Will I need a Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), Pre-Shipment Inspection and Other Documents to Ship to Africa?

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Due to import controls and regulations in place in several African countries, international shipping customers are oftentimes confused about what documentation and procedures are necessary in order to properly ship their goods to Africa.  Today we are here to debunk some of the international shipping questions for customers interested in shipping cars, construction equipment, machinery and other commercial goods to Africa.

Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) for International Shipping to Africa.  Will I Need a Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) or Other Special Document to Ship to Africa?

Several countries in Africa require customers shipping goods to their country to obtain a cargo tracking note (CTN).  The purpose of the cargo tracking note is very simple, countries utilize the information from the document to track what type of goods are coming into the country.  The CTN provides a simple way for several African countries to maintain statistical data on their imports.  The normal information contained on the CTN is: shipper information, consignee information, cargo details including weight and dimensions, value of shipment, and how the cargo is shipped.

The countries that sometimes require cargo tracking notes (CTN) for international shipping to Africa are:

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Togo
  • Senegal
  • Nigeria 
  • Niger
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Republic of Congo
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Mali
  • Madagascar
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Guinea
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Gabon

You should always check with your import agent if your country requires Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) for international car, container and construction equipment shipping to Africa.

Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) Requirements for International Shipping to Africa.

In addition to CTN’s, some countries also require the customer to conduct a pre-shipment inspection prior to shipping your cargo to Africa.  The pre-shipment inspection is conducted by certified companies given authorization from the government of the importing African country to perform the inspections.  Most pre-shipment inspections (PSI) are conducted by Bureau Veritas, Cotecna, Societe Generale Surveillance (SGS) or Intertek Testing Service. 

In order to start the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) process the importer must first provide the commercial invoice, full packing list and shipment information to the PSI office in the importing country.  Upon receipt of the necessary shipping information, the PSI company will provide a unique identifying number for your shipment.  Using this unique identifying number, the international shipping agent in the USA coordinates with the PSI office in the US to conduct the inspection.  When shipping cars and construction equipment to Africa, the PSI agent will conduct the inspection at the port of exit in the United States.  When shipping cars, machinery and other cargo to Africa in a container, the agent will conduct the inspection only after the cargo has already been loaded inside the container.  Pre-Shipping Inspections require precise coordination between your international shipping company, the port, container warehouse and the inspecting agent to ensure the inspection is done in a timely manner and before the cargo loads the vessels to Africa. The following countries require pre-shipping inspections:

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Kenya
  • Mauritania
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania

 
What Happens if I do not have a Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) and/or the Cargo Tracking Note Completed?

If your country requires a cargo tracking note (CTN) or pre-shipment inspection (PSI) you are strongly advised to make sure it is done.  Penalties for missing CTN’s or PSI’s include: monetary fines, seizure of cargo, refusal of cargo at the importing country and the return of your goods to the USA.  Steamship lines are also cracking down on missing cargo tracking notes and pre-shipping inspections.  If you fail to provide a the unique cargo tracking number issued by the proper authority, the steamship line will refuse to load your cargo and/or provide you with an original bill of lading.

Understanding what documentation and procedures are needed prior to shipping cargo to Africa is important.  Contact K International Transport today to receive the best international car, construction equipment, heavy machinery and container shipping costs and services to Africa.

 

Always keep in mind that although an international shipping company will assist you in filling out the cargo tracking note and coordinating the pre-shipment inspection, it is your responsibility as the owner of the cargo to make sure you confirm all necessary documentation and procedures needed for import into your country.  With other 25 years of international shipping experience to Africa, K International is able to assist our customers in obtaining cargo tracking notes (CTN) and pre-shipping inspections (PSI) for international shipping to Africa.  For more information or to receive construction equipment, heavy machinery, container and car shipping quotes to Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, or Kenya from the US, contact us at inquiries@kinternational.com, 212-267-6400 or on Skype at kinternationalny.  We are one of the best and most affordable international shipping companies shipping to West, East and South Africa from the United States.


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