Recently, the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) announced that it will apply the Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) for incoming cargos on to the ports in Djibouti as from the middle of June.
From the announcement sent to Capital, the DPFZA informed all importers, exporters, shipping lines, customs authority, freight forwarders and logistics companies, that the electronic information system, ECTN, will officially be launched soon.
As per the scheme, exporters must obtain an ECTN from the platform, which was developed for the new system, when loading containers destined for all Djibouti ports. It added that the ECTN document should be obtained from the port of loading by the shippers, exporters, or freight forwarders and the ECTN number must be written on the bill of loading.
“To obtain an electronic tracking document ECTN: bill of loading, commercial invoice and freight invoice is required,” read the announcement issued on May 31.
It added that the purpose of the implantation of ECTN system is for the security and safety of the infrastructure, assets and cargo in the ports facilities.
According to the information that was posted on ctndjibouti.com ECTN has a fee of USD 100 for a twenty feet container and USD 150 for a forty feet box.
As sources explain, this has led to confusion amongst Ethiopian customers, who are the major clients for ports in Djibouti.
However, sources in Djibouti told Capital that the latest announcement does not include customers in Ethiopia. They added that the relevant body in Djibouti sent an official email for Ethiopian logistics representatives in Djibouti on Monday June 5, which was prior to the trip taken by logistics sector leaders from Ethiopia to Djibouti.
Accordingly, sources told Capital that a delegation led by Abdulber Shemsu, Director General of Ethiopian Maritime Authority, a regulatory body in the logistics sector, and Berisso Amallo, CEO of ESL, a state owned logistics giant with the control of multimodal, travelled to Djibouti on Tuesday, June 6 and stayed there for four days.
Sources could however not confirm that the issue was raised by officials on the visit at the Ethiopian port hub.
Referenced from the company’s twitter, DPFZA on June 7, through the Chairman of the Authority, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, met with the Ethiopian delegation at Djibouti International Tower.
The tweet cited discussions focused on establishing the corridor management between the two countries and extending it across other countries in the region, “Experts from both sides were present to conduct joint inspection missions.”
“The Chairman emphasized on Ethiopia to increase the movement of imports and exports of goods. He reiterated that Djibouti will invest even more in its infrastructure in order to adapt to Ethiopia’s economic growth,” it added.
Logistics leaders at ESL, who take about the highest percent as a client in Djibouti as well as other private actors expressed that they don’t expect the scheme to be applied for Ethiopian customers.
“Now we have confirmed that the new system does not include us,” a top leader at ESL told Capital.
In light of the announcement, ESL had conducted a study regarding the new scheme, on the feasibility and plausible effect on its customers. As per the study, the new scheme may have additional expenses up to USD 36 million per annum.
However, experts in the logistics sector including ESL told Capital that ECTN is not new as it is an initiative supported by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on the aim to boost the logistics sector and its facilities.
As a pilot, it was tested in a single shipment about ten years ago between Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Several African countries require the official loading documentation known as the ECTN. Port authorities claim that the aim of the ECTN is to contribute to the substantial reduction of risk, real-time monitoring and reliable assessments of import goods, their shippers, importers, and other details.
Many countries in the African continent require exporters to notify Custom Authorities about the shipment details before they arrive. The Cargo Tracking Note system facilitates this requirement.
The ECTN certificate contains in-depth information about products, how they were transported between ports, and how long it took. This document is mandatory for all shipments that will be unloaded regardless of final destination.
Before arrival at the port, every shipment to a country requiring an ECTN must be accompanied by the ECTN certificate. With this certification, destination port authorities receive all necessary information prior to the shipment’s arrival, facilitating customs clearance for your products.
Source: Capital June12,2023