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Import Export International Trade Acronyms, Terms, Incoterms

Posted at: International Trade Publications | Posted on: Wed 26 Sep, 2007 3:03 am |
 
acceptance: An agreement to purchase goods at a stated price and under stated terms.

accession: The process of becoming a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs

and Trade (see GATT).


actual: total loss A marine insurance term; a ship is usually considered an actual total loss for

insurance purposes when it has been listed as missing.

Asian Development Bank (ADB): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) was created to foster economic

growth and cooperation in the region of Asia and the Far East and to help

accelerate economic development for the countries of the region.

ad valorem rate An import duty rate determined “according to the value” (ad valorem) of

the commodity entering a country, as opposed to the weight or other basis

for calculation. An ad valorem tariff is a tariff calculated as a percentage of

the value of the goods when clearing customs.

advance against documents: A loan secured by turning over shipment documents of title to the creditor;

an alternative to acceptance financing.

advice: A form or letter that acknowledges certain activities concerning shipments,

credits, etc.

advising bank: A bank, operating in the exporter’s country, which handles letters of credit

for a foreign bank by notifying the export firm that the credit has been opened

in its favor. The advising bank fully informs the exporter of the conditions

of the letter of credit without necessarily bearing the responsibility of

payment.

AFDB: The African Development Bank and Fund. Established to foster economic

and social development of the independent African nations and to promote

their mutual economic cooperation. AFDB membership is limited to African

countries. The African Development Fund (AFDF), a loan facility, directs

its loan resources towards social development projects.

affreightment, contract of: An agreement between a shipping company and an importer or exporter

for cargo space on a vessel at a specified time for a specified price. The

importer/exporter is liable for payment whether or not the shipment is made

at the time agreed upon.

after date (A/D): A payment on a draft or other negotiable instrument due a specified number

of days after the date the draft is presented to the payee.

after sight (A/S): A payment on a draft or other negotiable instrument due upon presentation

or demand to the payee.

agio: Premium paid for exchanging currency.

Agency for International Development (AID): The Agency for International Development (AID) was created in 1961 to

administer foreign economic assistance programs of the U.S. government.

air waybill: A bill of lading covering both the domestic and international portions of

flights to transport goods to a specific destination. The air waybill serves as

a non-negotiable receipt for the shipper.

all-risk clause: An insurance clause providing that all loss or damage to goods is insured

except that caused by shipper.

alongside: This refers to the side of a ship, i.e., goods are to be located on the dock or

barge within reach of the transport ship’s tackle in order to be loaded aboard

the ship.

AmChams: American Chambers of Commerce in foreign countries. As affiliates of

the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 84 AmChams, located in 59 countries,

collect and disseminate extensive information on foreign markets. While

membership fees are usually required, the small investment can be worth it

for the information received.

anti-dumping duty: A tariff imposed to discourage the underpriced (below foreign country’s

domestic market/sale of foreign goods in the U.S. market, which might hurt

U.S. manufacturers.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC): Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

A forum to advance economic cooperation and trade and investment liberalization

in the Asia-Pacific region, chaired by Indonesia. APEC goals in addition to trade liberalization

include human resource development, growth of small and medium-sized

businesses and infrastructure development.

arbitrage: The practice of buying foreign currency, stocks and bonds and other

commodities in one country or a number of countries and selling them in

another market at a higher price to gain an advantage from the differences

in exchange rates.

arbitration clause: A clause in a sales contract detailing how any contract disputes will be settled.

arrival notice: This document advises consignees (named in the bill of lading) that cargoes

have arrived, the condition of the cargo if other than expected, and any

charges due.

