Burkina Faso – ECTN / URN

Are you shipping to Burkina Faso and in need of an ECTN certificate? SCK Representation can help. Send us the required documents or fill out the form yourself, and we will handle the rest of the certification process. Please note that any modifications made to the documents after validation may incur a penalty fee. Additionally, if your shipment is in transit through another country, you may need to obtain additional certificates based on the specific route and discharge port.

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d’Ivoire to the southwest. The capital and largest city is Ouagadougou. The official language is French and the population is around 20 million. Burkina Faso is known for its rich cultural heritage, which includes traditional music, dance, and art.

ECTN stands for “Electronic Cargo Tracking Note” which is a document that is required for all cargo shipped to Burkina Faso. The Burkina Faso Customs Officials established it as a law in 2001. It is issued by an authorized agent and is a legal requirement cargo will not be allowed to enter Burkina Faso without it.

Notice regarding Burkina Faso regulation

As of April 20th, 2023, it is obligatory to write an ECTN Reference Number on the Bill of lading of the goods in all Burkina Faso transactions.

What is Burkina Faso ECTN Certificate?

ECTN certificate is an obligatory document for shipments to BURKINA FASO. It was declared by the N°09/395/CBC/DG document on 30/10/2009.

As in other countries, to control the traffic and plan the transportation of imported goods, Burkina Faso also started the implementation of the ECTN certificate.

How can you get an ECTN Certificate?

The below documents are mandatory for the Burkina Faso ECTN certificate.

  • Bill of Lading (ECTN Reference Number must be written on it)
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Freight Invoice (It is not necessary If the freight value is indicated on the commercial invoice)
  • Pink slip/Grey slip (for RORO shipments)

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 documents, which will not have any more amendments later in the process. A penalty fee will occur for the modifications after validating the certificates.

What is the URN number?

URN stands for “Unique Reference Number”, which is written on the top of a validated ECTN certificate. That is to say; the certificate number should be indicated on the description part of the bill of lading.

The shipment is in transit to Burkina Faso via the port of another country. Do shippers need to issue another certificate for the discharge country?

Please note that Burkina Faso is a landlocked country. So, we remind you that it is better to check beforehand if any other certificate is necessary for the country of arrival. However, shipments in transit through Togo and Benin require a BSC certificate. On the other hand, a certificate is not needed for these countries if the shipment is in transit via Ghana or Ivory Coast.

In summary, you must issue two certificates if the discharge port is Lome (Togo) or Cotonou (Benin).

If the shipment travels from Ivory Coast to Burkina Faso, do I need to obtain two ECTN certificates?

Only a Burkina Faso ECTN certificate is required for a shipment to Burkina Faso traveling through Ivory Coast.

What is CTN?

CTN is another form of waiver document and stands for Cargo Tracking Note, also known as Bordereau de Suivi Cargaison (BSC) or Loading Certificate.

These waiver certificates are recognized maritime documents that detail the cargo and its transportation between ports. This is a requirement from several African countries that lets them successfully monitor, control, and manage their import and export trade. Each CTN must be submitted and verified at the loading port and is essential for import customs clearance at the port of entry. Before the presentation of the final CTN, the local Customs will prohibit any shipments that are not covered by a valid CTN and impose the necessary fee.

If my shipment is in transit through Ghana to Burkina Faso, do I need to obtain ECTN?

Due to the suspension of the Ghana ECTN, a shipment to Burkina Faso in transit through Ghana simply requires a Burkina Faso ECTN certificate.

Can I use the same ECTN number for various shipments?

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

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