What is the electronic cargo tracking note?

The electronic cargo tracking note (ECTN), also known as the Bordereau de Suivi Cargaison (BSC), is an official marine waiver certificate document required by several African countries to effectively control and manage import/export traffic. The ECTN waiver certificate includes information about the importer/exporter, shipping method, value of goods, vessel name, and freight cost. In African countries where the electronic cargo tracking note is required, freight forwarders must provide a validated electronic cargo tracking note at least five days before the vessel arrives at the port of destination. The cargo will be unable to be cleared from customs without a valid ECTN certificate.

Electronic Cargo Tracking Note Requirements 

You will need to provide the following documents in order to file the electronic cargo tracking note: 
  • Bill of Lading 
  • Commercial Invoice 
  • Freight Invoice
Furthermore, depending on the country, you may be required to provide the following documents:
  • Certificate of Insurance 
  • Certificate of Origin 
  • Documento Unico 
  • Packing List 
  • Export Customs Declaration 
Make sure to let your shipper customer know exactly what documents or information they need to provide. electronic cargo tracking note

Electronic Cargo Tracking Note Application Process 

Here are the 4 steps that you need to follow to acquire ECTN: 
  1. Get the necessary scanned documents from your customer
  2. Send an invoice and a draft copy of the ECTN certificate to your customer 
  3. Receive the necessary funds and have your customer approve the draft.
  4. You will receive the ECTN number once the country’s shipping council has validated the ECTN certificate.

Helpful Resources 

The procedures, requirements, and regulations for obtaining the electronic cargo tracking note for each African country are listed below. You may use them as references to assist you in issuing the waiver.

electronic cargo tracking note

How technology can aid in the process 

Modern freight forwarding software, such as GoFreight, includes an online document center where you can store and access all of your files in one location. You no longer have to dig through emails and paper folders to find the documents you need. Furthermore, you and your customers will be able to easily see which documents are still missing as shown in the document center. If you’d like to learn more about how GoFreight can help you with your daily operations, please contact us to schedule a free demo