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Project Management - Consulting Shipping Agents - Local and International Transportation - Ships Brokers

 
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Freight Terms

a b c d e f g h i l m n o p q r s t u v w

Advanced Technology Products 
American Institute in Taiwan 
Antidumping 
Antidumping Duty 
Antidumping Petition 
Arbitrage 
ASEAN 
Asian Development Bank 
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 
Assessment 
Asian Dollars 
Automated Broker Interface(ABI) 
Automated Clearinghouse 
Automated Export Reporting Program 
Automated Trade Locator Assistance Network

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Banker's Acceptance 
Banker's Draft 
Banker's Guarantee 
Bank Release 
Blue Lantern 
Bond System 
Bonded Warehouse 
Barter 

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Caged 
Cargo Selectivity System 
Caribbean Common Market 
Carnet 
CCITT 
CCNAA 
CEFTA 
Central American Common Market 
Certificate of Inspection 
Certificate of Manufacture 
Certificate of Origin 
Chaebol 
Chinese Economic Area 
CITA 
"Class or Kind" of Merchandise 
Clean Draft 
Collection Papers 
Collection System 
Commercial Invoice 
Commercial Risks 
Commercial Treaty 
Common Market 
Confirmed Letter of Credit 
Confirming 
Consignee 
Consignment 
Constructed Value 
Consular Invoice 
Costs of Manufacture 
Cost of Production 
Country of Origin 
Court of International Trade 
Credit Risk Insurance 
CSCE 
Customs 
Customs Broker 
Customs Clearance 
Customs Cooperation Council 
Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature 
Customs Free Zone 
Customs Import Value 
Customs Invoice 
Customs Union 

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Date Draft 
Declaration by Foreign Shipper 
Delivery Instructions 
Delivery Verification Certificate 
Deposit of Estimated Duties 
Distribution License 
Diversionary Dumping 
Documents Against Acceptance 
Documents Against Payment 
Domestic Exports 
Downstream Dumping 
Draft Bill of Exchange 
Drawback 
Drawee 
Drawer 
Drawback System 
Dual Pricing 
Dumping 
Dumping Margin 
Duty 
Dynamic Asian Economies

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Economic Zones 
EDIFACT 
Entrepot 
Entry Summary System 
Entry Summary Selectivity System 
Entry Value 
Euro Dollars 
European Community 
European Union 
Export Administration Act 
Export Broker 
Export Control Classification Number 
Exporter's Certificate of Origin 
Export License 
Export Processing Zones 
Export Revolving Line of Credit  Ex Quay 

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Foreign Access Zone 
Foreign Exports 
Foreign Trade Zones 
Free of Particular Average (FPA)
Free Trade Zones (FTZ) 
Freight Forwarder

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Gateway 
GATT 
Generalized System of Preferences(GSP) 
General Tariff 
Gray Market Imports 
Group of ... 

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Hard Currency 
Harmonized System

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Import Certificate 
Importer of RecordImport License 
Import Quota 
Import Quota Auctioning 
Import Restrications 
Imports for Consumption 
Individual Validated License 
Inherent Vice 
Insurance Certificate 
Integrated Carriers 
Integrated Tariff of the European Community 
Intermediate Consignee 
Intermodal 
International Court of Justice 
International Standards Organization 
International Trade Commission 
Irrevocable Letter of Credit 
ISO 9000-9004

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Letter of Credit 
Less Developed Country 
Lesser Developed Countries 
Long-Dated Forward 

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Maastricht Treaty 
Maquiladora 
Marine Cargo Insurance 
Market Access 
Market Disruption 
Marks of Origin 
Most Favored Nation Treatment 
Multi-Fiber Arrangement

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NAFTA 
NATO 
Newly Independent States 
Newly Industrializing Countries 
Newly Industrializing Economies 
Non-Tariff Barriers 

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Offshore Banking Unit 
Offshore Manufacturing 
Open Account

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Pacific Rim 
Packing List 
Petrodollars 
Political Risk 
Pro Forma Invoice 
Porject License 

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Quotas and Quota System

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Re-exports 
Reverse Preferences 
Revocable Letter of Credit 

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Schedule B 
Semiconductor Trade Arrangement 
Shipper's Export Declaration 
Ship's Manifest 
Shipping Mark 
Shipping Weight 
SIC 
SITC 
Soft Currency 
South Pacific Forum 
Special 301 
Statistical Office of the EC 
Structural Impediments Initiative 
Super 301 

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T/T 
Table of Denial Orders 
Tariff 
Tariff Act of 1930 
Tariff Anomaly 
Tariff Escalation 
Tariff Quotas 
Tariff Schedule 
Tariff Schedules of U.S. Annotated 
Technical Barrier to Trade 
Technology 
Technology Transfer 
Temporary Importation under Bond 
Textile Surveillance Body 
Tied Aid Credit 
Tied Loan 
Trade Barriers 
Trade Fair Certification Program 
Trade Information Center 
Trade Opportunities Program 
Transshipment 
Transit Zones 
Transmittal Letter 
Trigger Price Mechanism 
Trust Receipt 

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U.S. Munitions List 
Ultimate Consignee 
UNCITRAL 
UNCTAD 
Unfair Trade Practice 
UNIDO 
U.S. Council for International Business
U.S. Trade Representative
US-AEP
Usance

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Validated Export License
Value-Added Tax
Value for Customs Purposes Only
Voluntary Export Restriction
Voluntary Restraint Agreement

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With Average
Without Reserve
World Bank
World Trade Organization (WTO)

Advanced Technology Products
About 500 commodity classification codes used in reporting U.S. merchandise trade are classified as "Advanced Technology" which meet the following criteria:

  • The technology is from a recognized high technology field;
  • The products employ leading edge technology in that field; and
  • Such products constitute a significant part of all items covered in the commodity classification code.

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American Institute in Taiwan
The AIT is a non-profit corporation that represents U.S. commerical, cultural, and other interests in Taiwan in lieu of an embassy. In 1979, the United States terminated formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan when it recognized the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China. AIT was authorized to continue commercial, cultural and other relations between the United States and Taiwan. AIT headquarters are located in Arlington, Virginia; constitutent offices are in Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
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Antidumping
Antidumping, as a reference to the system of laws to remedy dumping, is defined as a converse of dumping.
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Antidumping Duty
A duty assessed on imported merchandise which is subject to an antidumping duty order. The antidumping duty is assessed on an entry-by-entry basis in an amount equal to the difference between the United States price of that entry and the foreign market value of such or similar merchandise at the time the merchandise was sold to the United States.
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Antidumping Petition
A petition filed on behalf of an affected United States industry, alleging that foreign merchandise is being sold in the United States at "less than fair value" and that such sales are causing or threatening material injury to, or materially retarding the establishment of, a United States industry.
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Arbitrage
The simultaneous buying and selling of the same commodity or foreign exchange in two or more markets in order to take advantage of price differentials.
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ASEAN
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed in January 1992 to create a free trade area (ASEAN Free Trade Area, or AFTA) with use of a common effective preferential tariff. Under the agreement ASEAN members will cut tariff rates within 15 years of its start date of January 1994. Manufactured goods from 15 sectors designated as "fast track" are subject to tariff reduction to 0-5 percent within 10 years, and seven years if the starting rates were already below 20 percent. "Fast track" sectors include vegetable oils, cement, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer, plastics, rubber products, leather products, pulp, textiles, ceramic and glass products, gems and jewelry, copper cathodes, electronics, and wooden and ratan furniture.
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Asian Development Bank
The ADB helps finance economic development in developing countries in the Asian and Pacific area through the provision of loans on near-market terms, with its Ordinary Capital Resources (OCR), and on concessional terms, through the Asian Development Fund (ADF). The ADB was established in 1965 (began operating in December 1966); headquarters are in Manila, Philippines.
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Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
APEC, established in November 1989, is an informal grouping of Asia Pacific countries that provides a forum for Ministerial level discussion of a broad range of economic issues. APEC includes the six ASEAN countries (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand), plus: Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.
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Assessment
The imposition of Antidumping Duties on imported merchandise.
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Asian Dollars
U.S. funds deposited in banks in Asia and Pacific Basin.
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Automated Broker Interface (ABI)
ABI, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, permits transmission of data pertaining to merchandise being imported into the United States. Qualified participants include brokers, importers, carriers, port authorities, and independent data processing companies referred to as service centers.
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Automated Clearinghouse
The Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) is a feature of the Automated Broker Interface which is a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System. The ACH combines elements of bank lock box arrangements with electronic funds transfer services to replace cash or check for payment of estimated duties, taxes, and fees on imported merchandise.
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Automated Export Reporting Program.
The AERP provides for electronic submission of most information required on the Shipper's Export Declaration. The program was initiated in 1969 with the intent of enabling large volume exporters to submit electronically and facilitate Census Bureau data entry and analysis. AERP was expanded in 1982 to allow freight forwarders, and again in 1985 to allow ocean carriers, to file electronically. At the beginning of fiscal year 1994, about 220 firms -- accounting for 350,000 to 400,000 records a month -- were participating in AERP. The program is administered by the Automated Data Reporting Branch, Foreign Trade Division, Bureau of the Census.
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Automated Trade Locator Assistance Network
ATLAS is a Small Business Administration-sponsored, contractor-operated, automated system which provides market research information and statistics on world markets by SIC code (and possibly harmonized system). Indirect access is available for businesses, with arrangements through the local SBA district office. ATLAS, which became operational in Spring 1993, replaced SBA's export information system (XIS).
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Banker's Acceptance
A banker's acceptance is a draft drawn on and accepted by a bank. Depending on the bank's creditworthiness, the acceptance becomes a financial instrument which can be discounted.
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Banker's Draft
Draft payable on demand and drawn by or on behalf of the bank itself; it is regarded as cash and cannot be returned unpaid.
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Banker's Guarantee
An assurance, obtained from a bank by a foreign purchaser; that the bank will pay an exporter up to a given amount for goods shipped if the foreign purchaser defaults.
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Bank Release
Negotiable time draft drawn on and accepted by a bank which adds its credit to that of an importer of merchandise.
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Blue Lantern
Blue Lantern, a procedure pertaining to U.S. Munitions List items, is intended to verify that information stated on export license applications is valid and that the use of the commodity or service exported is consistent with the terms of the license. It includes prelicense and postshipment checks of export applications conducted by designated officials at U.S. embassies. Blue Lantern was initiated in September 1990 by the State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls
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Bond System
The Bond System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, provides information on bond coverage. A Customs bond is a contract between a principal, usually an importers, and a surety which is obtained to insure performance of an obligation imposed by law or regulation. The bond covers potential loss of duties, taxes, and penalties for specific types of transactions. Customs is the contract beneficiary.
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Bonded Warehouse
The U.S. Customs Service authorizes bonded warehouses for storage or manufacture of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods enter the Customs Territory. The goods are not subject to duties if reshipped to foreign points.
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Barter
Trade in which merchandise is exchanged directly for other merchandise without the use of money.
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Caged
Before import customs formality has been completed cleared and released, cargo is remained at bonded warehouse under customs custody.
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Cargo Selectivity System
The Cargo Selectivity System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, specifies the type of examination (intensive or general) to be conducted for imported merchandise. The type of examination is based on database selectivity criteria such as assessments of risk by filer, consignee, tariff number, country of origin, and manufacturer/shipper. A first time consignee is always selected for an intensive examination. An alert is also generated in cargo selectivity the first time a consignee files an entry in a port with a particular tariff number, country of origin, or manufacturer/shipper.
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Caribbean Common Market
CARICOM includes 13 English-speaking Caribbean nations: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent/Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago). CARICOM was established in 1973; headquarters are in Georgetown, Guyana.
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Carnet
Customs documents permitting the holder to carry or send sample merchandise temporarily into certain foreign countries without paying duties or posting bonds. Foreign customs regulations vary widely; in some countries, duties and extensive customs procedures on sample products may be avoided by obtaining an ATA Carnet.

