A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y

The list issued by the Customs Service of documents and records that importers and others must keep, retain, and, if the Customs Service demands, produce, or be subject to administrative penalties.


A


A.T.
American Terms (Marine Insurance) A term used to differentiate between the conditions of American Policies from those of other nations, principally England.

ABI
Automated Brokerage Interface Is a system available to U.S. Customs Brokers with the computer capabilities and customs certification to transmit and exchange customs entries and other information, facilitating prompt release of imported cargo.

Acceptance
A time draft (or bill of exchange) which the drawee has accepted and is unconditionally obligated to pay at maturity. Drawee’s act in receiving a draft and thus entering into the obligation to pay its value at maturity. An agreement to purchase goods under specified terms.

ACE
Customs Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) The description used by the former U.S. Customs Service (now CBP) to identify a program to expand, further integrate and generally modernize its automated systems using more distributed processing than in the current Customs Automated Commercial System (ACS), which “ACE” will displace over time. The various sub-systems and interfaces which CBP uses to manage cargo status, the customs entry process, and export clearances (e.g., AMS, ABI, ACH, and AES) will migrate to this new environment, with a variety of enhancement along the way. The current ACS, now considered a legacy system, will be maintained only to meet urgent requirements and as needed for transition purposes.

Ad Valorem
A fixed percentage of the value of goods that is used to calculate customs duties and taxes.

Add Hoc Charter
A one-off charter operated at the necessity of an airline or charterer.

Admirality Court
A court having jurisdiction over maritime questions pertaining to ocean transport, including contracts, charters, collisions, and cargo damages.

Advance Against Documents
Load made on the security of the documents covering the shipment.

Advising Bank
A bank that receives a letter of credit from an issuing bank, verifies its authenticity, and forwards the original letter of credit to the exporter without obligation to pay

Advisory Capacity
A term indicating that a shipper’s agent or representative is not empowered to make definite decisions or adjustment without the approval of the group or individual represented.

Affiliate
Is a company that controls, or is controlled by another company, or is one of two or more commonly controlled companies.

Agency Agreement
The steamship line appoints the steamship agent and defines the specific duties and areas of responsibility of that agent.

Air Cargo Agent
Is a type of freight forwarder who specializes in air cargo and acts for airlines that pay him a fee (usually 5%). He is registered with the International Air Transport Association, IATA (See also Air Freight Forwarder; Forwarder, Freight Forwarder, Foreign Freight Forwarder).

Air Freight Forwarder
Is a type of freight forwarder who specializes in air cargo. He usually consolidates the air shipments of various exporters, charging them for actual weight and deriving his profit by paying the airline the lower consolidated rate. He issues his own air waybills to the exporters, is licensed by the CAB (Civil Aeronautics Board) and has the status of an indirect air carrier (See also Air Cargo Agent, Forwarder, Freight Forwarder, Foreign Freight Forwarder.)

Air Freightment
An agreement by a steamship line to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer, who then becomes liable for payment even though he is later unable to make the shipment.

Air Waybill
A bill of landing that covers both international and domestic flights transporting goods to a specified destination. This is a non-negotiable documents of air transport  that serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions.

AITA
International Air Transport Association, IATA, (French, German).

All Risk Insurance
Is a clause included in marine insurance policies to cover loss and damage from external causes, such as fire, collision, pilferage, etc. but not against innate flaws in the goods, such as decay, germination, nor against faulty packaging, improper packing/ loading or loss of market, nor against war, strikes, riots and civil commotions (See Marine Insurance)

All-Risk Clause
Is an insurance provision that all loss or damage to goods is insured except that of inherent vice (self caused). (See All Risk Insurance).

Alongside
A phrase referring to the side of a ship. Goods to be delivered “alongside” are to be placed on the dock or barge within reach of the transport ship’s tackle so that they can be loaded abroad the ship.

Antidumping Duties
additional duties imposed on imported merchandise when the imported merchandise is being sold in the United States at less than fair value and is causing material harm to a domestic industry.

Arbitration Clause
Is a standard clause to be included in the contracts of exporters and importers, as suggested by the American Arbitration Association. It states that any controversy or claim will be settled by arbitration in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

Assignment
The transfer of the rights, duties, responsibilities and/or benefits of an agreement, contract, or financial instrument to third party.

Assignment of Proceeds
A stipulation within a letter of credit in which some or all of the proceeds are assigned from the original beneficiary to one or more additional beneficiaries.

Assists
Value or items that an importer provides to its foreign supplier/manufacturer at a reduced rate or free of charge, directly or indirectly, that is used to produce the imported merchandise. The value of the merchandise must reflect this added value.

Automated Brokerage Interface (ABI)
An electronic system allowing customhouse brokers and importers to interface via computer with the US Customs Service for transmitting entry and entry summary data on imported merchandise.

Automated Commercial System (ACS)
The electronic system of the US Customs Service, encompassing a variety of industry sectors, that permits on-line access to information in selected areas.

Automated Manifest System (AMS)
The electronic system allowing a manifest inventory to be transmitted to the US Customs Service data center by carrier, port authority or service center computers.


B


B/B
Break-Bulk Cargo

BAA
British Airports Authority

BACA
Baltic Air Charter Association

Balance of Trade
The difference between a country’s total imports and exports; if exports exceed imports, favorable balance of trade exists, if not, a trade deficit is said to exist.

Barter
Trade in which merchandise is exchanged directly for other merchandise without use of money. Barter is an important means of trade with countries using currency that is not readily convertible.

Belly Cargo
Freight accommodation below the main deck.

Beneficiary
A firm or person on whom a letter of credit has been drawn. The beneficiary is usually the seller or exporter.

Bermuda Agreement
An agreement concluded in 1946 between the U.K. and the U.S., designed to regulate future international air traffic. Most governments accept its principles and follow it inter alia by limiting traffic rights on international routes to one or two carriers.

Berth
Is the place beside a pier, quay or wharf where a vessel can be loaded or discharged

Berth Liner Service
Is a regular scheduled steamship line with regular published schedules (port of call ) from and to defined trade areas

Berth or Liner Terms
Is an expression covering assessment of ocean freight rates generally implying that loading and discharging expenses will be for ship owner’s account, and usually apply from the end of ship’s tackle in port of loading to the end of ship’s tackle in port of discharge.

Bill of Lading
A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company under which freight is to be moved between specified points for a specified charge. Usually prepared by  the shipper on forms issued by the carrier, it serves as a document of title, contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods. Also see Air Waybill and Ocean Bill of Lading.

Bill of Lading
A document that a transportation company possesses acknowledging that it has received goods, and that temporarily serves as title during transport of the merchandise.

Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse storage area or manufacturing facility in which imported goods may be stored or processed without payment of customs duties; payment of duties is deferred until the importer pays the duties or until Customs releases the merchandise.

Brussels Tariff Nomenclature Number (BTN)
The customs tariff number used by most European nations. The United States does not use the BTN, but a similar system known as the Harmonize Tariff Schedule.


C


C & I
Is a quoted price includes cost of goods and insurance.

C&F
Is a quoted price includes cost of goods and freight.

C.C.E.F.
Is a Customs Centralized Examination Facility.

C.I.F.
Is a quoted price includes cost of goods, insurance and freight.

C.I.T.E.S.
Committee on International Trade of Endangered Species.

CAA
Is the Civil Aviation Authority. Government body responsible for regulating U.K. airlines.

Cabotage
Is where cargo is carried on what is essentially a domestic flight and therefore not subject to international agreements that fix set rates. Cabotage rates are negotiable between shipper and airline and apply on flights within a country and to its overseas territories.

CAD
The acronym meaning “cash against documents,” a method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given to the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller.

CAD/CAM
Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing.

Cage
The transporting of goods by truck to or from a vessel, aircraft, or bonded warehouse, all under customs custody.

Cargo
Is merchandise/commodities/freight carried by means of transportation.

Cargo Receipt
Is a receipt of cargo for shipment by a consolidator (used in ocean freight).

Carnet
A customs document permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries (for display, demonstration, or similar purpose) without paying duties or posting bonds.

