I am leaving for Ghana in a week and will be doing voluntary work at a school. I was at the school last year and am going back to visit for a couple of weeks. I want to take calculators and watches to about 20 kids in my class - will I have to declare these and will I have to pay duty?
I am on my way out to a school building trip in Ghana this week and have been busy loading a spare bag of creative treats for the kids. I have brought pens, notebooks, reading books and playful things like ballons, stickers and lollypops. I've also just placed a big on ebay for a bunch of calculators as well (thanks for the tip there). Is there anything else you would recommend I take?
p.s im interested in any responses re rickies questions on whether I should declare these items at the airport on arival also.
I was in Ghana for 2 months teaching at a school. I also brought a suitcase full of supplies. I recommend bringing chalk, balloons, pencils, pictures of where you live.
When I went through customs at the airport they didn't ask me about any of the items in my bag. It was easy to go through with all my luggage. I don't think you will have any problems. Despite what you might hear about the airport in Accra, I have never met anyone who has had any issues upon arrival or departure.
If you have any other questions about Ghana, please feel free to contact me. I will be more than happy to answer any of your questions!
Good Luck in Ghana - it's an amazing place. Firstly, I also had no problem at the airport. I walked through customs without any problems, however, there were a couple of people in front of me that were stopped and their suitcases searched. I was just thankful it wasn't me! I didn't have that much stuff, but I was worried they would treat the goods for the school as 'gifts' and then ask me for money. I did some research and goods for school are meant to be exempt from customs and excise - but I know that there is a lot of corruption and the customs officers will still ask for money.
When I was in Ghana in 2007 I got some goods sent over and when I went to the Post Office to collect them the customs officers tried to charge me a fortune to collect the parcels. Luckily, the charity I was with helped me get the price down. Another time I also had to give the customs officer some of the supplies that were sent to me!
However, I am sure you will get through the airport no problems. I would not declare anything - and if you get stopped just say they are for the school so you did not think you had to declare them.
Regarding what to bring - pencil sharpeners are always a good thing, and you could maybe think about tooth brushes as health and hygiene is not that great.
All the best! Ricki
Yes, the post office issue is always prominent. I met a number of people in Ghana who had the same issues... ie: trying to retrieve a package sent from home and being charged over 50GHC. In general, I don't think that family/friends sending packages is a good idea because you are often charged so much or it never arrives.
Another thing regarding the airport, you will be bombarded by people trying to offer you rides when you exit the departures area. I can't stress it enough, make sure you have an organized ride to take you from the airport to wherever it is you are going. If, on the off chance, that your ride is not there, look for a worker in a uniform. Generally they will be good to you and help you with your baggage. Make sure to stress to them that your ride is coming and they don't need to get a taxi for you. If you have a contact number, keep it available and if all else fails, you should be able to borrow a mobile phone from one of these workers. They will ask you for a tip, but they will be willing to take any currency. I'd suggest 2-3GHC ($2-3US, etc...)
I have a question for any of you. How much does it cost to get through customs inspections on BTA.when coming to the USA? I heard it was around $1000. Is that correct?