The ATA Carnet is a standardized international customs document used to obtain duty-free temporary admission of certain goods into the countries that are signatories to the ATA Convention. Under the ATA Convention, commercial and professional travelers may take commercial samples; tools of the trade; advertising material; and cinematographic, audiovisual, medical, scientific, or other professional equipment into member countries temporarily without paying customs duties and taxes or posting a bodn at the border of each country visited. The carnets are generally valid for 12 months.
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Central American Common Market
A first effort to establish a Central American Common Market, CACM (Spanish: Mercado Com£n Centroamericano, MCCA) was attempted in 1960 under the auspeices of the Organiztion of Central American States (OCAS). A restructuring was started in 1973. Members include Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The common market will cover all products traded within the region by the end of 1992. A second step toward regional integration will be the establishment of a common external tariff. CACM is associated with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration; headquarters are in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
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Central Europe Free Trade Association
CEFTA is a trade agreement among the "Visegrad" countries -- Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary -- that is somewhat parallel to the European Free Trade Association.
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Certificate of Inspection
A document certifying that merchandise (such as perishable goods) was in good condition immediately prior to shipment. Pre-shipment inspection is a requirement for importation of goods into many developing countries.
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Certificate of Manufacture
A document (often notarized) in which a producer of goods certifies that the manufacturing has been completed and the goods are now at the disposal of the buyer.
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Certificate of Origin
Certain nations require a signed statement as to the origin of the export item. Such certificates are usually obtained through a semiofficial organization such as a local chamber of commerce. A certificate may be required even though the commercial invoice contains the information.
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Chaebol
Chaebol are Korean conglomerates which are characterized by strong family control, authoritarian management, and centralized decision making. Chaebol dominate the Korean economy, growing out of the takeover of the Japanese monopoly of the Korean economy following World War II. Korean government tax breaks and financial incentives emphasizing industrial reconstruction and exports provided continuing support to the growth of Chaebols during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1988, the output of the 30 largest chaebol represented almost 95% of Korea's gross national product.
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Chinese Economic Area
The CEA is an informal reference to the economic integration of Southern China with Hong Kong and Taiwan which has proceded without any "arrangement". Also referred as "Greater China".
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"Class or Kind" of Merchandise
A term used in defining the scope of an antidumping investigation. Included in the "class or kind" of merchandize is merchandise sold in the home market which is "such or similar" to the petitioned product. "Such or similar" merchandise is that merchandise which is identical to or like the petitioned product in physical characteristics.
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Clean Draft
A draft to which no documents have been attached.
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Collection Papers
All documents (invoices, bills of lading or air waybill, etc.) submitted to a buyer for the purpose of receiving payment for a shipment.
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Collection System
The Collections System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, controls and accounts for the billions of dollars in payments collected by Customs each year and the millions in refunds processed each year. Daily statements are prepared for the automated brokers who select this service. The Collections System permits electronic payments of the related duties and taxes through the Automated Clearinghouse capability. Automated collections also meet the needs of the importing community through acceptance of electronic funds transfers for deferred tax bills and receipt of electronic payments from lockbox operations for Customs bills and fees.
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Commercial Invoice
The commercial invoice is a bill for the goods from the seller to the buyer. These invoices are often used by governments to determine the true value of goods for the assessment of customs duties and are also used to prepare consular documentation. Governments using the commercial invoice to control imports often specify its form, content, number of copies, language to be used, and other characteristics.
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Commercial Risks
With respect to Eximbank guarantees, commercial risks cover nonpayment for reasons other than specified political risks. Examples are insolvency or protracted default.
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Commercial Treaty
An agreement between two or more countries setting forth the conditions under which business between the countries may be transacted. May outline tariff privileges, terms on which property may be owned, the manner in which claims may be settled, etc.
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Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements
CITA is an interagency committee chaired by the Department of Commerce which exercises the rights of the United States under the Multi-Fiber Arrangement. CITA initiates "calls" for consultation when imports of a particular textile product from a particular country disrupt the U.S. domestic market for that product. Other member agencies include the Departments of Labor, State, and Treasury and the United States Trade Representative.
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Common Market
A common market (as opposed to a free trade area) has a common external tariff and may allow for labor mobility and common economic policies among the participating nations. The European Community is the most notable example of a common market.
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Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
CSCE was established in 1991 as a successor to the Eastern bloc's Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA or COMECON). CSCE administers residual tariffs and quotas and relations with other organizations.
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Confirmed Letter of Credit
A letter of credit, issued by a foreign bank, whose validity has been confirmed by an American bank. An exporter whose payment terms are a confirmed letter of credit is assured of payment even if the foreign buyer or the foreign bank defaults.
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Confirming
Confirming is a financial service in which an independent company confirms an export order in the seller's country and makes payment for the goods in the currency of that country. Among the items eligible for confirmation are the goods; inland, air, and ocean transportation costs; forwarding fees; custom brokerage fees; and duties. Confirming permits the entire export transaction from plant to end user to be fully coordinated and paid for over time. It is mainly a European practice.
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Consignee
The person or firm named in a freight contract to whom goods have been consigned or turned over. For export control purposes, the documentation differentiates between an "intermediate" consignee and an "ultimate" consignee.
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Consignment
Delivery of merchandise from an exporter (the consignor) to an agent (the consignee) under agreement that the agent sell the merchandise for the account of the exporter. The consignor retains title to the goods until sold. The consignee sells the goods for commission and remits the net proceeds to the consignor.
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Constructed Value
A means of determining fair or foreign market value when sales of such or similar merchandise do not exist or, for various reasons, cannot be used for comparison purposes. The "constructed value" consists of the cost of materials and fabrication or other processing employed in producing the merchandise, general expenses of not less than 10 percent of material and fabrication costs, and profit of not less than 8 percent of the sum of the production costs and general expenses. To this amount is added the cost of packing for exportation to the United States.
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Consular Invoice
A document, required by some foreign countries, describing a shipment of goods and showing information such as the consignor, consignee, and value of the shipment. Certified by a consular official of the foreign country, it is used by the country's customs officials to verify the value, quantity, and nature of the shipment.
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Consultative Committee for International Telephone and Telegraphy
CCITT facilitates U.S. coordination of communications standards issues. CCITT is a part of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which is an international treaty organization. The State Department is responsible for coordinating and presenting U.S. positions to the ITU.
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Coordination Council for North American Affairs
The CCNAA, the counterpart to the American Institute in Taiwan, unofficially represents Taiwan's interests in the United States. The Council provides information on trade, business, and investment opportunities to the American business community. Council headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
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Costs of Manufacture
In the context of dumping investigations, the costs of manufacture, COM, is equal to the sum of the materials, labor and both direct and indirect factory overhead expenses required to produce the merchandise under investigation.
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Cost of Production
A term used to refer to the sum of the cost of materials, fabrication and/or other processing employed in producing the merchandise sold in a home market or to a third country together with appropriate allocations of general administrative and selling expenses. COP is based on the producer's actual experience and does not include any mandatory minimum general expense or profit as in "constructed value."
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Country of Origin
The U.S. Customs Service defines country of origin as the country where an article was wholly grown, manufactured or produced, or, if not wholly grown, cultivated or produced in one country, the last country in which the article underwent a substantial transformation. Duty rates vary according to the country of origin.
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Court of International Trade
The CIT has jurisdiction over any civil action against the United States arising from Federal laws governing import transactions. The court hears antidumping, product classification, and countervailing duty matters as well as appeals of unfair trade practice cases from the International Trade Commission. The court was originally established in 1890; principal offices are located in New York City, but the court is empowered to hear and determine cases arising at any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States. The judges are appointed for life by the President, subject to Senate confirmation.
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Credit Risk Insurance
Insurance that covers the risk of nonpayment for delivered goods.
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Customs
The government authorities designated to collect duties levied by a country on imports and exports.
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Customs Broker
An individual or company licensed by the government to enter and clear goods through Customs. The U.S. Customs Service defines a Customs Broker, as any person who is licensed in accordance with Part III of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Customs regulations) to transact Customs business on behalf of others. Customs business is limited to those activities involving transactions with Customs concerning the entry and admissibility of merchandise; its classification and valuation; the payment of duties, taxes, or other charges assessed or collected by Customs upon merchandise by reason of its importation, or the refund, rebate, or drawback thereof.
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Customs Clearance
The procedures involved in getting cargo released by Customs through designated formalities such as presenting import license/permit, payment of import duties and other required documentations by the nature of the cargo such as FCC or FDA approval.
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Customs Cooperation Council
The CCC (French: Conseil de Coop‚ration DounaiŠre, CCD) is an international organization consisting of representatives of about 150 countries. The Council serve as a technical body which studies and seeks to resolve the various countries' customs problems in an attempt to harmonize customs operations and promote trade. The Council was established in 1950; headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.
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Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature
A customs tariff nomenclature formerly used by many countries, including most European nations but not the United States. It has been superseded by the Harmonized System Nomenclature to which most major trading nations, including the U.S., adhere.
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Customs Free Zone
See: Free Trade Zone.
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Customs Import Value
This is the U.S. Customs Service appraisal value of merchandise. Methodologically, the Customs value is similar to f.a.s. (free alongside ship) value since it is based on the value of the product in the foreign country of origin, and excludes charges incurred in bringing the merchandise to the United States (import duties, ocean freight, insurance, and so forth); but it differs in that the U.S. Customs Service, not the importer or exporter, has the final authority to determine the value of the good.
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Customs Invoice
A document, required by some foreign countries' customs officials to verify the value, quantity, and nature of the shipment, describing the shipment of goods and showing information such as the consignor, consignee, and value of the shipment.
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Customs Union
An agreement between two or more countries to remove trade barriers with each other and to establish common tariff and nontariff policies with respect to imports from countries outside of the agreement. The European Community is the most well-known example. The two primary trade effects of a customs union are: (a) trade creation -- the shift from consumption of domestic production toward consumption of member imports and (b) trade diversion -- the shift from trade with non-member countries in favor of trade with member countries.
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Date Draft
A draft which matures a specified number of days after the date it is issued, without regard to the date of acceptance.
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Declaration by Foreign Shipper
The U.S. Customs Service defines this term as a statement by the shipper in the foreign country attesting to certain facts. For example, articles shipped from the United States to an insular possession and then returned must be accompanied by a declaration by the shipper in the insular possession, indicating that, to the best of his or her knowledge, the articles were exported directly from the United States to the insular possession and remained there until the moment of their return to the United States. (see 19 CFR 4.60 and 4.61 on U.S. clearance of vessels bound for a foreign port or ports.)
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Delivery Instructions
Provides specific information to the inland carrier concerning the arrangement made by the forwarder to deliver the merchandise to the particular pier or steamship line. Not to be confused with Delivery Order which is used for import cargo.
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Delivery Verification Certificate
The U.S. Customs Service defines a DVC as a form used to track imported merchandise from the custody of the importer to the custody of a manufacturer and is used to substantiate a manufacturing drawback claim. The DVC is also known as a Certificate of Delivery (Customs Form 331).

