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Customs Clearance Ireland are experts in logistics and customs clearance services on behalf of companies that import and export goods both to and from Ireland. 

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Intrastat Logistics and Customs Clearance Limited T/A Customs Clearance Ireland is a registered company in the Republic of Ireland. Website by CultureHead.

Customs And Shipping Terms


Customs and Shipping Terms Ireland | Customs Clearance Ireland




Agent A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another person or company. Types of agent include brokers, commission merchants, resident buyers, sales agents, manufacturer's representatives.


Air Freight Forwarder A type of freight forwarder who specializes in air cargo. An air freight forwarder usually consolidates the air shipments of various exporters, charging them for actual weight and deriving profit by paying the airline the lower consolidated rate. Air freight forwarders issue their own air waybills to the exporters.


Airway Bill A non-negotiable forwarding agreement or carrying agreement between the shipper and the air carrier. It may be issued directly by the carrier or through an authorised agent.


‘All Risk’ Insurance A clause included in marine insurance policies to cover loss and damage from external causes, such as fire, collision, pilferage, etc. but not against innate flaws in the goods, such as decay, germination, nor against faulty packaging or loss market, nor against war, strikes, riots, and civil commotion. These policies do not name the risks covered but only list the exclusions. All unnamed risks are automatically covered.


APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. A forum established as a vehicle for multilateral cooperation among the market-oriented economies of the region to better manage their growing interdependence and sustain economic growth. Begun in 1989 as an informal grouping of 12 Asia-Pacific economies (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and the United States), APEC admitted the People's Republic of China, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong in 1991, Mexico and Papua New Guinea in 1993, Chile in 1994, and Peru, Russia and Vietnam in 1998.


Arrival Notice A notification sent by a carrier or agent to the consignee (and to the ‘notify party’, if any) to inform them about the arrival of the shipment, number of packages, weight, description of goods, and any collection charges. These parties are listed on the Bill of Lading. Also called Notice of Arrival.


AULD Aircraft Unit Load Device – A standard-sized aircraft container unit used to facilitate rapid loading and unloading of aircraft having compatible handling and restraint systems. (Also referred to as ‘Unit Load Device’ or ‘ULD’).


Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)  

AEO status is a certified standard authorisation issued by customs administrations in the European Union (EU). It certifies that a business has met certain standards in relation to:
• safety and security
• systems to manage commercial records
• compliance with customs rules • financial solvency
• practical standards of competence or professional qualifications.

This is primarily a trade facilitation measure that recognises reliable operators and encourages best practice in the international supply chain.


Automated Entry Processing (AEP)

The system also checks data format, calculations, validations, preferential rates, prohibitions and restrictions, and verifies that sufficient credit is available in a trader's account before clearing the declaration and AEP is Revenue’s electronic system which deals with the validation, processing, duty accounting, control and clearance of customs declarations at both import and export.release of the goods.allowing





B/L Abbreviation for Bill of Lading; a document issued by a carrier, or its agent, to the shipper as a contract of carriage of goods. It is also a receipt for cargo accepted for transportation and must be presented for taking delivery at the destination.

B/L, clean B/L that is free from any adverse remarks or notations (called 'clauses'), made by the shipping company about the condition, packaging, or quantity of the goods being shipped. Importers and their banks usually insist on a clean B/L for payment under a letter of credit.  


B/L, house B/L issued by a freight forwarder to a shipper as a receipt for the goods being shipped with other cargo as one consignment (usually as a full container load). The shipping company's (carrier's) B/L shows the forwarder as the consignor, and the name of forwarder's agent at the port of destination as the consignee. Although it is not a complete document of title, a house B/L has a legal standing similar to that of a normal (carrier's) B/L. If not specifically prohibited, it is capable of being negotiated and of acceptance by the importer's bank for payment under a letter of credit. Also called forwarder's bill of lading.


B/L, intermodal

B/L covering Movement of containerized (unitized) cargo over air, land, or sea through the use of different transport modes (aircraft, truck, rail, boats, ships, barges, etc.) capable of handling containers.


B/L, Terms & Conditions

The fine print on B/L; defines what the carrier can and cannot do, including the carrier's liabilities and contractual agreements.


Bank Draft An order issued by a seller against a purchaser; directs payment, usually through an intermediary bank. Typical bank drafts are negotiable instruments and are similar in many ways to cheques drawn on bank accounts.


Benelux A Customs Union between Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Now a part of the European Union.