ASEAN: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, an economic cooperation

which includes Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and

Brunei. The ASEAN Alliance for Mutual Growth (AMG) is a multilateral

initiative to encourage mutually beneficial trade relations between the

United States and the ASEAN countries.

at sight: A phrase indicating that payment on a draft or other negotiable instrument

is due upon presentation or demand.

authority to pay (A/P): A letter, used mostly in the Far Eastern trade, addressed by a bank to a

seller or merchandise, notifying him that it is authorized to purchase, with

or without recourse, drafts to a stipulated amount drawn on a certain foreign

buyer in cover of specific shipments of merchandise.

back-to-back credits: A term commonly used to denote letters of credit issued for account of

different buyers to cover the same shipment, the terms of which credits are

similar that documents under one are subsequently applicable against one

another.

bank guarantee: An assurance, obtained from a bank by a foreign purchaser, that the bank

will pay an exporter up to a given amount for goods shipped if the foreign

purchaser defaults.

banker’s acceptance: Occurs when a draft is drawn on and accepted by the importer’s bank.

Depending on the bank’s creditworthiness, the acceptance becomes a

financial instrument which can be discounted.

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.

beneficiary: The person in whose favor a draft is drawn or a letter of credit is opened.

bill of exchange: Also a draft. A written unconditional order for payment from a drawer to a

drawee, directing the drawee to pay a specified amount of money in a given

currency to the drawer or a named payee at a fixed or determinable future

date.

bill of lading: A document establishing the terms of a contract between a shipper and a

transportation company for freight 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, a contract of carriage and a receipt

for goods.

binder: Temporary insurance coverage pending the insurance of an insurance policy

or certificate.

bonded warehouse: A warehouse authorized by customs authorities for storage of goods where

payment of duties on the goods is deferred until they are removed from the

warehouse.

booking: An arrangement with a steamship company for the acceptance and carriage

of freight.

bulk-freight container: This container allows bulk commodities to be grasped by roll loading

hatches and has a front wall discharge hatch.

buyer credit: Term to provide the exporter with prompt payment by the overseas importer,

who borrows the necessary funds from the bank. The payment is usually

made directly by the importer’s bank to the exporter.

carnets: Customs documents permitting the holder to carry or send merchandise

temporarily into certain foreign countries for trade shows or sales meetings,

without paying duties or posting bonds.

Caribbean Development Bank (CDB): CDB, founded in 1970, provides financing

to foster economic development and integration in the Caribbean. The CDB’s

members are the governments of Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British

Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana,

Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago,

Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela. Headquarters

are located in Barbados.

CARICOM: The Caribbean Community and Common Market, founded in 1973.

Member countries are Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica,

Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St.

Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago and Anguilla. Headquarters are in Guyana.

Related organizations are the Caribbean Investment Corporation and the

Caribbean Monetary Fund.

cash against documents (C.A.D.): A payment method by which title to the goods

is given to the buyer when the buyer pays cash to an intermediary acting for the

seller, usually a commission house.

cash in advance (C.I.A.): A payment method for goods in which the buyer pays

cash to the seller before shipment of the goods. Usually required by the seller

when the goods are customized, such as specialized machinery.

cash with order (C.W.O.): A payment method for goods by which cash is paid

at the time of order and the transaction then becomes binding for both the buyer and seller.

certificate of inspection: A document often required in connection with shipments of perishable

goods, in which certification is made as to the good condition of their

merchandise immediately prior to shipment.

certificate of manufacture: Statement by a producer, who is usually also the seller, of merchandise that

manufacture has been completed and that the goods are at the disposal of

the buyer.

certificate of origin: A certified document detailing the origin of goods used in foreign commerce.

Usually required to qualify for reduced tariffs or duties, specified in the terms

of a trade agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.

charter party: Renting of an entire vessel or part of its freight space for a specified voyage

or stipulated period of time.

C&F named port: Cost and freight. The seller must pay all costs of goods and transportation

to the named port; these costs are included in the price quoted. Buyer pays

risk insurance once the goods are aboard the ship up to overseas inland

destination.

C.I.F. named port: Cost, insurance, freight. Same as C&F except seller also provides insurance

up to the named destination.

C.I.F.&C.: Price includes commission as well as C.I.F.

C.I.F. duty paid: The seller includes in the final price to the buyer, in addition to C.I.F., the

estimated U.S. duty.

