Benin BESC Certificate

Are you shipping to Benin and need an ECTN (BESC) certificate? SCK Representation can help. Send us the required documents or fill out the form yourself, and we will handle the rest. The process typically takes a few days, but it is recommended to allow for a week in case of delays. Please note that if your shipment is in transit to another landlocked country, you will need ECTN certificates for both Benin and the final destination. Additionally, if you are shipping vehicles (chassis) loaded in containers, list them as such on the bill of lading and the ECTN certificate.

Benin is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, Burkina Faso and Niger to the north, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The capital and largest city is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is located in Cotonou. The official language is French and the population is around 12 million. The culture of Benin is a mix of traditional African, French, and other European influences.

All shipments to Benin must have the BESC certificate also known as an ECTN, which is a document that is required for all cargo shipped to Benin, that allows the tracking of all cargo movements in Benin and also helps to control the flow of goods and prevent smuggling. Since 2006, Benin Customs officials have mandated it for commodities discharged at the Port of Cotonou or any other port. The ECTN is a legal requirement and cargo will not be allowed to enter Benin without it.

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 [email protected]. 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 [email protected].

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 [email protected].

What is BESC?

BESC stands for Bordereau Électronique de Suivi de Cargaisonis, also known as a CTN (Cargo Tracking Note), is a waiver document required at specific African ports. 

Do I have to obtain a waiver certificate for Nigeria when in transit from Benin?

All goods that are discharged at the Port of Cotonou in Benin require a valid BESC certificate. If the BESC certification is not present, your products can not be cleared at any port.

Do I need a BSC certification for Niger if the shipment is in transit through Benin?

Two separate certificates are required for a shipment going via Benin to Niger. BSC certification for Niger and BESC certification for Benin.

Can I use the same BESC number for various shipments?

No, BESC is unique and limited to a single shipment. Every cargo needs its own BESC number that has been verified.


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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