An export license may be issued with a requirement for delivery verification by Customs in the receiving country. When delivery verification is required by a foreign government for goods imported into the U.S., the U.S. Customs Service will certify a delivery verification certificate (Form ITA-647). A U.S. export license may require submission of a similar form from an importing country.
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Deposit of Estimated Duties
This refers to antidumping duties which must be deposited upon entry of merchandise which is the subject of an antidumping duty order for each manufacturer, producer or exporter equal to the amount by which the foreign market value exceeds the United States price of the merchandise.
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Distribution License
The DL is a Special License that allows the holder to make multiple exports of authorized commodities to foreign consignees who are approved in advance by the Bureau of Export Administration. The procedure also authorizes approved foreign consignees to reexport among themselves and to other approved countries. Applicants and consignees must establish Internal Control Programs to ensure the proper distribution of items under the DL. Each program must include comprehensive procedures for ensuring that the items exported will be used only for legitmate end-uses.
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Diversionary Dumping
This occurs when foreign producers sell to a third country market at less than fair value and the product is then further processed and shipped to another country.
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Documents Against Acceptance (D/A)
Instructions given by a shipper to a bank indicating that documents transferring title to goods should be delivered to the buyer (or drawee) only upon the buyer's acceptance (signature on) of the attached draft.
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Documents Against Payment (D/P)
Stipulate that the exporter ships goods to the importer without a letter of credit or another form of guaranteed payment. The importer must sign a sight draft before receiving the necessary documents to pick up the goods. Documents Against Acceptance (D/A) are instructions given by a shipper to a bank stating that the documents transferring title to goods should be delivered to the buyer only upon the signing of a time draft. In this manner an exporter extends credit to the importer and agrees to accept payment at a readily determined future date.
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Domestic Exports
Exports of domestic merchandise include commodities which are grown, produced, or manufactured in one country, and commodities of foreign origin which have been substantially changed in this country, including Foreign Trade Zones, from the form in which they were imported, or which have been enhanced in value by further manufacture in this country.
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Downstream Dumping
This occurs when foreign producers sell at below cost to a producer in its domestic market, and the product is then further processed and shipped to another country.
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Draft Bill of Exchange
A written, unconditional order for payment from one person (the drawer) to another (the drawee). It directs the drawee to pay a specified sum of money, in a given currency, at a specific date to the drawer. A Sight Draft calls for immediate payment (on sight) while a Time Draft calls for payments at a readily determined future date.
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Drawback
Drawback is a rebate by a government, in whole or in part, of customs duties assessed on imported merchandise that is subsequently exported. Drawback regulations and procedures vary among countries.
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Drawee
The individual or firm on whom a draft is drawn and who owes the indicated amount.
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Drawer
The individual or firm that issues or signs a draft and thus stands to receive payment of the indicated amount from the drawee.
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Drawback System
The Drawback System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, provides the means for processing and tracking of drawback claims.
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Dual Pricing
The selling of identical products in different markets for different prices. This often reflects dumping practices.
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Dumping
The sale of a commodity in a foreign market at less than fair value. Dumping is generally recognized as unfair because the practice can disrupt markets and injure producers of competitive products in an importing country. Article VI of the GATT permits imposition of antidumping duties equal to the difference between the price sought in the importing country and the normal value of the product in the exporting country.

With price-to-price dumping, the foreign producer can use its sales in the high-priced market (usually the home market) to subsidize its sales in the low-priced export market. The price difference is often due to protection in the high-priced market.

Price-cost dumping indicates that the foreign supplier has a special advantage. Sustained sales below cost are normally possible only if the sales are somehow subsidized.
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Dumping Margin
The amount by which the imported merchandise is sold in the United States below the home market or third country price or the constructed value (that is, at less than its "fair value"). For example, if the U.S. "purchase price" is $200 and the fair value is $220, the dumping margin is $20. This margin is expressed as a percentage of the United States price. In this example, the margin is 10 percent.
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Duty
A tax imposed on imports by the customs authority of a country. Duties are generally based on the value of the goods (ad valorem duties), some other factors such as weight or quantity (specific duties), or a combination of value and other factors (compound duties).
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Dynamic Asian Economies
The DAEs is a collective reference, currently comprising six Asian countries: Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
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Economic Zones
Economic zones are designated regions in a country which operate under rules that provide special investment incentives, including duty free treatment for imports, for manufacturing plants which reexport their products. The term "economic zone" is currently used in the People's Republic of China and the former Soviet Union.
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EDIFACT
EDIFACT, Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce, and Transportation, is an international syntax used in the interchange of electronic data. Customs uses EDIFACT to interchange data with the importing trade community.
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Entrepot
An intermediary storage facility where goods are kept temporarily for distribution within a country or for reexport.
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Entry Summary System
An entry is the minimum amount of documentation needed to secure the release of imported merchandise. The Entry Summary System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, contains data on release, summary, rejection, collection, liquidation, and extension or suspension.
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Entry Summary Selectivity System
The Entry Summary Selectivity System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, provides an automated review of entry data to determine whether team or routine review is required. Selectivity criteria include an assessment of risk by importer, tariff number, country of origin, manufacturer, and value. Summaries with Census warnings, as well as quota, antidumping and countervailing duty entry summaries are selected for team review. A random sample of routine review summaries is also automatically selected for team review.
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Entry Value
The U.S. Customs Service defines entry value (or entered value) as the value reflected on the enry documentation submitted by the importer. (see 19 CFR 141.61 for how shown on entry.)
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Euro Dollars
Euro Dollars are deposits of U.S. dollars in banks or other financial institutions which are located outside the borders of the United States. In every other way, Euro Dollars are identical to any other U.S. dollars. These same dollars are also called offshore dollars, or depending where the money is on deposit.
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European Community
A regional organization created in 1958 providing for gradual elimination of intraregional customs duties and other trade barriers, applying a common external tariff against other countries, and providing for gradual adoption of other integrating measures, including a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and guarantees of free movement of labor and capital. The original 6 members were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom became members in 1973; Greece acceded in 1981; Spain and Portugal in 1986.

