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Import-Export glossary

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AAD (Administrative Accompanying Document)
Community document that must track the movements of all excise goods transported between tax warehouses.

Accompanied transport
Transportation of a fully roadworthy vehicle by another means of transportation (e.g. a train or ferry boat), accompanied by its driver.

ACCSQ (ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality)
The main activities of the ACCSQ are to monitor the implementation of the Mutual Recognition Arrangements inside the ASEAN, to harmonise national standards with international standards, to promote the transparency of technical regulations.

ACFTA (ASEAN–China Free Trade Area)
ACFTA is a free trade area among the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the People's Republic of China. The initial framework agreement was signed on 4 November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with the intention to establish a free trade area among the eleven nations. The members states are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and China.

ACP (African, Caribbean, Pacific)
The ACP countries signed an agreement of association with the European Community on 15th December 1989 at Lomé. The ACP States comprise 79 countries. Under the Agreement, certain types of products are exempted from customs duties and enjoy preferential tariffs. The ACP Secretariat's headquarters is located in Brussels, Belgium.

Active customers
Customers who have made a recent purchase (although the definition of “recent” depends on the type of product or services sold).

ACU (Arab Customs Union)
The Arab Customs Union is a customs union announced at the Arab League's 2009 Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Kuwait in order to achieve a functional customs union and an Arab common market and to increase inter-Arab trade and integration. The Arab customs union resolution contains 17 chapters and 179 articles regulating economic and trade relationship between Arab countries, and aims to boost trade and investment among member states.

Ad valorem
In proportion to the value: a phrase applied to certain freight or customs duties levied on goods, property, etc. set as a percentage of their value (and not their volume, number, etc).

ADB (Asian Development Bank)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provides loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific. ADB is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.

ADB (African Development Bank)
African Development Bank (ADB or AFDB) is a multilateral development finance institution. It was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. The ADB's mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions on the African continent. The ADB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries. It is headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Advance (advance bill)
Money (bill) paid (written) before the goods have been sent off.

Advance in export currency
Bank financing of cashflow for exporters who grant their foreign buyers a term of payment. If the foreign currency advance is granted in the billing currency of the commercial contract, it also serves as a means of covering exchange risks.

Advance in import currency
Bank financing of cashflow for importer, allowing them to pay foreign sellers in cash. If the foreign currency advance is granted in the billing currency of the commercial contract, it also serves as a means of covering exchange risks.

Advising bank
In the context of documentary credit, this is the intermediary bank that advices the documentary credit to the beneficiary following a request by the issuing bank. The advising bank, however, does not necessarily offer any guarantees to the beneficiary and merely conveys the information.

AEO (Authorised Economic Operator)
The AEO concept is based on the Customs-to-Business partnership introduced by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). Traders who voluntarily meet a range of criteria work in close cooperation with customs authorities to assure the common objective of supply chain security and are entitled to enjoy benefits throughout the EU. It is not compulsory but nonetheless recommended, particularly in the interests of simplifying and securing international trade operations.

AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area)
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA, also referred to as ACFTA and created after the African Free Trade Zone) is a free trade area created in 2018 and entered into force as of 1 January 2021, with 55 members. The aim of the agreement is to reduce tariffs among member countries and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regu­latory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade. Accra, Ghana serves as the Secretariat of AfCFTA.

After-sale service
A service provided by the supplier of a product after it has been sold, with a view of keeping it in good (working) order.

A representative in a foreign market who attempts to sell the goods or services of a company through his own network. Agents may be exclusive or represent several companies. They usually do not take responsibility for delivery or servicing of the products or services sold and are paid on a commission basis, possibly with a retainer.

AIDMO (Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization)
The AIDMO is specialised in the fields of Industry, Mining and Standardisation, operating under the League of Arab States. It is headquartered in Rabat, Morocco.

Air container
Container adapted to the standards for air transport.

ALADI (Asociación Latinoamericana de Integración)
In English: Latin American Integration Association (LAIA). Organisation that was established by the Treaty of Montevideo (August 1980) and became operational in March 1981. It seeks economic cooperation among its members: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Headquarters are in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Antidumping duties
An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist measure. They are duties imposed on foreign imports believed to be priced below fair market value and which may therefore harm competing domestic producers.

APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)
APEC is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC's 21 members (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, Viet Nam) aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration. The APEC Secretariat is based in Singapore.

Appellate Body
The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought on by WTO members.They can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of a panel, and Appellate Body Reports, once adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), must be accepted by the parties to the dispute. The WTOAB has its seat in Geneva, Switzerland.

A process of dispute resolution in which a neutral third party (arbiter) renders a decision after a hearing of both parties. Internationally, the main arbitration body is the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce).

Arrival notice
Written notice sent by a carrier to a nominated party advising of the arrival of the vessel and/or a certain shipment.

ARSO (African Regional Organisation for Standardisation)
ARSO is the Africa's intergovernmental standards body. Its main aim is to develop tools for standards development, standards harmonization and implementation of these systems to enhance Africa’s internal trading capacity, to increase African competitiveness globally, and to uplift the welfare of African consumers. Its secretariat is located in Nairobi, Kenya.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand. The members states are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.

