The Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN), also known as Bordereau de Suivi Cargaison (BSC) and other names depending on the country, is an official marine document that contains information relating to the cargo and its movement between ports.
This document is required to be submitted to the shippers’ councils in most countries of Africa. Every cargo exported to these countries, whether it is commercial, personal or charity, must have this ECTN certificate.
It is simply impossible to clear the cargo from the customs zone without a valid certificate covering the whole of the shipment.
The shipper or his agent or the forwarder is responsible to secure the ECTN from several authorized representatives. In most countries, it must be validated at least 5 days before the vessel arrives at the port.
The Cargo Tracking Note number must be shown on all documentation related to the cargo shipped under that note. The shipper and/or forwarder should provide the certificate number to the ocean carrier at the loading port (Loading agent) for inclusion in the manifest and bill of lading.
In order to issue the ECTN, you will need the following documents:
- Bill of lading
- Commercial Invoice
- Freight Invoice (Mandatory if the freight value is not mentioned in the commercial invoice)
Also, depending on the country, they might ask for other specific documents, like the following:
- Documento Unico (DU)
- Certificate of Insurance
- Packing list
- Certificate of Origin
- Export Customs Declaration
The agent will tell you exactly what documents you need, and also when you have to deliver them.
CTN Application Process
The process to acquire the certificate is very simple. Here is the steps you need take to complete application:
- You need to send the scanned copies of the required documents to the agent
- The agent will then issue an invoice and provide you a draft copy of the ECTN certificate for your approval of the shipment details
- Once the draft is approved and the agent has received the funds they will pre-validate the certificate and deliver the ECTN number.
- You will receive the ECTN number on the validated soft copy of the certificate soon after.
The ECTN certificate is mandatory for all sea-borne cargo to countries where it is required, being obligatory for containers, bulk, RORO, and others. Besides, there are certain countries that require CTN for other types of transportation.
You will need to apply for BSC and FERI to Madagascar and DR Congo respectively if you have air-shipment to these countries. In terms of the Road shipments, FERI is required for all consignment by road.
Below you can find the countries (in alphabetical order) that require this certificate, what name they use for it, and a reference for the agent that can help you issuing the waiver:
- Algeria – ECTN
- Angola – CNCA
- Benin – BESC
- Burkina Faso – ECTN
- Burundi – ECTN
- Chad – ECTN
- Cameroon – BESC
- Central African Republic – ECTN
- Democratic Republic of Congo – FERI
- Egypt — ACID
- Equatorial Guinea – ECTN
- Gabon – BIETC
- Ghana — CTN
- Guinea Conakry – ECTN
- Guinea-Bissau – CEE
- Ivory Coast – BSC
- Libya — ECTN
- Liberia — CTN
- Mali – BSC
- Madagascar – BSC
- Niger – BSC
- Nigeria – ICTN
- Republic of Congo — ECTN
- Senegal – BSC
- Sierra Leone – ENS
- South Sudan – ECTN
- Togo – ECTN
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