The term European Community (EC) refers to three separate regional organizations which operate under separate treaties:

- European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), established in 1952 - European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), established in 1958, and - European Economic Community (EEC), established in 1958.

Since 1967, the European Community have been served by four common institutions -- the EC Commission, the EC Council, the European Parliament, and the Court of Justice of the European Community. The present 12 member states of the EC are also members of the ECSC and Euratom.

While the expression "European Community" (or "EC") was meant to refer to the three Communities, frequent use of the expression "European Community" (or "EC") has become common as a reference to the European Economic Community (EEC).

Prior to November 1, 1993 (the date on which the Maastricht Treaty on European Union entered into force), the acronym "EC" was used as a reference to "European Community" and "European Communities." Part I, Article I of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union formalized "EC" as a reference to "European Community." The Treaty also introduced the term "European Union" as a broader legal entity than the European Community.
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European Union
The EU is an umbrella reference to the European Community (EC) and to two European integration efforts introduce by the Maastricht Treaty: Common Foreign and Security Policy (including defense) and Justice and Home Affairs (principally cooperation between police and other authorities on crime, terrorism, and immigration issues). The term "European Union" was introduced in November 1993 (when the Maastricht Treaty on European Union entered into force). The term "European Community" (EC) continues to exist as a legal entity within the broader framework of the EU.
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Export Administration Act
The EAA of 1979, as amended, authorizes the President to control exports of U.S. goods and technology to all foreign destinations, as necessary for the purpose of national security, foreign policy, and short supply.

As the basic export administration statute, the EAA is the first big revision of export control law since enactment of the Export Control Act of 1949. The EAA is not a permanent legislation; it must be reauthorized -- usually every three years. There have been reauthorizations of the EAA in 1982, 1985 (the Export Administration Amendments Act), and 1988 (Omnibus Amendments of 1988) which have changed provisions of the basic Act. The Act was extended in 1993 until June 30, 1994.
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Export Broker
An individual or firm that brings together buyers and sellers for a fee but does not take part in actual sales transactions.
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Export Control Classification Number
Every product has an export control classification number (formerly: Export Control Commodity Number) within the Commerce Control List. Each ECCN consists of five characters that identify the category, product group, type of control, and country group level of control.
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Exporter's Certificate of Origin
The U.S. Customs Service defines an Exporter's Certificate of Origin (also known as Customs Form 353) as a document completed by the exporter, certifying that the goods described therein are eligible for a preferential rate of duty under some trade program such as the U.S.-Canada Free-Trade Agreement. (See 19 CFR 10.37(d)(1).)
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Export License
A government document (also known as an "Individual Validated License") authorizing exports of specific goods in specific quantities to a particular destination. This document may be required in some countries for most or all exports and in other countries only under special circumstances.
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Export Processing Zones
EPZs are a form of free trade zone which provide incentives for industrial or commercial export activity. Export processing zones are located in developing countries and are usually in defined areas, industrial parks, or facilities which provide free trade zone benefits and usually offer additional incentives, such as exemption from normal tax and business regulations. The zones, which began appearing around 1975, are sometimes referred to as Special Economic Zones or Development Economic Zones.
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Export Revolving Line of Credit
The Export Revolving Line of Credit, ERLC, is a form of financial assistance provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The ERLC guarantees loans to U.S. firms to help bridge the working capital gap between the time inventory and production costs are disbursed until payment is received from a foreign buyer. SBA guarantees 85 percent of the ERLC subject to a $750,000 guarantee limit. The ERLC is granted on the likelihood of a company satisfactorily completing its export transaction. The guarantee covers default by the exporter, but does not cover default by a foreign buyer; failure on the buyer's side is expected to be covered by letters of credit or export credit insurance.

Under SBA's ERLC program, any number of withdrawals and repayments can be made as long as the dollar limit on the line of credit is not exceeded and disbursements are made within the stated maturity period (not more than 18 months). Proceeds can be used only to finance labor and materials needed for manufacturing, to purchase inventory to meet an export order, and to penetrate or develop foreign markets. Examples of eligible expenses for developing foreign markets include professional export marketing advice or services, foreign business travel, and trade show participation. Under the ERLC program, funds may not be used to purchase fixed assets.
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Foreign Access Zone
FAZ is a term adopted by Japan for its form of free trade zone. FAZs are the outgrowth of Japan's effort to improve its trade balance and to stimulate regional economic areas. FAZs are intended to be established around airports and seaports, with facilities (warehouses, cargo-sorting, distribution, import processing, wholesale, design-in centers, exhibition halls) on an international scale. The FAZ concept -- which emphasizes imports rather than the processing and job creation -- extends from the July 1992 Law on Extraordinary Measures for the Promotion of Imports and the Facilitation of Foreign Direct Investment in Japan. Passage of the law is linked to the Structural Impediments Initiative (SII).
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Foreign Exports
Exports of foreign merchandise (re-exports), consist of commodities of foreign origin which have entered the United States for consumption or into Customs bonded warehouses or U.S. Foreign Trade Zones, and which, at the time of exportation, are in substantially the same condition as when imported.
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Foreign Trade Zones
FTZs are the U.S. form of free trade zones. These zones are restricted-access sites in or near ports of entry, that operate under public utility principles to create and maintain employment by encouraging operations in the U.S. which might otherwise have been carried on abroad. Goods brought into a zone for a bona fide Customs reason are exempt from state and local ad valorem tax. The zones are licensed by the Commerce Department's Foreign-Trade Zones Board and operate under the supervision of the Customs Service. Quota restrictions do not normally apply to foreign goods stored in zones, but the Board can limit or deny zone use in specific cases on public interest grounds. Domestic goods moved into a zone for export may be considered exported upon entering the zone for purposes of excise tax rebates and drawback. A foreign trade "subzone" is a non-contiguous zone site located at a manufacturing plant.
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Free of Particular Average (FPA)
F.P.A., a type of marine insurance, is the minimum coverage in use and covers total and partial losses if the ship carrying an exporter's goods is involved in a collision or fire, or is stranded or sunk.
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Free Trade Zones
"Free Trade Zones" (sometimes called "customs free zones" or "duty free zones") is a generic term referring to special commercial and industrial areas at which special customs procedures allow the importation of foreign merchandise (including raw materials, components, and finished goods) without the requirement that duties be paid immediately. If the merchandise is later exported, duty free treatment is given to reexports. The zones are usually located in or near ports of entry. Merchandise brought into these zones may be stored, exhibited, assembled, processed or used in manufacture prior to reexport or entry into the national customs territory. When manufacturing activity occurs in free trade zones, it usually involves a combination of foreign and domestic merchandise, and usually requires special governmental authority. Types of free trade zones include: foreign trade zones (and foreign trade subzones); free ports; and transit zones.
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Freight Forwarder
An independent business which handles export shipments for compensation. At the request of the shipper, the forwarder makes the actual arrangements and provides the necessary services for expediting the shipment to its overseas destination. The forwarder takes care of all documentation needed to move the shipment from origin to destination, making up and assembling the necessary documentation for submission to the bank in the exporter's name. The forwarder arranges for cargo insurance, makes the necessary overseas communications, and advises the shipper on overseas requirements of marking and labeling. The forwarder operates on a fee basis paid by the exporter and often receives an additional percentage of the freight charge from the common carrier. An export freight forwarder must be licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission to handle ocean freight and by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to handle air freight. An ocean freight forwarder dispatches shipments from the United States via common carriers, books or arranges space for the shipments, and handles the shipping documentation.
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Gateway
In the context of travel activities, gateway refers to a major airport or seaport. Internationally, gateway can also mean the port where customs clearance takes place.
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GATT
The Generalized Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, a multilateral treaty designed to help reduce trade barriers between the signatory countries and to promote trade through tariff concessions.
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Generalized System of Preferences(GSP)
The Generalized System of Preferences, GSP, is a framework under which developed countries give preferential tariff treatment to manufactured goods imported from certain developing countries. GSP is one element of a coordinated effort by the industrial trading nations to bring developing countries more fully into the international trading system. The U.S. GSP scheme is a system of nonreciprocal tariff preferences for the benefit of these countries. The U.S. conducts annual GSP reviews to consider petitions requesting modification of product coverage and/or country eligibility. United States GSP law requires that a beneficiary country's laws and practices relating to market access, intellectual property rights protection, investment, export practices, and workers rights be considered in all GSP decisions.
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General Tariff
A tariff that applies to countries that do not enjoy either preferential or most-favored-nation tariff treatment. Where the general tariff rate differs from the most-favored-nation rate, the general tariff rate is usually the higher rate.
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Gray Market Imports
This term refers to imports bearing a genuine trademark but imported by a party other than the trademark holder or authorized importer.
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Group of ...

