How to Apply for a BESC (ECTN) Certificate: A Step-by-Step Guide


Navigating the complexities of international shipping regulations can be daunting, particularly when it comes to securing the necessary documentation like the BESC (Bordereau de Suivi des Cargaisons) or ECTN (Electronic Cargo Tracking Note) certificate. This essential document is required for cargo shipped to several African countries, ensuring that all goods are properly tracked and monitored from departure to arrival. This guide will walk you through the steps to apply for a BESC/ECTN certificate, simplifying the process and ensuring compliance with all shipping regulations.

What is a BESC/ECTN Certificate?

The BESC or ECTN certificate is a mandatory document for all exporters and freight forwarders sending cargo to certain African countries. This certificate helps prevent cargo loss, smuggling, and tax evasion by providing detailed information about the cargo, its origin, destination, and transit points.

Why is the BESC/ECTN Certificate Important?

Obtaining a BESC/ECTN certificate is crucial for:

  • Ensuring compliance with the import regulations of the destination country.
  • Facilitating faster customs clearance.
  • Avoiding penalties and delays in cargo delivery.

Step 1: Determine the Requirement for Your Shipment

Before you begin the application process, it’s important to confirm whether your shipment requires a BESC or ECTN certificate. This depends on the destination country’s specific regulations. Checking with your shipping agent or with GetCTN can provide you with up-to-date information.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Information and Documents

To apply for a BESC/ECTN certificate, you’ll need to collect several documents and details about your shipment, including:

  • Bill of Lading (BOL)
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Freight Invoice (if applicable)
  • Export Customs Declaration
  • Packing List

Ensure all documents are accurate and fully detailed to avoid any issues during the application process.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

Once you have all your documents prepared, submit them to our expert team. The submission process can typically be completed online, which is both efficient and environmentally friendly. Ensure that all information is entered correctly to prevent delays.

Step 4: Pay the Fee

The cost of obtaining a BESC/ECTN certificate varies depending on the destination country and the volume of the cargo. Fees are usually calculated based on the number of containers or the total gross weight. Payment can typically be made through various methods, including bank transfers or online payment platforms, depending on the agent.

Step 5: Receive Your BESC/ECTN Certificate

After your application is processed and the fee is paid, the authorized agent will issue your BESC/ECTN certificate. This document is usually delivered electronically and should be printed and presented as part of your shipping documents upon arrival at the destination port.


Applying for a BESC/ECTN certificate is a critical step in ensuring a smooth shipping process to certain African countries. By following these straightforward steps and preparing your documents carefully, you can secure your certificate efficiently and help guarantee that your shipment complies with all necessary regulations. Remember, the key to a successful application is attention to detail and choosing the right agent.

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