Carrier(s) Containers or Shipper(s) Containers
The term Carrier(s) Container(s) or Shipper(s) Container(s) means containers over which the carrier or the shipper has control either by ownership or by the acquisition thereof under lease or rental from container companies or container suppliers or from similar sources. Carriers are prohibited from purchasing, leasing or renting shipper owned containers.

Carrier, Common
A public or privately owned firm or corporation that transports the goods of others over land, sea, or through the air, for a stated freight rate. By government regulation, a common carrier is required to carry all goods offered if accommodations are available and the established rate is paid.

Cartel
Is an association of several independent national or international business organizations that regulates competition by controlling the prices, the production, or the marketing of a product or an industry.

Cash Against Documents (CAD)
Payment for goods in which a commission house, or other intermediary, transfers title documents to the buyer upon payment in cash.

Cash in Advance (C.I.A.)
Payment for goods in which the price is paid in full before shipment is made. This method is usually used only for small purchases or when the goods are built to order.

Certificate of Analysis
Is a certificate required by some countries as proof of the quality and composition of food products or pharmaceuticals. The required analysis may be made by a private or government health agency. The certificate must be legalized by a foreign consul of the country concerned, as is the case with such similar certificates as the phytosanitary certificate.

Certificate of Inspection
A document certifying that the goods were in apparent good condition immediately prior to shipment.

Certificate of Manufacture
A statement in which a producer specifies where his goods were manufactured, certifies that manufacturing has been completed, and confirms that the goods are at the buyer’s disposal.

Certificate of Origin
A statement signed by the exporter, or his agent, and attested to by a local Chamber of Commerce, indicating that the goods being shipped, or a major percentage of them, originated and were produced in the exporter’s country.

CES
Customs Examination Station

CFS (Container Freight Station)
The term CFS at loading port means the location designated by carriers for the receiving of cargo to be packed into containers by the carrier. At discharge ports, the term CFS means the bonded location designated by carriers in the port area for unpacking and delivery of cargo.

CFS CHARGE (Container Freight Charge)
The term CFS Charge means the charge assessed for services performed at the loading or discharging port in packing or unpacking of cargo into/from containers at CFS.

CFS Receiving Service
The term “CFS Receiving Services” means the service performed at loading port in receiving and packing cargo into containers from CFS to CY or shipside. “CFS Receiving Services” referred herein are restricted to the following 1. Moving empty containers from CY to CFS 2. Drayage of loaded containers from CFS to CY and/or ship’s tackle 3. Tallying 4. Issuing dock receipt/shipping order 5. Physical movement of cargo into, out of and within CFS 6. Stuffing, sealing and marking containers 7. Storage 8. Ordinary sorting and stacking 9. Preparing carrier’s internal container load plan

CFS/CFS (Pier to Pier)
The term CFS/CFS means cargo delivered by break-bulk to Carrier’s CFS to be packed by Carrier into containers and to be unpacked by Carrier from the container at Carrier’s destination port CFS.

CFS/CY (Pier to House)
The term CFS/CY means cargo delivered break-bulk to Carrier’s CFS to be packed by Carrier into containers and accepted by consignee at Carrier’s CY and unpacked by the consignee off Carrier’s premises, all at consignee’s risk and expense.

Chargeable Kilo
Rate for goods where volume exceeds six cubic metres to the tonne.

Charter
Originally meant a flight where a shipper contracted hire of an aircraft from an airline. Has usually come to mean any non-scheduled commercial service.

Charter Party
The contract between the owner of a ship and the individual or company chartering it. Among other specifications, the contract usually stipulates the exact obligations of the ship-owner (loading the goods, carrying the goods to a certain point, returning to the charterer with other goods, etc.); or it provides for an outright leasing of the vessel to the charterer, who then is responsible for his own loading and delivery. In either case, the charter party sets forth the exact conditions and requirements agreed upon by both sides.

Charter party Bill of Lading
A bill of lading issued under a charter party. It is not acceptable by banks under letters of credit unless so authorized in the credit.

Chassis
A wheel assemble including bogies constructed to accept mounting of containers.

CIA
The acronym meaning “cash in advance,” a method of payment for goods whereby buyer pays seller in advance of shipment of goods.

CIF (cost, insurance and freight)
Seller is responsible for inland freight, ocean/air freight, and marine/air insurance to the port of final entry in the buyer’s country. The buyer is responsible for inland transportation to his or her location.

Class Rates
A class of goods or commodities is a large grouping of various items under one general heading. All items in the group make up a class. The freight rates that apply to all items in the class are called class rates.

Classification
Is a customs term. The placement of an item under the correct number in the customs tariff for duty purposes. At times this procedure becomes highly complicated; it is not uncommon for importers to resort to litigation over the correct duty to be assessed by the customs on a given item.

Classification
The process of assigning the correct definition and category of imported merchandise within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. Classification and valuation are the primary components to determining the amount of duty an importer owes on the merchandise.

Claused Bill of Lading
Is a bill of lading which has exemptions to the receipt of merchandise in “apparent good order” noted.

Clean Bill of Lading
Is a bill of lading which covers goods received in “apparent good order and condition” and without qualification.

Clean Draft
Is a draft to which no documents have been attached.

cm
Centimeters

CNS
Cargo Network Services, an IATA company. See IATA.

Collective Paper
All documents (commercial invoices, bills of lading, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.

Combi
Is an aircraft with pallet or container capacity on its main deck as well as in its belly holds

Combination Vessels
Container/Break-bulk vessel – this type of ship accommodates both container and break-bulk cargo. It can be either self-sustaining or non-self sustaining.

Commercial Code
A published code designed to reduce the total number of words required in a cablegram.

Commercial Invoice
An itemized list of goods shipped, usually included among an exporter’s collection papers.

Commercial Risk
Risk carried by the exporter (unless insurance is secured) that the foreign buyer may not be able to pay for goods delivered on an open account basis.

Commodity Specialist
An official authorized by the U.S. Treasury to determine proper tariff and value of imported goods.

Common Carrier
A firm or individual that transports persons or goods for compensation.

Conference
A group of vessel operators joined together for the purpose of establishing freight rates. RoRo/Container Vessel – Ship designed to accommodate containers and roll-on roll-off cargo. It can be self sustaining. RoRo/Container/Break-bulk Vessel – Designated to accommodate three types of cargo, usually self sustaining.

Confirmed Letter of Credit
A letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, with validity confirmed  by a U.S. bank. An exporter who requires a confirmed letter of credit from the buyer is assured of payment by the U.S. bank even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults.

Confiscation
The taking and holding of private property by a government or an agency acting for a government. Compensation may or may not be given to the owner of the property.

Consignee
The individual or company to whom a seller or sipper sends merchandise and who, upon presentation of necessary documents, is recognized as merchandise owner for the purpose of declaring and paying customs duties.

Consignee Marks
A symbol laced on packages for identification purposes; generally consisting of a triangle, square, circle, diamond, cross, with letters and/or numbers as well as port of discharge.

Consignment
Is the physical transfer of goods from a seller (consignor) with whom the title remains, to another legal entity (consignee) who acts as a selling agent, selling the goods and remitting the new proceeds to the consignor.

Consignor
A term used to describe any person who consigns goods to himself or to another party in a bill of lading or equivalent document. A consignor might be the owner of the goods, or a freight forwarder who consigns goods on behalf of his principal.

Consolidated Shipment
An arrangement whereby various shippers pool their boxed goods on the same shipment, sharing the total weight charge for the shipment.

Consolidator
An agent which brings together a number of shipments for one destination to qualify for preferential airline rates.

Consortium
The name for an agreement under which several nations or nationals (usually corporations) of more than one nation, join together for a common purpose. It could be for management or exploitation of a natural resource, as in the case of some international petroleum consortiums.

Consul
A government official residing in a foreign country, charged with representing the interests of his or her country and its nationals.

Consular Declaration
A formal statement, made to the consul of a foreign country, describing goods to be shipped.

Consular Documents
Special forms signed by the consul of a country to which cargo is destined.

Consular Invoice
A document, required by some foreign countries, describing a shipment of goods and showing information such as the consignor, consignee, and value of the shipment. Certified by a consular official of the foreign country, it is used by the country’s customs officials to verify the value, quantity and nature of the shipment.

