Head OfficeHead OfficeCustoms Head QuartersView More GP-GPS GA-144-3422 (+233)80 090 0110 GP-GPS GA-144-3422 +233 322029600 See TSC offices and Area offices
File & Pay taxes

Upfront Payment

Upfront Payment


VAT compliance has traditionally been a challenge due to the informal nature of transactions in the economy. Some importers, though required to register for VAT purposes, are currently not in the VAT net. Such importers, apart from paying import VAT at importation, do not charge the tax when they supply goods on the domestic front.

To ensure compliance, the VAT (Amendment) Act, 2022 (Act 1082) was enacted to impose an upfront payment of 12.5% on the customs value of taxable goods at all ports of entry, imported by persons who are required by law to register for VAT, in addition to import duties and taxes.

Such importers will, however, be allowed to recover these payments when they register and file their VAT returns subsequently, as required by Act 1082.


  • Assure Tax Compliance - Registration & Filing
  • Identify Non-Compliant Taxpayers
  • Bring Uniformity - Bring uniformity in the treatment between VAT registered taxpayers who charge the tax on their imported goods on the domestic front, and unregistered importers of taxable goods who do not charge VAT on their domestic supplies.

Scope & Rate of Application

The Upfront Payment is charged at the rate of 12.50% on the customs value of transaction and applies to the following categories of goods:

Taxable goods imported into the country for home consumption

Taxable unconsumed goods forfeited and auctioned

Taxable goods on transfer
from bonded facilities

Exclusions to Upfront Payment

The following are excluded from the upfront payment: 

1. Exempt Imports such as:

    • Agricultural inputs
    • Crude oil and hydrocarbon products
    • Salt for human consumption
    • Imports under the following categories; 
      • Temporary Import,
      • Transhipments, Transit & Coasting trade,
      • In-bond manufacturing,
      • Warehoused, and 
      • Any cargo under bond/suspense.

2.  Privileged or exempt persons/institutions/companies. (The President, Diplomats and diplomatic missions, persons with disability, religious organisations, donor and charity organisations, free zone enterprises, etc)

    • Government institutions and agencies,

3.  Imported taxable goods valued below the threshold of GHS200,000.00.


Note: An importer who claims they are not liable to make the upfront payment may apply to the Commissioner-General stating the reason(s) in the ICUMS for exclusion from the charge.


Recovery of Upfront Payment

A taxpayer can apply for recovery within six (6) months after the payment date upon satisfying the conditions for recovery.

The taxpayer who wishes to recover must have:

  1. Made the upfront payment
  2. Registered for VAT (where applicable)
  3. Submitted all previous returns,
  4. Paid all taxes, penalties and interest,
  5. No outstanding obligations under any tax law, 
  6. Satisfied any other conditions that the Commissioner-General may determine

Upfront payment may be recovered by applying electronically on the ‘RECOVERY OF UPFRONT PAYMENT’ form, which is available on the Taxpayers’ Portal (www.taxpayersportal.com). You will receive a response on your application within thirty (30) days of receipt.  


Need Help ?

Please feel free to contact us for your Customs classifications and validation



Click on the representative below to chat on WhatsApp or send us an email to info@gra.gov.gh

× How can we help you?