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    Trade Terms



    Glossary of International Trade Terms

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    A

    AAEI
    American Association of Exporters and Importers.
    Abandonment
    The act of refusing delivery of a shipment so badly damaged in transit that it is worthless; OR damage to a vessel that is so severe that it is considered a constructive total loss.
    Abbrochment
    The purchase at wholesale of all merchandise that is intended to be sold in a particular retail market for the purpose of controlling that market.
    ABI
    Automated Broker Interface: A module of ACS which provides a communications link for the transmission of entry and entry summary data on imported merchandise between all ABI users.
    Absolute Advantage
    An advantage of one nation or area over another in the costs of manufacturing an item in terms of used resources.
    Absorption
    Investment and consumption purchases by households, businesses and governments both domestic and imported.
    Accelerated Tariff Elimination
    The gradual reduction of import duties over time.
    Acceptance
    An unconditional assent to an offer; OR An assent to an offer conditioned on only minor changes that do not affect any material terms of the offer; OR Receipt by the consignee of a shipment thus terminating the common carrier liability.
    Acceptance Letter Of Credit
    A letter of credit which, in addition to other required documents, requires presentation of a term draft drawn on the bank nominated as the accepting bank under the letter of credit.
    Accepted Draft
    A bill of exchange accepted by the drawee (acceptor) by putting his signature (acceptance) on its face. In doing so, he commits himself to pay the bill upon presentation at maturity.
    Accepting Bank
    A bank who by signing a time draft accepts responsibility to pay when the draft becomes due. In this case the bank is the drawee (party asked to pay the draft), but only becomes the acceptor (party accepting responsibility to pay) upon acceptance (signing the draft). See acceptance; bill of exchange.
    Acceptor
    The party that signs a draft or obligation, thereby agreeing to pay the stated sum at maturity.
    Accession
    The process by which a country becomes a member of an international agreement, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
    Accessions
    Goods that are affixed to and become part of other goods.
    Accessorial Charges
    Charges made for additional, special, or supplemental services, normally over and above the line haul services.
    Accessorial Services
    Services performed by a shipping line or airline in addition to the normal transportation service.
    Accommodation
    An action by one individual or legal entity that is taken as a favor, without any consideration, for another individual or legal entity.
    Accommodation Note Or Paper
    A commercial instrument of debt that is issued by or for an accommodated party (who is expected to pay the debt) and that contains the name of the accommodation party.
    Accord And Satisfaction
    A means of discharging a contract or cause of action by which the parties agree (the accord) to alter their obligations and then perform (the satisfaction) the new obligations.
    Account Number
    An identifying number issued by a carrier's accounting office to identify a shipper and/or consignee.
    Accounts Payable
    A current liability representing the amount owed by an individual or a business to a creditor(s) for merchandise or services purchased on an open account or short-term credit.
    Accounts Receivable
    Money owed a business enterprise for merchandise or services bought on open account.
    Accrual Of Obligation
    The time at which an obligation matures or vests, requiring the obligor to perform.
    ACE
    Automated Commercial Environment: A US Customs electronic data system, which when complete, will provide support for enforcing trade and contraband laws, ensuring trade compliance, and providing service and information to the international trade community.
    Acquisition
    The purchase of complete or majority ownership in a business enterprise, usually by another business enterprise.
    ACS
    Automated Commercial System: The comprehensive tracking, controlling, and processing system of the U.S. Customs Service. ACS is composed of many different modules or systems.
    Act Of God
    "An act of nature beyond man's control such as lightning, flood, earthquake or hurricane. Many shipping and other performance contracts include a "force majeure" clause which excuses a party who breaches the contract due to acts of God."
    Action Ex Contractu
    A legal action for breach of a promise stated in an express or implied contract.
    Action Ex Delicto
    (a) A legal action for a breach of a duty that is not stated in a contract but arises from the contract. (b) A legal action that arises from a wrongful act, such as fraud.
    Ad Valorem Duty.
    A U.S. Customs duty assessed as a percentage rate or value of the imported merchandise.
    Add
    Antidumping duties which are assessed when merchandise is sold to purchases in the US at less than fair value resulting in material injury to a US industry.
    Address Of Record
    The official or primary location for an individual, company, or other organization.
    Adhesion Contract
    Contract with standard, often printed, terms for sale of goods and services offered to consumers who usually cannot negotiate any of the terms and cannot acquire the product unless they agree to the terms.
    Adjustment Assistance
    Financial, training and re-employment technical assistance to workers, and technical assistance to firms and industries, to help them cope with adjustment difficulties arising from increased import competition.
    Admiralty
    Any civil or criminal issue having to do with maritime law.
    Admiralty Court
    A court of law that has jurisdiction over maritime legal issues.
    Admission Temporaire
    The free entry of goods normally dutiable.
    Advance Against Collection
