Cameroon BESC Certificate
Cameroon requires all imports to have a BESC certificate issued by authorized agencies such as SCK Representation. To obtain a BESC certificate, you must provide the necessary documents or fill out the form yourself. Obtaining a BESC certificate usually takes a few days, but it is recommended to allow a week for processing. If your shipment is in transit through Cameroon, you do not need a BESC certificate. It is the responsibility of the shipper to obtain a BESC certificate, and shipments without one may be penalized.
Cameroon is a country located in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west, Chad to the northeast, the Central African Republic to the east, and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. The capital and largest city is Yaoundé, and the official languages are French and English. The population is around 25 million. Cameroon has a diverse culture with influences from the indigenous tribes, European colonizers, and the African diaspora.
Based on the ministerial decree all freight heading towards Cameroon ports; Douala, Kribi, Limbe, or any other port have to be covered by BESC certificates which certify the authenticity of the cargo and its compliance with the regulations of Cameroon. The BESC waiver certificate must be obtained from the authorized representative by the shipper or freight forwarder. It is a legal requirement and shipments will not be allowed to enter Cameroon without it.
What is a BESC Certificate?
These certificates are issued by 7 agencies worldwide. Turkey and the Middle East area are the scope of authority of SCK Agency. BESC is a French shortening of ‘Bordereau électronique de Suivi de Cargaison’, translated as ‘Electronic Cargo Tracking Note’ (ECTN) in English.
How can you get the BESC Certificate?
The following documents are required for the Cameroon BESC certificate:
- Bill of lading
- Commercial Invoice
- Freight invoice (if the freight amount is not mentioned on Commercial Invoice)
- Import Declaration
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 BESC certificates. Please be sure to share the final documents, which will not have any more amendments later on in the process. A penalty fee will occur for the modifications after validating the certificates.
How long does it take to get approval?
Once you provide all the required documents, a draft of the BESC 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 Cameroon authorities. This process usually takes a few days, but a period of a week should be expected in planning.
If your freight is in transit via Cameroon, you do not need to get a Cameroon BESC certificate. Cameroon BESC is only required for importing goods. For the procedure of countries that are mainly used for transit freights, you can click on the name of the country:
What is an “Import Declaration”?
Import Declaration is a unique document the importer issues in Cameroon for taxing purposes. The document has references which are called “Transaction ID: (P.R. Code)”, “Tax Payer’s ID: (N° Contribuable)”, and “D.I. No (SGS)”. The document is asked for shipments that are organized after the date of 15/12/2016. The importer will be able to approach the Single Window (Guichet Unique) at the port of Douala to obtain this document quickly.
In french, “Guichet Unique” is a port structure that receives the agreement by one decree of the presidency to dematerialize all procedures. They put in place a “single window” for all imports. The importer may create an account and receive a P.R. number that identifies his transaction until the clearance of goods. This number is requested for establishing BESC because the authorities are demanding to link import declaration to the BESC certificate. If not, the importer would have problems at Douala port.
For more information and document samples, please contact our team via [email protected].
What if the exporter ships vehicles (chassis) and they are loaded in containers? How should the certificate be issued?
As per the declaration of Cameroon authorities (CNCC), the shipment type should be indicated as a container if the vehicles (chassis) are loaded in containers. In this case, the vehicle amount should be appropriately shown on ECTN certificates as it directly affects the pricing of the document. The charge will multiply with the vehicle amount, which is loaded into containers. If the container details are not indicated on the bill of lading, ECTN certificates should be issued as RO/RO shipments.
For more information and detailed tariff, please contact our team via [email protected].
What is BESC?
BESC (Bordereau Électronique de Suivi de Cargaisonis) is a waiver document required at specific African ports.
Do I need to get BESC if my shipment is in transit through Cameroon to Chad?
A shipment traveling via Cameroon with Chad as its final destination only needs to obtain an ECTN certificate for Chad.
Why is the SGS number not on the validated Cameroon BESC Certificate?
Even though the SGS number is entered into the application, the certified BESC certificate does not display the number. This is simply how the Cameroonian government prepared the BESC; it is neither incorrect nor correct. To see the correct SGS number, you can check the draft certificate.
Can I change a Cameroon waiver document that has already been approved?
Yes, Even after the document has been validated, the Cameroon BESC certificate can be corrected.
Do I need to get a BESC certificate for Air shipments to Cameroon?
Yes, you need to obtain the waiver document for air shipment to Cameroon. However, the application is only completed when you arrive. Therefore, this is the only waiver you can apply upon arrival.
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 certificate are penalized, and the shipper side will be responsible for the loss.