ATA carnet (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission)
An ATA carnet is an international customs document instituted in 1961 by the Brussels Convention. The Convention allows an exporter to transit his goods temporarily through several successive countries without having to make a customs declaration at each frontier.

An ATR is a certificate for the movement of goods within the framework of EU/Turkey relations. This document allows exporters to benefit from the free movement or preferential systems. The ATR document has to be stamped by the customs authorities of the exporting state. 

Loss of customers.

AWB (AirWay Bill)
The airway bill is a shipping document for the transport of goods by air. The airway bill constitutes the contract for the carriage of goods.


B2B (Business to Business)
B2B indicates a company to company business relationship.

B2C (Business to Consumer)
B2C indicates a company to individual relationship.

BAF-CAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor-Currency Adjustment Factor)
BAF and CAF are two kinds of adjustment that either increase or decrease the basic freight. BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor) is a rectification that depends on fuel price trends. CAF (Currency Adjustment Factor) is a rectification that depends on the exchange rate trends of the currency in which the tariff has been established.

Baltic Exchange
Representing a global community of shipping interests, the Baltic Exchange provides a framework for its members to commit to high standard of business practice and maritime contracts.

Bank acceptance
A bill of exchange that is accepted by a bank for a fee.

Bar Code
Code made up of black vertical lines that represent numbers, used for identifying various objects and products. 

Exchange of goods or services for other goods or services without using money.

Basel Convention
The Basel Convention is a multilateral environmental agreement. Its aim is to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.

A continuous and systematic evaluation of the products, services and methods of competitors and/or companies considered to be the best performers.

Berne Convention
The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors. It provides creators such as authors, musicians, poets, painters etc. with the means to control how their works are used, by whom, and on what terms.

Written unconditional order whereby an individual or legal entity (the drawee) makes a commitment to pay a certain sum to another individual or legal entity (the drawer) at sight or after a defined period.

Bill of Exchange
A bill of exchange (also known as "b/e" or "draft") is a document whereby a creditor (the drawer) gives his debtor (the drawee) an order to pay a certain sum on a given date (the due date), either to himself or to a third party (the beneficiary).

Bill of Lading
A document issued on behalf of the carrier which evidences a contract of carriage by sea. The document has the following functions: 1. A receipt for goods, signed by a duly authorized person on behalf of the carriers. 2. A document of title to the goods described therein. 3. Evidence of the terms and conditions of carriage agreed upon between the two parties.

Billing Currency
The choice of payment (billing) currency (local or foreign) should take into account commercial considerations (complexity and exchange risk for buyers in the case of a local currency), and the economic viability of the operation (exchange risk for sellers who invoice in a foreign currency).

BIT (Binding Tariff Information)
Binding Tariff Information is a decision issued by EU national customs authorities, certifying the customs classification of a given type of goods.

BIT (Bilateral Investment Treaty)
A bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is a bilateral agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one state in another state. This type of investment is also called foreign direct investment (FDI).

BOI (Binding Origin Information)
Binding Origin Information is a document issued by national customs authorities in EU countries that certifies the origin of the goods to be imported or exported.

Bonded Warehouses
Bonded Warehouses. These are zones under Customs control that permit the storage of goods prior to customs clearance.

Border protection
Any measure taken by a country, which acts to monitor or regulate its borders. Border controls are put in place to control the movement of people, animals and goods into as well as out of a country.

Breach of contract
A breach of contract occurs when one party in a agreement fails to deliver according to the terms of the agreement. The parties involved may resolve the issue among themselves, or in a court of law.

Brokers are commercial agents who are legally independent of the companies for which they work. They deal with their clients for each brokerage transaction without being bound by a long-term contract.

BSI (British Standards Institution)
The British Standards Institution is the standardisation agency in the United Kingdom.

BTA (Border Tax Adjustment)
The Border Tax Adjustment is a tax on goods based on location of final consumption rather than production. These taxes are intended to encourage exports while not making imports excessively competitive against domestic goods.

Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment
This declaration was signed at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference of 2017 by more than 120 countries who vowed to make their trade policies more gender-responsive.

Business assets
All tangible movable assets (equipment, machinery, etc.) and intangible assets (customers, goodwill, corporate name, sign, lease right, licences and authorisations, etc.). It is important to note that this never includes the building(s) in which the business is run.

Buyer's credit
Short-term loan facility extended to an importer by an overseas lender such as a bank or financial institution to finance the purchase of capital goods, services.

Buying group
Body that centralises purchases in order to obtain the best possible prices.


C2C (Consumer to Consumer)
Customer to customer (C2C) is a business model that enables customers to trade with each other, frequently in an online environment.

Maritime cabotage refers to a type of maritime navigation which consists of moving from port to port while remaining close to the coasts. In air law, cabotage refers to the transport of passengers, mail and goods between two points within the territory of a State, carried out by another State or an air transport company of another State. In road freight transport law, cabotage consists of leaving a country with a vehicle and loading and unloading, several times, in a border country, with compulsory return to the country of origin.

CACM (Central American Common Market)
In Spanish: Mercado Común Centroamericano (MCCA). The Central American Common Market is formed by six countries in Central America: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama and was signed in 1960. The CACM is headquartered in Guatemala City.

