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Air Waybills: See definition for Waybills.
Automatic Brokerage Interface (A.B.I) System: Technical term for computer linkup to customs via modem.
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Bill of Lading: Corrected B/L: B/L requiring any update which results in money — or other financially-related changes.
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Certificates of Origin: A certified document showing the origin of goods; used in international commerce.
Certificates of Registration: For goods that were imported and are now exported. The Certificate of Registration provides proof of goods through a key identifier so that the importer/exporter doesn’t have to pay a double duty for the goods.
Cubes per Container: 20’ — 28 cubic meters, 36,000 lbs.
40’ — 55 cubic meters, 44,000 lbs.
40’ high cube — 65 cubic meters, 44,000 lbs.
45’ high cube — 75 cub meters, 44,000 lbs.
More specific container sizes:
Ocean Freight Containers
Customs: A government agency charged with enforcing the rules past to protect the country’s import revenues.
Customs Bond: When you bring something into the US you have duty on it Customs wants a guarantee that you’ll pay the duty so you buy a bond that guarantees it. Two types continuous and single entry. Single entry is for every now and then, no regular volume. Continuous lasts for an entire year from date of purchase.
Customs Clearance: Cursory review of customs documents so that freight may be delivered to the customer. Documents are reviewed in detail at a later date for discrepancies.
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Domestic B/L: Non-negotiable B/L primarily containing routing details; usually used by truckers and freight forwarders.
Duplicate B/L: Another original Bill of Lading set if first set is lost. Also known as reissued B/L.
Duty Drawback Bond: A partial refund of an import fee. Refund usually results because goods are reexported from the country that collected the fee.
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Entry Bond: An insurance policy you take out with customs so upon review of documentation if there is discrepancy and demands the freight back, the bond is there to guarantee the amount of penalty.
Export Declaration for U.S. Customs: Export Declarations require an ExDec to be filled out and a Schedule B number to be provided. This is elevant for any item over $2,500 dollars. The Export Declaration is basically a way for customs to keep track of all the exports.
Express B/L: Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed.
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FAA Security Statement: Showing form start to finish showing who loaded the box. Did anybody else touch this. Copy of truckers license had to match trucker. Track where it’s been and who had touched it. Accountability. Now it’s gotten complicated with known shipper (3x) or unknown shipper (48 hour waiting period –first 3x).
Freight B/L: A contract of carriage between a shipper and forwarder (who is usually a NOVCC); a non-negotiable document.
Full Container Loads (FCL): A container is a truck trailer that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot.
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Government B/L (GBL): A document issued by the US government.
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Harmonized System of Codes (HS):
- An international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity coding scheme. Developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperations Council (CCC), an international Customs organization in Brussels, this code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings.
- It is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass an industry (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles); chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry (e.g.: Chapter 50, Silk; Chapter 55, Man-made Staple Fibers; Chapter 57, Carpets).
- The basic code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. Many countries add digits for Customs tariff and statistical purposes. In the United States duty rates will be the eight-digit level; statistical suffixes will be at the ten-digit level. The Harmonized System (HS) is the current US tariff schedule (TSUSA) for imports and is the basis for the ten-digit Schedule B export code.
Harmonized Tariff Number: 10 digit number assigned to any item imported/exported into the US.
Hitchment B/L: B/L covering parts of a shipment which are loaded at more than one location. Hitchment B/L usually consists of two parts, atchment and atchment memo. The atchment portion usually covers the majority of a divided shipment and carries the entire revenue.
House B/L: B/L issued by a freight forwarder or consolidation covering a single shipment containing the names, addresses and specific description of the goods shipped.
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Intermodal B/L: B/L covering cargo moving via multimodal means. Also known as Combined transport B/L, or Multimodla B/L.
IT’s: Abbreviation for “Immediate Transport”. The document (prepared by the carrier) allows shipment to proceed from the port of entry in the U.S. to customs clearing at the destination. The shipment clears Customs at its final destination.
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L/C: Abbreviation for Letter of Credit.
