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The Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa and it is bordered by TOGO to the West, NIGERIA to the East, BURKINA FASO to the North-North West and NIGER to the North-North East.

According to Benin Custom regulations numbered N°2006/060 and N° 038/MDCTTPU-PR/ DC/ SG/ CTTM/ CNCB/ SA, effective from December 28, 2006, all sea cargo shipped to Benin requires an BESC certificate.

Please be aware that a waiver document is needed for BENIN even though your cargo is in transit through Benin you will need a BESC document as well.

Some shipping lines may not load cargo without the BESC number. Cargo arriving without a BESC may be subject of fines and delays.



Documents and Information required

  • Bill of Lading (Final B/L for validation)
  • Commercial invoice: currency must be mentioned in $ or €.
  • Freight invoice in the same currency (not needed in case the freight charges are mentioned on the commercial invoice)
  • Export Customs Document
  • Packing list
  • Other: Country of origin + ETS (Estimated Time of shipping)

Additional information

  • BESC number must be mentioned on the Master Bill of Lading and manifest of the carrier.
  • The BESC number must be forwarded to the carrier.
  • Vehicle Title (REQUIRED when shipping a vehicle)


  • Submit the required documents online or per email.
  • Typically the same day you will receive a draft BESC and an invoice.
  • Once your payment has been received and you have approved the draft, a validated BESC will be sent.
  • If your cargo transits Benin to another Country, you will be required to get an BESC for both Countries.


  • The BESC must be validated before the vessel arrives at the destination. No regularization at destination port
  • Since the BESC is validated by the authorities in the destination country, the process, from submitting a request to final validation, can take 3-5 days.


  • Loading of cargo that is not covered by an ECTN constitutes an infraction that will require the acting party to pay not only the regular fee, but also a penalty issued by the National Shippers Council of Benin (CNCB).
  • The amount of the penalty is 50.000 FCFA per payable unit, in accordance with the tariff.