CAD (Cash Against Documents)
Abbreviation for Cash Against Documents. The shipping documents are handed over to a bank with instructions to release them to the importer only against payment r acceptation of drafts/ bills.

Group of 19 exporting countries practising free trade in agricultural products. It was established in 1987 in Cairns, Australia; its purpose is to voice the common interests and concerns of its members in international agriculture negotiations. The Group is composed of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa,Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam

CAN (Comunidad Andina)
In English known as The Andean Community, it is a free trade area with the objective of creating a customs union comprising the South American countries of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Its headquarters are in Lima, Peru.

CAP (Common Agricultural Policy)
Launched in 1962, the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) is a partnership between agriculture and society, and between Europe and its farmers. It aims to support farmers and improve agricultural productivity, ensuring a stable supply of affordable food; protect the reasonable earnings of European Union farmers; help tackle climate change and the sustainable management of natural resources; maintain rural areas and landscapes across the EU; keep the rural economy alive by promoting jobs in farming, agri-foods industries and associated sector. The CAP is managed and funded at the European level from the resources of the EU’s budget.

CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market)
Its member countries are as follows: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. CARICOM came into being  on 4 July 1973 and its secretariat is based in Georgetown, Guyana.

Carriage forward
A condition of sale pursuant to which the cost of transporting goods is paid by the receiver.

Cash price
The price a seller will accept if payment is made immediately.

CBAM (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism)
The EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is the EU's tool to put a fair price on the carbon emitted during the production of carbon intensive goods that are entering the EU, and to encourage cleaner industrial production in non-EU countries.

CCT (Common Customs Tariff)
The Common Customs Tariff is the combination of the classification of goods and the duty rates which apply to each class of goods. The Common Customs Tariff applies to the import of goods across the external borders of the EU.

CEMAC (Communauté économique et monétaire de l'Afrique centrale)
In English known as the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States. It has six member countries: Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Chad. It was created in 1994 to promote the economic integration of six countries sharing a common currency, the CFA franc. Its secretariat is in Bangui, Central African Republic.

CEN (European Committee for Standardization)
Association that brings together the National Standardisation Bodies of 34 European countries. CEN is one of three European Standardisation Organisations that have been officially recognised by the European Union and by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) as being responsible for developing and defining voluntary standards at European level. It was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Centralised account
This is a current account opened in the books of a foreign bank wherein all settlements, transfers or cheques are centralised in the country in which the foreign bank is located.

Certificate of loss
The means by which damages assessed by an inspector describing the nature and scale of damages and losses are provided in a written report.

Certificate of origin
This certificate proves the origin of the goods. It is usually issued by a Chamber of Commerce. A Certificate of Origin is often required for export or import purposes, as goods of a certain origin enjoy the advantages of a preferential system.

CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement)
CETA is an international free trade treaty signed on October 30, 2016 between Canada and the European Union. The agreement aims to facilitate trade in goods and services between the EU and Canada, and to regulate such trade through common rules.

In Maritime law, a contract by which a ship owner undertakes, in return for a fee, to make a ship available to a charterer for transportation of goods or persons.

CIM (Contrat de transport International ferroviaire de Marchandises)
Uniform rules concerning the contract of international carriage of goods by rail.

CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)
The CIS was created in December 1991 by eleven countries from the ex-USSR: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Moldavia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine. Georgia joined it in December 1993. The Baltic states (members of the European Union) are the only former Soviet republics that are not members of the CIS. It has its headquarters at Minsk, Belarus.

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
Also known as the Washington Convention. This convention entered in force on 1 July 1975. The aim of this agreement is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild. CITES secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

Right of a person (the creditor) to claim something from someone (debtor), usually an amount of money.

Claim-generating event
Situation or event mentioned in an insurance policy which, by causing the non-payment of the debt or cancellation of the contract, can result in the claim being paid.

Clearance sale
An event held by a trader to dispose of old stock, usually at reduced prices, to make way for new stock.

Administrative procedure which constitutes the final stage of a customs or accounting transaction and whereby it is possible to check, by comparing the documents, whether the formalities have been fulfilled correctly.

COD (Cash on delivery)
Cash on delivery (COD) is a type of transaction where the recipient pays for a good at the time of delivery.

Codex Alimentarius
FAO (Food Administration Organization) and WHO (World Health Organization) commission that deals with international standards on food safety.

Combined transport
Intermodal transport where the main leg is by rail, navigable waters or sea and where the initial and/or final legs of the journey take place by road over the shortest possible distance.

COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa)
This common market has a free trade area, with 19 member states (Burundi, Comoros, Congo Dem Rep., Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and launched a customs union in 2009. COMESA secretariat is located in Lusaka, Zambia.

Commercial Court
This is a non-criminal specialised jurisdiction of the first degree with judges and a court clerk. The "lay magistrates" (tradesmen acting as judges) have a voluntary mandate and are responsible for judging disputes between partners, traders or those relating to commercial laws.

Commercial invoice
A commercial invoice is a document attesting to the sale of goods between an importer and an exporter. It is required for customs clearance.

