strategy and Shared Value at Maersk
As one of the world’s largest integrated transport and logistics companies operating in 130 countries, Maersk is a major part of the global trading system. “International trade has helped lift over a billion people out of poverty. At the same time, we recognise that we need to make global trade available for everybody so that all can share in its benefits. That’s why a key pillar of our sustainability strategy is to multiply the benefits of trade by supporting countries to implement the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) – and why we work with the Alliance to do it."
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Jyoti Wadhwa

Jyoti Wadhwa, Founder, Sanskriti Vintage, New Delhi
Jyoti Wadhwa is a successful entrepreneur, who sells Indian handicrafts and promotes the spirit of craftsmanship through international trade. In 2010, she set up her online business, Sanskriti Vintage, to sell vintage handicraft fabrics, various types of embroidery, and other craft items. At the time, she worked from home while taking care of her child and handled all operations single-handedly. Ten years later, she employs 25 people, supporting local artisans and serving antique collectors and aesthetes all over the world.
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Amgad Shehata

Senior Vice President of International Public Affairs and Strategy at UPS
UPS is the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialised transportation and logistics services. Every day, it manages the flow of goods, funds, and information in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. “We believe that we can propel sustainable development and business performance at the same time. Helping countries to implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) allows us to do exactly that. Facilitating cross-border trade completely aligns with our customers’ needs while holding the promise of driving economic growth and creating a more equal society across the globe."
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