Container
The term container means a single rigid, non-disposable dry cargo, insulated, temperature controlled flatrack, vehicle rack portable liquid tank, or open top container without wheels or bogies attached, having not less than 350 cubic feet capacity, having a closure or permanently hinged door that allows ready access to the cargo (closure or permanently hinged door not applicable to flatrack vehicle rack or portable liquid tank). All types of containers will have constructions, fittings and fastenings able to withstand without permanent distortion, all the stresses that may be applied in normal service use of continuous transportation. All containers must bear manufacturer’s specifications.

Container Ship
Ocean going ship designed to carry containers both internally and on deck. Some are self sustaining.

Containerization
Is a concept for the ultimate unitizing of cargo used by both steamship lines and air cargo lines. Containers allow a greater amount of cargo protection from weather, damage, and theft.

Containers (Air Cargo)
Many types of air cargo containers are offered. The containers are designed in various sizes and irregular shapes to conform to the inside dimensions of a specific aircraft.

Containers (Ocean)
Are designed to be moved inland on its own chassis and can be loaded at the shippers plant for shipment overseas. Basic types of containers are; dry van, open top, half high, hi cube, flat rock, tank container, refrigerated container, insulated container, tilting container. Average outside dimensions are generally 20, 35, and 40 feet in length, 8 feet wide and 8 feet high standard.

Continuous Bond
Is an annual customs bond insuring compliance with all regulations and requirements.

Contract Rate
Is a charge levied by carriers selling capacity forward over a given route to a shipper of forwarder; the client is therefore assured of capacity, which must be paid for regardless of load carried.

Coordinating Committee for Export Controls (COCOM)
An informal group of 15 western countries established to prevent the export of certain strategic products to potentially hostile nations.

Correspondent Bank
A bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.

Countertrade
Is a reciprocal trading arrangement, which includes a variety of transactions involving two or more parties.

Countervailing Duties
Additional duties imposed on imported merchandise when a foreign government subsidizes the production of the merchandise, and the practice is harming a domestic industry.

Country of Origin
the country that produced the imported merchandise (see “marking”).

CTPAT
U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) (U.S.) This is a U.S. CBP program, commonly referred to as C-TPAT, under which business entities may enter into an agreement with CBP to undertake specified security measures in return for more favorable treatment with respect to security-based inspection of their imported cargo shipments, particularly containerized cargo. The program is open to U.S. importers and transportation carriers and others providing supply chain services, such as customs brokers, freight forwarders, cargo consolidators, other transportation intermediaries, cargo terminal operators, CFSs, and warehouses.

Credit Risk Insurance
Insurance designed to cover risks of nonpayment for delivered goods.

Customhouse Broker
An individual or firm licensed to enter and clear goods through Customs.

Customs
denoted by its capital “C”, this terms refers to the U.S. Customs Service.

Customs Bonded Warehouse
Is a  warehouse where imported goods may be stored for a total of three years without the payment of duty or taxes.

Customs Broker
the importer’s agent licensed by the Customs Service to enter and clear goods through Customs.

Customs Court
Is the court to which importers might appeal or protest decisions made by Customs officers.

Customs Modernization Act (often referred to as “the Mod Act”)
recently enacted federal legislation that imposes new and extensive compliance and record-keeping requirements on importers, shifts the responsibility for customs compliance from the Government to importers, and imposes a standard of reasonable care on importers.

Customs Tariff
Is a schedule of charges assessed by the federal government on imported goods.

Customs Union
Is an agreement between two or more countries in which they arrange to abolish tariffs and other import restrictions on each other’s goods and establish a common tariff for the imports of all other countries.

CWO
The acronym meaning “cash with order,” a method of payment for goods where cash is paid at the time of order and the transaction becomes binding on both buyer and seller.

CY (Container Yard)
The term CY means the location designated by Carrier in the port terminal area for receiving, assembling, holding, storing and delivering containers, and where containers may be picked up by shippers or re-delivered by consignees. No container yard (CY) shall be a shipper’s, consignee’s, NVOCC’s, or a forwarder’s place of business, unless otherwise provided.

CY/CFS (House to Pier)
The term CY/CFS means containers packed by shipper of carrier’s premises and delivered by shipper to Carrier’s CY, all at shipper’s risk and expense and unpacked by Carrier at the destination port CFS.

CY/CY (House to House)
The term CY/CY means containers packed by shipper off Carrier’s premises and delivered by shipper to Carrier’s CY and accepted by consignee a t Carrier’s CY and unpacked by consignee off Carrier’s premises, all at the risk and expense of cargo.


D


D.F.
Dead Freight

D.W.
Deadweight (tons of 2,240 lbs.)

D.W.C.
Deadweight for cargo

Dangerous Goods
Articles or substance capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property, and that ordinarily require special attention when being transported.

DAT
Dangerous articles tariff.

Date Draft
Draft that matures in a specified number of days after the date it is issued, without regard to the date of Acceptance. See Draft.

DCA
Department of Civil Aviation. Commonly used term to denote the government department of any foreign country that is responsible for aviation regulation and granting traffic rights.

DDP
Delivered duty paid. Also known as “free domicile.”

DDU
Delivered duty unpaid. Reflects the emergence of “door-to-door” intermodal or courier contracts or carriage where only the destination customs duty and taxes (if any) are paid by consignee.

Dead Freight
Is freight charges paid by the charterer of vessel for the contracted space, which is left partially unoccupied.

Dead Leg
Is a sector flown without payload

Deck Cargo
Is cargo carried on deck rather than stowed under deck. On deck carriage is required for certain commodities, such as explosives.

Declaration
a formal representation by the importer or its agent to the Customs Service attesting to the correctness, description, valuation, classification, etc., of the imported merchandise.

Deferred Payment Credit
Type of letter of credit providing for payment some time after presentation of shipping documents by exporter.

Deferred Rebate
The return of a portion of the freight charges by a carrier or a conference shipper in exchange for the shipper giving all or most of his shipments to the carrier or conference over a specified period of time (usually 6 months). Payment of the rate is deferred for a further similar period, during which the shipper must continue to give all or most of his shipments to the rebating carrier or conference. The shipper thus earns a further rebate which will not, however, be paid without an additional period of exclusive or almost exclusive patronage with the carrier of conference. In this way, the shipper becomes tied to the rebating carrier or conference. Although, the deferred rebate system is illegal in U.S. foreign commerce, it generally is accepted in the ocean trade between foreign countries.

Demurrage
A penalty for exceeding free time allowed for loading or unloading at a pier or freight terminal. Also a charge for undue detention of transportation equipment or carriers in port while loading or unloading.

Density
Density means pounds per cubic foot. The cubage of loose articles or pieces, or packaged articles of a rectangular, elliptical or square shape on one plane shall be determined by multiplying the greatest straight line dimensions of length, width and depth in inches, including all projections, and dividing the total by 1728 (to obtain cubic feet). The density is the weight of the article divided by the cubic feet thus obtained.

DEQ
Delivered ex quay/duty paid.

Destination Control Statement
Any of various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments and that specify the destination for which export of the shipment has been authorized.

DGR
Dangerous Goods Requirement.

Dim Weight
(Dimensionalized Weight) Determined by calculating length x width x height and dividing by 166. Charged when actual weight is less than the dim. weight.

Dock Receipt
When cargo is delivered to a steamship company at the pier, the receiving clerk issues a dock receipt.

Documents Against Acceptance (D/A)
Instructions given by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title goods should be delivered to the buyer (or drawee) only upon the buyer’s acceptance of the attached draft.

DOT
Department of Transportation

Draft (or Bill of Exchange)
An unconditional order in writing from one person (the drawer) to another (the drawee), directing the Drawee to pay a specified amount to a named Drawer at a fixed or determinable future date.

Drawback
A U.S. customs law that permits an American exporter to recover duties paid on imported foreign raw materials or components included in products that are subsequently exported out of the United States.

Drawee
The individual or firm on whom a draft is drawn and who owes the stated amount to the drawer.

Dry Lease
The rental of a “clean” aircraft without crew, ground staff or supporting equipment.