Bilateral An agreement/arrangement between two parties/countries, usually global (e.g., a cooperative agreement between New Zealand Customs and Australian Customs and Border Protection Service)


Bill of exchange A non-interest-bearing, written order used primarily in international trade that binds one party to pay a fixed sum of money to another party at a predetermined future date. Bills of exchange are similar to cheques and promissory notes. If these bills are issued by a bank, they may be referred to as bank drafts. If they are issued by individuals, they may be referred to as trade drafts.


Binding Tariff Information BTI decisions are classification decisions issued by the Customs administrations in the various Member States. They are legally binding throughout the European Union (EU).


Bill of sale A legal document confirming the transfer of ownership of certain goods to another person in return for money paid or loaned.


Bond An undertaking or contract, in due legal form, by which a person binds himself to the Customs to do or not to do some act specified by a law or regulation. (Also referred to as a Customs Bond).


Bonded goods Goods stored in a warehouse (operated or approved by Customs), without the payment of duty until that duty is paid or the goods are exported or otherwise legally dealt with.


Breakbulk cargo

Packaged but non-containerized cargo. Loose cement, grains, ores, etc., are termed bulk cargo, whereas cargo shipped as a unit (bags, bales, barrels, boxes, cartons, drums, pallets, sacks, vehicles, etc.) is termed break bulk.


Brexit The withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU).


Brokerage Payment made to a freight forwarder/broker compensation as specified by ocean tariff or contract.


Bulk cargo

Loose, unpackaged, non-containerized cargo (such as cement, grains, coal, ores, etc.) carried in a ship's hold, and loaded and discharged through hatchways. (See also breakbulk cargo).






C&F Obsolete, but heavily used, term of sale meaning ‘cost and freight’ whereby Seller pays for cost of goods and freight charges up to destination port. In July, 1990 the International Chamber of Commerce replaced C&F with CFR


C&I/CI Abbreviation for ‘Cost and Insurance.’ A price that includes the cost of the goods, the marine insurance and all transportation charges except the ocean freight to the named point of destination.




(1). Water transportation term applicable to shipments between ports of a nation; commonly refers to coast-wise or inter-coastal navigation or trade. Many nations, including the United States, have cabotage laws, which require national flag vessels to provide domestic interport service. (Marad)

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



CAD/cash against documents Method of payment for goods in which documents transferring title are given the buyer upon payment of cash to an intermediary acting for the seller, usually a commission house.


CAF Abbreviation for ‘Currency Adjustment Factor.’ A charge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate that is applied to compensate ocean carriers of currency fluctuations. (Marad)


Cage A secure area for storing high value or high tax goods at an air, sea cargo or freight forwarder bond/facility.


Cargo Freight loaded into a vessel/aircraft.


Cargo tonnage Most ocean freight is billed on the basis of weight or measurement tons (W/M). Weight tons can be expressed in short tons of 2000 pounds, long tons of 2240 pounds or metric tons of 1000 kilos (2204.62 pounds). Measurement tons are usually expressed as cargo measurement of 40 cubic feet (1.12 meters) or cubic meters (35.3 cubic feet.)



The person actually transporting goods or in charge of or responsible for the operation of the means of transport. (Annex A, Kyoto Convention)




Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Agreement. An agreement aimed at increasing trade links by liberalizing trans-Tasman trade, therefore allowing for more efficient use of each country's resources. Implemented on January 1, 1983, the CER has the ultimate goal of eliminating import quotas and tariffs by 1995 and eliminating import licensing requirements by 1999. The CER contains provisions to gradually reduce duties, quotas and licensing requirements. It also provides for the elimination of domestic export incentive schemes in Australia-New Zealand transactions, extension of government purchases between the two countries and harmonization of Customs policies and procedures.



Certificate of origin

A specific document identifying the goods, in which the authority or body empowered to issue it certifies expressly that the goods to which the certificate relates originate in a specific country. This certificate may also include a declaration by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person. (WCO)


Countervailing Duty Countervailing Duty is similar to Anti-Dumping Duty. It applies to goods that have benefited from government subsidies in their country of origin or export. This can result in goods being imported into the EU at prices substantially lower than the normal value. It is usually charged as a percentage of the value of the goods plus shipping, packaging and insurance.


