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International Trade Glossary

This Glossary highlights California Fashion Association's focus in promoting the global recognition of the "Created in California" image. The purpose of this International Trade Glossary is to assist in generating international trade by addressing terms associated with state, federal, and international agencies. The Glossary contains valuable information defining compliance and labor issues to make general inter-industry and international trade networking easier.


Click on a letter to jump to your alpha choice.

  201 Tariff - Authorizes the President of the United States to take action when a particular product is being imported into the country in such large quantities as to cause injury or threaten serious injury to a domestic industry. This authority can be used even if the import is not priced unfairly.
  24 Hour Rule - Effective December 2, 2002, carriers and/or automated NVOCCs (‘non-vessel operating common carrier’) must submit a cargo declaration 24 hours before cargo is loaded aboard the vessel at a foreign port.
  301 Processing - Process requiring the office of the USTR (U.S. Trade Representative) to prioritize foreign trade barriers and seek their resolution through bilateral consultations.
  807 - A U.S. tariff schedule provision known as "9802" (formerly known as 806/807). It allows the duty-free entry of goods whose final product contains a certain portion of raw material or labor value added, assisting the development of the maquiladora industry and other countries with a NAFTA agreement, such as the Caribbean Basin and Hong Kong.
A
Acceptance - Broadly speaking, any agreement to purchase goods at a stated price and under specified terms.
  Accumulation - Profits that are not paid out as dividends but are added to the capital base of the corporation.
  Ad Valorem (According to Value) - 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), some other factor such as weight or quantity (specific duties), or a combination of value and other factors (compound duties).
  Administrative Protective Orders (APO) - Grants counsel for interested parties to any given proceeding -- but not the interested parties themselves -- the right to receive business proprietary information collected by the agency. In exchange for this right to analyze this confidential data, parties' counsel must agree to protect the confidentiality of the proprietary information they receive under the APO and to adhere to the other requirements of the APO.
  Advance Against Documents - A loan made on the security of the documents covering the shipment.
  Advising Bank - A bank, operating in the exporters’ country, which handles the letter of credit for a foreign bank by notifying the export firm that the credit has been opened in its favor. The advising bank informs the exporter of the conditions of the letter of credit without necessarily bearing responsibility for payment.
  Advisory Capacity - Indicates that a shipper's agent is not empowered to make decisions or adjustments without approval of the group he or she represents.
  African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) - An Act promulgated in the United States that significantly liberalizes trade between the U.S. and 37 designated Sub-Saharan African countries. AGOA builds on existing U.S. trade programs by expanding the (duty-free) benefits previously available only under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The Act covers an 8-year period from October 2000 to September 2008.
  Agent - An individual or firm that serves as the foreign representative of a domestic supplier and seeks sales abroad for the supplier.
  Agreement of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - ASEAN was formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to promote political and economic cooperation and regional stability. It currently consists of ten member nations: Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Vietnam. U.S. relations with ASEAN have been excellent since its inception.
  Agreement on Textile and Clothing (ATC) - The ATC is one of the most significant outcomes of the Uruguay Round. It has established safeguard provisions which have proved to be effective both in limiting most safeguard abuses and in carving out a new textiles and clothing regime within the WTO.
  Air Waybill - A bill of lading that covers both domestic and international flights transporting goods to a specified destination. This is a non-negotiable instrument of air transport that serves as a receipt for the shipper, indicating that the carrier has accepted the goods listed and obligates it to carry the consignment to the airport of destination according to specified conditions.
  Alongside - 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 aboard the ship.
  American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) - This advocacy group’s intention is to preserve and create American manufacturing jobs through the establishment of trade policy and other measures necessary for the U.S. manufacturing sector to stabilize and grow.
  Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) - ATPA was signed into law in 1991 to provide the beneficiary countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru duty-free access to the U.S. market for a wide range of products. The Act expired in December 2001.
  Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) - This act would extend the period in which preferential treatment provided to certain products of countries under the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) is in effect. In addition, the bill would provide preferential treatment under ATPA for additional articles, including certain footwear and petroleum products. Also, it would extend preferential treatment to knit-to-shape apparel articles imported from countries under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
  Anti-Diversion Clause - Various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments, and that specify the destinations for which export of the shipment has been authorized.
  Anti-Dumping (AD) - Anti-dumping suits, along with ‘safeguards’ and ‘countervailing measures’, are tools for protecting domestic industries from surges of cheap foreign imports. Although the WTO strives to eliminate all trade barriers, it recognizes that nations require flexibility to adjust to economic shocks as multilateral agreements increasingly liberalize trade. Thus, these measures allow nations to temporarily protect their economies against fluctuations in trading patterns.
  Arbitrage - The process of buying foreign exchange, stocks, bonds, and other commodities in one market and immediately selling them in another market at higher prices.
  Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) - APEC was established in 1989 to further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the region and to strengthen the Asia-Pacific community. Since its inception, APEC has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating efficient domestic economies and dramatically increasing exports. It also works to create an environment for the safe and efficient movement of goods, services and people across borders in the region through policy alignment and economic and technical cooperation.
  Asian Dollars - U.S. dollars deposited in Asia and the Pacific Basin.
  Assignment (of Proceeds of a Letter of Credit) - If the bank agrees, the beneficiary assigns all or part of the proceeds to be paid to another party after the required documents have been presented.
  Automated Export System (AES) - A new program of the U.S. Census Bureau’s enforcement activities to audit exporters who are not complying with their export data filing obligations, as part of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTA).
  Azurite - Azurite is a very popular mineral because of its unparalleled color, a deep blue called "azure", hence its name. Azure is derived from the Arabic word for blue. It is used in jewelry and for dyes as mentioned above. It is also an unimportant ore of copper and closely associated with green malachite. See also Mineral dyes.
 
B
Balance of Trade - The difference between a country’s total imports and exports. If exports exceed imports, a favorable balance of trade exists; if not, a trade deficit exists.
  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 letter of credit is issued or a draft is drawn.
  Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) - An agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in the state of the other. This type of investment is called Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  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.
  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, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods. Also see Air waybill, Inland Bill of Lading, Ocean Bill of Lading, and Through Bill of Lading.
  Bonded Warehouse - A warehouse authorized by customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.
  Booking - An arrangement with a steamship company for the acceptance and carriage of freight.
  Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship - A membership-based research organization founded in 1985. They are involved in helping businesses leverage their social, economic, and human assets to ensure success and sustainable policies. Most recently, they collaborated with the Reputation Institute in ranking the U.S.’s top 50 companies.
  Brazilwood - A Brazilian timber tree that has dense, orange-red heartwood. It is the premier wood used for making bows for string instruments from the violin family. The wood also yields a red dye called brazilin. See also Natural dyes.
  Broker of Trade - One that acts as an agent for others, as in negotiating contracts, purchases, or trade sales in return for a fee or commission.
  Buying Agent - An agent who purchases goods in his or her own country on behalf of foreign importers such as government agencies and large private concerns.
  Byrd Amendment - Directs the US government to distribute the collected anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties to the US companies that brought the cases in the first place. Offset payments are made to cover certain expenses (such as investment in manufacturing facilities and acquisition of technology) incurred after the imposition of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for the production of the product subject to the measures. (Also known as the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 28 October 2000).
 