DST
The acronym meaning “double stack train” service, which is the transport rail between two points of a trainload of containers with two containers, one on top of the other, per chassis.

Dumping
the import and sale of merchandise by a foreign country or supplier at less than fair value.


E


E.A.O.N.
Except as otherwise noted

EDI or EDIFACT
Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport, from the UN-backed electronic data interchange standards body, to create electronic versions of common business documents that will work on a global scale. One digital document under consideration, the International Forwarding and Transport Message will do the jobs of six different electronic messages currently in use.

Empty Leg
Results from an aircraft primarily chartered outbound having cargo capacity inbound or vice versa. A cheap form of airfreight.

Endorsement in Blank
Commonly used on a bank check, an endorsement in blank is an endorsement to the bearer. It contains only the name of the endorser and specifies no particular payee. Also, a common means of endorsing bills of lading dawn to the order of the shipper. The bills are endorsed “For…” (see Bill of Lading, Order).

Entry
the process for getting imported merchandise released from the Customs Service.

Eurodollars
U.S. dollars on deposit outside of the United States to include dollars on deposit at foreign branches of U.S. banks, and dollars on deposit with foreign banks.

Ex
Signifies that the quoted price applies only at the indicated point of origin (e.g. “price ex factory” means that the quoted price is for the goods available at the factory gate of the seller).

Ex. B.L.
Exchange bill of lading

Export Broker
The individual who brings together buyer and seller for a fee, eventually withdrawing from any transaction.

Export Declaration
A form to be completed by the exporter or their authorized agent and filed in triplicate by a carrier with the United State Collector of customs at the point of exit. It serves a twofold purpose 1. Primarily, it is used by the U.S. Bureau of Census for the compilation of export statistics on United States foreign trade (for this reason an export declaration is required for practically all shipments from the United States to foreign countries and the United States possessions, except for mail shipments of small value, or for those of a non commercial character); 2. The declaration also serves as an export control document because it must be presented, together with the export license, to the United States Customs at the port of export. If the goods may be exported under general export license, this fact must be stated on the export declaration.

Export License
A document secured from a government, authorizing an exporter to export a specific quantity of a particular commodity to a certain country. An export license is often required if a government has place embargoes or other restrictions upon exports. See General Export License.

Export Trading Company
A corporation or other business unit organized and operated primarily for the purpose of exporting goods and services, or of providing export related services to other companies.

Express
Premium-rated service for urgent deliveries.

EXW
Ex works. Same as the former “Ex Works.”FAK Freight All Kinds – uniform airline charging scale applying to a number of commodities; as opposed to SCR (Specific Commodity Rate) applying to one commodity only.


F


F. P.A.A.C. F. p.a. (A.C.)
Free of Particular Average, American Conditions-(Marine Insurance Term). The American form of clause commonly used, as distinguished from that used by the English underwriters. Under the American clause the underwriter does not assume responsibility for partial losses unless caused by stranding, sinking, burning or collision with another vessel whereas under the English clause, the underwriter assumes responsibility for partial losses if the vessel be stranded, sunk, burnt or in collision even though such an event did not actually cause the damage suffered by the goods. Conditions (See F.P.A.A.C.).

F.&.D.
Freight and demurrage

F.C.L.
Full container load, full car load

F.c.s.
Free of capture and seizure

f.c.s.r.c.c.
Free of capture, seizure, riots and civil commotions

F.i.b.
Free in bunkers; free into barge

F.o.d.
Free of damage

F.P.A.
Free of Particular Average (Marine Insurance Term). A term used in marine insurance policies to indicate that while the underwriter is unwilling to assume liability for ordinary partial losses due to the peculiar qualities of the particular article or to its form of package, he is willing to bear partial losses, the direct result of stranding, sinking, burning, collision, or other named peril

FAS (free alongside ship)
Seller is responsible for inland freight costs until goods are located alongside the vessel/aircraft for loading. Buyer is responsible for loading costs, ocean /air freight and marine/air insurance.

Fathom
(Nautical) Conversion equivalents   6 feet; 1.83 meters

FEU
Forty foot equivalent

FIATA
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations.

Fifth Freedom Flight
Where cargo is carried by an airline between two countries in neither of which it is based.

Flag Carrier
An airline of one national registry whose government gives it partial or total monopoly over international routes.

FOB (free on board)
Seller is responsible for inland freight and all other costs until the cargo has been loaded on the vessel/aircraft. Buyer is responsible for ocean/air freight and marine/air insurance.

Folded
An article folded in such a manner as to reduce its bulk 33 1/3% from its normal shipping cubage when not folded.

Force Majeure
The title of a standard clause found in marine contracts exempting the parties for nonfulfillment of their obligations by reasons of occurrences beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods or war.

Foreign Trade Zone
A free port in the United Stated divorced from Customs authority but under Federal control. Merchandise, except that which is prohibited, may be stored in the zone without being subjected to the United States tariff regulation. Also called Free Trade Zone.

Foreign Trade Zone Entry
A form declaring goods which are brought duty free into a Foreign Trade Zone for further processing or storage and subsequent exportation.

Forwarder, Freight Forwarder, Foreign Freight Forwarder
An independent business that dispatches shipments for exporters for a fee. The firm may ship by land, air, or sea, or it may specialize. Usually it handles all the services connected with an export shipment; preparation of documents, booking cargo space, warehouse, pier delivery and export clearance. The firm may also handle banking and insurance services on behalf of a client. The U.S. forwarder is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission for ocean shipments.

Foul Bill of Landing
A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received.

Free Alongside
Quoted price includes the cost of delivering the goods alongside a designated vessel.

Free In (F.I.)
Cost of loading a vessel is borne by the charterer

Free In and Out (F.I.O.)
Cost of loading and unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.

Free of Capture and Seizure (F.C.& S.)
An insurance clause providing that loss is not insured if due to capture, seizure, confiscation and like actions, whether legal or not, or from such acts as piracy, civil war, rebellion and civil strife.

Free of Particular Average (F.P.A.)
A marine insurance clause providing that partial loss or damage is not insured American conditions (F.P.A.A.C.). Partial loss is not insured unless caused by the vessel being sunk, stranded, burned, on fire, or in collision. English conditions (F.P. A.E.C.). Partial loss not insured unless a result of the vessel being sunk, stranded, burned, on fire, or in collision.

Free Out (F.O.)
Cost of unloading a vessel is borne by the charterer.

Free Port
A port which is a foreign trade zone, open to all traders on equal terms; more specifically a port where merchandise may be stored duty-free, pending re-export or sale within that country.

Free Trade Zone
A port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods. Merchandise may be stored, displayed, used for manufacturing, within the zone and re-exported without duties being paid. Duties are imposed on the merchandise (or items manufactured from the merchandise) only when the goods pass from the zone into an area of the country subject to the Customs Authority.

Freight Forwarder
An individual or company, acting on the behalf of a shipper, who arranges all necessary details of shipping and documentation for a manufacturer or exporter, which includes employing the services of a carrier of carriers.


G


G.R.Wt./G.W.
Gross Weight

Gang
Group of stevedores usually 4 to 5 members with supervisor assigned to a hold or portion of the vessel being loaded or unloaded.

Gateway
Port of entry into a country or region.

GATT
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, a multilateral treaty intended to help reduce trade barriers and promote tariff concessions.

GCR
General Cargo Rate. The basic tariff category which was introduced to cover most air cargo now covers only a minority, the remainder being under SCR or class rates.

General Average
When damage to cargo on board a vessel exceeds carrier’s insurance, carrier will release cargo only with an acceptance agreement to claim only a general percentage of all the damage sustained.

General Export License
Any of various export licenses covering export commodities for which validated export licenses are not required. No formal application or written authorization is needed to ship exports under a general export license.

General Order
Government contract warehouse for the storage of cargoes left unclaimed for ten working days after availability. Unclaimed cargoes are auctioned publicly after one year.

Gross Weight
Entire weight of goods, packing, and container,, ready for shipment.

GSA
General Sales Agent acting on behalf of an airline. Usually Broker or Forwarder.


