An agreement to purchase goods at a stated price and under stated terms.
The process of becoming a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (see GATT).
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 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.
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.
A loan secured by turning over shipment documents of title to the creditor; an alternative to acceptance financing.
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.
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.
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.
A payment on a draft or other negotiable instrument due upon presentation or demand to the payee.
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.
An insurance clause providing that all loss or damage to goods is insured except that caused by shipper.
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.
A tariff imposed to discourage the under-priced (below foreign countrys domestic market) sale of foreign goods in the U.S. market, which might hurt U.S. manufacturers.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. A forum to advance economic cooperation and trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region, chaired by Indonesia. In addition to trade liberalization, APEC goals include human resource development, growth of small- and medium-sized businesses, and infrastructure development.
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.
A clause in a sales contract detailing how any contract disputes will be settled.
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.
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 importers bank to the exporter.
A draft drawn on and accepted by the importers bank. Depending on the banks creditworthiness, the acceptance becomes a financial instrument which can be discounted.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CDB, founded in 1970, provides financing to foster economic development and integration in the Caribbean. The CDBs 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Renting of an entire vessel or part of its freight space for a specified voyage or stipulated period of time.
A document specifying that the goods were received in apparent good order by the carrier.
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.
All documents, including bills of lading, invoices and other papers, submitted to a buyer to receive payments for a shipment.
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.)
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.
A government official residing in a foreign country charged with representing the interests of his country and its nationals.
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.
A document required by some foreign countries showing exact information about the consignor, consignee, value and description of shipment.
A tariff established in the agreements resulting from tariff negotiations under the GATT (see GATT).
Insurance which protects the seller against loss due to default on the part of the buyer.
A person or firm, licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, engaged in clearing goods through U.S. Customs. A brokers 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 brokers client, the trucking firm or other carrier.
Charges imposed by the U.S. government and most other governments on imported and/or exported goods.
A draft payable a specified number of days after the date it was issued, regardless of the date of acceptance.
Excess time taken to load or unload a vessel. A sum agreed to be paid to the ship owner 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.
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.
Sale by an exporter directly to a buyer located in a foreign country.
A license given to an exporter to replace numerous individual validated licenses when there is continuous shipping of authorized products.
A foreign agent who sells directly in the foreign market for a U.S. supplier and maintains an inventory of the suppliers products.
Instructions by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title to the goods should be given to the buyer only after the buyers signing a time draft. Thus the exporter extends credit to the importer and agrees to accept payment at a named future date.
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.
A tax levied by a government on an import, an export or the use and consumption of goods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A formal statement made to Customs at the exit port declaring full particulars about goods being exported.
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.
A firm that acts as a complete export arm for a companys 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.
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.
A business that acts as a complete export service house and, in addition, takes title to a companys exported goods.
An individual or firm serving as the foreign representative of U.S. suppliers, locating buyers for them in the foreign market.
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.
An agent residing in a foreign country who acts as a sales representative for your companys products.
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, 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.
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.
An area designated by the government of a country to which goods may be imported for processing and subsequent export on duty-free basis.
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.
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.
Authorization to export goods or services without specific documentary approval.
Authorization to export a limited value amount of a good without specific documentary authorization.
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.
Entire weight of goods, packing and container, ready for shipment.
The harmonized system (HS) is a classification system for goods in international trade that provides a domestic market uniform system of product classification for all major trading countries.
To bring foreign goods or services into a country.
A license required and issued by some governments authorizing the entry of foreign goods into their countries.
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.
A bill of lading used in transporting goods overland to the exporters 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.
A transportation line which hauls export or import freight between ports of entry and inland destinations.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
The final determination of the duties due.
Insurance which will compensate the owner of goods transported overseas in the event of loss which cannot be legally recovered from the carrier.
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 NET WEIGHT):
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.)
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.
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 buyers integrity must be unquestionable, or the buyer must have a history of payment practices with the seller.
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 companys 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 banks potential exposure to the company.
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.
A port where foreign goods are admitted into the receiving country.
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.
The quantity of goods which may be imported without restriction or additional duties or taxes.
An offer to sell goods at a stated price and under stated terms.
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.
A standard numerical code system used by the U.S. government to classify goods and services.
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.
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 AND CIVIL COMMOTIONS (S.R.&C.C.):
A term referring to an insurance clause excluding insurance of loss caused by labor disturbances, riots and civil commotion or any person engaged in such actions.
The weight of packing and containers without the goods to be shipped.
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.
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.
The most recent (1989-1994) round of trade talks of the member countries of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (see GATT).
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.