Less-than-Container Loads (LCL): A container is a truck trailer that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail car or stacked in a container depot. A Less Than Container Load occurs when there is not enough freight to fill the specified container load (for container sizes, see Full Container Loads (FCL).
Letter of Credit: A document, issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time. Some of the specific descriptions are:
Back To Back: A secondary letter of credit issued to a beneficiary on the strength of a primary credit.
Clean: A letter of credit that requires the beneficiary to present only a draft or a receipt for specified funds before receiving payment.
Confirmed: A revolving letter of credit that permits any amount not utilized during any of the specified periods to be carried over and added to amounts available in later periods.
Deferred Payment: A letter of credit issued for the purchase and financing of merchandise, similar to acceptance-type letter of credit, except that it requires presentation of sight drafts payable on an installment basis.
Irrevocable: An instrument that, once established, cannot be modified or canceled without the agreement of all parties concerned.
Non-cumulative: A revolving letter of credit that prohibits the amount not used during the specific period to be available afterwards.
Restricted: A condition within the letter of credit which restricts its negotiation to a named bank.
Revocable: An instrument that can be modified or cancelled at any moment without notice to an agreement of the beneficiary, but customarily includes a clause in the credit to the effect that any draft negotiated by a bank prior to the receipt of a notice of revocation or amendment will be honored by the issuing bank.
Revolving: An irrevocable letter issued for a specific amount; renews itself for the same amount over a given period.
Straight: A letter of credit that contains a limited engagement clause which states that the issuing bank promises to pay the beneficiary upon presentation of the required documents at its counters of the named bank.
Transferable: A letter of credit that allows the beneficiary to transfer in whole or in part any amount which, in aggregate of such transfers does not exceed the amount of the credit.
Unconfirmed: A letter of credit forwarded to the beneficiary by the advertising bank without engagement on the part of the advising bank.
Long Form B/L: B/L form Terms & Conditions written on the back.
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Memo B/L: Unfreighted B/L with no charges listed.
Military B/L: B/L issued by the US Military; also known as GBL, or Form DD 1252.
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B/L Numbers: US Customs’ standardized B/L format to facilitate electronic communications.
Negotiable B/L: Consignment/banking term. B/L names are legal and endorsement the shipper can transfer the title of the goods to the bank representing the buyer or directly to the buyer of the goods.
Non-negotiable B/L: See Straight Consignment. Sometimes means a file copy of a B/L.
Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier: See OTI
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Ocean Bill of Lading (Ocean B/L): Document indicating that the exporter will consign a shipment to an international carrier for transportation to a specified foreign market and indicates the terms of the contract of carriage. The ocean B/L 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, surrender the original B/L or meet other conditions agreeable to the seller.
“Onboard” B/L: B/L validated at the time of loading to transport. Onboard Air, Boxcar, Container, Rail, Truck and Vessel are the most common types.
Optional Discharge B/L: B/L covering cargo with more than one discharge point option possibility.
“Original B/L”: The part of the B/L set that has value, especially when negotiable; rest of set are only informational copies. Abbreviated as OBL.
OTI-Ocean Transportation Intermediary (formerly NVOCC): A cargo consolidator in ocean trades who will buy space from a carrier and sub-sell it to smaller shippers. The OTI issues Bills of Lading, publishes tariffs and otherwise conducts itself as an ocean common carrier, except that it will not provide the actual ocean or intermodal service.
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Power of Attorney: Document required by US Customs that a broker has for any importer—allows the broker to sign only customs documents on client’s behalf.
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Received for Shipment B/L: Validated at time cargo is received by ocean carrier to commence movement but before being validated as “Onboard”.
Reconciled B/L: B/L set which has completed a prescribed number of edits between the shippers’ instructions and the actual shipment received. This produces a very accurate B/L.
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Schedule B: The Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States
Short Term B/L: Opposite of Long Form B/L, a B/L without the Terms & Conditions written on the back. Also known as a Short Form B/L.
Sizes of Containers: 20’, 40’, 40’ high cubes and 45’ high cubes (high cubes being slightly taller). Standard is 8 ft. height.