H


Harmonized Code
An internationally accepted and uniform description system for classifying goods for customs, statistical and other purposes.

Harmonized Systems

A key provision of the recently signed trade bill, effective Jan. 1, 1989, that establishes international uniformity for product classifications. Most U.S. Trading partners adopted it a year earlier, and it was drafted in Brussels a decade ago with U.S. representatives’ input. In essence, it is a new tariff schedule in that it changes methods of rating some items.

Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)
the legal list issued by the U.S. Government used to determine the classification of imported merchandise.

Hatch
The cover of – or opening- in the deck of a vessel, through which cargo is loaded.

Heavy Lift Vessel
Specifically designed to be self sustaining with heavy lift cranes, to handle unusually heavy and/or out-sized cargoes.

Heavy Lifts
Freight too heavy to be handled by regular ship’s tackle

House Air Waybill
An air waybill issued by a freight consolidator. See Air Waybill

Hub
A central location to which traffic from many cities is directed and from which traffic is fed to other areas.

Hundredweight (cwt.)
A short ton hundredweight = 100 pounds. Long ton hundredweight = 112 pounds.

Husbanding

Term used by steamship lines, agents, or port captains who are appointed to handle all matters in assisting the master of the vessel while in port to obtain bunkering, fresh water, food and supplies, payroll for the crew, doctors appointments, ship repair, etc.


I


I.C.T.F.
Intermodal Container Transfer Facility, an on-dock facility for moving containers from ship to rail or truck.

I.p.a.
Including particular average

IATA
International Air Transport Association.

ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organization. A specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters in Montreal. Its task is to promote general development of civil aviation (e.g. aircraft design and operation, safety procedures, contractual agreements).

ICC
International Chamber of Commerce

IFF
Institute of Freight Forwarders

Igloo
Container designed to occupy full main deck width of carrying aircraft.

Import License
A certificate, issued by countries exercising import controls, that permits importation of the articles stated in the license. The issuance of such a permit frequently is connected with the release of foreign exchange needed to pay for the shipment for which the import license has been requested.

Importer of Record
the party in whose name the entry is made.

In-Bond
A customs program for inland ports that provide for cargo arriving at a seaport to be shipped under a Customs bond to a more conveniently located inland port where the entry documents have been filed. Customs clears the shipment there, and the cargo is trucked to its destination, which normally is close to the inland port.

Incoterms
A codification of terms used in foreign trade contracts that is maintained by the International Chamber of Commerce.

Incremental Cost to Export
The additional costs incurred while manufacturing and preparing a product for export ( e.g., product modifications, special export packaging and export administration costs.) This does not include the costs to manufacture a standard domestic product, export crating and transportation to the foreign market.

Independent Action
A move by whereby a member of a shipping conference elect to depart from the specific service rates set forth by the conference, giving ten calendar days notice of such action. The conference member’s new schedule of rate, or rates, officially takes effect no later than ten days after receipt of notice by the conference.

Inducement
Some steamship lines publish in their schedules the name of a port and the words by inducement in parentheses. This means the vessel will call at the port if there is sufficient amount of profitable cargo available and booked.

Inland Carrier
A transportation line which hauls export or import traffic between ports and inland points.

Inspection Certificate
A document certifying that merchandise (such as perishable goods) was in goods condition immediately prior to shipment.

Integrated Carrier
Forwarder which uses own aircraft, whether owned or leased, rather than scheduled airlines.

Intellectual Property
Ownership of the legal rights to possess, use or dispose of products created by human ingenuity, including patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Interline
Mutual agreement between airlines to link their route network.

Intermeddle
Referring to the capacity to go from ship to train to truck, or the like, the adjective generally refers to containerized shipping or the capacity to handle same.

Irrevocable Letter of Credit
A letter of credit with a fixed expiration date that carries the irrevocable obligation of the issuing bank to pay the exporter when all of the terms and conditions of the letter of credit have been met.

ISO
International Standards Organization also referred to as the International Organizational for Standardization.

ISF
Importer security filing (ISF) is what CBP calls the electronic transmission of data elements required by the SAFE Port Act for cargo shipped by vessel from foreign seaports destined for importation into the United States. These data elements are in addition to those already transmitted by the carrier under the 24 hour rule and by the importer for entry purposes. The use of additional information will allow CBP to assess risk and target suspicious containers and cargo earlier, helping to identify high-risk shipments to prevent smuggling and ensure cargo safety and security.


J


J.&W.O.
Jettison and washing overboard

Jettison
Goods from a ship’s cargo, or parts of its equipment, that have been thrown overboard to lighten the load in time of danger, or to set a stranded ship adrift.

Joint Venture
A form of business partnership involving joint management and the sharing of risks and profits between enterprises sometimes based in different countries.

Just-In-Time (JIT)
The principle of production and inventory control in which goods arrive when needed for production or use.

 


K


K.D.C.L.
Knocked down in carload lots

K.D.L.C.L.
Knocked down in less than carload lots.

KD Flat
An article taken apart, folded, or telescoped to reduce its bulk at least 66 2/3% below its assembled size.

Knock Down (KD)
An article taken apart, folded or telescoped in such a manner as to reduce its bulk at least 33 1/3% below its assembled bulk.

Knot (Nautical)
The unit of speed equivalent to one nautical mile, or 6,080.20 feet per hour or 1.85 kilometers per hour.


L


L. & D.
Loss and damage

L.C.L.
Less than container load; less than car load.

l.t. or l.tn.
Long ton (2240 lbs.)

L/C – Letter of Credit
A document issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms. Issued as revocable or irrevocable.

Lagan
Cargo or equipment to which an identifying marker or buoy is fastened, thrown over-board in time of danger to lighten a ship’s load. Under maritime law if the goods are later found they must be returned to the owner whose marker is attached; the owner must make a salvage payment.

Lash
Lighter Aboard Ship (see Lighter)

Lash Vessel
Designed to load internally, barges specifically designed for the vessel. The concept is to quickly float the barges to the vessel (using tugs or ships wenches) load these barges through the rear of the vessel, then sails. Upon arrival at the foreign port, the reverse happens; Barges are quickly floated away from the vessel and another set of waiting barges quickly are loaded. Designed for quick vessel turn-around. Usually crane-equipped; handles mostly breakbulk cargo.

Lay Days
The dates between which a chartered vessel is to be available in a port for loading of cargo.

Legal Weight
The weight of the goods plus any immediate wrappings which are sold along with the goods  e.g., the weight of a tin can as well as its contents. (See Gross Weight).

Less than Truck Load (LTL)
Rates applicable when the quantity of freight is less than the volume or truckload minimum weight.

Letter of Credit
A document issued by a bank at a buyer’s request honoring debt obligations to the seller upon receipt of the document.

Letter of Credit – payment by sight draft
The exporter receives guaranteed payment from the confirming bank in the U.S. upon presentation of the sight draft and documents required by the letter of credit.

Lighter
An open or covered barge equipped with a crane and towed by a tugboat. Used mostly in harbors and inland waterways.

Lighterage
The cost of loading or unloading a vessel by means of barges alongside.

Liner
The word “liner” is derived from the term “line traffic” which denotes operation along definite routes on the basis of definite, fixed schedules; a liner thus is a vessel that engages in this kind of transportation, which generally involves the haulage of general cargo as distinct from bulk cargo.

Liquidation
the final review and assessment of duty on imported merchandise by the Customs Service.

Livestock
Common farm animals

Lkg. & Bkg.
Leakage and breakage.

Lo/Lo
The acronym meaning “lift-on,lift-off,” denoting the method by which cargo is loaded onto and discharged from an ocean vessel, which in this case is by the use of a crane.

Load Factor
Capacity sold as against capacity available, expressed as a percentage.

Ltge.
Lighterage

LTL
Less than truckload


M


M.M
Mercantile marine

M/R
Mate’s Receipt

M/T
Metric Ton (2204 lbs.)

M/V or M.V
Motor vessel

Manifest
A list of the goods being transported by a carrier.

Maquiladora
a program designed and promoted by the Mexican government that allows foreign manufacturers to ship components into Mexico duty-free for assembly and subsequent reexport.