  • 5 - Similar to the Group of Seven (G-7), with the exception of Canada and Italy.
  • 7 - This term refers to seven major economic powers (Canada. France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States) whose finance ministers seek to promote balanced economic growth and stability among exchange rates. The leaders of these seven countries have met at annual economic summits since 1975 to coordinate economic policies.
  • 10 - Under the International Monetary Fund's General Agreements to Borrow (GAB), established in 1962, 10 of the wealthiest industrial members of the IMF "stand ready to lend their currencies to the IMF up to specified amounts when supplementary resources are needed." The finance ministers of these countries comprise the Group of 10 (also called the Paris Club). Members include: Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Though numbering 11 with the addition of Switzerland in 1984, the numerical name persists.
  • 11 - The G-11 (also known as the Cartagena Group) was established in 1984 and comprises the largest debtor nations in Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  • 15 - The G-15, established in 1990, consists of relatively prosperous or large developing countries. The G-15 discusses the benefits of mutual cooperation in improving their international economic positions. Members include: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia (a very active member), Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.
  • 24 - A grouping of finance ministers from 24 developing country members of the International Monetary Fund. The Group, representing eight countries from each of the African, Asian, and Latin American country groupings in the Group of 77, was formed in January 1972 to counterbalance the influence of the Group of 10.
  • 77 - A grouping of developing countries which received its name in connection with 77 countries issuing a joint statement in Geneva, Switzerland in 1964. The G-77's primary focus is serving as a caucus for articulating members' collective interests primarily in areas of promoting economic cooperation among developing countries and in negotiations on economic matters with developing countries. G-77 membership has increased since 1964 to over 125 countries.

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Hard Currency
The currency of a nation which may be exchanged for that of another nation without restriction. Sometimes referred to as convertible currency. Hard currency countries typically have sizeable exchange reserves and surpluses in their balance of payments.
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Harmonized System
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (or Harmonized System, HS) is a system for classifying goods in international trade, developed under the auspices of the Customs Cooperation Council. Beginning on January 1, 1989, the new HS numbers replaced previously adhered-to schedules in over 50 countries, including the United States.

For the United States, the HS numbers and four additional digits are the numbers that are entered on the actual export and import documents. Any other commodity code classification number (SITC, end-use, etc.) are just rearrangements and transformations of the original HS numbers.
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Import Certificate
The import certificate is a means by which the government of the country of ultimate destination exercises legal control over the internal channeling of the commodities covered by the import certificate.
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Importer of Record
The U.S. Customs Service defines the importer of record as the owner or purchaser of the goods; or, when designated by the owner, purchaser, or consignee, a licensed Customs broker.
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Import License
A document required and issued by some national governments authorizing the importation of goods.Also referred as import permit. With such documentation, customs clearance can be conducted.
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Import Quota
A means of restricting imports by the issuance of licenses to importers, assigning each a quota, after determination of the total amount of any commodity which is to be imported during a period. Import licenses may also specify the country from which the importer must purchase the goods.
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Import Quota Auctioning
The process of auctioning the right to import specified quantities of quota-restricted goods.
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Import Restrications
Import restriction, applied by a country with an adverse trade balance (or for other reasons), reflect a desire to control the volume of goods coming into the country from other countries may include the imposition of tariffs or import quotas, restrictions on the amount of foreign currency available to cover imports, a requirement for import deposits, the imposition of import surcharges, or the prohibition of various categories of imports.
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Imports for Consumption
"Imports for Consumption" measure the total of merchandise that has physically cleared through U.S. Customs either entering consumption channels immediately or entering after withdrawal for consumption from bonded warehouses under Customs custody or from Foreign Trade Zones. Many countries use the term "special imports" to designate statistics compiled on this basis.
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Incoterms
Maintained by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), this codification of terms is used in foreign trade contracts to define which parties incur the costs and at what specific point the costs are incurred.
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Individual Validated License
An IVL is written approval by which the U.S. Department of Commerce grants permission, which is valid for 2 years, for the export of a specified quantity of products or technical data to a single recipient. IVLs also are required, under certain circumstances, as authorization for the reexport of U.S.-origin commodities to new estinations abroad.
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Inherent Vice
An insurance term referring to any defect or other characteristics of a product which could result in damage to the product without external cause. Insurance policies may specifically exclude losses caused by inherent vice.
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Insurance Certificate
This certificate is used to assure the consignee that insurance is provided to cover loss of or damage to the cargo while in transit.
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Integrated Carriers
Carriers that have both air and ground fleets; or other combinations, such as sea, rail, and truck. Since they usually handle thousands of small parcels an hour, they are less expensive and offer more diverse services than regular carriers.
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Integrated Tariff of the European Community
TARIC is a publication which presents the regulations pertaining to import of products into the EC as well as for some exports. TARIC adopts the provisions of Community legislation, the harmonized system, and the combined nomenclature (CN).
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Intermediate Consignee
An intermediate consignee is the bank, forwarding agent, or other intermediary (if any) that acts in a foreign country as an agent for the exporter, the purchaser, or the ultimate consignee, for the purpose of effecting delivery of the export to the ultimate consignee.
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Intermodal
Movement of goods by more than one mode of transport, ie. airplane, truck, railroad and ship.
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International Court of Justice
The ICJ, established in 1945, is the principal judicial organ of the UN. The ICJ decides cases submitted to it by states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by the General Assembly or Security Council or by UN specialized agencies. The court is composed of 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and the Security Council from a list of persons nominated by the national groups in the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The seat of the Court is in The Hague, Netherlands.
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International Standards Organization
The ISO, established in 1947, is a worldwide federation of national bodies, representing approximately 90 member countries. The scope of the International Standards Organization covers standardization in all fields except electrical and electronic engineering standards, which are the responsibility of the IEC, International Electrotechnical Commission. Together, the ISO and IEC form the specialized system for worldwide standardization -- the world's largest nongovernmental system for voluntary industrial and technical collaboration at the international level.

The result of ISO technical work is published in the form of International Standards. There are, for example, ISO standards for the quality grading of steel; for testing the strength of woven textiles; for storage of citrus fruits; for magnetic codes on credit cards; for automobile safety belts; and for ensuring the quality and performance of such diverse products as surgical implants, ski bindings, wire ropes, and photographic lenses.
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International Standards Organization 9000-9004
ISO 9000 is the general name for the quality standard accepted throughout the European Economic Community. It was initially adopted in 1987. ISO is a series of documents on quality assurance published by the Geneva-based International Standards Organization. The five documents outline standards for developing Total Quality Management and a Quality Improvement Process. 9000 consists of guidelines for the selection and use of the quality systems contained in 9001-9003. 9001 outlines a model for quality assurance in design, development, production, installation, and servicing. 9002 outlines a model for quality assurance in production and installation. 9003 outlines model for quality assurance for final inspection and testing. 9004 is not a standard but contains guidelines for quality management and quality system elements.
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International Trade Commission
An independent U.S. Government agency concerned with imports, import duties, and the effect of imports on U.S. industry. The Commission has six commissioners who review and make recommendations concerning countervailing duty and antidumping petitions submitted by U.S. industries seeking relief from imports that benefit unfair trade practices. Known as the U.S. Tariff Commission before its mandate was broadened by the Trade Act of 1974.
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Irrevocable Letter of Credit
A letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the issuing bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee. It is as good as the issuing bank.
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Letter of Credit
A financial document issued by a bank at the request of the consignee guaranteeing payment to the shipper for cargo if certain terms and conditions are fulfilled. Normally it contains a brief description of the goods, documents required, a shipping date, and an expiration date after which payment will no longer be made.

  • An Irrevocable Letter of Credit is one which obligates the issuing bank to pay the exporter when all 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.
  • A Revocable Letter of Credit is subject to possible recall or amendment at the option of the applicant, without the approval of the beneficiary.
  • A Confirmed Letter of Credit is issued by a foreign bank with its validity 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.
  • A Documentary Letter of Credit is one for which the issuing bank stipulates that certain documents must accompany a draft. The documents assure the applicant (importer) that the merchandise has been shipped and that title to the goods has been transferred to the importer.