Split B/L: One of the two or more B/Ls which have been split from a single B/L.
Stale B/L: A late B/L; in banking, a B/L which has passed the time deadline of the L/C and is void.
Straight (Consignment) B/L: Consignment issue. See non-negotiable B/L.
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Terms of Sale: The point at which sellers have fulfilled their obligations so the goods in a legal sense could be said to have been delivered to the buyer. They are shorthand expressions that set out the rights and obligations of each party when it comes to transporting the goods. Following, are the thirteen terms of sale in international trade as reflected in the recent amendment to the International Chamber of Commerce Terms of Trade (INCOTERMS), effective July 1990: exw, fca, fas, fob, cfr, cif, cpt, cip, daf, des, deq, ddu and ddp.
- EXW (EX Works): A Term of Sale which means that the seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller’s premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller.
- FCA (Free Carrier): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills their obligation when he or she has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose, within the place or range stipulated, where the carrier should take the goods into their charge.
- FAS (Free Alongside Ship): A Term of Sale which means the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel on the quay or in lighters at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss or of damage to the goods from that moment.
- FOB (Free On Board-International Use): An international Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship’s rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
- CFR (Cost and Freight): A term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
- CIF(Cost, Insurance and Freight): A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
- CPT (Carriage Paid To): A Term of Sale which means the seller pays the freight for the carriage of the goods to the named destination. The risk of loss or damage to the goods, as well as any additional costs due to the events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered to the carrier, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods have been delivered into the custody of the carrier. If subsequent carriers are used for the carriage to the agreed upon destination, the risk passes when the goods have been delivered to the first carrier. The CPT term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
- CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid TO): A Term of Sale which means the seller has the same obligations as under the CPOT, but with the addition that the seller has to procure cargo insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The buyer should note that under the CIP term the seller is required to obtain insurance only on minimum coverage. The CIP term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
- DAF (Delivered At Frontier): A Term of Sale which means the sellers fulfill their obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available and cleared for export at the named point and place at the frontier, but before the customs border at the adjoining country.
- DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid): A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available to the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods there to (excluding duties, taxes and other official charges payable upon importation) as well as the costs and risks of carrying out customs formalities. The buyer has to pay any additional costs and to bear any risks caused by failure to clear the goods in time.
- DDP (Delivered Duty Paid): “Delivered Duty Paid” means that the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available at the named place in the country of importation. The seller has to bear the risks and costs, including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto, clear for importation. While the EXW term represents the minimum obligation for the seller, DDP represents the maximum.
- DES (Delivered Ex Ship): A Term of Sale where the seller fulfills his/her obligation to deliver when the goods have been made available to the buyer on board the ship, uncleared for import at the named port of destination. The seller has to bear all the risks involved in bringing the goods to the named port of destination.
- DEQ (Delivered Ex Quay, [Duty Paid]): A Term of Sale which means the DDU term has been fulfilled when the goods have been available to the buyer on the quay (wharf) at the named port of destination, cleared for importation. The seller has to bear all risks and costs including duties, taxes and other charges of delivering the goods thereto.
“To order” B/L: Consignment issue. See negotiable B/L.
Truck Bill of Lading: Defining document pieces, weight, who the shipper is, origin. See Bill of Lading
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Unique B/L Identifier: US Customs’ standardization: four alpha code unique to each carrier placed in front of nine-digit B/L number; APL’s unique B/L identifier is “APLU”. Sea-land uses “SEAU”. These prefixes are also used as the container identification.
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Voided B/L: Related to Consolidated B/L; those B/Ls absorbed in the combining process. Different from Canceled B/L.
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Waybill (WB): A document prepared by a transportation line at the point of a shipment; shows the point of the origin, destination, route, cosigner, consignee, description of shipment and amount charged for the transportation service. It is forwarded with the shipment or sent by mail to the agent at the transfer point or waybill destination. Abbreviation is WB. Unlike a bill of lading, a waybill is not a document of title.
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