Marine Insurance
An insurance which will compensate the owner of goods transported overseas in the event of loss which cannot be legally recovered from the carrier.

Maritime Administration (MARAD)
A US government agency, while not actively involved in vessel operation, administers laws for maintenance of merchant marine for the purposes of defense and commerce.

Mark
As used on containers in foreign trade, a symbol or initials shown together with the port of importation and the final destination, if different. Example   A.G. y Cia., Bogota via Barranquilla. Marks are registered at appropriate customs houses; they also appear on bills of lading and invoices. In domestic trade, it is common to mark containers with the name and address of the recipient, but this is rarely done in foreign trade.

Marking
Every article of foreign origin, or its container, imported into the United States shall be permanently marked in a conspicuous place in a manner which would indicate to the ultimate purchaser the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Marking (country of origin)
the physical stamp, wording, or marking on an article or merchandise that shows in what country the article or merchandise was produced.

Mate’s Receipt
Receipt of cargo by the vessel, signed by the mate (similar to dock receipt).

Measurement Ton
The measurement ton (also known as the cargo ton or freight ton) is a space measurement, usually 40 cubic feet or one cubic meter. The cargo is assessed a certain rate for every 40 cubic feet or 1 cubic meter it occupies.

MFN (Most Favored Nation)
Designation for countries which receive preferential tariff rates. This is no longer the best tariff structure available.

Min. B/L
Minimum bill of lading

mt.
Empty

MW
Minimum weight factor


N


n.e.m.
Not elsewhere mentioned (English)

n.e.s.
Not elsewhere specified

N.O.E.
Not otherwise enumerated

N.O.H.P.
Not otherwise herein provided

N.O.I.
Not more specifically described

N.O.I.B.N.
Not otherwise indicated by number; Not otherwise indicated by name.

N.O.S.
Not otherwise specified

N.T.
Net tons

NAFTA
the North American Free Trade Agreement agreed to by the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico. NAFTA eliminates certain tariffs, promotes market access, and facilitates customs administration.

National Carrier

A flag carrier owned or controlled by the state.

Nested
Three or more different sizes of an article are placed within each other so that each article will not project above the next lower article by more than 33 1/3% of its height.

Nested Solid
Three of more different sizes of an article are placed within each other so that each article will not project above the next lower article by more than 1/4 inch.

Net Terms
Free of charters’ commission

Net Weight
(Actual Net Weight) Weight of goods alone without any immediate wrappings; e.g., the weight of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can.

NMFC
National Motor Freight Classification

No Objection Certificate
Document provided by scheduled or national airlines of many countries declaring no objection to a proposed charter flight operated by another airline. Often demanded by government authorities before they grant permission for a charter flight to take place.

No Objection Fee
Sum of money paid by a charter airline normally to a scheduled airline in order that it waives its right of objection to its government, thus allowing a charter to take place. Tantamount to a bribe. The amount is usually a fixed percentage of the gross cost of a charter. Common practice in the Middle East and Africa.

Non-Scheduled Flight
See scheduled flight.

Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB)
Economic, political, administrative or legal impediments to trade other than duties, taxes and import quotas

Non-Vessel Operation Common Carrier (NVOCC)
An F.M.C. registered cargo consolidator of small shipments in ocean trade, generally soliciting business and arranging for or performing containerization functions at the port. These carriers issue their own bill of lading referred to as a house bill of lading.


O


O. & R.
Ocean and Rail

O.D.
Outside diameter

O.R. Det.
Owner’s risk of deterioration

O.r.b.
Owner’s risk or breakage.

O.R.F.
Owner’s risk of fire or freezing

O.R.L.
Owner’s risk of leakage

O.R.W.Owner’s risk of becoming wet

O.S. & D.
Over, short and damage

O/N
Order notify; own name

O/o
Order of

O/R
Owner’s risk

Ocean Bill of Lading
A receipt for cargo in transit, and a contract between the exporter and an ocean carrier for transportation and delivery of goods to a specified party at a specified foreign destination. Issued after the vessel has sailed and the cargo has been entered in the ship’s manifest.

ODS
An acronym commonly used for the term “operating differential subsidy,” which is a payment to an American-flag carrier by the federal government to offset the difference in operating costs between US and foreign vessels.

Off-Line
Describes an airline that sells in a market to which it does not operate. An Off-Line carrier will use another operator to link with its network.

Open Account
A high-risk trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment.

Open Policy
A cargo insurance policy that is an open contract; i.e., it provides protection for all an exporter’s shipments afloat or in transit within a specified geographical trade area for an unlimited period of time, until the policy is cancelled by the insured or by the insurance company. It is “open” because the goods that are shipped are also detailed at that time. This usually is shown in a document called a marine insurance certificate.

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM accounts)
Customers who incorporate the exporter’s product into their own merchandise for resale under their own brand names.


P

P.A.
Particular average

P.W.
Packed weight

Paired
Port of Arrival Immediate Release and Enforcement Determination. A U.S. Customs program that allows entry documentation for an import shipment to be filed at one location, usually an inland city, while the merchandise is cleared by Customs at the port of entry, normally a seaport. May be ineffective with certain types of high-risk cargoes, such as quota-regulated textiles or shipments from drug-production regions. Cities where there is a natural flow of cargo are actually “paired” in the program; e.g., Atlanta, an inland city, is linked with Savannah, a seaport. Tested in ’87-’88, it became generally available in mid- ’88.

Pallet
Load carrying platform to which loose cargo is secured before placing aboard the aircraft.

Pallet Extender
Fashionable metal or cardboard device to increase pallet capacity.

Paperless Release
Under ABI, certain commodities from low-risk countries not designated for examination may be released through an ABI-certified broker without the actual submission of documentation.

Part Charter
Where part of an airline’s scheduled flight is sold as if it were a charter in its own right (Often wrongly used as a synonym for split charter).

Part Load Charter
Where a part of an aircraft’s load is discharged at one destination and a part of it at another. This is distinct from a split charter where a number of consignments are carried to the same destination. Inbound, part loads are treated as single entity charters under the regulations of most countries.

Particular Average
Partial loss or damage to goods.

Perils of the Sea
Most losses covered by a marine insurance policy come within the comprehensive expression “perils of the sea,” which refers to damage caused by heavy weather, strandings, strikings on rocks or on bottom, collision with other vessels, contacts with floating objects, etc.

Perishables
Any cargo that loses considerable value if it is delayed in transportation (Usually refers to fresh fruit and vegetables).

Phytosanitary Inspection Certificate
A certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicating that a shipment has been inspected and is free of harmful pests and plant diseases.

Pilferage
As used in marine insurance policies, the term denotes petty thievery, the taking of small parts of a shipment, as opposed to the theft of a whole shipment or large unit. Many ordinary marine insurance policies do not cover against pilferage, and when this coverage is desired, it must be added to the policy.

Pivot Weight
That weight of a ULD above which a higher tariff applies; in effect, an incentive to maximize cargo density.

Place
A particular street address or other designation of a factory, store, warehouse, place of business, private residence, construction camp or the like, at a point.

Place of Rest
The term “Place of Rest” as used in the Containerized Cargo Rules means that location on the floor, dock, platform or doorway at the CFS to which cargo is first delivered by shipper or agent thereof.

Point
A particular city, town, village or other community or area which is treated as a unit for the application of rates.

Port Authority
A government body (city, county or state) which in international shipping maintains various airports and/or ocean cargo pier facilities, transit sheds, loading equipment warehouses for air cargo, etc. Has the power to levy dockage and wharfage charges, landing fees, etc.

Port Marks
An identifying set of letters numbers and/or geometric symbols followed by the name of the port of destination, which are placed on export shipments. Foreign government requirements may be exceedingly strict in the matter of port marks.

Port of Discharge
Port where vessel is off loaded and cargo discharges.

Port of Entry
A port at which foreign goods are re-admitted into the receiving country.

Port of Loading
Port where cargo is loaded aboard the vessel lashed and stowed

Power of Attorney (or limited power of attorney)
a legal document that importers give to their customs broker that allows the customs broker to conduct business with the Customs Service on the importer’s behalf.

