Trade Facilitation Terms

The terms and concepts are related to trade, transport and Customs. They were selected because they can be found in the most widely used trade, transport and Customs forms, conventions and other documents.

The terms and concepts are related to trade, transport and Customs. They were selected because they can be found in the most widely used trade, transport and Customs forms, conventions and other documents.

TERMS DEFINITION
Advance Cargo Information System (ACIS) ACIS electronic system gives information on cargo, in advance of its arrival, across different modes and interfaces. By making appropriate information available, it allows the effective logistics management of a transport chain (UNCTAD)
advance ruling on the basis of all required data and documents submitted in advance, Customs makes an advance ruling on the payments due for the specific consignment; the ruling is then binding, if the consignment corresponds to what is described in the documents
affreightment /freightment an agreement by a shipping line to provide cargo space on a vessel at a specified time and for a specified price to accommodate an exporter or importer, who then becomes liable for payment even though he is later unable to make the shipment (or alternatively: a contract for the carriage of goods by sea for payment expressed in charter party or Bill of Lading)
Air Waybill (AWB) declaration conforming to the provisions of Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Chicago 1944. The general declaration is the basic document on arrival and departure providing information concerning the aircraft itself and summary information relating to the itinerary, crew, passengers and health
Aircraft General Declaration declaration conforming to the provisions of Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Chicago 1944. The general declaration is the basic document on arrival and departure providing information concerning the aircraft itself and summary information relating to the itinerary, crew, passengers and health
arrival notice (of goods) notification from the carrier to the consignee in writing, by telephone or by any other means (express letter, message, telegram, etc.) informing him that a consignment addressed to him is being or will shortly be held at his disposal at a specified point in the place of destination (GIT)
Automated Brokerage Interface (ABI) an electronic system allowing Customs brokers and importers to interface via computer with the U.S. Customs Service to transmit entry and enter summary data on imported merchandise
Automated Manifest System (AMS) an electronic system allowing a manifest inventory to be transmitted to the U.S. Customs Service data centre by carrier, port authority or service centre computers
Bill of Lading (B/L)  document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea and the taking over or loading of goods by the carrier, and by which the carrier undertakes to deliver the goods against surrender of the document. A provision in the document that the goods are to be delivered to the order of a named person, or to order, or to bearer, constitutes such an undertaking (United Nations Conference of the Carriage of Goods by Sea).
business process  structured, measured set of activities designed to produce a specific output for a particular customer or market. It implies a strong emphasis on how work is done within an organization (UN/CEFACT)
 cabotage (air)  cargo carried on what is essentially a domestic flight and therefore not subject to international agreements that fix set rates
 cargo  merchandise/commodities/freight carried by means of transportation
 cargo insurance  an inland marine or ocean marine policy covering cargo in the care, custody, or control of the carrier
 cargo manifest  a listing of the goods comprising the cargo (freight) carried on a means of transport or in a transport unit. The cargo manifest which gives the commercial particulars of the goods, such as transport document numbers, consignors, consignees, marks and numbers, number and kind of packages, descriptions and quantities of the goods, may be used in place of the cargo declaration (WCO)
 carrier (road transport)  any natural or legal person, registered in one or several countries, and permitted to carry out the international road transport of goods or passengers in accordance with the national and international legislation in force
 CMR Consignment Note  legal contractual document between a consignor, a road transport operator and a consignee, which standardizes the conditions governing the contract for international road transport, particularly with respect to documents to be used and the carrier’s liability with the aim of facilitating international road transport and international trade. To use the CMR note, at least one of the countries involved in the international transport (of origin or of destination) should be a Contracting Party to the CMR Convention
 Customs control  measures applied by the Customs to ensure compliance with Customs law. Note: All goods, including means of transport, which enter or leave the Customs territory, regardless of whether they are liable to duties and taxes, shall be subject to Customs control. Customs control shall be limited to that necessary to ensure compliance with the Customs law. In the application of Customs control, the Customs shall use risk management. Customs control systems shall include audit-based controls (General Annex, Chapter 6, to the Revised 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. Notes: These formalities may include those relating to phytosanitary, veterinary, immigration, currency and licensing regulations (General Annex, Chapter 2, to the Revised Kyoto Convention and the WCO Glossary)
 UN/EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport)  the only global Standard for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), supported by UN/CEFACT, the UN body developing standards for trade facilitation and electronic business
 electronic business; e-business  connecting the computer systems of two or more independent organizations/agencies/ firms into a dependent relationship. This is a shift in business practice, where the facilitation of business processes and the opportunities offered by information and communication technologies (ICT) converge. In international trade e-business can mean integrating the electronic exchange of information into interoperable systems, and is considered as part of international trade facilitation
 eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML)  a metalanguage, which was approved as a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendation, and which represents a set of general syntax rules. XML is designed for storing “structured” data (as opposed to existing “static” databases) and for the creation of more specialized programming languages (e.g. XHTML), sometimes called dictionaries. XML allows for presenting the same sets of data in different formats, which makes it suitable for use for electronic trade documents exchanged over the Internet
 Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade  a regime, developed at the World Customs Organization, expected to enhance the security and facilitation of international trade. This global supply chain security initiative, on the part of the international Customs community, is aimed at protecting world trade from the threats posed by international terrorism, organized crime and ever-increasing Customs offences. At the same time it will provide a structured platform to facilitate the movement of legitimate goods being traded internationally. The Framework aims at providing a new approach to partnership between Customs and the business community, which commit together to the implementation of a series of 17 Standards regulating the security and facilitation of international trade. Worldwide implementation of the Framework is supported by a sustainable capacity-building programme (WCO)
 Goods declaration for Customs transit  document by which the sender declares goods for Customs transit
harmonized system (HS) an international nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), which is arranged in six-digit codes allowing all participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis. Beyond the six-digit level, countries are free to introduce national distinctions for tariffs and many other purposes
import 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 (General Annex, Chapter 2, to the Revised Kyoto Convention)
INCOTERMS 2010 a set of 11 international standard trade terms (also known as delivery terms) used in international trade contracts, created and maintained by the International Chamber of Commerce
just in time (JIT) the principle of production and inventory control in which goods arrive when needed for production or use
letter of credit (L/C) a document issued by a bank per instructions by a buyer of goods, authorizing the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms
logistics the optimization of transport, storage, handling and packaging of goods and services from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Essentially, logistics is about getting the right thing, in the right place, for the right price. Logistics is the part of supply chain management encompassing transport and inventory, while only barely dealing with the production process
marking letters, numbers, and other symbols placed on cargo packages to facilitate identification. Also known as marks
multimodal transport carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport. Kind of movement of cargo using various modes of transport, as well as handling services within a single system (more general notion in comparison with intermodal traffic)
omission the failure to act or give a decision required of the Customs by Customs law within a reasonable time on a matter duly submitted to them (General Annex, Chapter 2, to the Revised Kyoto Convention)
one stop border post the term refers to a border post operated by two neighboring countries and requiring close cooperation in the daily management of the border post, the harmonization of requested documentation, the development of an enabling legal framework covering mutual recognition of controls and the exchange of data, joint maintenance of the infrastructure, joint use of expensive nonintrusive inspection equipment, and the operation by border agency officials on an extra-territorial basis when needed. Agreements on opening hours, informal information exchange and recognizing of controls would also have beneficial impact and would operate as the first steps towards more integrated cooperation. One stop border post is the optimal form of cross-border cooperation at the local level, namely, a “joint border crossing”
packing list document specifying the distribution of goods in individual packages (UN/ECE/FAL)
Phytosanitary certificate document issued by the competent body in the exporting country evidencing that plants, fruit, or vegetables are free from disease and fit for consumption and giving details on fumigation or other treatment to which they may have been subjected (UN/ECE/FAL)
Proforma invoice document serving as a preliminary invoice, containing - on the whole - the same information as the final invoice, but not actually claiming payment (UN/ECE/FAL)
Single Window a system that allows all participants in trade and transport to file requested information in only one place, to one agency in a standard format, in order to carry out import, export and transit operations
supply chain management SCM plans and manages the supply chain, i.e. the entire production and distribution process of a good from its raw materials to the final sale to the customer. The supply chain usually includes third parties like suppliers, wholesalers or intermediaries, which are frequently located in different countries. Thus, efficient inter-country SCM crucially depends on simplified and standardized border-crossing procedures. Optimizing the supply chain can attain substantial cost reductions, can boost the competitiveness of firms and can increase their consumer-friendliness by producing goods, which are tailored to the customers’ needs
third party any person who deals directly with the Customs, for and on behalf of another person, relating to the importation, exportation, movement or storage of goods (General Annex, Chapter 2, to the Revised Kyoto Convention)
TIR Convention Transport International Routier, Customs Convention on International Transportation of Goods using TIR carnets
transaction costs any costs paid on top of the agreed price in an economic exchange. Transaction costs include the costs of searching for an appropriate exchange opportunity, negotiating a contract and enforcing it. They also contain supplementary payments like tariffs or ad hoc taxes and the opportunity costs of time wasted in dealing with bureaucracy
warehouse receip a receipt of commodities deposited in a warehouse, identifying the commodities deposited. It is non-negotiable if permitting delivery only to a specified person or firm, but it is negotiable if made out to the order of a person or firm or to a bearer. Warehouse receipts are common documents in international banking

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