C
Cairns Group - Established in 1986 in Cairns, Australia. The group’s ministers formed the alliance to ensure that agricultural trade issues would be given a high priority in the Multilateral Trade Negotiations.
  Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) - Implemented in January 1989 to eliminate all tariffs on U.S. and Canadian goods by January 1998 and reduce or eliminate many non-tariff barriers.
  Cap and Trade - A system through which a central body sets a cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Abiding companies or nations therefore have allowances (credits) representing the right to emit a certain amount up to the predetermined cap. If a company exceeds their allowance, they must purchase credits from companies emitting less; this is referred to as a trade. See also Emissions Trading.
  Carbon Emissions Trading - It is a method by which countries can meet their obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions and reduce global warming; specifically for the emission of carbon dioxide, which currently makes up the bulk of emissions trading.
  Carbon footprint - A measure of the impact that human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.
  Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) - A trade act that was made into law by public law 106-200 (CBTPA) which amends section 213(b) of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act 19 U.S.C. 2703 (b), and provides that certain preferential tariff treatment may be provided to eligible articles that are the product of any country that the President designates as a CBTPA beneficiary country. Furthermore, any U.S. citizen that travels in the Caribbean Basin may bring back $600.00 duty free.
  Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) - A bill promoting the growth of free enterprise and economic opportunity in the Caribbean Bain region, in order to increase trade between the region and the United States and to encourage the adoption of trade policies for participation in the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
  Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) - The creation and enactment of this legislation planned to strengthen U.S. ties with Caribbean Basin trading partners. The CBTPA will expand previous CBI programs by extending preferential tariff treatment to textile and apparel products assembled from U.S. fabric that were excluded from the program. The purpose is to encourage additional U.S. exports of cotton yarn and U.S. investment in the region, and improve the competitive position of the U.S. textile industry.
  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.
  Carriage Paid To (CPT) and Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP) - Pricing terms indicating that carriage, or carriage and insurance, are paid to the named place of destination. They apply in place of CFR and CIF, respectively, for shipment by modes other than water.
  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 (CIA) - Payment for goods in which the buyer pays when ordering and in which the transaction is binding on both parties.
  Cash With Order (CWO) - Payment for goods in which the buyer and the second party conduct a binding transaction.
  Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) - The United States has agreed to establish a free trade arrangement known as CAFTA, with the countries of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. The agreement would, among other things, provide U.S. duty and quota free treatment for textile and apparel items produced in Central America.
  Centralized Value-Added Tax (CENVAT) - Introduced in 2003 to cover the entire textile supply chain, the tax brought the unorganized sector into the tax net.
  Ceres - A national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups that works with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Its mission is to integrate sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and its people.
  Certificate of Inspection - A document certifying that merchandise, including perishable goods, was in good condition immediately prior to its shipment.
  Certificate of Manufacture - A statement (often notarized) in which a producer of goods certifies that manufacture has been completed and that the goods are now at the disposal of the buyer.
  Certificate of Origin - A document, required by certain foreign countries for tariff purposes, certifying the country of origin of specified goods.
  Chamber of Importers for the Republic of Argentina (CIRA) - (also known as Camara de Importadores de la Republica Argentina). CIRA, as a managerial union entity, takes steps to make the importers conditions as effective as possible with the support of public authorities such as the Department of State and Foreign Trade; Treasury Department, Ministry of Public Works and Utilities; Department of Industry, Commerce and Mining; Customs General Administration, and its dependant agencies.
  Charter Party - A written contract, usually on special form, between the owner of a vessel and a “charterer” who rents use of the vessel or a part of its freight space. The contract generally includes the freight rates and the ports involved in the transportation.
  Cinnabar - The principal ore of mercury and is essential to many scientific instruments such as blood pressure manometers, thermometers, and weather instrumentation. The color ranges from a bright scarlet or cinnamon red to brick red. See also Mineral dyes.
  Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) - Created as a separate U.S. Government bureau by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, CIS allows the Department of Homeland Security to improve the administration of benefits and immigration services for applicants by exclusively focusing on immigration and citizenship services. The immediate priorities of the new USCIS are to promote national security, continue to eliminate immigration adjudications backlogs, and implement solutions for improving immigration customer services.
  Clean Bill of Lading - A receipt for goods issued by a carrier that indicated that the goods were received in “apparent good order and condition,” without damages or other irregularities. Compare Foul bill of lading.
  Clean Development Mechanism - A flexible mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol that allows industrialized nations with a greenhouse gas reduction commitment to invest in projects to reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries.
  Clean Draft - A draft to which no documents have been attached.
  Collection Papers - All documents (commercial invoices, bill of lading, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.
  Commercial Attaché - The commerce expert on the diplomatic staff of his or her country’s embassy or large consulate.
  Commercial Invoice - An itemized list of goods shipped, usually included among an exporter’s collection papers.
  Commercial Operations Advisory Committee of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (COAC) - A membership Departmental Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection and Related Functions.
  Commingling of Raw Materials - When a manufacturer or refiner purchases property for resale, prior to or during the manufacturing of goods, and physically commingles this purchased property with other property not purchased.
  Commission Agent - An agent who purchases goods in his or her own country on behalf of foreign importers such as government agencies and large private concerns.
  Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) - An interagency group chaired by the U.S. Department of Commerce, responsible for matters affecting textile trade policy and for supervising the implementation of all textile trade agreements. CITA also coordinates the administration's efforts to combat illegal textile and apparel transshipment; implements the ‘short supply’ and other provisions of AGOA and the U.S. CBTPA; and takes textile and apparel safeguard actions, when appropriate, under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) and the North American Free Trade Agreement. CITA administers the phase-out of textile and apparel quotas on WTO countries required under the ATC.
  Common Carrier - An individual, partnership, or corporation that transports persons or goods for compensation.
  Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - The CII works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of industry in India, partnering industry and government alike through advisory and consultative processes. CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry led and industry managed organization, playing a proactive role in India’s development process.
  Confirmed Letter of Credit - A letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, the validity of which has been confirmed by a U.S. bank. An exporter whose payment terms are a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment by the U.S. bank even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults. See Letter of Credit.
  Consignment - Delivery of merchandise from an exporter (the consignor) to an agent (the consignee) under agreement that the agents sell the merchandise for the account of the exporter. The consignor retains title to the goods until the consignee has sold them. The consignee sells the goods for commission and remits the net proceeds to the consignor.
  Consular Declaration - A formal statement, made to the consul of a foreign country, describing goods to be shipped.
  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 quantity, and the nature of the shipment.
  Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.
  Container Security Initiative (CSI) - CSI is a U.S.-run program intended to help increase security for containerized cargo shipped to the United States from around the world.
  Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act - see Byrd Amendment.
  Convertible Currency - A currency that can be bought and sold for other currencies at will.
  Copyrights - The legal right granted to a distributor, manufacturer, or creator to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, display, sell, lend, or rent their creation.
  Correspondent Bank - A bank that, in its own country, handles the business of a foreign bank.
  Cost and Freight (C&F) - A pricing term indicating that the cost of the goods and freight charges are included in the quoted price; the buyer arranges for and pays insurance.
  Cost and Freight (CFR) - A pricing term indicating that the cost of the goods and freight charges are included in the quoted price; the buyer arranges for and pays insurance. See also C&F.
  Cost, Insurance, Freight (CIF) - A pricing term indicating the cost of the goods, insurance, and freight and the ports involved in the transportation.
  Council for Trade in Goods - The Council for Trade in Goods (also called The Goods Council) is made up of members from all WTO countries, and has 11 committees dealing with issues such as agriculture, market access, subsidies, and anti-dumping measures.
  Counter-Trade - 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 (CV) - A duty imposed to counter unfairly subsidized products.
  Countervailing Measures - Additional measures imposed by the importing country to offset government subsidies in the exporting country, when the subsidized imports cause material injury to domestic industry in the importing country.
  Court of International Trade (CIT) - The CIT has jurisdiction over any civil action against the United States arising from Federal laws governing import transactions. The court hears antidumping, product classification, and countervailing duty matters as well as appeals of unfair trade practice cases from the International Trade Commission.
  Credit Risk Insurance - Insurance designed to cover risks of non-payment for delivered goods.
  Customhouse Broker - An individual or firm licensed to enter and clear goods through customs.
  Customs - The authorities designated to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports. The term also applies to the procedures involved in such collection.
  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) - The priority mission of the U.S. Government’s bureau of CBP is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States. The CBP also regulates and facilitates international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. trade laws.
  Customs Insurance Bond - A bond that guarantees the payment of import duties and taxes and also guarantees compliance with regulations governing the import of merchandise into the United States.
  Customs Policy for Trade and Terrorism (CPTAT) - Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) is a joint initiative between U.S. Customs and businesses. In response to 9/11, U.S. Customs developed a new industry-wide security standard for protecting supply chains against terrorism. To qualify for membership in CPTAT, companies must conduct a detailed self-assessment of supply chain security using the CTPAT guidelines created by the U.S. Customs Service and the international trade community. Companies must also submit a supply chain security profile questionnaire to Customs, and implement a program to enhance security throughout the entire supply chain in accordance with the CTPAT guidelines.
 
