Senegal BSC, an American Export Story
You know the idiom “Bite the bullet.” right? It means to get something over with something, however painful or hard it is because it is unavoidable. If you are doing something as complicated as I am, you need to bite the bullet most of the time. First, getting a shipment in Senegal, then getting a Senegal BSC certificate was like that for me. Not anymore… And here’s the story of that:
My job is to export genuine American-made construction supplies all over the developing world. I took over the company from my father, who has the vision to export high-quality intermediary products to Europe. His vision, albeit lacking a scalability perspective, grew the company to what it is today: a state-wide known brand, creating dozens of jobs for American people.
When I took over business after my father’s retirement, I believed Africa, a continent filled with countries developing faster than a decade ago, was the answer to our flat-lined growth rate.
Exporting to somewhere, anywhere is complicated enough: You need to know the customs, the maritime costs, legal framework, string to pull, people to call and in general, the culture & the buyers. North of the equatorial line seemingly understood and learned the easy way of doing this: Southern part? Not so much.
Our main focus of business lays in Senegal: A beautiful country in need of medium to high-quality supplies for its growing infrastructure. Whatever I learned from past Exporting knowledge fell short. The first shipment didn’t go through, we paid a lot of demurrage and believe me when I say you don’t want to face a bill matching the total shipment revenue.
The second time we were going to ship, I took some precautions and ask our beloved assistant, Google, to find some help. The first thing that popped up is the need to present B.S.C; the necessary documents we forgot to present to the authorities in the first shipment. In closer inspection and a 15-minute reading session, I learned that BSC is an official paper that must be brought by every cargo shipment arriving Senegal as its final destination. It was set as a mandatory document by Senegal Customs officials in 2008 and as the finishing blow: “Failing to present valid BSC document at request will lead to severe consequences and a substantial penalty.”
There were several firms and sites but I found BSC Africa a little more satisfying in terms of knowledge presented on Senegal BSC certificate. It was late 2018 and I was pretty desperate to finish the last quarter with a Senegal export-based revenue. Much to my surprise, It only took a day to process payment and get the draft that our liaisons could present to Senegal Customs.
The fourth of our shipment is now in the way; and I can only say, thanks to BSC Africa, I don’t need to bite any bullet. Our operations can be defined by another idiom now: “Like a knife through butter.”. Smooth, fast and pretty easy.