Glossary of Terms

Air Waybill - A bill of lading which covers domestic and international flights transporting goods to a specified destination. Technically it is a non-negotiable instrument of air transport which serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listing therein and obligates itself to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions.

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 forwarder on forms issued by the carrier, it serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.

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

Certificate of Origin - A document, required by certain foreign countries for tariff purposes, certifying as to the country of origin of specified goods.

C.I.F. - Cost, Insurance, Freight - A pricing term indicating that these costs are included in the quoted price.

Dock Receipt - A document issued by an ocean carrier to acknowledge receipt of a shipment at the carrier's dock or warehouse facilities.

Drawback - A refund of duties paid on imported goods which is provided at the time of their re-exportation.

Dumping - Importing merchandise into a country (e.g. the United States) at lower prices that are detrimental to local producers of the same kind of merchandise.

Duty - A tax imposed on imports by the customs authority of a country. Duties are generally based on the value of the goods (ad valorem duties), other factors such as weight or quantity (specific duties), or a combination of value and other factors (compound duties).

Ex-"From" - When used in pricing terms such as "Ex Factory" or Ex Dock", it signifies that the price quoted applies only at the point of origin (in the two examples, at the sellers factory or a dock at the import point). In practice this kind of quotation indicates that the seller agrees to place the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the specified place within a fixed period of time.

F.O.B. - "Free On Board" - A pricing term indication that the quoted price includes the cost of loading the goods into transport vessels at the specified place.

Foreign 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, etc., 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 Customs Authority.

Letter of Credit (LC) - 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, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time.

Packing List - A list showing the number and kinds of items being shipped, as well as other information needed for transportation purposes.

Pro Forma Invoice - An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value, and important specifications (weight, size, etc.).

Quota - The quantity of goods of a specific kind that a country will permit to be imported without restriction or imposition of additional duties.

Shipper's Export Declaration - A form required for overseas shipments and prepared by a shipper, indicating the value, weight, destination, and other basic information about an export shipment.

Tare Weight - The weight of a container without the weight of goods it contains.

Through Bill of Lading - A single bill of lading covering both the domestic and international carriage of a export shipment; an air waybill, for instance, is essentially a through bill of lading used for air shipments. Ocean shipments, on the other hand, usually require two separate documents - an inland bill of lading for domestic carriage and an ocean bill of lading for international carriage. Compare Air Waybill and Bill of Lading.

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.