C.I.F.&E.: Price quoted includes currency exchange from U.S. dollars to foreign

money as well as C.I.F.

clean bill of lading: A document specifying that the goods were received in “apparent good

order” by the carrier.

clean draft: A draft to which no documents are attached.

COCOM: Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls, a committee of

all NATO countries (except Iceland) plus Japan to coordinate and control

exports of member countries, especially in high-technology equipment.

collection: An exporter draws a bill of exchange on a customer abroad and gives the bill

to his/her bank to collect funds. The importer must be willing to pay. The

bank charges a fee to collect payment, but is not liable should the importer

refuse to release the funds.

collection papers: All documents, including bills of lading, invoices and other papers,

submitted to a buyer to receive payments for a shipment.

commercial attaché: Commerce expert on the diplomatic staff of their country’s embassy or large

consulate.

commercial invoice: Itemized list of goods shipped, usually included among an exporter’s

collection papers.

conditional free: Goods free of duty under certain conditions, if the conditions can be satisfied.

confirmed letter of credit: A letter of credit issued by a foreign bank with payment confirmed by a

U. S. bank. An exporter who requires a confirmed letter of credit from the

buyer is assured payment from the U.S. bank in case the foreign buyer or

bank defaults (see letter of credit).

consignment: The delivery of merchandise from an exporter to a distributor specifying

that the distributor will sell the merchandise and then pay the exporter.

The exporter retains title to the goods until the buyer sells them. The buyer

(distributor) sells the goods, retains a specified commission and then pays

the exporter.

consignor: The seller or shipper of merchandise.

consul: A government official residing in a foreign country charged with representing

the interests of his country and its nationals.

consular declaration: A formal statement describing goods to be shipped, made out to the consul

of the country of destination. Approval from the consul must be obtained

prior to shipment.

consular invoice: A document required by some foreign countries showing exact information

about the consignor, consignee, value and description of shipment.

container: A uniform, sealed, reusable metal “box” in which merchandise is shipped

by vessel, truck or rail. Standard lengths include 10, 20, 30 and 40 feet (40

foot lengths are generally able to hold about 40,000 pounds). Containers of

45 and 48 feet are also used, as well as containers for shipment by air.

container load: Adequate merchandise to fill a container (either by bulk or weight).

conventional tariff: A tariff established in the agreements resulting from tariff negotiations

under the GATT (see GATT).

convertible currency: Currency that can be bought or sold for other currencies at will.

correspondent bank: A bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.

count certificate: This particular document will certify the accuracy and quantity of a

shipment with regard to the count of its parts or units.

countertrade: The sale of goods or services that are paid for in whole or in part by the

transfer of goods or services from a foreign country (see barter).

countervailing duty: A duty imposed to counter unfairly subsidized products.

credit risk insurance: Insurance which protects the seller against loss due to default on the part of

the buyer.

customhouse brokers: A person or firm, licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, engaged in

clearing goods through U.S. Customs. A broker’s duties include preparing

the entry form and filing it; advising the importer on duties to be paid;

advancing duties and other costs; and arranging for delivery to the broker’s

client, the trucking firm or other carrier.

customs tariff: Charges imposed by the U.S. government and most other governments on

imported and/or exported goods.

date draft (D/D): A draft payable a specified number of days after the date it was issued,

regardless of the date of acceptance.

deferred payment credit: Type of letter of credit providing for payment some time after presentation

of shipping documents by exporter.

delivered at frontier: Term referring to the seller’s obligation to supply goods which conform

with the contract. At his or her own risk and expense, the seller must deliver

the to the buyer at the specified time and the specified frontier. The buyer is

responsible for complying with import formalities and payment of duties.

delivery duty paid: Term referring to the seller’s obligation to supply goods according to the

terms of the contract. At his or her own risk and expense, the seller must

deliver the goods, duty paid, at the specified time and the specified frontier,

after complying with all necessary formalities at that frontier.

demurrage: Excess time taken to load or unload a vessel. A sum agreed to be paid to the

shipowner for the excess time taken for loading or unloading not caused by

the vessel operator, but due to the acts of a charterer or shipper. Also refers

to imported cargo not picked up within prescribed time.

destination control statement: One of a number of statements required by the U.S.