CFR (named port of destination)  

Cost and Freight. The seller is responsible for clearing the goods for export, loading the goods onto the vessel at the port of export and paying overseas freight charges. The title, risk and insurance costs pass to the buyer once the goods are delivered on board the ship by the seller. Where the Customs Value is based on CIF, the cost of overseas insurance must be added to the CFR Value. CFR terms of trade are generally used for sea or inland waterway transportation.



CFS Abbreviation for ‘Container Freight Station.’ A shipping dock where cargo is loaded (‘stuffed’) into or unloaded (‘stripped’) from containers. Generally, this involves less than container-load shipments, although small shipments destined to same consignee are often consolidated. Container reloading from/to rail or motor carrier equipment is a typical activity.


Charter Party A written contract between the owner of a vessel and the person desiring to employ the vessel (charterer); sets forth the terms of the arrangement such as duration of agreement, freight rate and ports involved in the trip.



CIF (named port of destination) Abbreviation for ‘Cost, Insurance, Freight.’ (Named Port). The seller is responsible for clearing the goods for export, loading the goods onto the vessel at the port of export and paying overseas freight and insurance charges, with the buyer named as beneficiary in the insurance policy. The title and risk pass to the buyer once the goods are delivered on board the ship by the seller. CIF terms of trade are generally used for sea or inland waterway transportation.


CIP (...named place of destination) Carriage and Insurance Paid To (...named place of destination). The seller transports the goods to the port of export, clears Customs, and delivers them to the carrier. The seller pays transportation and insurance costs to the named place of destination. The title & risk pass to the buyer once the seller delivers the goods to the carrier. CIP terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.


Clearance for home use

The Customs procedure which provides that imported goods enter into free circulation in the Customs territory upon the payment of any import duties and taxes chargeable and the accomplishment of all the necessary Customs formalities. (Annex B, Kyoto Convention)


Client Code Unique number used by Customs in some countries to identify an importer, exporter or manufacturer.


Collect Freight Freight charges as shown on a B/L or air waybill that are payable to the carrier at the port of discharge or final destination. The consignee does not pay the freight charge if the cargo does not arrive at the destination.


Common carrier A for-hire transportation company which provides service to the general public at published rates.


Compliance improvement The philosophy of seeking to continually improve the level of voluntary compliance with Customs laws.


Consignee a person entitled to receive goods.


Consignor a person entitled to send goods.


Consolidation Cargo containing shipments of two or more shippers or suppliers. Container load shipments may be consolidated for one or more consignees.



An article of transport equipment (lift-van, movable tank or other similar structure):

(i) fully or partially enclosed to constitute a compartment intended for containing goods,

(ii) of a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use,

(iii) specially designed to facilitate the carriage of goods, by one or more modes of transport, without intermediate reloading,

(iv) designed for ready handling, particularly when being transferred from one mode of transport to another,

(v) designed to be easy to fill and to empty, and

(vi) having an internal volume of one cubic metre or more.


‘Container’ shall include the accessories and equipment of the container, appropriate for the type concerned, provided that such accessories and equipment are carried with the container. The term ‘container’ shall not include vehicles, accessories or spare parts of vehicles, or packaging or pallets. ‘Demountable bodies’ shall be regarded as containers. (WCO)


Contraband Forbidden by law to be imported or exported.


Countervailing duties Specific duties imposed on imports to offset the benefits of subsidies to producers or exporters in the exporting country. GATT Article VI permits the use of such duties.


Customs The Government Service which is responsible for the administration of Customs law and the collection of duties and taxes and which also has the responsibility for the application of other laws and regulations relating to the importation, exportation, movement or storage of goods. (Kyoto Convention)


Customs clearing agent/broker A person who carries on the business of arranging for the Customs clearance of goods and who deals directly with the Customs for and on behalf of another person. (WCO)


Customs control Measures applied by the Customs to ensure compliance with Customs law. (Kyoto Convention)


Customs duties The duties laid down in the Customs tariff to which goods are liable on entering or leaving the Customs territory. (Kyoto Convention)


Customs formalities All the operations which must be carried out by the persons concerned and by the Customs in order to comply with the Customs law. (Kyoto Convention)


Customs law The statutory and regulatory provisions relating to the importation, exportation, movement or storage of goods, the administration and enforcement of which are specifically charged to the Customs, and any regulations made by the Customs under their statutory powers. (Kyoto Convention)



Customs Union Entity formed by a Customs territory replacing two or more territories and having in its ultimate state the following characteristics :

- a common Customs tariff and a common or harmonized Customs legislation for the application of that tariff;

