Waiver – essential for exports to African countries
Continuing our series of “Practical advice from our experts”, we present waiver – essential for exports to African countries.
International transport often requires more detailed knowledge of at least the regulations and rules to be observed for individual goods or to individual countries. If you plan to send goods to Africa, it is important to obtain a waiver. This document is drawn up using data from the bill of lading, invoice and export declaration, and then transferred to the relevant government databases. Depending on the country, this certificate may be known as an ECTN, CTN, BSC, BESC, BIC/BIETC or CNCA document. Waiver enables a country’s customs authorities to observe, control as well as manage import traffic. Failure to obtain a waiver certificate can result in substantial financial penalties and even in the goods being sent back to the country of origin (involving additional expense and correction of customs and tax matters).
What information should be included in the application for a waiver certificate?
Different African countries require different information to be provided, but the most common are: value of goods transported, cost of transport incurred, number of packages, net and gross weight, shipper and consignee details, shipping company details, bill of lading number, name of ship. In order to obtain a waiver, it is generally necessary to present a waybill, a confirmation of clearance, a commercial invoice and sometimes a freight invoice. Often the specific documents may vary depending on the destination country.
The declaration should be completed before leaving the customs area, but this is not the rule, as each region has its own requirements and we must adapt to them. Please note that it may take several days to process your application, it is advisable not to leave this issue to the last minute. We advise you to always discuss the required documents with the recipient in the country concerned – they will have the most up-to-date knowledge of the acceptance procedures in their country.
The African countries to which the waiver certificate applies are listed below:
– Burkina Faso,
– Democratic Republic of the Congo,
– Central African Republic,
– Sierra Leone,
– South Sudan,
– Côte d’Ivoire,