Government to be displayed on export shipments specifying the authorized destinations for

the shipments.

direct exporting: Sale by an exporter directly to a buyer located in a foreign country.

distribution license: A license given to an export to replace numerous individual validated

licenses when there is continuous shipping of authorized products.

distributor: A foreign agent who sells directly in the foreign market for a U.S. supplier

and maintains an inventory of the supplier’s products.

dock receipt: Receipt issued by an ocean carrier or its agent for merchandise delivered at

its dock or warehouse awaiting shipment.

documents: The shipping and other papers customarily attached to foreign drafts,

consisting of ocean bills of lading marine insurance certificates, and

commercial invoices. Where required, certificates of origin and consular

invoices are included.

documents against acceptance (D/A): Instructions by a shipper to a bank indicating that

documents transferring title to the goods should be given to the buyer only after the

buyer’s signing a time draft. Thus the exporter extends credit to the importer and agrees to

accept payment at a named future date.

documents against payment (D/P): Payment for goods without a guaranteed form of

payment in which the documents transferring title to the goods are not given to the

buyer until he/she has signed a sight draft.

document of title: Evidence of entitlement or ownership, such as a carrier’s negotiable bill of

lading, which allows a party to claim title to the goods in question.

duty: A tax levied by a government on an import, an export or the use and

consumption of goods.

duty drawback: A partial refund of duties paid on importation of goods which are

further processed and then re-exported, or exported in same condition as

imported.

embargo: A restriction or prohibition upon exports or imports, for specific products

or specific countries. Embargoes may be ordered by governments due to

warfare, or are intended for political, economic or sanitary purposes.

entry papers: Documents which must be filed with U.S. Customs officials describing

goods imported, such as the commercial invoice, Ocean Bill of Lading or

Carrier Release.

euro: Eleven member states of the EU, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France,

Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain,

adopted a single currency, the euro, on January 1, 1999.

European Economic Community (EEC): An economic grouping of countries also

known as the European Common Market, organized by the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

Member countries are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy,

Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. The EEC was

the largest trading bloc in the world until the North American Free Trade

Agreement created a larger market beginning in January 1994.

ex-mill (ex-warehouse, ex-mine, ex-factory): Obligates the seller to place a specified

quantity of goods at a specified price at his warehouse or plant, loaded on

trucks, railroad cars or any other specified means of transport. Obligates

the buyer to accept the goods in this manner and make all arrangements for

transportation.

export declaration: A formal statement made to Customs at the exit port declaring full particulars

about goods being exported.

export license: A permit required to export certain commodities and certain quantities to

certain destinations. The purpose is to control the transfer of technologies

such as hardware, software, technical data and services. Lists of goods

requiring an export license are listed in the official U.S. government

publication The Export Administration Regulations of the Bureau of Export

Administration (BXA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

export management company (EMC): A firm that acts as a complete export arm

for a company’s exporting needs. Usually an EMC will pay all expenses and receive

compensation in the form of a discount off the U.S. price of the product. An

organization which, for a commission, acts as a purchasing agent for either

a buyer or seller.

export quotas: Restrictions or set objectives on the export of specified goods imposed

by the government of the exporting country. Such restraints may be

intended to protect domestic producers and consumers from temporary

shortages of certain materials or as a means to moderate world prices of

specified commodities. Commodity agreements sometimes contain explicit

provisions to indicate when export quotas should go into effect among

producers.

export rate: A freight rate specially established for application on export traffic and

generally lower than the domestic rate.

export trading company (ETC): A business that acts as a complete export service

house and, in addition, takes title to a company’s exported goods.

ex-dock: Term used by exporter to describe net costs of goods at placement of the

dock at the import point.