    A short term loan or credit extended to the seller (usually the exporter) by the seller's bank once a draft has been accepted by the buyer (generally the importer) of the seller's goods.
    Advance Arrangements
    The shipment of certain classes of commodities that require arrangements in advance with carriers.
    Advanced Technology Products (ATP)
    Products whose technology is from a recognized high technology field, represent leading edge technology in that field; and constitute a significant part of all items covered in the selected classification code.
    Advice
    A form of letter that relates or acknowledges a certain activity or result with regard to a customer's relations with a bank.
    Advised Credit
    A letter of credit whose terms and conditions have been confirmed by a bank.
    Advising Bank
    The bank which receives a letter of credit or amendment to a letter of credit from the issuing bank and forwards it to the beneficiary.
    Advisory Committee On Export Policy
    A U.S. government interagency dispute resolution body that operates at the Assistant Secretary level.
    Advisory Committee On Trade Policy And Negotiation
    A U.S. government group appointed by the President to provide advice on matters of trade policy and related issues, including trade agreements.
    Affiliate
    A business enterprise located in one country which is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a person of another country.
    Affiliated Foreign Group
    Equivelent of the foreign parent or any foreign person associated with the foreign parent which is owned more than 50 percent by the person above it.
    Affreightment
    The hiring or chartering of all or part of a vessel for the transport of goods.
    Affreightment Contract
    A contract with a shipowner to hire. all or part of a ship for transporting goods.
    Afloat
    Refers to a shipment of cargo which is currently on board a vessel between ports (as opposed to on land).
    Aft
    Direction toward the stern of the vessel (ship or aircraft).
    After Date
    A notation used on financial instruments (such as drafts or bills of exchange) to fix the maturity date as a fixed number of days past the date of drawing of the draft.
    After Sight
    A notation on a draft that indicates that payment is due a fixed number of days after the draft has be-en presented to the drawee.
    Agent
    A person or legal entity with the proper authorization to act on behalf of another person or legal entity.
    Agent Bank
    A bank acting on behalf of a foreign bank.
    Aggregated Shipments
    Several shipments from various shippers that are consolidated and treated as a single consignment.
    Agreed Valuation
    The set value of a shipping load that is agreed upon by both the shipper and the carrier to define rate and/or liability.
    AIES
    Automated Information Exchange System: A module of ACS which provides an automated method of exchanging information between Field Import Specialist and National Import Specialists.
    Air Cargo
    Property of any kind that is transported by aircraft (excluding passenger baggage).
    Air Express
    Expediated air freight service.
    Air Parcel Post
    Term used to describe priority mail, consisting of first class mail which weighs more than 13 ounces.
    Air Waybill
    Shipping document used for the transportation of a0ir freight: includes conditions, liability, shipping instructions, description of commodity, and applicable transportation charges.
    Alienable
    Ability to be transferred or conveyed.
    Aliquot
    A fractional share.
    All-Cargo Aircraft
    Any aircraft that is used for the sole purpose of transporting cargo.
    Allowance
    An amount paid by the seller as restitution or reimbursement if the receiving party was dissatisfied with the shipment for any number of reasons: faulty packaging, late arrival, etc.
    Alternative Tariff
    A tariff with two or more rates for the same goods, to and from the same points, with the discretion to use the lowest of the charges.
    Amendment
    An addition, deletion, or change in a document.
    Amidships
    In the middle of the vessel; often preferred by shippers because of the minimal motion and the benefits to fragile freight.
    Amortization
    The gradual diminishment of any amount over a period of time.
    AMS
    Automated Manifest System: A module of ACS designed to control imported merchandise from the time a carrier's cargo manifest is electronically transmitted to US Customs until control is relinquished to another ACS module.
    Antidumping
    The opposite of dumping as defined by the system of laws to remedy dumping.
    Any Quantity
    A cargo rating that applies to an article without consideration of weight.
    Appreciation
    An increase in the value of one form of currency as compared to the currency of another nation.
    Appurtenance
    An accessory connected to a primary property used in conjunction with the primary property; usually permanently affixed (i.e. a crane on a ship).
    Apron
    Area of the airport where planes are parked for loading and unloading.
    Arrivals
    Imported goods which have been placed in a bonded warehouse for which duty has not been paid.
    As Is
    Indicates goods for sale do not include a warranty or guarantee.
    Assembly Service
    A service under which an airline combines multiple shipments from multiple shippers into one shipment to one receiver.
    Assessment
    The placement of antidumping duties on imported goods.
    ASWP
    Any Safe World Port.
    Athwartships
    Across a vessel form side to side.
    Auto Parts Advisory Committee
    Established by an amendment to the Trade Act to set up an advisory committee to the U.S. Department of Commerce for dealing with U.S.-Japan trade issues involving the auto parts industry.
    Avoidance Of Contract
    The legal cancellation of a contract because an event occurs that makes performance of the contract terms impossible or inequitable and that releases the parties from their obligations.


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