Community goods
This expression refers to goods: either obtained entirely from the European Union's customs jurisdiction, with no input of goods imported from countries or territories outside the EU's customs jurisdiction, or imported from countries or territories outside the EU Community's customs jurisdiction stored in a free trade zone. 

United Nations International Trade Statistics Database. Nearly 170 countries provide the United Nations Statistical Division with their international trade statistics data each year. These statistics form a database on import and export flows based on categories of products/services and reporting and partner countries.

The party identified in a transport document who is to receive the goods, cargo or containers.

Consolidated shipment
Shipment for which an agent (forwarding agent or other) consolidates several individual shipments to make a single shipment in order to benefit from preferential prices.

Consular invoice
Some countries require a consular invoice, which details the goods dispatched and identities of the principal and consignee as well as the value of the shipment. Such invoices are certified by the authorities in the country of destination and must be presented to a customs agent.

An item of equipment as defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for transport purposes. The 20 ft and the 40 ft standard shipping containers are two of the most widely used containers. Other different containers types are: dry, ventilated, flat rack, open top, ventilated, refrigerated and tank containers.

COTIF (Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail)
The COTIF is OTIF’s (Organisation for International Carriage by Rail) basic text. It governs the running of the Organisation, as well as its objectives, attributions, relations with the Member States and its activities in general. COTIF was signed on May 9, 1980.

Counterfeiting is forging, copying or imitating without authority or right, that which is original or genuine.

A technique available to the exporter when a buyer does not want to or is not in a position to pay with a common financial transaction. The settlement is made in the form of the provision of products or services of a value equivalent to that of the goods exported. The different kinds of non-monetary transactions include barter, counter purchase, buy back, clearing and offset contracts.

Countervailing duties
Duties imposed by an importing country to neutralise the negative effect of a subsidy applied by a foreign country to the manufacture, production or export of its goods. Countervailing duties are imposed when the import of subsidised goods is likely to injure a domestic industry.

CPI (Consumer Price index)
A set of figures showing the movement of prices of everyday goods and bought by the public over a period of time.

CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership)
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. It was signed by the 11 countries on 8 March 2018 in Santiago, Chile. In the absence of a Secretariat, the CPTPP is managed through a rotating appointment of Commission Chairs.

Credit limit (comprehensive policy)
Determines the maximum amount that the Credit Insurer accepts to cover a debtor.

Credit sale
An arrangement by which a buyer takes goods that will be paid for by an agreed date in the future.

Cumulation rules
Cumulation is a system that allows manufactured goods to be classed as originating in the exporting country even though they contain materials originating from a different country and/or which were processed in a different country. This system can only be applied between countries applying identical origin rules. There are four types of cumulation: bilateral, diagonal, regional and full.

Currency exchange risk
Also known as exchange-rate risk: the possibility of losing money due to unfavourable moves in currency exchange rates, both in terms of the cost of transactions and competiveness (Exchange rate fluctuations can have a significant impact on the amount of an invoice when converted into domestic currency while currency fluctuations can make a product more or less expensive for foreign buyers).

Customs agent
A customs agent is an authorised customs clearance professional. A forwarding agent can also act as a customs agent.

Customs airport
Airport opened by the competent technical authority for public and international air traffic. The airport has a customs house or a sub-station that functions either on a permanent or a temporary basis.

Customs bond
Customs or excise document which a bonder undertakes to fulfil the obligations relating to the specific rules applicable to goods.

Customs broker fees
The fee paid to a customs broker for clearing activities.

Customs duty
Tax levied on the importation of goods from a country which is not part of the same customs union or which does not benefit from preferential status with the country of importation of the goods.

Customs house
Place where all or some customs formalities (submission of customs declarations etc.) are performed.

Customs procedures
Customs procedures are all the declarations and formalities to be carried out before, during and after an import or export of goods. When goods enter or leave a customs territory, they must be declared to customs and accompanied by the required documentation.

Customs value
The customs value is the value of goods at the Community border. This value serves as a basis for the calculation of customs duties.

CWO (Cash With Order)
A payment term whereby the buyer remits the money at the time the order is placed.


De Minimis
Minimum amounts of trade distorting domestic support that all WTO members can use, calculated as a percentage of the value of production (5% of the value of production for developed Members, and up to 10% for developing Members). De minimis can be product-specific or non-product specific.

Form of partnership based on the contractual franchising of a brand. The franchise contract essentially involves the hiring out of a trade name and the guarantee of territorial exclusivity for the dealer.

Debit note
A document that informs a customer of money owed to the provider for goods or services supplied.

Debtor default
Default means that the debtor is unable to honour obligations or backs out of honouring them for no legitimate reason.

Natural or legal person who effects a customs entry: either in his name and on his own behalf (own account declarant), in his name and on behalf of an economic operator, importer and/or exporter (indirect representation declarant) or in the name of and on behalf of an economic operator, importer and/or exporter (direct representation declarant).

Del credere agent
A person who sells goods for another and who agrees to pay for them if the customer fails to do so.

Delivery note
A document that is sent together with the goods to a customer, and that details these goods ; the customer signs the delivery note to acknowledge his/her having received the goods.

Destination customs house
Customs office where goods are presented after a transit operation.

DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung)
The Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) is the German standards body. 