- the absence of any Customs duties and charges having equivalent effect in trade between the countries forming the Customs Union in products originating entirely in those countries or in products of other countries in respect of which import formalities have been complied with and Customs duties and charges having equivalent effect have been levied or guaranteed and if they have not benefited from a total or partial drawback of such duties and charges- the elimination of restrictive regulations of commerce within the Customs Union. (WCO)



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






DAF (...named place) Delivered At Frontier (...named place)The seller is responsible for all costs involved in delivering the goods to the named border point. The title, risk and responsibility for import clearance pass to the buyer when the seller delivers the goods to the nominated frontier. The buyer is responsible for paying the costs and bearing the risk of unloading the goods, clearing Customs and transporting the goods to the final destination.. DAF terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.


DDC Abbreviation for ‘Destination Delivery Charge.’ A charge, based on container size, that is applied in many tariffs to cargo. This charge is considered accessorial and is added to the base ocean freight. This charge covers crane lifts off the vessel, drayage of the container within the terminal and gate fees at the terminal operation.


DDP (...named port of destination) Delivered Duty Duty Paid (...named port of destination). This form of trade represents door-to-door service. The seller is responsible for all costs involved in delivering the goods to a named place of destination and for clearing Customs in the country of import. Since the title & risk pass to the buyer when the seller delivers the goods to the named destination point, the seller bears the entire risk of loss until the goods are delivered to the final point of destination. When Customs valuation is based on CIF, it is necessary to deduct the costs of unloading, Customs clearance and inland freight and insurance. DDP terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.



DDU (...named port of destination) Delivered Duty Unpaid (...named port of destination). The seller is responsible for all costs involved in delivering the goods to a named place of destination. The title, risk and responsibility of duty payment pass to the buyer when the seller delivers the goods to the named destination point. The seller pays for inland transportation and insurance to the point of final destination. DDU terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.


Declarant Any natural or legal person who makes a Customs declaration or in whose name such a declaration is made. (WCO)



Declaration on arrival/departure Any declaration required to be made or produced to the Customs authorities upon the arrival or departure of a means of transport by the person responsible for the means of transport or his agent and containing the necessary particulars relating to the means of transport and to the journey, cargo, stores, crew or passengers. (WCO)



Deconsolidation point Place where loose or other non-containerised cargo is ungrouped for delivery.


depot, container Container freight station or a designated area where empty containers can be picked up or dropped off.


DEQ (...named port of destination) Delivered Ex Quay (...named port of destination). The seller is responsible for all costs involved in transporting the goods to the quay at the port of destination. The title & risk pass to the buyer when the goods are delivered on board the ship at the destination port by the seller who delivers goods on dock at the destination point. The buyer is responsible for paying duties, clearing Customs and arranging for inland freight and insurance. DEQ terms of trade are generally used for sea or inland waterway transportation.


DES (...named port of destination) Delivered Ex Ship (...named port of destination). The seller is responsible for all costs in delivering goods to a named port of destination, and is responsible for all costs/risk of loss prior to unloading at the port of destination. The title, risk & responsibility for vessel discharge and import clearance pass to the buyer when the seller delivers the goods on board the ship to the destination port. The buyer is responsible for unloading the goods, paying duties, clearing Customs and arranging for inland transportation and insurance to the final destination. DES terms of trade are generally used for sea or inland waterway transportation.



Direct Trader Input (DTI) Importers, exporters or their agents need dedicated software to use DTI for making electronic declarations to the Automated Entry Processing system (AEP). In the absence of this software you can appoint a customs agent to make declarations on your behalf.


Door-to-door Through transportation of a container and its contents from consignor to consignee. Also known as House to House. Not necessarily a through rate.


Drawback procedure The Customs procedure which, when goods are exported, provides for a repayment (total or partial) to be made in respect of the import duties and taxes charged on the goods, or on materials contained in them or consumed in their production. (Annex F, Kyoto Convention)


Dual channel red/green Simplified Customs control system allowing travellers on arrival to make a Customs declaration by choosing between two types of channel. One, identified by green symbols, is for the use of travellers carrying goods in quantities or values not exceeding those admissible duty-free and which are not subject to import prohibition or restriction. The other, identified by red symbols, is for other travellers. (WCO)





ECOSOC UN Economic and Social Council

EDI Electronic Data Interchange. The electronic transmission of data.

EDIFACT International data interchange standards sponsored by the United Nations. See UN/EDIFACT.


EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone

Embargo In international trade, an embargo refers to government actions limiting or prohibiting imports and/or exports of goods and/or services from or to a country. Such limitations may be applied by the embargoing country against its own nationals, such as the United States embargo against trade from Cuba, or in concert with other countries against a third country, such as the 1990 United Nations embargo against trade in any form with Iraq or the earlier U.N. embargo against trade with South Africa. Embargoes may also be applied just against trade in certain products regardless of origin, such as the ban on trade in ivory.

ETA Estimated time of arrival Estimated time of departure European Union
the physical inspection of goods by the Customs to satisfy themselves that the nature, origin, condition, quantity and value of the goods are in accordance with the particulars furnished in the Goods declaration. (Kyoto Convention)

ETD Estimated time of departure


EU European Union


Examination of goods the physical inspection of goods by the Customs to satisfy themselves that the nature, origin, condition, quantity and value of the goods are in accordance with the particulars furnished in the Goods declaration. (Kyoto Convention)



Exchange controls The rationing of foreign currencies, bank drafts and other instruments for settling international financial obligations by countries seeking to ameliorate acute balance of payments difficulties. When such measures are imposed, importers must apply for prior authorization from the government to obtain the foreign currency required to bring in designated amounts and types of goods. Since such measures have the effect of restricting imports, they are considered non-tariff barriers to trade.

Excise duty A tax on goods that are manufactured locally



Export duties and taxes


- Customs duties and all other duties, taxes or charges which are collected on or in connection with the exportation of goods, but not including any charges which are limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered or collected by the Customs on behalf of another national authority. (Kyoto Convention)


- Customs duties and all other duties, taxes, fees or other charges which are collected on or in connection with the exportation of goods but not including fees and charges which are limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered. (WCO)



Export entry

a declaration used by the government to collect trade data and to ensure compliance with legislation. In some countries also used to collect export duties/taxes.



Export licence A government document which permits the ‘Licensee’ to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations.



Exportation The act of taking any goods out of the Customs territory. (WCO)



EXW ex-Works (... named place)  The seller makes the goods available to the buyer at the seller’s premises. The title & risk pass to the buyer at that point, including payment of all transportation and insurance costs from the seller’s door. The EXW price does not include the price of loading goods onto a vehicle. EXW terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation.






FAA Federal Aviation Administration in USA.


FAK Freight of all kinds. Usually referring to consolidated cargo.        

FAS (...named port of shipment) Free Alongside Ship (...named port of shipment). The seller transports the goods from their place of business, clears the goods for export and places them alongside the vessel at the port of export. The title & risk pass to the buyer once delivered alongside ship by the seller. The buyer is responsible for loading the goods onto the vessel (unless specified otherwise) and for paying all costs involved in shipping the goods to the final point of destination. FAS terms of trade are used for sea or inland waterway transportation.


Free Carrier (...named port of shipment). The seller delivers the goods to a specified carrier and place. The title & risk pass to the buyer when the seller delivers goods to the carrier. If the place chosen is the seller’s place of business, the seller must load the goods onto the transport vehicle; FCA (...named port of shipment)the buyer is responsible for loading the goods. FCA terms of trade are used for all modes of transportation. 


FCL Full Container Load

Feeder service Ocean transport system load involving use of centralized ports to assemble and disseminate cargo to and from ports within a geographic area. Commodities are transported between major ports, then transferred to feeder vessels for further transport to a number of additional ports.


FEU A shipping term meaning forty-foot equivalent units; eg 4x20ft containers = 2 FEU.         

FOB (...named port of shipment) Free On Board (...named port of shipment). The seller is responsible for delivering the goods from their place of business, clearing Customs in the country of export and loading the goods onto the vessel at the port of export. At the point where the goods cross the ‘ship’s rails’, the title & risk pass to the buyer. The buyer is responsible for overseas freight & insurance costs. Where Customs value is based on CIF, the cost of overseas freight and insurance must be added to the FOB value. FOB terms of trade are used for sea or inland waterway transportation.