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Less Developed Country
An LDC is a country with low per capita gross national product. Terms such as third world, poor, developing nations, and underdeveloped have also been used to describe less developed countries.
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Lesser Developed Countries
The classification LLDC (sometimes also known as "Least" Developed Countries) was developed by the United Nations to give some guidance to donor agencies and countries about an equitable allocation of foreign assistance. The criteria for designating a country an LLDC, originally adopted by the UN Committee for Development Planning in 1971, have been modified several times. Criteria have included low: per-capita-income, literacy, and manufacturing share of the country's total gross domestic product. There is continuing concern that the criteria should be more robust and less subject to the possibility of easy fluctuation of a country between less developed and least developed status.
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Long-Dated Forward
The long-dated forward is a foreign exchange contract whose maturity exceeds one year; a few have extended over ten years.
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Louvre Accord
The Louvre Accord (February 1987) attempted to stop the dollar's fall and stabilize currency relationships by introducing reference ranges among the G-7 currencies.
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Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty (named for the Dutch town in which the treaty was signed) is also known as the Treaty of European Union. The treaty creates a European Union by: (a) commiting the 12 member states of the European Economic Community to both European Monetary Union (EMU) and political union; (b) introducing a single currency (European Currency Unit, ECU); (c) establishing a European System of Central Banks (ESCB); (d) creating a European Central Bank (ECB); and (e) broadening EEC integration by including both a common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and cooperation in justice and home affairs (CJHA). The treaty, negotiated in 1991 and signed in February 1992, entered into force on November 1, 1993.

The Maastricht Treaty envisioned EMU being achieved in three stages:

  • A first stage (encompassing treaty negotiations and lasting through January 1, 1994) concludes with ratification of treaty amendments needed to establish EMU, including participation by all 12 EEC member states in the Exchange Rate Mechanism;
  • A second stage (January 1, 1994 through no later than January 1, 1999) involves establishment of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) to support development of a single currency (the ecu) and development of the ECB;
  • A third stage (starting no later than January 1, 1999) involves irrevocable fixing of exchange rates and the debut of the ECB with transfer of powers necessary for administering economic and monetary union.

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Maquiladora
The maquiladora (or "in-bond" industry) program allows foreign manufacturers to ship components into Mexico duty-free for assembly and subsequent reexport. Industry established under the maquiladora program is Mexico's second largest source of foreign revenue (following oil exports).

The maquiladora programs was established in 1965; in December 1989, the Mexican government liberalized the maquiladora program to make this a more attractive and dynamic sector of the economy. As a result, maquiladora operations may import, duty and import license free, products not directly involved in production, but that support production, including computers and other administrative materials and transportation equipment.
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Marine Cargo Insurance
Broadly, insurance covering loss of, or damage to, goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses in excess of those which can be legally recovered from the carrier that are sustained from fire, shipwreck, piracy, and various other causes. Three of the most common types of marine insurance coverage are "free of particular average" (f.p.a.), "with average" (w.a.), and "All Risks Coverage."
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Market Access
Market access refers to the openness of a national market to foreign products. Market access reflects a government's willingness to permit imports to compete relatively unimpeded with similar domestically produced goods.
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Market Disruption
Market disruption refers to the situation which is created when a surge of imports in a given product line causes sales of domestically produced goods in a particular country to decline to an extent that the domestic producers and their employees suffer major economic hardship.
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Marks of Origin
The physical markings on a product that indicate the country of origin where the article was produced. Customs rules require marks of origin of most countries.
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Most Favored Nation Treatment
A commitment that a country will extend to another country the lowest tariff rates it applies to any other country. All contracting parties undertake to apply such treatment to one another under Article I of GATT. When a country agrees to cut tariffs on a particular product imported from one country, the tariff reduction automatically applies to imports of this product from any other country eligible for most-favored nation treatment. This principle of nondiscriminatory treatment of imports appeared in numerous bilateral trade agreements prior to establishment of GATT. A country is under no obligation to extend MFN treatment to another country unless both are bilateral contracting parties of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or MFN treatment is specified in a bilateral agreement.
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Multi-Fiber Arrangement
The MFA is an international umbrella compact, authorized by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), that allows contracting parties to negotiate bilaterally quantitative restrictions on textile imports (which normally would be considered contrary to GATT provisions) to the extent the importing country considers them necessary to prevent market disruption.

The Uruguay Round Agreement on Textiles and Clothing contains an agreed schedule for the gradual phase-out of quotas established pursuant to the MFA over a ten-year transition period, after which textile and clothing trade will be fully integrated into the GATT and subject to the same disciplines as other sectors.
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Newly Independent States
The NIS is a collective reference to 12 republics of the former Soviet Union: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus (formerly Byelorussia), Moldova (formerly Moldavia), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kirgizstan (formerly Kirghiziya) and Georgia. Following dissolution of the Soviet Union, the distinction between the NIS and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was that Georgia was not a member of the CIS. That distinction dissolved when Georgia joined the CIS in November 1993.
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Newly Industrializing Countries
The term, originated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), describes nations of the Third World that have enjoyed rapid economic growth and can be described as "middle-income" countries (such as Singapore and the Republic of Korea).
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Newly Industrializing Economies
NIE's is a term generally applied to the more advanced developing countries in East Asia. The reference includes Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan; occasionally its use encompasses other countries as well, such as Indonesia and Thailand.
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Non-Tariff Barriers
NTBs are market access barriers that result from prohibitions, restrictions, conditions or specific requirements and make exporting products difficult and/or costly. The term covers any restriction or quota, charge, or policy, other than traditional customs duties, domestic support programs, discriminatory labeling and health standards, and exclusive business practices which limit the access of imported goods. NTBs may result from government or private sector actions.
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North American Free Trade Agreement
NAFTA, which entered into force in January 1994, is a free trade agreement comprising Canada, the United States and Mexico. NAFTA exceeds 360 million consumers and a combined output of $6 trillion --approximately 20 percent larger than the European Community. NAFTA's consumer population is slightly smaller than the European Economic Area which has over 380 million consumers. The Agreement:

  • Progressively eliminates almost all U.S.-Mexico tariffs over a 10-year period, with a small number of tariffs for trade-sensitive industries phased out over a 15-year period. Mexico-Canada tariffs are also phased out over a 10-year period. Tariff reduction schedules between the United States and Canada negotiated in the Canadian Free Trade Agreement are retained.
  • Eliminates other barriers to trade such as import licensing requirements and Customs user fees.
  • Establishes the principle of national treatment, for ensuring that NAFTA-origin products trade between NAFTA countries will receive treatment equal to similar domestic products.
  • Guarantees service providers of the three countries equal treatment in the NAFTA area, including the right to invest and the right to sell services across borders.
  • Establishes five basic principles to protect foreign investors and their investment int he free trade area: (a) nondiscriminatory treatment, (b) freedom from performance requirements, (c) free transference of funds related to an investment, (d) expropriation only in conformity with international law, and (e) the right to seek international arbitration f or a violation of the agreement's protections.

The Agreement contains special provisions for sensitive economic sectors, including agriculture, automotive products, energy, and textiles and apparel. The Agreement also created a Border Environment Cooperation Commission and a North American Development Bank.
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO members include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France (which has only partial membership), Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and Germany. With the end of the "cold war," NATO's role, originally defense-oriented is being redefined.
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Offshore Banking Unit
An OBU is normally a foreign bank which conducts domestic moneymarket, Eurocurrency, and foreign exchange settlements. OBUs cannot accept domestic depostis but their activities are unrestricted by domestic authorities. OBUs are located in major financial centers (known as offshore banking centers) with liberal reserve, tax, and capital market requirements.
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Offshore Manufacturing
Offshore manufacturing is the foreign manufacture of goods by a domestic firm primarily for import into its home country.
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Open Account
A trade arrangement in which goods are shipped to a foreign buyer before, and without written guarantee of, payment. Because this method poses an obvious risk to the supplier, it is essential that the buyer's integrity be unquestionable.
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Pacific Rim
The Pacific Rim, referring to countries and economies bordering the Pacific ocean, is an informal, flexible term which generally has been regarded as a reference to East Asia, Canada, and the United States. At a minimum, the Pacific Rim includes Canada, Japan, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and the United States. It may also include Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong/Macau, Indonesia, Laos, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Russia (or the Commonwealth of Independent States), Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. As an evolutionary term, usage sometimes includes Mexico, the countries of Central America, and the Pacific coast countries of South America.
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Packing List
A shipping document issued by shipper to carrier, Customs and consignee serving the purposes of identifying detail information of package count, products count, measurement of each package, weight of each package, etc.
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Petrodollars
This term refers to oil earnings of petroleum-exporting countries in excess of their domestic needs and deposited in dollars in Western banks. However, a large part of the revenues that OPEC countries were unable to spend has been recycled to oil-importing countries in an attempt to balance international accounts.
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Political Risk
In export financing, the risk of loss due to currency inconvertibility, foreign government action preventing the delivery of goods, revolution, war, expropriation, confiscation, etc.
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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 important specifications (weight, size, and similar characteristics). When an importer applys for Letter of Credit as the means of payment, a Pro Forma Invoice from the beneficiary of such Letter of Credit, usually the exporter, is required by the L/C issuing bank.
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Porject License
The Bureau of Export Administration uses the project license to authorize large-scale exports of a wide variety of commodities and technical data for specified activities. Those activities are restricted to capital expansion, maintenance, repair or operating supplies, or the supply of materials to be used in the production of other commodities for sale. Items intended for resale in the form received are not permitted and must be effected under a Distribution License.
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Quotas and Quota System
Absolute quotas permit a limited number of units of specified merchandise to be entered or withdrawn for consumption during specified periods. Tariff-rate quotas permit a specified quantity of merchandise to be entered or withdrawn at a reduced rate during a specified period. Quotas are established by Presidential Proclamations, Executive Orders, or other legislation.