Dispute (legal)
Any dispute that is likely to be brought before a court. Any litigation falling within the competence of a court.

When production prices are higher or lower than the levels that would usually exist in a competitive market.

Distribution network
Set of persons and companies involved in the distribution of a product, from the producer to the consumer.

A person or an organisation that supplies goods to shops, etc. on behalf of a producer or manufacturer.

Documentary letter of credit
Banking technique which gives a guarantee to the exporter that he will be paid for the sale and to the importer that he will receive the goods as agreed in the commercial contract. It is a commitment by the importer's (or the buyer's) bank following a request made by him and on his behalf to pay a certain amount, determined by the commercial contract, to the exporter (or seller) against documents conforming to the instructions of the Letters of Credit.

DP (Delivery Permit)
A DP is a document issued by customs which allows importers to take delivery of the goods.

Selling goods in a foreign market at a price that is lower than the price in the exporter's domestic market.

Duty-free purchase
Purchase exclusive of " value-added tax" (VAT) that any foreign (third country) resident can make subject to certain conditions relating to his/her person, to the type of goods and to compliance with certain formalities.


E-commerce (for "electronic commerce") or online sales, is the use of electronic, digital media for a business transaction.

Digital space or commercial website which provides the infrastructure services for buyers and sellers to meet and do business electronically.

EAC (East African Community)
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of 6 Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. It was signed on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000. Its headquarters are located in Arusha, Tanzania.

eAD (electronic Administrative Document)
A movement of excise goods is documented at every stage through an electronic Administrative Document (eAD). The eAD is issued by the original consignor, containing information on the consignment and the planned movement within the EU

EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union)
The Eurasian Economic Union is a political and economic union of states in central and northern Eurasia. The treaty that established the union was signed in 2014. The Member-States of the Eurasian Economic Union are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation. Its headquarters are in Moscow.

EASC (Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification)
The Interstate Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification of the Commonwealth of Independence States (CIS) is the CIS Intergovernmental body for formulation and carrying out of coordinated policy in the field of standardization, metrology and certification. EASC is headquartered in Minsk, Belarus.

EBA (European Banking Authority)
The European Banking Authority (EBA) is an independent EU Authority which works to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the European banking sector. Its overall objectives are to maintain financial stability in the EU and to safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector. The European Banking Authority is headquartered in Paris, France.

EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, set up in 1991 and based in London, is a financial institution whose goal is to assist the economic reconstruction of Central and East European countries.

The EC acronym represents the European Union's trademark. The EC trademark proves that a product fulfils the health, safety and technical requirements. The EC trademark is only valid in the European Union framework.

ECB (European Central Bank)
The European Central Bank lays down the Euro zone policy in the field of interest rates and exchange policies with third party countries. Its chief task is to maintain price stability within the Euro zone. It is independent of national governments and has taken the place of the EMI (European Monetary Institute), which was established as a forerunner of the ECB. ECB headquarters are located in Frankfurt, Germany.

ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States)
The Economic Community of Central African States was established on October 1983. ECCAS aims at promoting and strengthening a harmonious cooperation in order to realize a balanced and self-sustained economic development. The member States are: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe. Its headquarters are in Bangui, Central African Republic.

ECE-ICE (Export/Import Customs Entry)
This document is a customs declaration that allows the entry or exit of goods not cleared. 

ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States)
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is made up of fifteen member countries that are located in the Western African region: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo. The Community was established on May 28 1975 via the treaty of Lagos, with a mandate of promoting economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries. It is headquartered in Abuja, Nigeria.

EFTA (European Free Trade Association)
The EFTA refers to 4 countries: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. These countries signed a free trade agreement with the EU in 1992. The agreement came into force on 1st January 1994 and led to the establishment of the European Economic Area. There are two secretariat offices: in Geneva, Switzerland and in Brussels, Belgium.

EIB (European Investment Bank)
The European Investment Bank is the European Union's financial institution. It collects savings from capital markets and directs them towards the funding of investment projects. The loans granted by the EIB are meant to bolster the most underprivileged regions. The EIB is headquartered in Luxembourg City.

Government order that restricts commerce with a specified country or the exchange of all or specific goods.

EMCS  (Excise Movement and Control System)
EMCS is a computerised documentation system for monitoring the movement of excise goods under duty suspension (e.g. energy products, alcohol and alcoholic beverages, manufactured tobacco) in the EU.

EMU (Economic and Monetary Union)
Group of agreements and institutions created by the Maastricht Treaty signed in 1992 together with the euro currency.

EONIA (Euro OverNight Index Average)
The Euro OverNight Index Average replaces the ONIA (OverNight Index Average). The EONIA is the reference of the day to day rate of the Euro, which is calculated by the Central European Bank on the basis of the panel of banks participating in the definition of EURIBOR.

EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification)
The EORI number is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses that want to import or export goods into or out of the EU. An EORI number is assigned by the member state customs where the company is established.

ESBC (European System of Central Banks)
European System of Central Banks comprises the ECB and the 15 national central banks of each Member State. Its role is to enforce the decisions of the ECB in each State. It is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany.

Escape clause
A condition in a contract that frees the parties from carrying out the terms of the contract in some specified circumstances.