D
Date Draft - A draft that matures in a specified number of days after the date issued, without regard to the date of acceptance. See draft, Sight draft, and time draft.
  Deferred Payment Credit - A type of letter of credit providing for payment some time after presentation of shipping documents by exporter.
  Demand Draft - A draft that is payable upon presentation to the drawee.
  Demurrage - (i). In international transportation, a charge for the failure to remove cargo from a terminal within the allowed free time. Also, a charge for failure to load or unload a ship within the allowed period. (ii). In U.S. domestic transportation, a penalty charge against users for use of carriers' equipment beyond the allowed free time.
  Department of Commerce (DOC) - The U.S. Government’s DOC has many domestic and global offices related to the regulation, development, and promotion of domestic and international trade.
  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - The new U.S. Government Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: (i) Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, (ii) reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and (iii) minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.
  Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) - The California Department of Industrial Relations was established to improve working conditions for California's wage earners, and to advance opportunities for profitable employment in California.
  Department of Transportation (DOT) - An executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the development of national transportation policies.
  Destination Control Statement - Various statements that the U.S. government requires to be displayed on export shipments and that specify the destinations for which export of the shipment has been authorized.
  Devaluation - The official lowering of the value of one country’s currency in terms of one or more foreign currencies.
  Discrepancy – Letter of Credit - When documents presented do not conform to the Letter of Credit.
  Dispatch - An amount paid by a vessel’s operator to a charterer if loading or unloading is completed in less time than stipulated in the charter party.
  Distributor - A foreign agent who sells for a suppler directly and maintains an inventory of the supplier’s products.
  Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) - The state of California’s DLSE adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public work complaints, and enforces Labor Code statutes and Industrial Welfare Commission orders.
  Dock Receipt - A receipt issued by an ocean carrier to acknowledge receipt of a shipment at the carrier’s dock or warehouse facilities. Also see Warehouse receipt.
  Documentary Draft - A draft to which documents are attached.
  Documents Against Acceptance (D/A) - Instructions given by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title to goods should be delivered to the buyer (or drawee) only upon the buyers’ acceptance of the attached draft.
  Doha Development Agenda (DDA) - The November 2001 declaration of the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, mandates for negotiations on a range of subjects, including issues concerning the implementation of the present agreements. The negotiations take place in the Trade Negotiations Committee and its subsidiaries. Other work takes place in other WTO councils and committees.
  Doha Round - This agency within the WTO aims to reduce or eliminate tariff barriers and to improve developing countries’ market access.
  Domestic International Sales Corporation (DISC) - The predecessor of the Foreign Sales Corporation which took on a new definition as a result of the 1984 Tax Reform Act. DISCs can now provide a tax deferral on up to $10 million of exports so long as the funds remain in export-related investments
  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. See Date Draft, Sight Draft, Time Draft.
  Drawback - An article manufactured or produced in the United States with the use of imported components or raw materials. It is a refund of US Customs duties, paid on imported merchandise, which is subsequently exported or used in the production of products that are then exported.
  Drawee - The individual or firm on whom a draft in drawn and who owes the stated amount. Also see Draft.
  Drawer - The individual or firm that issues or signs a draft and thus stands to receive payment of the stated amount from the drawee. Also see Draft.
  Drayage - The charge made for hauling freight via carts, drays or trucks.
  Dumping - Selling merchandise in another country at a price below the costs incurred in production and shipment.
  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), some other factor such as weight or quantity (specific duties), or a combination of value and other factors (compound duties).
 