ex-ship: An international trade term meaning that the seller shall make the goods

available to the buyer on board the ship at the destination named in the sales

contract. The seller must bear the full cost and risk involved in bringing the

goods to the buyer.

ex-works: An international trade term meaning that the seller’s only responsibility is to

make the goods available at seller’s premises. The seller is not responsible

for loading the goods on the vehicle provided by the buyer, unless otherwise

agreed. The buyer bears the full cost and risk involved in bringing the goods

from there to buyer’s desired destination. This term thus represents the

minimum obligation for the seller.

factoring houses: Types of companies which purchase international accounts receivable at a

discount price, usually about two to four percent less than their face value.

The fee charged the exporter is offset by the immediate availability of

payment, plus the reduction in risk for the exporter. (see Forfaiting.)

F.O.B. Freight Allowed: The same as F.O.B. named inland carrier, except the buyer

pays the freight charges of the inland carrier and the seller reduces the invoice by that

amount.

F.O.B.: Freight Prepaid:[/b] The same as F.O.B. named inland carrier, except the seller pays

the freight charges of the inland carrier.

F.O.B. Named Inland Carrier: Seller must place the goods on the named carrier at the specified inland

point and obtain a bill of lading. The buyer pays for the transportation.

F.O.B. Named Port of Exportation: Seller is responsible for placing the goods at a named point

of exportation at the seller’s expense. Some European buyers use this form when they

actually mean F.O.B. vessel.

F.O.B. Vessel: Seller is responsible for goods and preparation of export documentation

until actually placed aboard the vessel.

force majeure: The title of a standard clause in marine contracts relieving the parties

for responsibility upon nonfulfillment of their obligations resulting from

conditions beyond their control (like earthquake, floods or war).

foreign-based agent/distributor: An individual or firm serving as the foreign representative

of U.S. suppliers, locating buyers for them in the foreign market.

foreign branch office: A sales (or other) office maintained in a foreign country and staffed by

direct employees of the exporter.

foreign freight forwarder: A corporation carrying on the business of forwarding who is not

a shipper or consignee. The foreign freight forwarder receives compensation from

the shipper for preparing documents and arranging various transactions

related to the international distribution of goods. Also, a brokerage fee may

be paid to the “forwarder” from steamship lines if the forwarder performs

at least two of the following services:[/b]

(1) coordination of the movement of the cargo to shipside

(2) preparation and processing of the Ocean Bill of Lading

(3) preparation and processing of dock receipts or delivery orders

(4) preparation and processing of consular documents or export declarations

(5) payment of the ocean freight charges on shipments.

foreign sales agent: An agent residing in a foreign country who acts as a sales representative for

your company’s products.

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 and/or

consumption.

forfaiting: Forfaiting, similar to factoring, is an arrangement under which exporters

actually forfeit their rights to future payment in return for immediate cash.

The arrangement is commonly used for sales of capital equipment with

terms of one to five years.

Free Alongside (F.A.S.) (or free alongside steamer): The seller must deliver the goods to a pier

and place them within reach of the ship’s loading equipment. The buyer

arranges ship space and informs the seller when and where the goods are to

be placed.

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 trade zone: An area designated by the government of a country to which goods may be

imported for processing and subsequent export on duty-free basis.

freight to (named destination): The seller must pay to forward the goods to the agreed

destination by road, rail or inland waterway and is responsible for all risks of the goods until

they are delivered to the first carrier.

GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, now renamed the World Trade

Organization. A multilateral treaty adhered to by over 124 nations which

provides a set of rules for trade policies and a means for settling disputes

among member nations. After eight years of negotiations, the Uruguay

Round Agreement of the GATT nations, creating a global trade accord,

was voted on by the U.S. Congress in December, 1994 and approved for

American participation. The pact is expected to lower world tariffs by 40

percent, cut subsidies globally, expand protection for intellectual property

and set rules for investment and trade in services.

general average: A deliberate loss or damage to goods in the face of a peril, which

sacrifice is made for the preservation of the vessel and other goods. The cost of the loss

is shared by the owners of all goods on board up to time of peril.

general license (export): Authorization to export goods/services without specific

documentary approval.

general license, limited value (GLV): Authorization to export a limited value amount

of a good without specific documentary authorization.

general order: A Customs term by which if proper entry has not been made for merchandise

within five working days after arrival in a port of entry, the goods are sent

to a general order warehouse. All costs are charged to the importer.

gross weight: Entire weight of goods, packing and container, ready for shipment.

hard currency: A currency expected to remain at stable value or to increase in relation

to other currencies; also, a freely convertible currency may be called

“hard.”

harmonized system: The harmonized system (HS) is a classification system for goods in

international trade that provides a uniform system of product classification

for all major trading countries.

import: To bring foreign goods or services into a country.

import license: A license required and issued by some governments authorizing the entry of

foreign goods into their countries.

import quota: A restricted amount of certain types of goods entering a country, usually

maintained through licensing importers, assigning to each a quota, after

determining the amount of goods or commodities allowed for that period.

The license may also state the country from which the importer is allowed

to buy, thus restricting free trade, but many times adopted by governments

because of internal pressures from certain industries worried about

competition.

in bond: A term applied to the status of merchandise admitted provisionally to

a country without payment of duties—either for storage in a bonded

warehouse or for transshipment to another point, where duties will

eventually be imposed.

indent: A requisition for goods, stating conditions of the sale. Acceptance of an

indent by a seller means his agreement to the conditions of the sale.

indirect exporting: Sale by the exporter to the buyer through an intermediary in the

domestic market.

inland bill of lading: A bill of lading used in transporting goods overland to the exporter’s

international carrier, where the ocean bill of lading becomes applicable.

Although a through bill of lading can sometimes be used, it is usually

necessary to prepare both an inland bill of lading and an ocean bill of lading

for export shipment.

inland carrier: A transportation line which hauls export or import freight between ports of

entry and inland destinations.

integrated carriers: Carriers that have both air and ground fleets. Since they usually handle

thousands of small parcels an hour, they have more competitive prices and

offer more diverse services than regular carriers.

intellectual property: The patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights and trade secrets of a

business are considered intellectual property.

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB): The Inter-American Development Bank provides

resources to finance Latin American development. The IDB also serves as administrator for

special funds provided by several member and nonmember countries. The largest

of these funds is the U.S. Social Progress Trust Fund.

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC): Established in Paris in 1919, this is a non-governmental

organization serving world business. The ICC has members in 110 countries that

include companies, industrial associations, banking bodies and chambers

of commerce. The ICC International Court of Arbitration was founded in

1923 to settle international business disputes; it is the leading international

arbitration institution.

International Finance Corporation (IFC): A separately organized member of the World Bank group,

receiving its funds through stock subscriptions from member countries, revolving loans, and

earnings. The IFC encourages the flow of capital into private investment in

developing countries. It makes loans at commercial interest rates, usually as

a lender of last resort when sufficient capital cannot be obtained from other

sources on reasonable terms.

irrevocable letter of credit: A letter of credit which obligates the issuing bank to pay the exporter

provided all the terms and conditions of the letter of credit have been met.

None of the terms and conditions may be changed without the consent of all

parties to the letter of credit (see letter of credit).

lay time: The time allowed a ship to load or unload. If this number of days is

exceeded, demurrage is incurred.

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 net weight).

letter of credit (L/C): A method of payment for goods by which the buyer establishes

his/her credit with a local bank, clearly describing the goods to be purchased, the price,

the documentation required and a limit for completion of the transaction.

Upon receipt of documentation, the bank is either paid by the buyer or takes

title to the goods themselves and then transfers funds to the seller. The bank

will insist upon exact compliance with the terms of the sale, and will not pay

if there are any discrepancies.