Estimated time of arrival (used in logistics and more).

Estimated time of departure (used in logistics).

EU (European Union)
An organisation of 27 European countries defined under the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. It makes laws in a wide range of public policy areas and aims for cooperation between member countries in foreign and security policy, justice and home affairs.

EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded between the EU and the UK sets out preferential arrangements in areas such as trade in goods and in services, digital trade, intellectual property, public procurement, aviation and road transport, energy, fisheries, social security coordination, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, thematic cooperation and participation in Union programmes. The Agreement was signed on 30 December 2020, was applied provisionally as of 1 January 2021 and entered into force on 1 May 2021.

EUIPO  (European Union Office for Intellectual Property)
This European Union agency is responsible for registering trademarks and designs, which are valid across the EU.

These documents are movement certificates, which are the equivalent of certificates of origin used in preferential trading between the EU and associate countries. EUR 2, used for postal shipment only, is not stamped by the customs house, unlike EUR1. 

EURIBOR (Euro Interbank Offered Rate)
Euro Interbank Offered Rate is the rate at which euro interbank offers money within the euro zone are offered by one prime bank to another prime bank. It has replaced the national indices of the European Union States. 

European Commission
A European Union administration that makes routine decisions and proposes new laws.

European declaration of services
Businesses that provide services to companies based in other EU Member States are required to declare these services via a European Declaration of Services.

Ex quay
The price for goods where the seller pays for all costs up to delivery to a named port, including unloading onto the quay and on to a road or rail vehicle.

Ex works
The price where the buyer pays for transporting the goods starting from the factory or other source.

Exchange of goods declaration
Monthly declaration used within the framework of intra-Community trade relations (acquisition/delivery) that the operator having acquired or dispatched Community goods is obliged to make. The exchange of goods declaration makes it possible to monitor collection of VAT and to compile national foreign trade statistics.

Excise tax
Indirect tax levied on the sale of certain categories of products such as alcohol, fuel and tobacco.

Export credit
Export credits are government financial support, direct financing, guarantees, insurance or interest rate support provided to foreign buyers to assist in the financing of the purchase of goods from national exporters.

Export credit agencies
Export credit agencies offer loans, loan guarantees and insurance to help domestic companies limit the risk of selling goods and services in overseas markets. ECAs can be government agencies or private lenders, or semi-government bodies.

Export credit insurance
In general, an insurance policy concluded with a private insurance company which is used in place of a bank guarantee. It is designed to cover manufacturing, non-payment, political and commercial risks borne by the seller. There are various types of policies: individual policies, policies covering all risks, subscription policies, personal policies.

Export licence
The export licence is an administrative document to control external trade, authorising the export of a specific commodities to a specified country.

Export management company
An export management company (EMC) is a private company that facilitates the distribution of other firm's goods to overseas markets. It acts like an export department for non-competing businesses.

Expropriation (investment policy)
Includes all forms of nationalisation of the local enterprise, including creeping expropriation. This can arise from various measures taken by public authorities, taken simultaneously or otherwise, whose accumulation denotes a confiscatory nature.


Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. A business will sometimes factor its receivable assets to meet its present and immediate cash needs.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. One of their main goals is to achieve food security. The FAO headquarters are located in Rome, Italy.

FCL (Full Container Load)
A full container load is an ocean shipment in which the cargo occupies a full container.

FCR (Forwarder's Certificate Receipt)
A Forwarder's Certificate Receipt is a document issued by a forwarding agent, which testifies that the goods have been taken over from the seller and thereby advising that the exporter has placed the goods at the disposal of the buyer.

FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)
Foreign direct investment is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country.

Ship that brings freight from medium sized ports to ports served by large capacity ships.

Filing for trademark
Request to a national patent and trademarks office to register a name, image, logo, etc. serving as a brand-name. Registry makes the person filing the legitimate owner by specifying the model of the trademark and listing the products and services to which it is applied.

Financial statement
Takes into account all key financial data (expenses committed, sales realised, etc.), making it possible to determine gross margin and profitability of an operation or a company.

FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods)
Fast moving consumer goods are products that are purchased frequently and at a relatively low price, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Such items are considered “fast-moving” as they are quick to leave the shelves of a store because consumers use them on a regular basis: food, cosmetics, textile, etc.

FOB (Free on board)
A condition of sale where the seller pays for transportation and insurance of the goods until they are loaded onto the ship.

Force majeure
Standard clause found in transport contracts enabling parties (in particular the carrier) to disclaim all responsibility in case of damage to or loss of goods for reasons beyond his control (e.g. a natural disaster or war).

FOReign EXchange. A global marketplace where national currencies are exchanged against one another.

Financing technique allowing a seller to grant his foreign customer a relatively long payment deadline and to immediately be paid for the services or goods sold through a financial institution which takes over the debts in its name by paying the seller and therefore becomes the buyer's creditor.

Forward exchange contract
Technique to hedge against exchange risks, which allows the bank to guarantee to its client the rate at which it will sell him foreign currency (futures buying) or buy it from him (futures sale), at a future date.

Forwarding agent (Forwarder)
The forwarding agent, or freight forwarder, is a professional who organises all the aspects of the carriage of the goods from departure to arrival at destination.