E
Economic Development Administration (EDA) - Under the auspices of the Department of Commerce, the EDA oversees Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs. The EDA provides grants for infrastructure development, local capacity building, and business development to help communities alleviate conditions of substantial and persistent unemployment and underemployment in economically distressed areas and regions.
  Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transport (EDIFACT) - A set of standards, directories and guidelines for the electronic interchange of structured data related to trade in goods or services, between independent computerized information systems.
  Electronic Visa Implementation System (ELVIS) - ELVIS is a system whereby the key data set out on export visas is electronically transmitted in EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport) from the exporting authority to the U.S. Customs for the purpose of customs clearance.
  EU/EFTA - European Union/European Free Trade Association.
  EUROCOTON - Committee of the Cotton and Allied Textile Industries of the European Communities.
  Eurodollars - U.S. dollars placed on deposit in banks outside the United States; usually refers to deposits in Europe.
  European Union / European Free Trade Assicaition (EU/EFTA) - The EU is the development of a single market through a standardized system of laws, which apply in all 27 member states. The EFTA is a free trade organization between four European countries that operates parallel to, and is linked to the EU.
  Ex-From - When used in pricing terms such as “ex-factory” or “ex-dock,” it signified that the price quoted applies only at the point of origin (in the two examples, at the seller’s 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.
  Exchange Permit - A government permit sometimes required by the importer’s government to enable the import firm to convert its own country’s currency into foreign currency with which to pay a seller in another country.
  Exchange Rate - The price of one currency in terms of another, that is, the number of units of one currency that may be exchanged for one unit of another currency.
  Eximbank - The Export-Import Bank of the United States is the official export credit agency of the United States. Eximbank's mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.
  Export Administration Regulations (EAR) - These regulations are issued by the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) under laws relating to the control of certain exports, re-exports, and activities. In addition, the EAR implement anti-boycott law provisions requiring regulations to prohibit specified conduct by United States persons that has the effect of furthering or supporting boycotts fostered or imposed by a country against a country friendly to United States.
  Export Authorization Requirements - Requirements that must be satisfied before the shipment leaves the United States. Examples are pre-shipment inspections, some visa requirements, and requirements by some Arab nations that certificates of origin must be certified by an Arab diplomatic mission or chamber of commerce in the United States.
  Export Broker - An individual or firm that brings together buyers and sellers for a fee, but does not take part in actual sales transactions.
  Export Commission House - An organization which, for a commission, acts as a purchasing agent for a foreign buyer.
  Export Declaration - A form required for all shipments by the U.S. treasury Department and prepared by a shipper, indicating the value, weight, destination, and other basic information about an export shipment.
  Export License - A government document that permits the licensee to export department goods to certain destinations. See General Export License and Individually Validated Export License.
  Export Management Company (EMC) - A private firm that serves as the export department for several producers of goods or services, either by taking title or by soliciting and transacting export business on behalf of its clients in return for a commission, salary, or retainer plus commission.
  Export Processing Zones (EPZs) - Industrial parks designated by a government to provide tax and other incentives to export firms.
  Export Trading Company - A firm similar or identical to an export management company.
  Export Trading Company (ETC) - A firm similar or identical to an export management company.
  Exporters’ Textile Advisory Committee (ETAC) - The ETAC provides advice and guidance on the identification and surmounting of barriers to the expansion of textile exports, and on methods of encouraging textile firms to participate in export expansion. The committee functions solely as an advisory body in accordance with provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
  Extra-Territorial Income Exclusion Act (ETI) - Rules requiring a certain proportion of US-manufactured content and a certain proportion of foreign costs. Foreign tax credits on the goods concerned are not available to a participating entity. Actual manufacture may take place inside or outside the US.
 
F
Fair Currency Alliance (FCA) - The Fair Currency Alliance is a group of U.S. industrial, service, agricultural and labor associations.
  Fair Trade - An organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a fair price as well as placing social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods.
  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC was established by the U.S. Government’s Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.
  Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) - This organization is an independent regulatory agency responsible for the regulation of ocean borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the U.S.
  Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The U.S. Government’s FTC ensures the smooth operation of our free market system, and enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices. The Commission also enforces federal antitrust laws that prohibit anticompetitive mergers and other business practices restricting competition and harming consumers.
  Federal Transit Agency (FTA) - The FTA is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation which assists transit agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa.
  Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) - (FICCI) was established in 1927, to garner support for India’s independence and to further the interests of the Indian business community. Its mission is to integrate the Indian economy with the global mainstream.
  Floating Policy - A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.
  Focused Assessment Program (FAP) - A risk based approach to audit. Focused Assessment Program documents are used by U.S Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) regulatory auditors when conducting focused assessments. These documents contain the audit program and provide guidance for importers.
  Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - The FDA was established by the U.S. Government in 1930, as part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to regulate applicable products.
  Force Majeure - The title of a standard clause in marine contracts exempting the parties for non-fulfillment of their obligations as a result of conditions beyond their control, such as earthquakes, floods, or war.
  Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) - An investment that is made to acquire a lasting interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor; the investor's purpose is to have an effective voice in the management of the enterprise.
  Foreign Exchange - The currency or credit instruments of a foreign country, and transactions involving purchase or sale of currencies.
  Foreign Freight Forwarder - An independent business that handles export shipments for compensation. A freight forwarder is among the best sources of information and assistance on U.S. export regulations and documentation, shipping methods, and foreign import regulations.
  Foreign Sales Agent - An individual or firm that serves as the foreign representative of a domestic supplier and seeks sales abroad for the supplier.
  Foreign Sales Corporation - The predecessor of the Foreign Sales Corporation is now referred to as (DISC) Domestic International Sales Corporation. DISC took on a new definition as a result of the 1984 Tax Reform Act, and can now provide a tax deferral on up to $10 million of exports so long as the funds remain in export-related investments.
  Foreign Trade Zone Act (FTZA) - The act which established foreign trade zones in the USA.
  Foreign-Trade Zones Board (FTZB) - A foreign-trade zone is a designated site licensed by the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board at which special customs procedures may be used. These procedures allow domestic activity involving foreign items to take place prior to formal customs entry. Duty-free treatment is then accorded items that are re-exported and duty payment is deferred on items sold in the U.S. market. This offsets customs advantages available to overseas producers who compete with producers located in the United States. FTZ sites and facilities are within the jurisdiction of local, state or federal governments or agencies.
  Foul Bill of Lading - A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received.
  Free Alongside Ship (FAS) - A pricing term indicating that the quoted price includes the cost of delivering the goods alongside a designated vessel.
  Free Carrier (FCA) - Replaces the former term “FOB named inland port” to designate the seller’s responsibility for the cost of loading goods at the named shipping point. It may be used for multimodal transport, container stations, and any mode of transport, including air.
  Free In (FI) - A pricing term indicating that the charterer of a vessel is responsible for the cost of loading and unloading goods from the vessel.
  Free on board (FOB) - A pricing term indicating that the quoted price covers all expenses up to and including delivery of goods upon an overseas vessel provided by or for the buyer.
  Free Out (FO) - A pricing term indicating that the charterer of a vessel is responsible for the cost of loading goods from the vessel.
  Free Port - An area such as a port city, into which merchandise may legally be moved without payment of duties.
  Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) - An agreement between two or more countries within North and South America to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers affecting trade among themselves. Each participating country applies its own independent schedule of tariffs to imports from countries that are not members.
  Free Trade Area (FTA) - A designated group of countries that have agreed to eliminate tariffs, quotas, and preferences on most goods and services between them. Members of a free trade area do not have the same policies with respect to non-members, which results in different quotas and customs. As an example, the United States is currently involved in a free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, known as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
  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, 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 the customs authority.
  Freight Forwarder - An independent business that handles export shipments for compensation. A freight forwarder is among the best sources of information and assistance on U.S. export regulations and documentation, shipping methods, and foreign import regulations.
  Fulfillment Warehouse - A warehouse where a product is warehoused, inventoried, packed, and shipped by a company in fulfillment outsourcing.
 