Pre-Advice
Preliminary advice that a letter of credit has been established in the form of a brief authenticated wire message. It is not an operative instrument and is usually followed by the actual letter of credit.

Prepaid Freight
Generally speaking, freight charges both in ocean and air transport may be either prepaid in the currency of the country of export or they may be billed collect for payment by the consignee in his local currency. However, on shipments to some countries freight charges must be prepaid because of foreign exchange regulations of the country of import and/or rules of steamship companies or airlines.

Pre-Slung Cargo
Cargo shipped already in a cargo sling or net. Usually prepared and loaded at pier ready for arrival of vessel and subsequent loading (i.e. coffee in bags, coconut shells, etc).

Price Quotation/Proforma Invoice
An invoice prepared by the seller in advance of shipment that documents the cost of goods sold, freight, insurance, and other related charges. It is often used by the buyer to secure a letter of credit, an import license or a foreign currency allocation.

Prima Facie
Latin, “on first appearance.” A term frequently encountered in foreign trade. When a steamship company issues a clean bill of lading, it acknowledges that the goods were received “in apparent good order and condition” and this is said by the courts to constitute prima facie evidence of the conditions of the containers; that is, if nothing to the contrary appears, it must be inferred that the cargo was in good condition when received by the carrier.

Prior Disclosure
Sometimes an importer will find it has violated a customs law before the Customs Service has discovered the violation. A prior disclosure is a voluntary report by an importer of the violation to the Customs Service. The law provides some benefits (but does not speak of the risks) to an importer who does a prior disclosure.

Pro Number
A number assigned by the carrier to a single shipment, used in all cases where the shipment must be referred to. Usually assigned at once.

Proforma
When used with the title of a document, the term refers to an informal document presented in advance of the arrival, or preparation of the required document, in order to satisfy a customs requirement.

Proof of Delivery
Add-on service in express market, delivered either by phone or courier. Often offered free.

Protest
Customs form 19 allows for a refund of an overpayment of duty if filed within 90 days of liquidation.


Q


Quota
A limitation on the quantity of goods that may be imported during a specific period of time. Quotas can include limitations on all countries, or can target specific countries.


R


R. & C.
Rail and Canal

R. & C.C.
Riots and civil commotions

R.C.C. & S.
Riots, civil commotions and strikes

R/C
Reconsigned

Rebate
A deduction taken from a set payment or charge. As a rebate is given after payment of the full amount has been made, it differs from a discount which is deducted in advance of the payment. In foreign trade, a full or partial rebate may be given on import duties paid on goods which are later re-exported.

Reciprocity
A practice by which governments extend similar concessions to one another.

Red Clause Letter of Credit
A letter of credit that allows the exporter to receive a percentage of the face value of the letter of credit in advance of shipment. This enables the exporter to purchase inventory and pay other costs associated with producing and preparing the export order.

REFG.
Refrigerating; Refrigeration

Regs.
Registered Tonnage

Retaliation
Action taken by a country to restrain its imports from another country that has increased a tariff or imposed other measures that adversely affects the firsts country’s exports.

RORO (ROLL ON-ROLL OFF)
Direct drive on/drive off wheeled vehicles on specially-designed ocean-going vessels.

Route
an established air passage, from point of departure to terminating station.

Royalty
a charge on charter flights levied by some governments before traffic rights are granted. Sometimes called a “no objection fee.” Usually a fixed proportion of a total charter value.

Ruling
a decision rendered by the Customs Service on an issue or issues surrounding a particular importation of merchandise. Rulings are published and can usually be appealed to a higher administrative body or to a court of law.


S


S. & F.A.
Shipping and forwarding agent.

S.I.T.
Stopped in Transit

S.L. & C.
Shipper’s Load and Count

S.L. & T.
Shipper’s Load and Tally

S.O.L.
Ship Owner’ Liability

S.R
Shipping Receipt

S.R. & C.C.
Strikes, riots, and civil commotions.

S.tn.
Short ton

S.W.
Shipper’s weights

S/N
Shipping Note

Salvage
Rescue of goods from loss at sea or by fire; also, goods so saved, or payment made or due for their rescue.

Sanitary and Health Certificate
A statement signed by a health organization official certifying the degree of purity, cleanliness, or spoilage of goods, and the health of live animals.

Schedule B
Refers to “Schedule B, Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States.” Being replaced under the Harmonized System.

Scheduled Flight
Any service that operates to a set timetable.

SCR
Specified Commodity Rate. Applied to narrowly specified commodities. Usually granted on relatively large shipments. Theoretically is of limited time duration.

Sector
Distance between two ground points within a route.

Self-Sustaining
Vessel has its own cranes and equipment mounted on board for loading/unloading. Used in ports where shore cranes and equipment are lacking.

Service
The defined, regular pattern of calls made by a carrier in the pick-up and discharge of cargo.

Service Contract
A contract between a shipper and an ocean carrier of conference, in which the shipper makes a commitment to provide a minimum quantity of cargo over a fixed time period.

Set Up
Articles in their assembled condition.

Shipment
Freight tendered to a carrier by one consignor at one piece at one time for delivery to one consignee at one place on one bill of lading.

Shipper
Term used to describe exporter. Mostly manufacturing companies.

Shipper’s Export Declaration
A form required by the Treasury Department and completed by a shipper showing the value, weight, consignee, destination, etc., of export shipments as well as Schedule B identification number.

Ship’s Manifest
An instrument in writing containing a list of the shipments comprising the cargo of the vessel.

Ship’s Tackle
All rigging, etc., utilized on a ship to load or discharge cargo.

Short-Shipped
Cargo manifested but not loaded.

Sight Draft
A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee. Compare date draft and time draft.

Single Entry Charter
A non-scheduled flight carrying the cargo of one shipper.

Site
A particular platform or location for loading or unloading at a place.

Split Charter
Where a number of consignments from different shippers are carried on the same non-scheduled aircraft. Under U.K. regulations a non-scheduled flight chartered by a single forwarder or agent on behalf of a number of shippers is still classified as a split charter. Under U.S. regulations, a forwarder chartered flight is classified as a single entity although it can consolidate.

SS
Steamship; steam powered ship (Steam driven turbines)

Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)
A standard numerical code system developed by the United Nations to classify commodities used in international trade.

Steamship Agent
A duly appointed and authorized representative in a specified territory acting in behalf of a steamship line or lines and attending to all matters relating to the vessels owned by his principals.

Steamship Line
Company is usually composed of the following departments; vessel operations, container operations, tariff department, booking, outbound rates, inward rates and sales. the company can maintain its own in country U.S. offices to handle regional sales, operations and/or other matters or appoint steamship agents to represent them doing same. Some lines have liner offices in several regions and have appointed agents in others.

Stowage
The lacing of cargo in a vessel in such a manner as to provide the utmost safety and efficiency for the ship and the goods it carries.

Strikes, Riots, and Civil Commotions
An insurance clause referring to loss or damage directly caused by strikers, locked-out workmen, persons participation in labor disturbances, and riots of various kinds. The ordinary marine insurance policy does not cover this risk; coverage against it can be added only by endorsement.

Subsidy
An economic benefit granted by a government to producers of goods or services, often to strengthen their competitive position.

Sue & Labor Clause
A provision in marine insurance obligating the assured to do things necessary after a loss to prevent further loss and to act in the best interests of the insurer.

Surety Bond
A bond insuring against loss or damage or for the completion of obligations; must be posted with the Customs Service to cover potential penalties, duties, or taxes before imported merchandise can be entered into the United States.

Surety Company
An insurance company


T


T.B.L.
Through bill of lading

T.I.B.
Temporary Import Entry

Tally Sheet
List of cargo, incoming and outgoing, checked by Tally clerk on dock.

Tare Weight
The weight of the container and/or packing materials only – excluding the weight of the goods inside the container.

Tariff
A general term for any listing of rates, charges, etc. the tariffs most frequently encountered in foreign trade are  tariffs of the international transportation companies operating on sea, on land, and in the air; tariffs of the international cable, radio, and telephone companies; and the customs tariffs of the various countries, which list goods that are duty free and those subject to import duty, giving the rate of duty in each case. There are various classes of customs duties.

