Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQs section. Please click on a question(s) below or use the “+” to expand the answers to each question.

What is CTN Number

A: Cargo Tracking Notes or CTN is an official loading certificate number which confirms detailed information about cargo and its movement between ports. Being a mandatory regime, every shipment must be covered by a CTN number before the cargo arrives at destination port.

Why is the CTN number important

A: The CTN serves as a Risk Assessment Engine which allows Customs and other Authorities to effectively control, supervise, and manage import traffic. A key component of CTN is the advanced notification of shipment details before they arrive at destination port. CTN certificates, allows Customs Authorities access to such information as: description of cargo, weight, volume, type and value of the cargo, exporter/importer, mode of shipment and shipping route as well as value of freight. Through this system, a common platform is thus created which allows each country to maintain important statistical data for future logistical monitoring.

How to secure CTN number


(a) Registration:

The Shipper/Exporter at Port of Origin needs to register & create an account online with CTN before proceeding with below steps to secure a CTN number.

(b) Steps to Secure CTN NUMBER

The whole process to obtain CTN number is completed online by Shipper/Exporter at port of origin. It begins with shipper/exporter providing ship information, shipment information and cargo details. Then followed by uploading/attaching relevant supporting documents such as: Commercial Invoice, Packing list and Customs declaration document at port of origin.

Shipper/exporter then previews all the entries made and proceeds to make payment to generate the CTN number (pre-validation). Once payment is confirmed and CTN number received, shipper/exporter submits the CTN number together with Shipping Instructions to Shipping Line for B/L and manifest preparation. After B/L is generated, shipper/exporter can now validate the CTN by entering the B/L number and date as well as attaching a copy of the B/L and freight invoice. The validated CTN is then made electronically available online to shipper/exporter and Customs Authority at destination.

Shipper/exporter can view/print the validated CTN certificate for any purpose. The whole process to validate CTN number must be completed within maximum 7 calendar days for regular shipments. However, for Bulk whole ship loading, special dispensation is available (

Ghana CTN regulations

A: REGULATIONS for CTN to Ghana as follows:

CTN number is mandatory without which clearing of goods at the ports will not be possible. Importers in Ghana must ensure that their respective shippers/exporters at port of origin have provided a Valid CTN number on the B/L, manifest and on all shipping documents.

A maximum 7 calendar days is allowed within which to complete the process from Entry of details to Validation of CTN (*special dispensation available for Bulk-Whole Ship Loadings: It is strongly recommended that shipper/exporter at port of origin secures the CTN number and submit it together with the shipping instructions to Shipping Line for B/L & manifest preparation.

A Pre-Validated CTN which is not completed within the mandated 7 days period will be TIMED-OUT (all inserted data will disappear, credits will be lost; and the Pre-Validated CTN number will be rendered null & void; and cannot be used at destination).

Any questions, Live Chat is available 24/7!

How to apply for CTN number

To apply for CTN number, it is recommended that you assemble all the necessary documents required.

Once assembled, you would normally proceed straight to the easy step-by-step online process of supplying information and uploading/attaching supporting documents.

Once B/L is issued, you will have to now Validate the CTN by inserting the B/L number and date and attaching B/L copy and freight invoice (if freight Prepaid). From Start to Validation of CTN, you are allowed 7 calendar days. However, for Bulk whole ship loading, special dispensation is available


It’s that simple!

What are the required documents to secure a CTN number

For PRE-VALIDATION (to obtain CTN number)

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Customs Export Document at Port of Origin
  • Packing List

For VALIDATION (to complete the process)

  • Bill of Lading (enter B/L number and date; and upload a copy of the B/L)
  • Freight Invoice (only if freight is PRE-PAID)

Can an importer apply for CTN number

No. All CTN procedures are the sole duty & obligation of the shipper/exporter at port of origin.

CTN cannot be regularized at port of destination and importer may suffer the consequences (of delays & possible high penalties) if shipper/exporter does not comply.

We have sent all documents to our importer. Can he/she secure CTN number with supporting documents ?

A: No. CTN processing is the exclusive responsibility of the Shipper/Exporter at port of origin.

Who is CTN Ghana

A: CTN Ghana Limited is an independent project consulting firm established to provide global online electronic services with regards to cargo shipment information. Being an international company, CTN Group seeks ultimately to offer Customs Authorities across Africa the much needed platform for engagement and exchange of information.