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

liquidation: The final determination of the duties due.

maquiladora: The maquiladora (or “in-bond” industry) program allows foreign

manufactures to ship components into Mexico duty-free for assembly and

subsequent re-export.

marine insurance: Insurance which will compensate the owner of goods transported overseas

in the event of loss which cannot be legally recovered from the carrier.

multiple exchange rates: A number of countries operate systems by which different exchange rates

are used for different transactions.

NAFTA: The North American Free Trade Agreement, the largest free trade area in the

world, 340 million people and $6 trillion in GDP, encompassing Canada,

the United States and Mexico. This free trade pact was passed by the U.S.

Congress in November 1993 and began implementation in January 1994.

NAFTA follows the model of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and

will lower trade barriers among the three countries over the next 15 years to

zero in most categories of goods and services.

net weight (actual): The weight of the goods without any immediate wrappings; e.g., the weight

of the contents of a tin can without the weight of the can (see legal weight).

non-tariff barriers: These are factors, other than tariffs, inhibiting international trade, meant

to discourage imports. They may include requiring advance deposits in

import payments, requiring excessive customs adherence and excessive

administrative procedures.

Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC): A cargo consolidator of small shipments in

ocean trade, generally soliciting business and arranging for or performing containerization

functions at the port.

ocean bill of lading: A contract between an exporter and an international carrier for transportation

of goods to a specified foreign port. Unlike an inland bill of lading, the ocean

bill of lading is a collection document, an instrument of ownership which

can be bought, sold or traded while the goods are being shipped. There are

two types of ocean bills of lading used to transfer ownership.

straight (non-negotiable): provides for delivery of goods to the person

named in the bill of lading. The bill must be marked “non-negotiable.”

shipper’s order (negotiable): provides for delivery of goods to the person

named in the bill of lading or anyone designated.

The shipper’s order is used with draft or letter-of-credit shipments and

enables the bank involved in the export transaction to take title to the goods

if the buyer defaults. The bank does not release title to the goods to the

buyer until payment is received. The bank does not release funds to the

exporter until conditions of sale have been satisfied.

open account (O/A): A trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without

guarantee of payment, with 30-45 days accounts payable, for example. The

buyer’s integrity must be unquestionable, or the buyer must have a history

of payment practices with the seller.

Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD):

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was established in

1961 by the industrialized “free market” nations of the world to promote the economic

and social welfare of member nations and to stimulate efforts on behalf of developing nations.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC): A wholly owned government

corporation designed to promote private U.S. investment in developing countries

by providing political risk insurance and some financing, including project financing.

packing list: This document includes information that is needed for transport, as well as

the number and kinds of items that are being shipped.

performance bond guarantee: If a company is undertaking a contract, it may be asked

to give a performance bond for part of the value of the contract. If the customer

considers the company’s performance under the terms of the contract

has been unsatisfactory, payment of the bond can be demanded from the

banker guaranteeing the bond. The bond is issued by the bank on behalf of

the company, and therefore increases the bank’s potential exposure to the

company.

piggyback arrangement: An arrangement whereby one company sometimes a

smaller one uses the already established distribution channels of another company,

which is effective when the two companies wish to sell complementary products.

political risk: Used in export financing, this term represents the risk of losses incurred by

war, government prevention of merchandise entry, confiscation, currency

inconvertibility, etc.

port of entry: A port where foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country.

President’s Export Council (PEC): The President’s Export Council (PEC) advises the

President on government policies and programs that affect U.S. trade performance;

promote export exapansion; and provide a forum for discussing and resolving

trade-related problems among the business, industrial, agricultural, labor and

government sectors.

Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO): A U.S. company owned by the Export-Import

Bank and a number of U.S. commercial banks and industrial corporations. It works with

Ex-Im Bank by purchasing foreign buyers’ medium. PEFCO funds itself by public issues

of long-term secured notes, unsecured medium-term obligations, short-term

notes sales, and by credit lines from the banks and from Ex-Im Bank.

pro forma invoice: An invoice prepared by an exporter before the shipment of merchandise

informing the buyer of the kinds of goods to be sent, their value and

important specifications such as size, quantity and weight.

quota: The quantity of goods which may be imported without restriction or

additional duties or taxes.

quotation: An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.

