Cargo Tracking Note (CTN)
What is the ECTN?
The Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), the ECTN (Electronic Cargo Tracking Note) or the Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), is a system for collecting documents and processing information, when exporting by sea toward our client country, in order to obtain prior information, to participate in security measures, resources planification, statistics, and more generally in order to participate in the WTO and the WCO recommendations on Trade Facilitation and Security.
Under the Transport and/or Finance ministries authority, the National Shippers Councils are generally the bodies that manages the Electronic Cargo Tracking Note and the National Customs Agency the bodies that manages the Entry Summary Declaration.
Originally, the National Shippers Councils of various countries (mainly in Africa, ACP, Near/Middle East, Asia, etc. ) were created, on the recommendation of the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), in order to resolve the problem of sea trade imbalances, and in particular by setting and monitoring freight rates. To this end, the National Shippers Councils derived statistical information from the Attestations de Réservation de Cale (ARC) [or loading certificate], which is no longer applicable.
After the events of 11 September 2001, the countries across the world increased the prerequisite measures and processes for cargo data (even to the point of checking customs valuations of goods and freight rates), in order to strengthen the prior identification of checks, port security and fraud reduction related to value, while facilitating trade by improving import flows.
Today and the international context
Like the ‘Shipping Act’ in the USA, this was the context in which the ECTN was born, as it simultaneously strengthened security, reduced fraud, and facilitated trade. The ECTN is in line with the spirit of WTO’s trade facilitation, because of the almost instantaneous transmission of data and documents to customs and port authorities of the destination country, well before the arrival of the vessel.
In addition, in accordance with the new IMO (International Maritime Organisation) standards for international cooperation between its member states for the security of ships and port facilities, the “ISPS” code was introduced and is now part of global maritime security policies. This new provision implies on the part of each of the signatory countries:
- An initial obligation structured around the reorganisation and development of the port area to achieve impeccable protection in accordance with the ISPS code.
- A second obligation in the context of international maritime cooperation, which consists of organising data processing on all shipments and all vessels departing to a final destination: this is also where the ECTN comes into its own.
Therefore, at the destination, the ECTN is used to initiate an analysis of the cargo, define a security level for the vessels prior to their arrival, increase the protection of ports against a terrorist attack and be able to improve the customs valuation of the goods and freight.
PHOENIX TFS Solutions
In parallel, and for client countries who decide to use it, the ECTN of PHOENIX Trade Facilitation & Security can provide many documents and information on the freight cargo, well before the vessel arrives, so that the authorities and importers can process all the import/export documents in advance, while monitoring the movement of their goods.
Developed entirely by PHOENIX TFS, the ECTN is a unique application, based on a Web platform, that allows local authorities (National Shippers Councils, Port and Customs authorities, etc. ) to access the data and documents in real time from their offices (via a security protocol and access rights depending on the user).