G
G-20 Group - The G-20+ Group, led by Brazil, brought together the developing countries of the Cairns Group with India, China, Egypt, Indonesia and Nigeria. This group represents most of the world’s population. The G-20 goes even further than the Cairns group in its demands on the industrialized countries to liberalize, while making fewer demands on the developing countries.
  General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) - A multilateral treaty signed in 1947 with the intent to help reduce trade barriers between signatory countries and to promote trade through tariff concessions. The workings of the GATT agreement are the responsibility of the Council for Trade in Goods, which is made up of representatives from all WTO member countries. GATT membership now includes more than 110 countries.
  General Export License - Any of various export licenses covering export commodities for which (IVEL) Individually Validated Export Licenses are not required. No formal application or written authorization is needed to ship exports under a general export license.
  Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) - A system approved by GATT in 1971 that authorizes developed countries to give preferential tariff treatment to developing countries to encourage their economic growth. EU member countries cannot be described as GSP beneficiaries.
  Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting (GCCC) - The purpose of the congress is to develop a collective understanding of the extent of the counterfeit and piracy problem, identify effective measures of governments and the private sector in anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy work, generate ideas for further co-operation, and begin to identify solutions that will make a real difference in the coming decade.
  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - A measure of the market value of all goods and services produced within the boundaries of a nation. It excludes income from external enterprises or investments.
  Gross Weight - The full weight of a shipment, including goods and packaging. Compare Tare weight.
  Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - The Gulf Cooperation Council, created in response to the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war, established the Gulf Standards Organization in November 1982. The GCC seeks to strengthen cooperation (in areas such as agriculture, industry, investment, security, and trade) among its six members: Bahrain, Kuwait, Quatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
 
H
Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) - The tax is an ad valorem charge on exports, imports, other shipments, and passenger transportation involving use of a harbor.
  Harbor Privacy Agreement (HPA) - This agreement enables U.S. organizations complying with safe harbor framework to continue to receive personal data from Europe needed for their business operations.
  Harmonized System (HS) - An international convention, implemented by the United States in 1989, for classifying imports and exports so that data from different countries are comparable. The United States adopted the Harmonized System as the basis of both its export classification system (Schedule B) and its import classification system (HTS). The first six digits of the commodity numbers in chapters # 1 through # 97 of both the HTS and Schedule B are identical with respect to descriptions and codes.
  Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) - Same as (HS) Harmonized System. It classifies imports and exports so that data from different countries are comparable.
  Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) - The duty that is assigned is determined by the value and the country of origin of the goods or products being imported.
  Homeland Secure Data Network (HSDN) - The U.S. Government’s HSDN will provide DHS officials with a modern information technology infrastructure for securely communicating classified information. The HSDN will significantly enhance the department’s capability to interact with other classified networks while eliminating dependence on external networks. When completed, the HSDN will be a private, certified, and accredited network that will fully support the mission goals of the department.
 
I
Import license - A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods into their individual countries.
  Importer of Record - The importer is legally liable for payment of duties, taxes & fees and compliance with customs and other government agency regulations pertaining to their imports. This may be the party who is buying or receiving the imported goods, or an interested party in the transaction who has the right to take entry under the customs regulations.
  Importer Self Assessment (ISA) - A voluntary approach to trade compliance. The CBP’s program provides the opportunity for importers who have made a commitment of resources to assume responsibility for monitoring their own compliance in exchange for benefits.
  In Bond - A procedure in the U.S. under which goods are transported, stored, or handled, prior to clearance and release by customs; the government's interest is secured by indemnity bonds.
  Individually Validated Export License - Requires a document issued by the U.S. Government authorizing the export of specific commodities. This license is for a specific transaction or time period in which the exporting is to take place.
  Individually Validated Export Licenses (IVEL) - Documents issued by the U.S. Government authorizing the export of a specific commodity to a certain destination.
  Industrial Property - Industrial Property includes inventions, patents, trademarks, copyrights, industrial designs, and geographical indications.
  Inland Bill of Lading - A bill of lading used in transporting goods overland to the exporter’s international carrier. 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 shipments.
  Insurance Certificate - A document issued by the shipper under an open marine insurance policy for coverage of a particular shipment of merchandise.
  Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) - The rights given to persons over their creations. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time. Intellectual property rights are customarily divided into two main areas: Copyrights and Industrial Property.
  International Freight Forwarder - An independent business that handles export shipments for compensation. A freight forwarder is among the best sources of information and assistance on U.S. export regulations and documentation, shipping methods, and foreign import regulations.
  International Labor Organization (ILO) - The ILO formulates international labor standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labor rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labor, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues.
  International Maritime Organization (IMO) - Provides the mechanism for cooperation among governments in the field of governmental regulation and practices relating to technical matters of all kinds affecting shipping engaged in international trade. It also encourages and facilitates the general adoption of the highest practicable standards in matters concerning maritime safety, efficiency of navigation, and prevention and control of marine pollution from ships.
  International Monetary Fund (IMF) - The IMF, established in December 1945, promotes international monetary harmony, monitors the exchange rate and monetary policies of member nations, and provides credit for member countries which experience temporary balance of payments deficits. The IMF, funded through members' quotas, may supplement resources through borrowing. IMF membership is approximately 175 countries.
  International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) - IPEC’s aim is to work towards the progressive elimination of child labor by strengthening national capacities to address child labor problems, and by creating a worldwide movement to combat it.
  International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) - This code aims to provide a standardized, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities. It contains detailed, mandatory security-related requirements for governments, port authorities, and shipping companies.
  International Trade Commission (ITC) - An independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial U.S. federal agency that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches of government, determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries, and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as patent, trademark, and copyright infringement.
  Irrevocable Letter of Credit - A letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee.
 