Schedule B: Refers to “Schedule B, Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign

Commodities Exported from the United States.”

Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED): A form required by the U.S. Treasury Department

and completed by a shipper showing the value, weight, consignee, destination, etc.,

of export shipments, as well as Harmonized Schedule B identification number.

sight draft: A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee. A sight draft is used

when the seller wishes to retain control of the shipment, either for credit reasons or for

the purpose of title retention. Money will be payable at sight of the completed

documents.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC): A standard numerical code system used

by the U.S. government to classify goods and services.

Standard International Trade Classification: A standard numerical code system

developed by the United Nations and used in international trade to classify

commodities, primarily designed for statistical and economic purposes.

standy letter of credit: A letter of credit issued to cover a particular contingency,

such as foreign investors guaranteed payment for commercial paper

(see letter of credit).

Strikes, Riots & Civil Commotions (S.R.& C.C.): A term referring to an insurance

clause excluding insurance of loss caused by labor disturbances, riots and civil

commotions or any person engaged in such actions.

sue and labor clause: A provision in marine insurance obligating the insured to

take necessary steps after a loss to prevent further loss and to act in the best

interests of the insurer.

tare weight: The weight of packing and containers—without the goods to be shipped.

tariff: A tax on goods which a country imports. The rate at which imported goods

are taxed. A tariff schedule usually refers to a list or schedule of articles

of merchandise with the rate of duty to be paid to the government of

importation.

tariff quotas: Setting a higher tariff rate on imported goods after a specified, controlled

quantity of the item has entered the country at the usual tariff rate during a

specified period.

technology transfer: This term is used to characterize “the transfer of knowledge

generated and developed in one place to another, where it used to achieve some

practical end.

through bill of lading: A single bill of lading covering both domestic and international passage of

an export shipment.

trade mission Generically, a trade mission is composed of individuals who are taken as a

group to meet with prospective customers overseas.

Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC): The President established the TPCC

in May 1990 to unify and streamline the government’s decentralized approach to export

promotion.

trade show: A trade show is a stage-setting event in which firms present their products

or services to prospective customers in a pre-formatted setting.

transit shipment: A term used of a shipment destined for an interior point or for a place best

reached by reshipment from another port.

transportation and exportation entry: A form declaring goods entering the United States

for the purpose of exportation through a U.S. port. Carriers and any warehouse must be

bonded.

uniform customs and practice: Standardized code of practice issued by the International

Chamber of Commerce in Paris covering Documentary Credits (see International Chamber

of Commerce).

uniform rules: Standardized rules issued by the International Chamber of Commerce in

Paris covering collections, Combined Transport Documents, and Contract

Guarantees (see International Chamber of Commerce).

Uruguay Round: The most recent (1989-1994) round of trade talks of the member countries

of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (see GATT).

validated export license: A document issued by the U.S. Government authorizing the export of

commodities for which written export authorization is required by law.

value added tax (VAT): An indirect tax assessed on the increase in value of a good from raw

material stage to final product for consumption. The tax is paid by those

who increase the value of the items before they resell them. A system used

by the European Community.

World Trade Organization (WTO): This organization was the former General Agreement on

Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and was created and named by the Uruguay Round in 1994.

warehouse entry: A form declaring goods imported and placed in a bonded warehouse.

Duty payment may not be required until the goods are withdrawn by the

importer.

wharfage: Charges assessed by docks for the handling of incoming or outgoing ocean

merchandise

without reserve: A shipping term indicating that a shipper’s agent or representative is

empowered to make definitive decisions and adjustments abroad without

approval of the group or individual represented.

World Bank: The World Bank assists the development of member nations by making

loans when private capital is not available at reasonable terms to finance

productive investments.

Source: Breaking into the Trade Game; A U.S. Small Business Administration International Publication



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