International transport to Africa: are you shipping to Burkina Faso?

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Effective April 20, 2023, ECTN becomes mandatory

The “Electronic Cargo Tracking Note” (ECTN) is a maritime declaration or waiver obligatory in several African countries using it to improve customs clearance and ensure the smooth flow of goods across borders.

The ECTN requirement, implemented in accordance with article 02 of the Regulation N◦2009_0012_/MT/MEF since the 15th of September 2009, serves as a unique identifier for a shipment of goods entering a country. Here you can download the list.

Effective April 20, 2023, the Ministry of Transport, Urban Mobility, and Road Safety in Burkina Faso has mandated that the ECTN Unique Reference Number (URN) must be included on the bill of lading for all incoming shipments.

The new requirement applies to all parties involved in the shipping process, including shippers, carriers, and freight forwarders. It is essential that all parties comply with this new regulation to avoid any delays or issues.

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. For example, shipments
in transit through Togo (Port of discharge Lome) and Benin (Port of discharge Cotonou) require an additional a BSC certificate.

How can you get an ECTN Certificate?

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

  • Bill of Lading – B/L dated with ECTN n°
  • Commercial Invoice (indicating Incoterm, HS Code, Country of Origin, Currency, Breakdown of values in EUR/USD, Gross Weight in Tons)
  • Sea Freight invoice if commercial invoice is FOB or – EXW
  • Custom declaration – EXA
  • Packing List
  • Vehicle registration document ( for RO-RO shipment)


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