Tariff (or tariff schedule)
schedule of taxes or duties on imported goods.

Temperature Controlled Cargo
Any cargo requiring carriage under controlled temperature

TEU
Twenty foot equivalent.

Third Freedom Right
Where cargo is carried by an airline, from the country in which it is based, to a foreign country.

Time Draft
A draft that matures in a certain number of days, either from acceptance or date of the draft.

Title, Passing
The passing of title to exported goods is determined in large measure by the selling terms. For example, if an exporter sells goods c.i.f he may be presumed to pass ownership and tender of documents. However, he may ship on a bill of lading drawn to his own order, to prevent the buyer from gaining possession of the goods until the draft is paid or accepted. In this case he retains a security title to the goods; that is, a title for security purposes only, until the financial arrangement is carried out. Caution  depending on the laws of the buyer’s country, you may not be able to force passage of title without payment having been received or the buyer having accepted delivery of the goods or a clear understanding by the buyer being understood and accepted.

TL
Truckload

Ton
Freight rates for liner cargo generally are quoted on the basis of a certain rate per ton, depending on the nature of the commodity. This ton, however, may be weight ton or a measurement ton.

Ton-Deadweight
Indicates the carrying capacity of the ship in terms of the weight in tons of the cargo, fuel, provisions and passengers which a vessel can carry.

Ton-Displacement
The weight of the volume of water which the fully loaded ship displaces.

Ton-Kilometer
Measure of airline freight capacity

Ton-Registered
Indicates the cubical contents or burden of a vessel in tons of 100 cubic feet. The space within a vessel in units of 100 cubic feet.

Tracking

A carrier’s system of recording movement intervals of shipments from origin to destination.

Trade
A term used to define a geographic area or specific route served by carriers.

Traffic Conferences
Rate-fixing machinery operated by IATA.

Tramp
A tramp is a vessel that does not operate along a definite route on a fixed schedule, but calls at any port where cargo is available.

Transaction Value
the price actually paid or payable by the buyer to the seller for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States. Transaction value is the most common method for valuing imported merchandise.

Transferable Letter of Credit
A letter of credit that allows all or a portion of the proceeds to be transferred from the original beneficiary to one or more additional beneficiaries.

Transport Index
The number expressing the maximum radiation level in a package of ULD

Transshipment
The transfer of a shipment from one carrier to another in international trade, most frequently from one ship to another. In as much as the unloading and reloading of delicate merchandise is likely to cause damage, transshipments are avoided whenever possible.

Truckload
Truckload rates apply where the tariff shows a truckload minimum weight. Charges will be at the truckload minimum weight unless weight is higher.

Trust Receipt
Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer for manufacturing or sales purposes in which the bank retains title to the merchandise.

Turnkey Project
Capital construction projects in which the supplier (contractor) designs and builds the physical plant, trains the local personnel on how to manage and operate the facility and presents the buyer with a self-sustaining project (all the buyer has to do is “turn the Key”).


U

UKACC
United Kingdom Air Cargo Club.

ULD
Unit Load Device. Pallet or Container for freight.

Unclean Bill of Lading
A bill containing reservations as to the good order and condition of the goods, or the packaging, or both. Examples  “bags torn;” “drums leaking;” “one case damaged;” “rolls chafed.”

Unitisation
The packing of single or multiple consignments into ULDs or pallets.

Universal Postal Union
Organization which negotiates international mail charges.


V

Valuation Charges
Transportation charges assessed shippers who declare a value of goods higher than value of carrier’s’ limits of liability.

Value
the value of imported merchandise as declared by the importer and as finally determined by the Customs Service.

VAT (Value-Added Tax)
A sales or consumption tax which the end user pays. Typically, this is a “hidden” tax, added to the list price of the goods in question.

Ves.
Vessel

Visa
An invoice properly validated by the Minister of Trade in regard to quota entries.   A license issued to an importer by a foreign government pursuant to a quota. When asking for advice from the Customs Service, are you providing the most accurate, up-to-date, information you have on the merchandise

Volume Weight
Used when calculating air freight when the size of the carton is greater than the average weight, calculated by multiplying the length times the width times the height and dividing by 166.


W

W. & I.
Weighing and Inspection

W.A.
With Average

W.G.
Weight guaranteed

W.P.A.
With Particular Average

W.R.
War Risk

W/M
Weight and/or measurement

W/R
Warehouse receipt

War Risk
The possible aggressive actions against a ship and its cargo by a belligerent government. This risk can be insured by a marine policy with a risk clause

War Risk Insurance
Insurance issued by marine underwriters against war-like operations specifically described in the policy. In former times, war risk insurance was taken out only in times of war, but currently many exporter cover most of their shipments with war risk insurance as a protection against losses from derelict torpedoes and floating mines placed during former wars, and also as a safeguard against unforeseen warlike developments. In the United states, war risk insurance is written in a separate policy from the ordinary marine insurance; it is desirable to take out both policies with the same underwriter in order to avoid the ill effects of a possible dispute between underwriters as to the cause (marine peril or war peril) of a given loss.

Warehouse Receipt
A receipt of commodities deposited in a warehouse, identifying the commodities deposited. It is non-negotiable if permitting delivery only to a specified person or firm, but it is negotiable if made out to the order of a person or firm or to a bearer. Endorsement (without endorsement if made out to bearer) and delivery of a negotiable warehouse receipt serves to transfer the property covered by the receipt serves to transfer the property covered by the receipt. Warehouse receipts are common documents in international banking.

Warehouse- to-Warehouse
A clause in marine insurance policy whereby the underwriter agrees to cover the goods while in transit between the initial point of shipment and the point of destination, with certain limitations, and also subject to the law of insurable interest. When it was first introduced, the warehouse-to-warehouse clause was extremely important, but now its importance is diminished by the marine extension clauses, which override its provisions.

Weight
(a) Gross – The weight of the goods including packing, wrappers, or containers, internal and external. The total weight as shipped (b) Net – The weight of the goods themselves without the inclusion of any wrapper (c) Tare – The weight of the packaging or container (d) Weight / Measurement Ton – In many cases, a rate is shown per weight/measurement ton, carrier’s option. This means that the rate will be assessed on either a weight ton or measurement ton basis, whichever will yield the carrier the greater revenue. As example, the rate may be quoted on the basis of 2,240 pounds or 40 cubic feet or of 1 metric ton or 1 cubic meter (e) Weight Ton – There are three types of weight ton; the short ton, weighing 2,000 pounds; the long ton, weighing 2,240 pounds; and the metric ton weight 2,204.68 pounds. The last is frequently quoted for cargo being exported from Europe.

Weight Load Factor
Payload achieved as against available, expressed as a percentage. Cargo is frequently limited by volume rather than weight; load factors of 100% are rarely achieved.

Weight, Legal
Net weight of goods, plus inside packing.

Wet Lease
An arrangement for renting an aircraft under which the owner provides crews, ground support equipment, fuel and so on (of dry lease).

Wharfage
A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner against the cargo or a steamship company for use of the pier or dock.

With Average
A marine insurance term meaning that shipment is protected for partial damage whenever the damage exceeds a stated percentage.

With Particular Average (W.P.A.)
An insurance term meaning that partial loss or damage of goods is insured. Generally must be caused by sea water. Many have a minimum percentage of damage before payment. May be extended to cover loss by theft, pilferage, delivery, leakage, and breakage.

Without Reserve
A term indicating shipper’s agent or representative is empowered to make definitive decisions and adjustments abroad without approval of the group or individual represented. See advisory capacity.


X


X Heavy
Extra Heavy

X Strong
Extra strong

XX Heavy
Double extra heavy

XX Strong
Double extra strong


Y


Y/A
York-Antwerp Rules – A code of rules adopted by an international convention in 1890, amended in 1924 and again in 1950, for the purpose of establishing a uniform basis for adjusting general average. Certain nationalities decline to observe certain of the rules adopted. United States shipping interests generally abide by general rule “F” and numbered rules 1 to 15 and 17 to 22, inclusive and specifically set this forth in a Bill Of Lading Clause

Yield
Revenue, not necessarily profitable, per unit of traffic.