The Quota System, a part of Customs' Automated Commercial System, controls quota levels (quantities authorized) and quantities entered against those levels. Visas control exports from the country of origin. Visa authorizations are received from other countries and quantities entered against those visas are transmitted back to them. Control of visas and quotas simplify reconciliation of other countries' exports and U.S. imports.
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Re-exports
For export control purposes: the shipment of U.S. origin products from one foreign destination to another. For statistical reporting purposes: exports of foreign-origin merchandise which have previously entered the United States for consumption or into Customs bonded warehouses for U.S. Foreign Trade Zones.
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Reverse Preferences
Tariff advantages once offered by developing countries to imports from certain developed countries that granted them preferences. Reverse preferences characterized trading arrangements between the European Community and some developing countries prior to the advent of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the signing of the Lom‚ Convention.
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Revocable Letter of Credit
A letter of credit which can be cancelled or altered by the drawee (buyer) after it has been issued by the drawee's bank.
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Schedule B
Schedule B is a U.S. Bureau of the Census publication and is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System). Export statistics are initially collected and compiled in terms of approxiximately 8,000 commodity classifications in Schedule B, Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States. All commodities exported from the U.S. must be assigned a seven-digit Schedule B number.
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Semiconductor Trade Arrangement
The U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Trade Arrangement is a bilateral agreement which came into effect on August 1, 1991, replacing the prior 1986 Semiconductor Trade Arrangement. The new Arrangement contains provisions to: (a) increase foreign access to the Japanese semiconductor market and (b) deter dumping of semiconductors by Japanese suppliers into the U.S. market, as well as in third country markets. In evaluating market access improvement, both governments agreed to pay particular attention to market share. The expectation of a 20 percent foreign market share by the end of 1992 is included in the Arrangement. The Arrangement explicitly states, however, that the 20 percent figure is not a guarantee, a ceiling, or a floor on the foreign market share.
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Shipper's Export Declaration
The SED includes complete particulars on individual shipments and is used to control exports and act as a source document for the official U.S. export statistics. SEDs must be prepared for shipments through the U.S. Postal Service when the shipment is valued over $500. SEDs are required for shipments, other than by the U.S. Postal Service, where the value of commodities classified under each individual Schedule B number is over $2,500. SEDs must be prepared, regardless of value, for all shipments requiring a validated export license or destined for countries prohibited by the Export Administration Regulations. SEDs are prepared by the exporter and the exporter's agent and delivered to the exporting carrier (such as: post office, airline, or vessel line). The exporting carrier presents the required number of copies to the U.S. Customs Service at the port of export.

The Foreign Trade Statistical Regulations (15 CFR, Part 30) provide the statistical requirements for use by exporters, freight forwarders, and ocean carriers concerning preparation and filing of SEDs.
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Ship's Manifest
A list, signed by the captain of a ship, of the individual shipments constituting the ship's cargo.
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Shipping Mark
The letters, numbers or other symbols placed on the outside of cargo to facilitate identification.
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Shipping Weight
Shipping weight represents the gross weight in kilograms of shipments, including the weight of moisture content, wrappings, crates, boxes, and containers (other than cargo vans and similar substantial outer containers).
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Soft Currency
The currency of a nation in which exchange may be made only with difficulty. Soft currency countries typically have minimal exchange reserves and deficits in their balance of payments.
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South Pacific Forum
The SPF is a regional arrangement for convening 15 governments and territories for deliberations on issues of mutual interest. The Forum was established in 1971; headquarters are in Suva, Fiji; members include: Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kirbati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Island, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanatu. The South Pacific Bureau for Economic Cooperation (SPEC) is a subsidiary organization which promotes regional cooperation in the development of the island members in partnership with the more industrially developed countries of the region: Australia and New Zealand.
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Special 301
The Special 301 statute requires the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to review annually the condition of intellectual property protection among U.S. trading partners. Submissions are accepted from industry after which the USTR, weighing all relevant information, makes a determination as to whether a country presents excessive barriers to trade with the United States by virtue of its inadequate protection of intellectual property. If the USTR makes a positive determination, a country may be named to the list of: (a) Priority Foreign Countries (the most egregious), (b) the Priority Watch List, or (c) the Watch List. Special 301 (a variation of Section 301) was created by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988.
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Standard Industrial Classification
The SIC is the classification standard underlying all establishment-based U.S. economic statistics classified by industry.
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Standard International Trade Classification
The SITC was developed by the United Nations in 1950 and is used solely by international organizations for reporting international trade. The SITC has been revised several times; the current version is Revision 3.
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Statistical Office of the European Community
EUROSTAT provides European Economic Community-wide statistics on economics, finance, foreign trade, services, transportation, industry, population, social conditions, energy, atricutlrual, forestry, and other topics. Eurostat offices are located in Luxembourg.
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Structural Impediments Initiative
The SII was started in July 1989 to identify and solve structural problems that restrict bringing two-way trade between the U.S. and Japan into better balance.

Both the U.S. and Japanese governments chose issues of concern in the other's economy as impediments to trade and current account imbalances. The areas which the U.S. Government chose as focus included: (a) Japanese savings and investment patterns, (b) land use, (c) distribution, (d) keiretsu, (e) exclusionary business practices, and (f) pricing. Areas which the Japanese Government chose as focus included: (a) U.S. savings and investment patterns, (b) corporate investment patterns and supply capacity, (c) corporate behavior, (d) government regulation, (e) research and development, (f) export promotion, and (g) workforce education and training.

In a June 1990 report, the U.S. and Japan agreed to 7 meetings in the following three years to review progress, discuss problems, and produce annual joint reports.
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Super 301
This provision was enacted due to Congressional concern that the regular Section 301 procedures narrowly limit U.S. attention to the market access problems of individual sectors or companies. Super 301 sets procedures to identify and address within three years certain "priority", systemic trade restriction policies of other nations. Super 301 was created by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. Super 301 authority expired May 30, 1990.
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T/T
Telegraphic Transfer, also referred as Wire Funds.
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Table of Denial Orders
The TDO is a list of individuals and firms that have been disbarred from shipping or receiving U.S. goods or technology. Firms and individuals on the list may be disbarred with respect to either controlled commodities or general destination (across-the-board) exports. The list is published in the Export Administration Regulations.
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Tariff
A tax assessed by a government in accordance with its tariff schedule on goods as they enter (or leave) a country. May be imposed to protect domestic industries from imported goods and/or to generate revenue. Types include ad valorem, specific, variable, or some combination.
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Tariff Act of 1930
Title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, provides for the imposition of antidumping duties on imported merchandise found to have been sold in the United States at "less than fair value," if these sales have caused or are likely to cause material injury to, or materially retard the establishment of, an industry in the United States.
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Tariff Anomaly
A tariff anomaly exists when the tariff on raw materials or semi-manufactured goods is higher than the tariff on the finished product.
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Tariff Escalation
A situation in which tariffs on manufactured goods are relatively high, tariffs on semi-processed goods are moderate, and tariffs on raw materials are nonexistent or very low.
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Tariff Quotas
Application of a higher tariff rate to imported goods after a specified quantity of the item has entered the country at a lower prevailing rate.
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Tariff Schedule
A comprehensive list of the goods which a country may import and the import duties applicable to each product.
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Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated
Effective 1979 to January 1989, the U.S. import statistics were initially collected and compiled in terms of the commodity classifications in the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), an official publication of the U.S. International Trade Commission embracing the legal text of the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) together with statistical annotations. This publication was superseded by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated for Statistical Reporting Purposes (HTSUSA) in January 1989.