L
Less Developed/Least Developed Countries (LDC) - An unindustrialized, undeveloped, or developing nation, generally characterized by low per capita incomes, low literacy levels and medical standards, subsistence agriculture, and a lack of exploitable minerals and competitive industries. These countries have low prospect of rapid economic development in the foreseeable future and are likely to remain dependent upon official development assistance for many years.
  Letter of Credit (L/C) - 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 document within a given time.
  Licensing - A business arrangement in which the manufacturer of a product (or a firm with proprietary rights over certain technology, trademarks, etc.) grants permission to some other group or individual to manufacture that product (or make use of that propriety material) in return for specified royalties or other payment.
 
M
Manifest - An instrument in writing, signed by the captain of a ship that lists the individual shipments constituting the ships cargo.
  Manufacturers Identification Code (MID) - A code identifying the manufacturer. The MID is to be constructed from the name and address of the entity performing the origin-conferring operations, according to the applicable rules of origin.
  Maquiladoras - Primarily foreign-owned assembly plants in Mexico. Foreign companies who have established manufacturing operations in Mexico to take advantage of the relatively inexpensive cost of Mexican labor.
  Marine Insurance - Insurance that compensates the owners of goods transported overseas in the event of loss that cannot be legally recovered from the carrier. Also covers air shipments.
  Market Disruption - : A situation where a surge of imports of a certain product causes a sharp decline in the domestic sales of that product, and creates a hardship for domestic producers.
  Market Economy - An economic system where resources are allocated and production of goods determined by market forces rather than by government decree.
  Marking (or Marks) - Letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification.
  Mercosur - A South American trade bloc made up of members from Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Member countries of Mercosur maintain a common external tariff and agree to reduce barriers to trade amongst themselves and their associate members (which also include Chile, Peru, and Bolivia), to further open their markets in return for preferential access to full members’ markets.
  Multi-Fiber Agreements (MFA) - The objective of these agreements was to reconcile the interests of textile-exporting and textile-importing countries by permitting an orderly expansion of trade while avoiding market disruption. The MFA allowed an importing signatory country to apply quantitative restrictions on textile imports when it considered such restrictions necessary to prevent market disruption. MFA rules provided that quantitative restrictions should not reduce imports to levels below those attained during the preceding year, and should, if continued, permit trade to expand by specified percentages.
  Multilateral Trade Negotiations - Negotiations on multilateral trade policy reforms began in Geneva in 2000 under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). These talks are part of ongoing international efforts to obtain economic benefits for a more open market.
 
N
National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) - Designed to represent the entire spectrum of the textile sector, from fibers to finished products, from machinery manufacturers to power suppliers. NCTO’s goal is to create coalitions to advance the interests of textile sector, with all segments of the textile sector having a vote and a say in determining NCTO policy.
  National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) - NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Commerce Department’s Technology Administration.
  Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) - Additional taxes, customs valuations, border delays, or certifications.
  Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCC) - These book space on steamships in large quantities at lower rates and sell space to shippers in smaller amounts. They consolidate small shipments into container loads that move under one bill of lading, and more favorable rates are passed on to the shipper. Services typically offered by NVOCC’s, in addition to customary services provided by freight forwarders, are consolidation of freight and financial liability for goods due to loss or damage during transport.
  Normal Trade Rate (NTR) - Products from countries that have been given NTR are subject to the same tariffs when they enter the United States. When the United States lowers, eliminates, or changes tariff rates, that change is applied equally to all NTR countries. Under NTR, both parties agree not to extend to any third party nation any trade preferences that are more favorable than those available under the agreement unless they simultaneously make the same provisions available to each other. Although NTR is a reciprocal agreement, it must be negotiated separately with each country.
  North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) - NAALC is a supplemental agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed by the United States, Mexico and Canada, which entered into force on January 1, 1994. The objectives of the NAALC are, among other things, to improve working conditions and living standards, to promote a set of guiding labor principles, and to encourage cooperation to promote innovation and rising levels of productivity and quality.
  North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - NAFTA was formed on January 1, 1994 with the aim to create free trade among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Under NAFTA, all non-tariff barriers to trade between the United States and Mexico were eliminated. In addition, many tariffs were eliminated immediately, with others being phased out over periods of 5 to 15 years.
  North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - Intended to coordinate industry definitions for tracking between NAFTA nations of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., under Code 315 for manufacturing.
 
O
Ocean Bill of Lading - A bill of lading (B/L) indicating that the exporter consigns a shipment to an international carrier for transportation to a specified foreign market. Unlike an inland B/L, the Ocean Bill of Lading also serves as a collection document. If it is a “straight” B/L, the foreign buyer can obtain the shipment from the carrier by simply showing proof of identity. If a “negotiable” B/L is used, the buyer must first pay for the goods, post a bond, or meet other conditions agreeable to the seller.
  Ocean Transportation Intermediary (OTI) - An OTI is either an ocean freight forwarder or a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC). An ocean freight forwarder is an individual or company in the United States dispatching shipments from the United States via common carriers (or otherwise arranges space for those shipments on behalf of shippers). Ocean freight forwarders also prepare and process the documentation and perform related activities pertaining to those shipments.
  Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) - A U.S. Government information resource for individuals or companies interested in exporting U.S. made textile and apparel products. Includes information about overseas markets, trade shows, textile-related legislation and international agreements, federal and state export programs and data.
  On Board Bill of Lading - A bill of lading in which a carrier certifies that goods have been placed on board a certain vessel.
  Open Account - A trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer without guarantee of payment. The obvious risk this method poses to the supplier makes it essential that the buyer’s integrity be unquestionable.
  Open Insurance Policy - A marine insurance policy that applies to all shipments made by an exporter over a period of time rather than to one shipment only.
  Open Skies Pact - An agreement between the EU and the United States meant to liberalize the transatlantic air market. The pact would provide for a range of measures affecting areas from airline ownership rules to market access for carriers on both sides of the Atlantic.
  Order Bill of Lading - A negotiable bill of lading made out to the order of the shipper.
  Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - The OECD produces internationally agreed upon instruments, decisions and recommendations to promote fair rules in areas where multilateral agreement is necessary for individual countries to make progress in a global economy. The OECD group’s 30 member countries in a unique forum to discuss, develop, and refine economic and social policies.
  Outward Processing Arrangements (OPA) - Outward Processing is customs duty relief provided by the customs code, implementing regulations to the customs code.
 