Do I need to generate CTN number for all types of cargo

Yes. Five (5) distinct and regular modes of shipment have been identified and your shipment may come under any one of the following: 1) FCL 2) LCL (Consolidation) 3) RoRo <5mt 4) RoRo > 5mt and 5) Breakbulk/Conventional. You will need to generate 1 CTN number for each mode of shipment above. Please contact if you have any specific kind of shipment that is not mentioned above.

Is it possible to generate a CTN number for shipments that depart outside of Europe

Yes, CTN Ghana is operating globally and the SOLE AUTHORIZED representative to generate CTN number for all shipments from every loading port around the globe to Ghana.

What happens if shipment arrives at POD without a valid CTN number

Your goods cannot be cleared, high penalties may apply, possible protracted delays with consequences for high demurrage fees; and in some cases, confiscation of goods.

Is CTN number necessary for LCL (Consolidated) Container

Yes; if you are using a freight forwarder and if the freight forwarder has a local agent in Ghana unto whom the cargo is consigned to. In this situation, the Master B/L is created to the freight forwarder as Shipper; and the local agent as Consignee with each sharing member as Notify party 1/ 2 / 3 / etc.

Do aid organizations (UN / WFP / Red Cross / etc) have to obtain CTN number for their cargo

Yes. Commercial cargo shipment sent by aid organizations must be covered by a valid CTN number.

Do we have to mention the CTN number on the BILL of Lading

Absolutely YES. It is mandatory for shipper/exporter to submit the Pre-validated CTN number together with the shipping instructions to the Shipping Line for B/L and manifest preparation.

Can I get a draft of the Pre-validated CTN before the final validation of the CTN number

Yes, you can view, print and must send the Pre-Validated CTN number together with the shipping instructions to the Shipping Line for B/L and manifest preparation purposes.

How long does it take for a Pre-Validated CTN number to be validated

All depends on you! Once B/L is issued, you will have to now Validate the CTN by inserting the B/L number and date and attaching B/L copy and freight invoice (if freight Prepaid). You must remember that the entire process duration is 7 calendar days From Start to Validation of CTN (*special dispensation only available for Bulk whole ship loading

Can I make changes to a Validated CTN number

No; you cannot amend the CTN once validated. Any request for amendment can be lodge by consignee directly with local Customs Authority upon arrival of cargo at destination.

In a Triangular Trade involving several parties, which party is responsible for CTN application

Where a transaction involves several parties such as: Manufacturer/Supplier; Exporter; Trader (intermediary in a different location); Exporter; Freight Forwarder; Importer/Consignee; it is important to note that the obligation of CTN application is still that of the Shipper / Exporter at the port of origin.

However, the Trader or Intermediary who will appear as shipper on the B/L may also process the CTN application on strict condition that relevant required documents such as the Customs Export document at the port of origin is duly uploaded in support of the application.

The Commercial Invoice between Trader (or intermediary) and Consignee at destination must be uploaded as well. Please contact

Do I need to provide a Commercial Invoice for my household / personal cargo / goods

Yes, you can present a Proforma Invoice based on the estimated value of your personal goods (listing each item & value) and not necessarily the exact market value at the time of shipment.

It is however important that you provide exact description of each item and select corresponding HS Code from the drop down menu in the system.

How do I process CTN for a Switch B/L

A Switch B/L in many respects may be akin to a Triangular Trade for which information protection becomes crucial to the Seller / Trader (or intermediary).

The CTN filing for Switch is designed to provide a degree of transparency on the Logistical Movement of the Cargo and all Commercial Transactions relative to that same shipment. For assistance on how to file on the CTN portal, please contact

Is CTN required for “Goods in Transit” via Ghana (Tema / Takoradi)

Yes, cargo destined for neighboring land-locked countries, specifically: Burkina Faso, Mali, & Niger are required to be covered by a CTN number.

I am exporting car(s) to Ghana; do I need a CTN number for my shipment(s)



Where the age of a used motor vehicle does NOT exceed SIX (6) MONTHS, CTN is mandatory and you must apply online


Motor vehicles OLDER THAN Six (6) Months are exempted from CTN number application.