Benin BESC Certificate

Based on ministerial decrees N°2006/060 on December 28 2006, and Arrêté Ministériel 2006, N° 038/MDCTTPU-PR/DC/SG/CTTM/CNCB/SA, all freight heading towards Benin require ECTN certificate.

What is a Benin ECTN Certificate?

Even though an ECTN certificate (also known as BESC) is required, there is no requirement to mention the certificate number on the bill of lading.

BESC is a French shortening of ‘Bordereau électronique de Suivi de Cargaison ‘, which means ‘Electronic Cargo Tracking Note’ (ECTN) in English.

How can you get an ECTN Certificate?

These documents are required for ECTN Certificate:

  • Bill of Lading (Applications can be made with a draft copy.)
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Freight Invoice (It is not necessary If the freight value is indicated on the commercial invoice)
  • Export Declaration
  • Packing List

To start the certification process, you should share PDF copies of the documents through There is no need to send hard copies for the issuance of ECTN certificates. However, please be sure to share the final papers, which will not have any more amendments later in the process. A penalty fee will occur for the amendments after validating the certificates.

How long does it take to get approval?

Once you provide all the required documents, a draft of the ECTN certificate will be shared with your side. Next, we need your confirmation on the draft and payment. Afterwards, the certificate will be submitted for the approval of Benin authorities. This process usually takes a few days, but a period of a week should be expected in planning.

For more information and document samples, please get in touch with our team via

Do we need an ECTN certificate if the shipment is in transit to a landlocked country?

If your freight is in transit to another landlocked country (such as Burkina Faso or Niger) through Cotonou port (Benin), you need to get an ECTN certificate for both countries. For instance, a shipment transferred to Niger via Benin would require the certificates for both Benin and Niger.

You can reach the procedures by clicking on the name of countries if your cargo is in transit to a landlocked destination.


Burkina Faso

Which name should be indicated on the bill of lading as a discharge port?

Cotonou is the main and only port of Benin. This port handles all of Benin’s maritime traffic, an essential waypoint for Burkina Faso and Niger. Therefore, if the port of discharge is indicated as Cotonou on the bill of lading, you need to issue an ECTN certificate for Benin.

What if we ship vehicles (chassis) and they are loaded in containers? How should the certificate be issued?

As per a new declaration from Benin authorities, the shipment type should be indicated as a container if the vehicles (chassis) are loaded in containers. In this case, container references should be appropriately marked on the bill of lading. Otherwise, ECTN certificates should be issued as RO/RO shipments.

For more information and document samples, please contact our team via


The responsibility to get the ECTN/BESC certificate is on the shipper’s side. Transports without a certification are penalized, and the shipper side will be responsible for the loss.


Dear Users,

Following recent events related to ECTN in Benin, we bring you the latest updates and a reminder of an update made on March 20.

The correction costs are set to a maximum of 100 Euros

  • This means that the correction costs for large ECTN (500 Euros or more) will be 100 points regardless of their original price.
  • For ECTN under 500 points, the correction costs are still 20% of the original price of the ECTN.


International ECTN validation and payment

  • Please note that payment and validation of the ECTN at the vessel’s departure at the loading port are still required. If the cargo arrives without an ECTN, the clearing process will be severely delayed while the required obligations are filled. Forwarders must create their ECTN with their agent beforehand and not wait to attempt to get an ECTN on arrival locally.

Penalties related to RoRo

  • According to the regulations, vehicles not covered by an ECTN are a violation that obliges the importer not only to create an international ECTN online but will also result in a penalty of fifty thousand (50.000) CFA per vehicle.

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