P
Packing List - A list showing the number and kinds of items being shipped, as well as other information needed for transportation purposes.
  Parcel Post Receipt - The postal authorities’ signed acknowledgement of delivery to receiver of a shipment made by parcel post.
  Patent - A grant made by the U.S. Government that confers upon the creator of a product the sole right to make, use, and sell that product for a set period of time.
  Performance Bond - A bond issued to the recipient of a contract's contents as a guarantee in case the obligations specified in the contract are not met.
  Perils of the Sea - A marine insurance term used to designate heavy weather, stranding, lightning collision, and seawater damage.
  Political Risk - In export financing, the risk of loss due to currency inconvertibility, government action preventing entry of goods, expropriation or confiscation, and war.
  Preference - (i). A creditor's right to be paid before other creditors of the same debtor. (ii). A trade preference is the granting of a preferred status to some or all of the goods of a preferred country, such as lower rates of duty or admissibility of goods in quantities over and above those normally permitted.
  Prior Authorization (or Approval) Requirements - Requirements that must be satisfied before the shipment leaves the United States. Examples are pre-shipment inspections, some visa requirements, and requirements by some Arab nations that ‘certificates of origin’ must be certified by an Arab diplomatic mission or chamber of commerce in the United States.
  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.)
  Purchasing Agent - An agent who purchases goods in his or her own country on behalf of foreign importers such as government agencies and large private concerns.
 
Q
Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) - In 1996 the U.S. Congress established the Qualified Industrial Zones initiative to support the peace process in the Middle East. These zones are industrial parks in Jordan or Israel from which goods can be exported duty free to the United States. In addition, there are currently no U.S. import quotas on clothes or textiles manufactured in Jordan. Additional countries are being considered for inclusion.
  Quick Response Audits (QRA) - CBP’s single-issue audits that have limited objectives, and are conducted within a short time frame, as opposed to a complete evaluation of all Customs activities within a company.
  Quota - The quantity of goods of a specific kind that a country permits to be imported.
  Quotation - An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under specific conditions.
 
R
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - The object of any RFID system is to carry data in suitable transponders, generally known as tags, and to retrieve data, by machine-readable means, at a suitable time and place to satisfy particular application needs. Data within a tag may provide identification for an item in manufacture, goods in transit, location, the identity of a vehicle, an animal or individual.
  Remitting Bank - The bank that sends the draft to the overseas bank for collection.
  Representative - An individual or firm that serves as the foreign representative of a domestic supplier and seeks sales abroad for the supplier.
  Revocable Letter of Credit - A letter of credit that can be canceled or altered by the drawee (buyer) after it has been issued by the drawee’s bank.
  RN Number - RN stands for Registered Identification Number. It is a number issued by the Federal Trade Commission to U.S. businesses that manufacture, import, distribute, or sell products covered by the Textile, Wool, and Fur Acts. Businesses can use this number on product labels in lieu of the company name.
  Rule of Origin - These rules are important in implementing such trade policy instruments as anti-dumping and countervailing duties, origin marking, and safeguard measures. The domestic textile industry pushed for a rule of origin change, shifting the origin designation for apparel from where it is cut, to where it is assembled, thus shifting quota numbers.
 
S
Safeguards - The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) permits two forms of multilateral safeguards: (i) a country's right to impose temporary import controls or other trade restrictions to prevent commercial injury to domestic industry, and (ii) the corresponding right of exporters not to be deprived arbitrarily of access to markets.
  Said to Contain - This term is allowed on Bills of Lading with respect to cargo descriptions. Manifests can no longer use this cargo descriptive term under the 24-hour rule, issued in October 2002.
  Schedule B - Refers to the statistical classification of domestic and foreign commodities exported from the United States. All commodities exported from the United States must be assigned a seven-digit Schedule B number.
  Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) - A form required for all shipments by the U.S. Treasury Department and prepared by a shipper, indicating the value, weight, destination, and other basic information about an export shipment.
  Ship’s Manifest - An instrument in writing, signed by the captain of a ship that lists the individual shipments constituting the ships cargo.
  Short Supply - Commodities in ‘short supply’ may be subject to export controls to protect the domestic economy from the excessive drain of scarce materials and to reduce the serious inflationary impact of satisfying foreign demand. The controls are included in the Export Administration Regulations.
  Sight Draft (S/D) - A draft that is payable upon presentation to the drawee. Compare Date draft and Time draft.
  South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) - SAFTA requires the developing countries in South Asia (India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) to bring their duties down to 20% in the first phase of the two-year period ending in 2007. In the final five-year phase ending 2012, the 20% duty is to be reduced to zero in a series of annual cuts. (The least developing country group in South Asia (Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives) get an additional three years to reach zero duty, until 2017).
  Southern African Customs Union (SACU) - Established in 1910, SACU is the world’s oldest customs union and an important market for U.S. machinery, vehicles, aircraft, medical instruments, plastics, and other products. Five member countries make up this group: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. All five countries are leading beneficiaries of U.S trade preferences under AGOA.
  Special Program Indicator for Merchandise (SPIM) - The SPI is used to indicate shipments of qualifying textiles and apparel fashion samples, which are exempt from quota and visa restrictions, provided certain conditions are met. Furthermore, the SPI only covers merchandise that meets several conditions. (i). Goods must accompany a returning buyer. Mail and cargo shipments are not eligible for treatment as fashion samples. (ii). Quantities cannot exceed 24 pieces total. (iii). Goods cannot be more than a single article of a particular style or color. (iv). Goods must be purchased at retail.
  Spot Exchange - The purchase or sale of foreign exchange for immediate delivery.
  Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) - A standard numerical code system used by the U.S. government to classify products and services.
  Steamship Conference - A group of steamship operators that operate under mutually agreed-upon freight rates.
  Straight Bill of Lading - A nonnegotiable bill of lading in which the goods are consigned directly to a named consignee.
  Super 301 - Process requiring U.S. Trade Representative to prioritize foreign trade barriers and seek their resolution through bilateral consultations.
 
