Ghana – Cargo Tracking Note Termination

After recent confusing announcements circulating in and out of logistics newsletters involving Ghana CTN requirement, it is time to put a light on the subject. In this blog we aim to address all the concerns you may have on the topic on the basis of questions we get asked on a daily basis. 


CTN is a short form for Cargo Tracking Note is a system widely used in Wester African countries to report and track inbound and outbound seaborn shipment. Although terms generally used is Ghana CTN, you may have come across similar terms about Bordereau de Suivi Cargaison (BSC), Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) or Loading Certificate that is exactly the same as the CTN document.

Once implemented, the Ghana Customs and other Stakeholders review the application well in advance resulting in several benefits. The supporters of the CTN argue that the system enables port management to plan and allocate necessary equipment for loading and unloading of the cargo. Besides, having the details of the cargo declared by the shipper before the arrival, Reliable of Weight and Volumes, Country of Origin, Declared Value and the Real Nature of the Goods, the CTN will also discourage importers hiding the actual value of the goods leading to correct payment of duties. 


Commissioner General of Ghana Revenues Authority had partnered up with Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) Ghana Limited to seek implementation of the CTN system. Although it was piloted for sometime initially, the full implementation came into live in the second half of 2018. From this date on, all shipping lines were instructed to print valid CTN numbers on the Bill of Lading before issuing the final copy. In case of non-compliance with this requirement, the Customs fines and other associated costs could be applied for shippers’ as well as the liners; accounts.

Under the system, Exporters shipping cargo to Ghana from all over the world will be expected to submit detailed and timely information about their shipment in advance on a ctnghana platform.


Here are the steps that were required to follow in order to apply for the Ghana CTN certificate at the time it was mandatory:

  1. Registration and creation of online account at ctnghana platform by shipper/forwarder or their representative at port of origin
  2. Shipper is to file below documents to secure a CTN Number:
  • Commercial invoice
  • Freight invoice
  • Customs declaration at port of origin
  • Packing list
  • Bill of Lading
  1. CTN form must be filled on the ctnghana and submitted for pre-validation
  2. CTN Number is to be placed on B/L
  3. Validate the CTN

The product of this exercise is forwarded to the Customs Division of GRA ostensibly “to serve as a risk assessment engine which allows customs and other authorities to effectively control, supervise and manage import traffic.

What is next? Important Notice About Ghana CTN!

As per the recent regulation by the Ghana Revenue Authorities, as of September 2020, the ECTN is suspended and is no longer required for shipments to Ghana, with no specific end date.

The news was announced by the ctnghana to the shippers and freight forwarders that there is no need to obtain the CTN for any shipments to Ghana until further notice. Your importer will be able to clear their goods without CTN at the Tema/Accra/Takoradi ports.


Although no official personnel reported reason for the termination of the CTN system, it claimed that feasibility of processing the application has triggered the termination process. It is also understood that stopping the shipment at the port and customs checkpoints, has slowed the clearing process entailing importers protesting against the system. 

If any update comes up by the Revenue Authorities or Ghana Port Management, we will share that information with you. Hence, please stay connected with our team who will always make sure your cargo is cleared swiftly and at no extra cost.


As we are experts with many years of experience in the CTN system, from the very first day of CTN Ghana implementation, several exporters and freight forwarders have reached the team for assistance. Confusing registration process and unresponsive ctnghana helpline made it all too evident that we needed to assist the shippers with a CTN application for yet another country in west Africa. 

After dozens of hours spent on the platform trying to create an account, we have finally received our log in details 5 days later.  We had to supply this service as an ordinary exporter would be able to create an account. One of the primary prerequisites for having an account was a company registration certificate and email address with company domain.

From complaints of exporters, added to that of our own experience with ctnghana platform, the issues such as unaccepted supporting documents without justification, unbearably extensive wait time, irresponsible help agents made it inevitable for the system to be terminated sooner rather than later. We are also confident that the system is not likely to be reinstated anytime soon. It is likely to be replaced, but that we will communicate to all our partners well in advance 

Keep in mind that if any assistance is needed for your shipments to West African countries, please reach us via this link for instant and free guidance.