Cargo Tracking Note (CTN)

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) requires validated and endorsed Cargo Tracking Notes (CTN) for all consignments (including groupage consignments within containers) to Nigeria. This came into effect on 11th January 2010.

It was introduced to improve cargo security and safety by providing adequate information to help in tracking them, says the NPA. Port Authorities and terminal operators can now be more accurate in taking inventories and locating items in ships at all times. It is also advised that the CTN can help reduce the risk of terrorist attacks and assist with customs clearance procedures.

It is now mandatory for all cargo coming out of or into Nigeria, whether imports or exports, to be accompanied by a cargo tracking note and every bill of lading has to be accompanied by a corresponding cargo tracking note number.

The CTN can only be obtained from the country representative of the Port of Loading.

If cargo arrives in Nigeria without a CTN, the receiver risks demurrages and warehousing costs until a valid CTN has been delivered by the loading port.
The costs for these certificates vary, but it would be good practice to contact the relevant country representative at the contract stage to find the cost and add this to the contract price.

Maria Narancic from Point to Point Export Services is an independent international trade adviser who assists organisations world wide with their international trade projects, documentation, Documentary Credits and import/export training.  She is based in the United Kingdom.  If you require any further assistance with the matters mentioned above, please do contact us by e-mail on or check out other international trade articles on the Point to Point Export Services website at

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