Free trade area  Entity formed by the Customs territories of an association of States and having in its ultimate state the following characteristics:
- The elimination of Customs duties in respect of products originating in any of the countries of the area        - Each State retains its Customs tariff and Customs law,
- Each State of the area remains autonomous in matters of Customs and economic policy,
- Trade is based on the application of rules of origin, to take account of the different Customs tariffs and prevent deflection of trade,

- The elimination of restrictive regulations of commerce within the free trade area. (WCO)

Free zone                                                    

A part of the territory of a State where any goods introduced are generally regarded, insofar as import duties and taxes are concerned, as being outside the Customs territory and are not subject to the usual Customs control. (WCO)

Freight Forwarder                        
A person whose business is to act as an agent on behalf of the shipper. A freight forwarder frequently makes the booking reservation. At Customs Clearance Ireland we provide Freight Forwarding Services to companies who import and export goods worldwide






G7    The members of the G7, the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain and Canada, together with their participating partners, the European Union and Russia, command a majority of the world's capabilities in such fields as GNP, trade, finance and direct foreign investment. At the annual G7 and now G8 Summit of their leaders and through a host of newly created ministerial forums, they have moved adroitly to address priority challenges in the fields of economics, security and the new generation of transnational or global issues.  


GATT Abbreviation for ‘General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.’ A multilateral treaty to help reduce trade barriers between the signatory countries and to promote trade through tariff concessions. The World Trade Organization (WTO) superseded GATT in 1994.


GDP Gross Domestic Product – the sum of the economy of a country


Goods declaration A statement made in the form prescribed by Customs, by which the persons interested indicate the Customs procedure to be applied to the goods and furnish the particulars which the Customs require to be declared for the application of that procedure. (WCO)


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

Guarantee  Undertaking by which the surety assumes obligations towards the Customs administration. (WCO)






Harmonised System (HS) The international system published by the WCO that sets out in systemised form the goods handled in international trade. Goods are grouped in Sections, Chapters and sub-Chapters that are governed by rules.      


Heavy lift  Very heavy cargoes that require specialized equipment to move the products to and from ship/truck/rail/barge and terminals. This ‘heavy lift’ machinery may be installed aboard a ship designed just for such transport (Heavy lift vessel). Shore cranes, floating cranes and lift trucks may also be adapted for such heavy lifts.  



High-risk An activity, entity or transaction that is deemed to present a high risk to the achievement of Customs objectives.





ICC International Chamber of Commerce. The international body which promotes and facilitates world trade, and which codifies world trade practices in various publications.


Import/export duties and taxes Customs duties and all other duties, taxes or charges which are collected on or in connection with the importation of goods, but not including any charges which are limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered or collected by the Customs on behalf of another national authority. (Kyoto Convention)


Import/export licence or permit Authorization issued by a competent authority for the importation or
exportation of goods subject to restriction. (WCO)


Importation The act of bringing or causing any goods to be brought into a Customs territory. (WCO)



Inspection Certificate A certificate issued by an independent agent or firm attesting to the quality and/or quantity of the merchandise being shipped. Such a certificate is usually required in a letter of credit for commodity shipments.


Intermodal Used to denote movements of cargo containers interchangeably between transport modes, i.e., motor, water, and air carriers, and where the equipment is compatible within the multiple systems.






Just in Time The principle of production and inventory control in which goods arrive when needed for production or use.


Knocked Down Articles which are taken apart to reduce the cubic footage.


Kyoto Convention expression commonly used to refer to the international Convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures adopted by the WCO in Kyoto in 1973. (WCO)





Landed Cost The cost of the imported goods at the port or point of entry into a country, including the cost, freight, insurance and port & dock charges. Charges of freight etc occurring after the goods leave the import point are not included.


Lead time The time elapsed between the date of order and receipt of the goods.


Likelihood of risk The likelihood that a risk to the achievement of Customs objectives will occur.






North American Free Trade Agreement. In June 1991 the United States, Canada and Mexico initiated negotiation of a comprehensive free trade agreement aimed at: eliminating over a

mutually agreed upon time period all tariffs on trade between the three countries; reducing impediments to trade in services; removing most restrictions on foreign investment among the signatory countries; ensuring adequate intellectual property protection. The negotiations were concluded in August 1992, and the draft text is structured along the lines of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. The Clinton administration negotiated supplemental agreements on labour and environmental issues, and Congress approved the whole package of NAFTA agreements in November 1993. NAFTA went into effect January 1, 1994.


Non-tariff Barriers

To barriers an exporter to a foreign country that are not tariff/tax barriers related and include quarantine restrictions, quota and other restrictions such as labelling. They make the importation of the goods into the country difficult and/or costly.