Franchising defines a form of long-term contractual co-operation between two legally independent entities (the franchiser and the franchisee) with a view to marketing goods, services or techniques. The franchiser pledges to help the franchisee in the technical, commercial or accounting fields. In return, the franchisee pays an entry fee and royalties on an annual basis. He is also obliged to comply with quality standards laid down by the franchiser and to participate in promotional operations organised by the latter. For the franchiser, this type of contract is a good means of breaking into a market without having to pay real-estate costs. The franchisee, for his part, can implement a sophisticated trade concept without having to pay for all the development costs.

A term in an export sales contract to show that goods will be delivered free of transport costs to a place specified by the buyer.

Free movement
One of the principal characteristics of the domestic European market: the movement of goods between Member States of the European Union should take place without obstacles of any nature, be they quantitative, tariff-related, fiscal or normative. This principle has, in fact, been enshrined as an objective in other free trade and Customs Union agreements.

Free trade
A situation where there are no restrictions (tariffs, quotas, or other trade barriers) on the import and export of goods.

Free Trade Zone (Foreign Trade Zone)
A part of the territory of a state where any goods introduced are generally regarded, in so far as import duties and taxes are concerned, as being exempted. Free Trade Zones are meant to attract investment and develop economic activity, as foreign companies can import materials, manufacture goods or export products, with significant tax and regulatory advantages.

Zone where goods can be stocked without payment of any taxes and charges till they have crossed the border.


The G20 is a group of 19 countries plus the European Union whose ministers, heads of central banks and heads of state meet regularly. It was created in 1999, after the succession of financial crises in the 1990s. It aims to promote international consultation, by integrating the principle of an extended dialogue taking into account the growing economic weight assumed by a certain number of countries. The members of the G20 are: South Africa, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, United States, France , India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey and the European Union.

G7 is a discussion and economic partnership group that brings together each year the seven most industrialised countries in the world that are Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

The G7 group became the G8 with the inclusion of Russia in 1998. The G8 has not met since 2014, when the historic members decide to exclude Russia from the group, following the Ukrainian crisis and Russia's annexation of Crimea, deemed illegal by Western countries.

GAFTA (Greater Arab Free Trade Area)
GAFTA (Greater Arab Free Trade Area) was declared within the Social and Economic Council of the Arab League as an executive program to activate the Trade Facilitation and Development Agreement that has been in force since January 1st, 1998. The GAFTA includes in its membership 18 Arab countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. GAFTA is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council)
The Gulf Cooperation Council is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where it is headquartered, in May 1981. The purpose of the GCC is to achieve unity among its members based on their common objectives and their similar political and cultural identities.

GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
This indicator represents the value added created through the production of goods and services in a country during a certain period. There are two formulas by which GDP can be determined: the Expenditure Approach (GDP = consumption + government spendings + investment + net exports), and the Income Approach (GDP = Total National Income + Sales Taxes + Depreciation + Net Foreign Factor Income).

General average (maritime law)
General Average is a term used in maritime law to define shares in a common loss during a maritime accident. General Average dictates that in the event that an intentional sacrifice is made for the safety of the individuals and cargo on board the vessel, all parties involved with the ocean voyage will proportionally share in the losses of the cargo and the ship.

General terms of sale
The terms and conditions of sale define the contractual relationship between the seller and the purchaser and to legally identify the conditions of the sale.

Discipline related to Marketing that involves analyzing the behaviour of economic actors while taking into account notions of space, for example the trading area of a business.

GLEIF (Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation)
The GLEIF foundation makes available the Global LEI Index. It is backed and overseen by the Regulatory Oversight Committee, representing public authorities from around the globe that have come together to jointly drive forward transparency within the global financial markets. GLEIF is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.

Globality (principle of)
In Credit Insurance, the obligation to subject the exporter's entire turnover or a group of contracts and risks to insurance, agreed with the Credit Insurer and defined in the policy.

Gross margin
An operation's gross profitability defined by sales achieved, not including taxes, minus the total amount of expenses not including taxes.

The GS1 is a neutral, non-profit international organization, created to facilitate exchanges between partners by using a unique product identification system: the barcode number or GTIN.

GSP (Generalized System of Preferences)
The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) sets the tariff-related preferences for some developing countries. These tariffs translate into exemptions or reductions in customs duties.

GST (Goods and Services Tax)
The goods and services tax (GST) is a value-added tax (or indirect tax) levied on goods and services sold for domestic consumption in some countries. The GST is paid by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services.

GTIN (Global Trade Item Number)
The Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) is a unique and globally recognized code assigned to a product in order to to uniquely identify it. The international organization GS1 defines trade items that are priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain.

Guaranteed proportion
Percentage up to which the Credit Insurer covers a risk. The guaranteed share is applied to the indemnifiable losses to calculate the indemnity.


High cube container
Container that respects ISO standards in length and width but has an unconventional height (9'6" i.e. 2.90m instead of 8' - 2.44m). At the moment, only 40' containers come into this category.

Host country (investment policy)
Country where the investment is effected.

HS (Harmonised System)
This is an international classification of products managed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). It allows participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for customs purposes. At the international level, the Harmonised System (HS) for classifying goods is a six-digit code system. The most recent version is HS 2022.