T
Tare Weight - The weight of a container and packing materials without the weight of the goods it contains. Compare Gross Weight.
  Tariff (the rate of duty) - A schedule or system of duties imposed by a government on goods imported.
  Tenor - The time fixed or allowed for payment, as in "the tenor of a draft."
  The Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) - The USTR is the U.S. Government’s chief trade negotiator and the principle U.S. trade advisor to the President. The USTR and the Agency’s staff are responsible for developing and implementing trade policies which promote world growth, and create new opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers.
  Through Bill of Lading - A single bill of lading converting both the domestic and international carriage of an 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 of Bill of Lading for domestic carriage and an Ocean Bill of Lading for international carriage. Through Bills of Lading are insufficient for ocean shipments. Compare Air waybill, Inland bill of lading, and Ocean bill of lading.
  Time Draft - A draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft. Compare Date draft and Sight draft.
  Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) - The TAA program is a U.S. federal program established under the Trade Act of 1974. Provides aid to workers who lose their jobs or whose hours of work and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports.
  Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers (TAAC) - These centers are operated by different Trade Adjustment Assistance programs.
  Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) - This agreement expands trade and investment opportunities between the U.S. and another country.
  Trade Integration Mechanism (TIM) - Allows the International Monetary Fund to provide resources to assist member countries in meeting a balance of payments.
  Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) - The TNC operates under the authority of the General Council of the Doha Declaration Agenda. It was set up by the Doha Declaration, which in turn assigned it to create subsidiary negotiating bodies to handle individual negotiating subjects.
  Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) - The TPSC gives notice that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Labor are initiating a review of the impact of the proposed U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on United States employment.
  Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) - TPA promotes freer trade by giving other countries confidence that the agreements they negotiate with the United States will not be subject to subsequent renegotiation. This authority would be used to implement trade agreements to encourage trade and investment.
  Trade Reference Verification - Verification of trade reference to determine its duration, credit, terms, balance and manner of payment—a service offered by many credit and business investigative companies.
  Trademark - A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol, design, sound, smell, color, product configuration, group of letters or numbers, or combination of these, adopted and used by a company to identify its products or services, and distinguish them from products and services made, sold, or provided by others.
  Traffic Preference Level (TPL) - North American exports of non-NAFTA apparel and textile goods may qualify for reduced or duty free rates under the TPL mechanism. To qualify for these rates, the product must be cut or knit to shape, and must be sown or assembled in one or more NAFTA countries.
  Tramp Steamer - A ship not operating on regular routes or schedules.
  Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) - A government-business initiative that aims to facilitate closer economic relations between the European Union and the United States by lowering trade and investment barriers that impede competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic. The U.S. Department of Commerce acts as the lead agency for the U.S. government, and the European Commission acts as the lead for the European Union. The goal of the TABD is to focus governments' attention on issues for which consensus exists within the transatlantic business community and identify specific actions required from governments to facilitate the movement of goods and services.
  Transaction Statement - A document that delineates the terms and conditions agreed upon between the importer and exporter.
  Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) - Under the terms of the settlement, the carriers shall refrain from certain practices involving the discussion and agreement on rates and negotiation of service contract terms particularly affecting non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs). These include practices alleged by the NVOCC petitioners of unequal timing of negotiations and unequal application of general rate increases and surcharges.
  Transportation Services Index (TSI) - Under the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, TSI is a measure of the month-to-month changes in the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries, including railroad, air, truck, and inland waterways transportation, pipeline transportation, and local transit. The TSI is still under development and is considered experimental.
  Transshipping - (i) To transfer goods from one transportation line to another, or from one ship to another, or from one airline to another in order to complete a delivery. (ii). To ship to one country, and then to re-export to another. (Sometimes the second exporting country may be incorrectly represented as the country of origin).
  Trust Receipt - Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer in which the bank retains title to the merchandise. The buyer, who obtains the goods for manufacturing or sales purposes, is obligated to maintain the goods (or the proceeds from their sale) distinct from the remainder of his or her own assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank.
 
U
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) - UNCTAD is the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated treatment of trade and development, and the interrelated issues in the areas of finance, technology, investment and sustainable development. UNCTAD aims at the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy.
  Uruguay Round - The Uruguay Round was established in 1982 at a ministerial meeting of General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) members in Geneva. 123 countries participate in the negotiations that cut tariff rates, reduce technical barriers to trade, protect intellectual property rights, and establish the new World Trade Organization (WTO).
 
V
Value Added - The difference between the value of goods produced and the cost of producing them – the wages, interest, rent, and profits added to the output by a firm or industry.
  Value Added Tax (VAT) - A sales tax which is generally calculated by foreign countries on the basis of Cost Insurance Freight (CIF) value plus duty.
  Visa - A signature of formal approval on a document, generally obtained from consulates.
 
W
Warehouse Receipt - A receipt issued by a warehouse listing goods received for storage.
  Wharfage - A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner for handling incoming or outgoing cargo.
  Wholly formed - When used in reference to yarns or thread, ‘wholly formed’ means that all of the production processes, starting with the extrusion of filament, or the spinning of fibers into yarn, took place in a single country. The term also applies to fabrics produced in a single country.
  Without Reserve - A term indicating that a shipper’s agents or representative is empowered to make definitive decisions and adjustment abroad without the approval of the group or individual represented. Compare Advisory capacity.
  World Customs Organization (WCO) - The WCO was established in 1952 to aid the national economic wealth and social protection of its members by promoting an honest, transparent, and predictable Customs environment. This permits legitimate international trade to flourish and effective action to be taken against illegal activity.
  World Trade Organization (WTO) - The international organization which resulted from the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations. The premier international organization seeks to establish global rules of trade between nations. The goal of the WTO is to help trade flow smoothly, freely, fairly and predictably.
 
Y
Yarn Forward - The rule stating that yarn used to form a fabric must originate in a NAFTA country.
 
Z
Zone User - A corporation, partnership or party that uses a U.S. foreign trade zone for storage, handling, processing, or manufacturing merchandise, whether foreign or domestic.
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