Origin, country of The country in which the goods have been produced or manufactured, according to the criteria laid down for the purposes of application of the Customs tariff, of quantitative restrictions or of any other measure related to trade. (Annex K, Kyoto Convention)


Origin, declaration of An appropriate statement as to the origin of the goods made, in connection with their exportation, by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person on the commercial invoice or any other document relating to the goods. (WCO)





Packing list Itemised list of commodities with marks & numbers but no cost values indicated.


Pallet A device on the deck of which a quantity of goods can be assembled to form a unit load for the purpose of transporting it, or of handling or stacking it with the assistance of mechanical appliances. This device is made up of two decks separated by bearers, or of a single deck supported by feet; its overall height is reduced to the minimum compatible with handling by fork lift trucks or pallet trucks; it may or may not have a superstructure. (Annex B.3, Istanbul Convention.)


Preference Special advantages extended by importing countries to exports from particular trading partners, usually by admitting their goods at tariff rates below those imposed on imports from other supplying countries.


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


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 specifications (weight, size, etc.).






quota, quantitative Any pre-set quantity, authorized for importation or exportation of given goods, during a specified period, beyond which no additional quantity of these goods can be imported or exported. (WCO)


quota, tariff Any pre-set value or quantity, authorized for importation or exportation of given goods, during a specified period, with a reduction of the Customs duties, and beyond which any additional quantity of these goods can be imported or exported by paying normal Customs duties. (WCO)


Release Action by the Customs to permit goods undergoing clearance to be placed at the disposal of the persons concerned. (WCO)


Remission The waiver of payment, in whole or in part, of import duties and taxes where payment has not been made. (WCO)




Samples Articles which are representative of a particular category of goods already produced or are examples of goods the production of which is contemplated; the term does not include identical articles brought in by the same individual, or sent to a single consignee, in such quantity that, taken as a whole, they no longer constitute samples under ordinary commercial usage. (WCO)


Security that which ensures to the satisfaction of the Customs that an obligation to the Customs will be fulfilled. Security is described as ‘general’ when it ensures that the obligations arising from several operations will be fulfilled. (Kyoto Convention)


Specific duties and taxes Duties and taxes which are not calculated on the basis of value. Note: the basis for calculation may be, for example on the gross or net weight, the number of items, the volume, the length, the alcoholic strength by volume. (WCO)


Surety A natural or legal person (generally a bank or insurance company) who accepts responsibility in due legal form for the financial consequences of nonfulfilment of another's obligations to the Customs. (WCO)





Tariff A duty (or tax) levied upon goods transported from one customs area to another either for protective or revenue purposes. Tariffs raise the prices of imported goods, thus making them generally less competitive within the market of the importing country unless the importing country does not produce the items so tariffed. After seven ‘Rounds’ of GATT trade negotiations that focused heavily on tariff reductions, tariffs are less important measures of protection than they used to be. The term ‘tariff’ often refers to a comprehensive list or ‘schedule’ of merchandise with the rate of duty to be paid to the government for importing products listed, whereas the term ‘duty’ applies only to the rate applicable to an individual tariff item.


Tariff nomenclature Any classification and coding system introduced by national administrations or Customs or Economic Unions to designate commodities or groups of related commodities for Customs tariff purposes. (WCO)


Temporary admission The Customs procedure under which certain goods can be brought into a Customs territory conditionally relieved from payment of import duties and taxes; such goods must be imported for a specific purpose and must be intended for re-exportation within a specified period and without having undergone any change except normal depreciation due to the use made of the goods. (Annex J, Kyoto Convention)


Trade free zone a part of the territory where imported goods are regarded as being outside the Customs territory for the purposes of import duties and taxes.


Transhipment The Customs procedure under which goods are transferred under Customs control from the importing means of transport to the exporting means of transport within the area of one Customs office which is the office of both importation and exportation. (Annex E, Kyoto Convention)





Urgent consignments

Goods which require rapid clearance as a matter of priority due to:
- Their nature,
- Their being relief consignments;

- Their meeting a fully justified urgent need.
Note: urgent consignments are dealt with in Annex F.5 to the Kyoto Convention. (WCO)





Valuation The appraisal of the worth of imported goods by customs officials for the purpose of determining the amount of duty payable in the importing country. The GATT Customs Valuation Code obligates governments that sign it to use the ‘transaction value’ of imported goods--or the price actually paid or payable for them-- as the principal basis for valuing the goods for customs purposes.


Warehouse, bonded A warehouse authorized by Customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.


WCO World Customs Organisation