Frequently Asked Questions

Find out about our most frequently asked questions, and their answers. Our FAQ section offers concise insights into Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) certificates.

What is a Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) Certificate?

The Loading Certificate, Cargo Tracking Note Is a kind of waiver document goes by the abbreviation CTN, and is sometimes referred to as Bordereau de Suivi Cargaison (BSC) which is the french wording.

These waiver certificates are recognized maritime records that provide information on the cargo and its port-to-port transportation. In order to effectively manage, monitor, and regulate their import and export trade, some African countries demand this. Each CTN must be submitted and approved in order to be used for import customs clearance at the port of entry. Local customs will prohibit any shipments that aren’t covered by a valid CTN and impose a penalty fee.

The waiver documents contain every relevant detail on the exporter and importer, the shipping mode (containerized, groupage, etc.), the kind and value of the items being transported, the name of the vessel, and the freight bill for the cargo. Before the shipment reaches the port of discharge, the importer or exporter must handle and register these waivers. If the ECTN Certificate is not verified in a timely manner, your cargo may suffer consequences, and you may not be able to obtain a certificate.

Why is an Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) Certificate required?
An ECTN (Electronic Cargo Tracking Note) certificate is required for certain international shipments, particularly to certain countries in Africa. It is needed to comply with import regulations, prevent fraud, manage risks, collect accurate customs duties, and enhance security. The certificate provides advance information about the cargo, allowing customs authorities to monitor shipments and ensure proper documentation.
Is the CTN Certificate mandatory for all shipments to Somalia?

There are no regulations in place regarding any exceptions for not obtaining the CTN Certificate. All shipments entering Somalia must obtain a Cargo Tracking Note including Humanitarian – UN cargo and personal effects.

Once the procedure is completed and payment is done, how long will it take to obtain the ECTN and is it going to be sent via email?
The users can only submit complete ECTNs and they need to have the balance in their accounts. All ECTNs are validated or rejected within 24 hours. You will be able to download the valide ECTN from the system once all steps are completed.
What are the procedure/steps for obtaining an ECTN certificate via the website?
The exporter or its forwarder can apply to create an account in our platform with a valid business license. Upon validation of the account, users can create an ECTN. The form requires the information on the BL, commercial invoice, and freight invoice. These are also mandatory documents that need to be uploaded on the platform. Users can then create a deposit request, inserting the amount they want to deposit in their accounts. The official tariff is published on ECTN Fees. Please click here for a step-by-step guide.
What documents are required to obtain an CTN Certificate?

The following documents should be scanned and uploaded or sent in PDF format to get issued a CTN certificate:

Bill of lading
Commercial invoice
Freight invoice

Who is responsible for obtaining the CTN Certificate?
The responsibility for obtaining the ECTN Certificate usually falls on the shipper or freight forwarder. Not obtaining a ECTN Certificate will result in a hefty fine.
Who should apply the ECTN? The shipper/booking party in Port of Loading or the consignee in Mogadishu?

The ECTN should be applied to and paid for by the shipper/exporter party in the P.O.L..

What are the consequences of not having an Electronic “Cargo Tracking Note” (ECTN, CTN)?
If an ECTN Certificate is not provided when necessary, fines, delays, and even the rejection of cargo clearance at the destination port may occur. To prevent these effects, it is essential to follow the regulations.
Is it mandatory to mention the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) number on Bill of Lading (BL)?

The Somalia government has determined that beginning on April 29th, 2023, all transactions involving goods imported into Somalia must include an ECTN Reference Number on the bill of lading. Goods lacking an ECTN number are not allowed to be loaded onto the ship.

As CTN Somalia we are able to deliver this ECTN Number the same day as the application because we are the authorized agency.

Is it necessary to obtain an ECTN number before loading the container at the Port of Loading? Is there any deadline?

Currently, the ECTN has to be validated before the arrival of the vessel. But we encourage shippers to consider the time needed to get the validation and therefore apply with the draft Bill of Lading (B.L.).

How much does an ECTN Certificate cost?
The price of an ECTN Certificate varies according on the shipment’s details. The fees often include service fees, application fees, and other related expenses. For more information contact us.
Can I cancel or request a refund for an ECTN Certificate?

The cancellation or refund policies for ECTN Certificates may be possible if the cancellation is before the certificates validation. If the CTN Certificate has been validated you can not get a refund. It is advisable to review the terms and conditions and communicate directly with the responsible party to understand the possibilities for cancellation or refunds.

What are the common reasons for the CTN Certificate rejection?

ECTN Certificates are frequently refused for a variety of reasons, including incorrect or insufficient information, a lack of supporting documents, a failure to satisfy the standards of the destination country, or a violation of the law. In order to prevent rejection, it is imperative to give correct and comprehensive information.

What consequences may there be if you fill out the ECTN Certificate with inaccurate or insufficient information?
On the ECTN Certificate, giving false or insufficient information can lead to the certificate being rejected, delays in customs clearance, penalties, fines, or possibly the goods being seized. To prevent these negative effects, it is imperative to ensure the accuracy and accuracy of the information presented.
Without an ECTN Certificate, what are the possible delays or difficulties at the destination port?

Without an ECTN Certificate, there may be delays in customs clearance, additional inspections, penalties or fines, rejection of cargo discharge, or even potential legal repercussions at the destination port. To prevent such problems, it is essential to follow the destination country’s regulations.

How does the ECTN Certificate affect the insurance coverage for my cargo?
The ECTN Certificate is not directly linked to the insurance coverage for your cargo. Often times, insurance companies would like the shipment to be 100% compliant with the rules and regulations. Since the ECTN Certificate is a mandatory document it is possible.
What should I do if the destination country does not accept the final CTN Certificate?

ECTN is a digital document and a valid ECTN means it’s validated in the country system. As long as the ECTN is validated by the authorized party, the ECTN will always be recognized. For any problem you may occur we at CTN Somalia are here to help.

Can I use a single CTN Certificate for multiple shipments?
CTN Certificates are only valid for the specific shipment for which they are issued. Every shipment needs a different CTN Certificate.
How is customs clearance affected by the ECTN Certificate?

In countries where it is necessary, the ECTN Certificate is a crucial document for customs clearance. Before providing clearance for the shipment, customs officials utilize the certificate to confirm the information given, monitor the movement of the container, and check for regulatory compliance.