Effective 1979 to January 1989, the U.S. export statistics were initially collected and compiled in terms of the commodity classifications in Schedule B, Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States. Schedule B is a U.S. Bureau of the Census publication and, during this period, was based on the framework of the TSUS. In January 1989, this publication was replaced by Schedule B based on the Harmonized System.
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Technical Barrier to Trade
According to the Standards Code, a specification which sets forth characteristics or standards a product must meet (such as levels of quality, performance, safety, or dimensions) in order to be imported.
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Technology
BXA regulations define technical data as "information of any kind that can be used, or adapted for use, in the design, production, manufacture, utilization, or reconstruction of articles or materials. Technology can be either "tangible" or "intangible." Models, prototypes, blueprints or operating manuals (even if stored on recording media) are examples of tangible technology. Intangible technology consists of technical services, such as training, oral advice, information guidance and consulting.
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Technology Transfer
This term is used to characterize "the transfer of knowledge generated and developed in one place to another, where is it is used to achieve some practical end." Technology may be transferred in many ways: by giving it away (technical journals, conferences, emigration of technical experts, technical assistance programs); by industrial espionage; or by sale (patents, blueprints, industrial processes, and the activities of multinational corporations).
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Temporary Importation under Bond
When an importer makes entry of articles brought into the United States temporarily and claimed to be exempt from duty under Chaper 98, Subchapter XIII, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, a bond is posted with Customs which guarantees that these items will be exported within a specified time frame (usually within one year from the date of importation). Failure to export these items makes the importer liable for the payment of liquidated damages for breach of the bond conditions. (See 19 CFR 10.31.). The Temporary Importation under Bond (TIB) is usually twice the amount of duties and other payments the importer would otherwise be required to pay. Merchandise imported under TIB is usually for sales demonstration, testing, or repair.
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Textile Surveillance Body
The TSB is an international body which meets in Geneva at the GATT to monitor the Multi-Fiber Arrangement. The TSB receives reports of all textile restrictions and can make recommendations to participants. It can mediate disputes between parties to the MFA but has no binding powers. Membership is balanced between importing and exporting members.
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Tied Aid Credit
Tied aid credit refers to the practice of providing grants and/or concessional loans, either alone or combined with export credits, linked to procurement from the donor country.
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Tied Loan
A loan made by a government agency that requires a foreign borrower to spend the proceeds in the lender's country.
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Trade Barriers
The United States Trade Representative classifies trade barriers into eight general categories: (1) import policies (tariffs and other import charges, quantitative restrictions, import licensing, and customs barriers); (2) standards, testing, labeling, and certification; (3) government procurement; (4) export subsidies; (5) lack of intellectual property protection; (6) service barriers; (7) investment barriers; and (8) other barriers (e.g., barriers encompassing more than one category or barriers affecting a single sector).
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Trade Fair Certification Program
The Commerce Department Trade Fair Certification program was started in 1983 to promote selected privately organized trade shows. The program helps private sector organizations in mounting certified international fairs. Commerce assistance includes promoting the fair among foreign customers and helping exhibitors to make commercial contacts.
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Trade Information Center
The Trade Information Center, TIC, is a one-stop source for information on Federal programs to assist U.S. exporters. Telephone: 1-800-USA-TRADE (              1-800-872-8723       ).
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Trade Opportunities Program
The Trade Opportunities Program (TOP) is an International Trade Administration service which provides sales leads from overseas firms seeking to buy or represent U.S. products and services. Through overseas channels, U.S. foreign commercial officers gather leads and details, including specifications, quantities, end use, and delivery deadlines. TOPs are cabled to Washington and listed on the Commerce Department's Economic Bulletin Board and redistributed by the private sector.
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Transshipment
Transshipment refers to the act of sending an exported product through an intermediate country before routing it to the country intended to be its final destination.
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Transit Zones
Transit zones, a form of free trade zone, are ports of entry in coastal countries that are established as storage and distribution centers for the convenience of a neighboring country lacking adequate port facilities or access to the sea. A transit zone is administered so that goods in transit to and from the neighboring country are not subject to the customs duties, import controls or many of the entry and exit formalities of the host country. Transit zones are more limited facilities then a foreign trade zone or a free port.
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Transmittal Letter
A list of the particulars of the shipment and a record of the documents being transmitted together with instructions for disposition of documents. Any special instructions are also included.
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Trigger Price Mechanism
The TPM is an antidumping mechanism designed to protect U.S. industries from underpriced imports. First used in 1978 to protect the steel industry, the TPM is the price of the lowest cost foreign producer. Imports priced below the trigger price are assessed a duty equal to the difference between their price and the trigger price.
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Trust Receipt
Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer in which the bank retains title to the merchandise. The buyer, who obtains the goods for manufacturing or sales purposes, is obligated to maintain the goods (or the proceeds from their sale) distinct from the remainder of his/her assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank.
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U.S. Munitions List
The USML identifies those items or categories of items considered to be defense articles and defense services subject to export control. The USML is similar in coverage to the International Munitions List (IML), but is more restrictive in two ways. First, the USML currently contains some dual-use items that are controlled for national security and foreign policy reasons (such as space-related or encryption-related equipment). Second, the USML contains some nuclear-related items. Under Presidential directive, most dual-use items are to be transferred from the USML to the Commerce Department's dual-use list. State, with the concurrence of Defense, designates which articles will be controlled under the USML. Items on the Munitions List face a stricter control regime and lack the safeguards to protect commercial competitiveness that apply to dual-use items.
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Ultimate Consignee
The ultimate consignee is the person located abroad who is the true party in interest, receiving the export for the designated end-use.
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Unfair Trade Practice
This term refers to any act, policy, or practice of a foreign government that: (a) violates, is inconsistent with, or otherwise denies benefits to the U.S. under any trade agreement to which the United States is a party; (b) is unjustifiable, unreasonable, or discriminatory and burdens or restricts United States commerce; or (c) is otherwise inconsistent with a favorable section 301 determination by the U.S. Trade Representative.
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United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
UNCITRAL was established in 1966 to aid in harmonizing and unifying international trade law. The Commission has focused on four principal international areas: (a) sales of goods, (b) payments, (c) commercial arbitration, and (d) legislation pertaining to shipping. The Commission issues publications and sponsors training in international trade law.
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United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNCTAD was set up in December 1964 as a permanent organ of the UN General Assembly. UNCTAD promotes international trade and seeks to increase trade between developing countries and countries with different social and economic systems. UNCTAD also examines problems of economic development within the context of principles and policies of international trade and seeks to harmonize trade, development, and regional economic policies. Headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
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United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNIDO promotes accelerated commercial development in developing countries and encourages industrial cooperation worldwide. As part of its activities, UNIDO identifies promising entrepreneurs in the developing world to the attention of potential partners in industrialized countries through a network of Investment Promotion Services (IPS). IPS offices operate in Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States (Washington, D.C.) Established in 1967, UNIDO became a specialized agency on the UN in 1986; headquarters are in Vienna, Austria.
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United States-Asia Environmental Program
The US-AEP, announced in January 1992, helps U.S. companies compete in expanding Asian markets for sales of environmental products, services, technologies, and know-how. US-AEP, coordinated by AID, links the efforts of U.S. government agencies in a one-stop service.
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United States Council for International Business
USCIB is the American affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Business and Advisory Council (BIAC) to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE). The Council advocates U.S. business positions to the U.S. Government, to United Nations bodies, and to other international organizations. The Council administers the ATA Carnet System, which issues and guarantees documents that allow duty-free, temporary importation of merchandise overseas. The Council was established in 1945; headquarters are in New York City.
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United States Trade Representative
The USTR is a cabinet-level official with the rank of Ambassador who advises the President on trade policy. The USTR coordinates the development of U.S. trade policy initiatives; leads U.S. international trade negotiations; and seeks to expand U.S. exports by promoting removal or reduction of foreign trade barriers.

The Office of the USTR was created as the Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations by Executive Order (11075) in January 1963. The Trade Act of 1974 established the Office as an agency of the Executive Office of the President, charged with administering the trade agreements program under the Tariff Act of 1930, the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, and the Trade Act of 1974. Other powers and responsibilities for coordinating trade policy were assigned to the Office by the Trade Act of 1974 and by the President by Executive Order in March 1975, as amended. Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1979 (implemented by Executive Order in January 1980), charged the Office with responsibility for setting and administering overall trade policy and identified the USTR as the chief representative of the U.S. for all activities of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, for negotiation on trade and commodity issues in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, for negotiations in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and for trade and commodity negotiations in other multilateral institutions and in other bilateral and multilateral negotiations concerning trade as a primary issue.
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Usance

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Validated Export License
A document issued by the U.S. government authorizing the export of commodities for which written export authorization is required by law. Two types exist: an Individual Validated License (IVL) and a Special License.
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Value-Added Tax
A European Community (EC) tax assessed on the increased value of goods as they pass from the raw material stage through the production process to final consumption. The tax on processors or merchants is levied on the amount by which they increase the value of items they purchase. The EC charges a tax equivalent to the value added to imports and rebates value-added taxes on exports.

Some other countries' retail sales tax also called VAT, such as Taiwan.
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Value for Customs Purposes Only
The U.S. Customs Service defines "value for Customs purposes only" as the value submitted on the entry documentation by the importer which may or may not reflect information from the manufacturer but in no way reflects Customs appraisement of the merchandise.
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Voluntary Export Restriction
An understanding between trading partners in which the exporting nation, in order to reduce trade friction, agrees to limit its exports of a particular good. Also called Voluntary Restraint Agreement.
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Voluntary Restraint Agreement
Informal bilateral or multilateral understandings in which exporters voluntarily limit exports of certain products to a particular country destination in order to avoid economic dislocation in the importing country and the imposition of mandatory import restrictions. These arrangements do not involve an obligation on the part of the importing country to provide "compensation" to the exporting country, as would be the case if the importing country unilaterally imposed equivalent restraints on imports.
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With Average
A marine insurance term meaning that a shipment is protected from partial damage whenever the damage exceeds 3 percent (or some other percentage). If the ship is involved in a major catastrophe, such as a collision, fire or stranding, the minimum percentage requirement is waived and the insurance company pays for all of the damage.
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Without Reserve
A term indicating that a shipper's agent or representative is empowered to make definitive decisions and adjustments abroad without approval of the group or individual represented.
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World Bank
The World Bank is an integrated group of international institutions which provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries. The World Bank includes the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association. World Bank affiliates, legally and financially separate, include the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Finance Corporation, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. World Bank headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
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World Trade Organization
Provisions to establish the WTO were reached in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is scheduled to be established no later than 1997 as an international organization of comparable stature to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Organization is expected to facilitate implementation of trade agreements reached in the Uruguay Round by bringing them under one institutional umbrella, requiring full participation of all countries in one new trading system, and providing a permanent forum to discuss new issues facing the international trading system. The WTO system will be available only to countries which: (a) are contracting parties to the GATT, (b) agree to adhere to all of the Uruguay Round agreements, and (c) submit schedules of market access commitments for industrial goods, agricultural goods, and services.
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