Nodal Point for collection, dispatch and redistribution in an entire geographical area.


IATA (International Air Transport Association)
Created in 1945 in Havana (Cuba), the association brings together most of the world's airlines. IATA aims to promote the development of air transport by unifying and coordinating international standards and regulations. It acts in particular in the fields of passenger and air freight security, the improvement and modernization of services, as well as the reduction and optimisation of costs. It also sets standard international codes for airlines and airports. The association is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

IATAN (International Airlines Travel Agent Network)
Based in Miami, IATAN is a independant department of IATA that services all aspects of the U.S. Travel and Tourism industry.

IBN (Institut Belge de Normalisation)
In English: Belgian Standards Institute, is the body responsible for compiling standards and promoting their use in Belgium.

IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development)
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries and created in 1944. As the largest development bank in the world, it supports the World Bank Group’s mission by providing loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, as well as by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges. Its headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., U.S.

ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)
Founded in 1919, the International Chamber of Commerce promote international trade and investment, responsible business conduct and a global approach to regulation. ICC represents business interests at the highest level of intergovernmental decision-making, establish rules and standard solutions to facilitate international trade (incoterms, business contract models, etc.), and is active in resolving business difficulties and disputes (arbitration). ICC is a network of around 100 national committees. It is headquartered in Paris, France.

ICS (Import Control System)
Under this control system, operators (especially carriers) are required to lodge electronic entry summary declarations (also known as safety and security declarations) ahead of the arrival of goods into a country.

ICS (International Classification of Standards)
This classification serves as a structure for catalogues of international, regional and national standards and other normative documents, and as a basis for standing-order systems.

IDB (Inter-American Development Bank)
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. This institution provides financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)
The International Electrotechnical Commission is the technical industry's international standards body. The IEC sets international standards in the fields of electronics and telecommunications. Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland.

IEG (Interest Economic Grouping)
Grouping of natural or legal persons having a unique legal status, distinct from a company or an association. Its purpose is to facilitate the carrying out of an economic activity run together by its members, by pooling certain aspects of this activity: sales counter, import or export services, research laboratory, etc. The grouping is a legal entity and has to be registered.

IMF (International Monetary Fund)
The IMF was conceived in July 1944 at the United Nations Bretton Woods Conference. It is an international organisation which promotes international financial stability and monetary cooperation. It also facilitates international trade, promotes employment and sustainable economic growth. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

IMO (International Maritime Organisation)
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is a specialized organisation of the United Nations, which aims to improve maritime safety and the prevention of pollution caused by ships. The IMO also deals with maritime liability, compensation and international aspects, and the facilitation of maritime traffic. It is headquartered in London.

Import licence
Document issued by a ministry, the customs and excise authorities or regional tax authorities of the relevant country for the importing of certain products.

Inactive customers
Customers whose last purchase was not made recently (as above, the definition of “recent” depends of the type of product or services sold). Active and inactive customers should make up two distinct parts of your customer database, and be treated differently (special offers, reminders, , motivation, etc.)

Abbreviation of INternational COmmercial TERMS. These are international definitions for a common understanding of the clauses in international Trade. They have been fixed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which first published them in 1936. They were last updated on 1st January 2020.

Indemnity is a contractual obligation of one party to compensate the loss incurred to the other party due to the acts of the indemnitor or any other party.

Insurance period
Period of one year beginning on the date when the policy is signed.

Intellectual property
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; software developments; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce, etc.

Intermodal transport
Carriage of goods using various modes of transport but in the same containers, without a break in load. The container may be a road vehicle or an intermodal unit of transport.

International bank guarantee
A guarantee is a commitment given by a bank to pay a sum of money in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the operation guarantee text.

Invoice discounting
Invoice discounting is an option granted by a supplier to a customer to settle an invoice before term, in exchange for a discount, and/or for the seller to get advanced payment from a financial institution.

IOU (I owe you)
It is usually an informal document acknowledging debt.

IsDB (Islamic Development Bank)
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is a multilateral development bank, working to improve lives by promoting social and economic development in Member countries and Muslim communities worldwide. The present membership of the Bank consists of 57 countries. It is headquartered in in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

ISO (International Standards Organization)
The International Standards Organization was established in 1947 as a worldwide authority of national bodies. The scope of ISO covers standardization in all fields except electrical and electronic engineering standards, which are the responsibility of the International Electrical Commission (IEC). ISO is the world´s largest non-governmental system for voluntary industrial and technical collaboration at the international level. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

ISPM 15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures)
International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15. A measure designed to prevent the international transport and spread of pests (e.g. disease and insects) via wood packaging material that could negatively affect plants or ecosystems. Wood packaging must be heat-treated or fumigated before the goods are dispatched.

Issuing bank
This is the bank that has issued the documentary credit. It is under an obligation to pay if the documents submitted are in accordance with documentary credit requirements.

ITU (Intermodal Transport Unit)
In the transportation sector, an intermodal transport unit is a removable structure, allowing the loading and transport of goods. It can be loaded on various types of vehicles. Shipping containers are the most commonly used UTI.


Land container
Container that meets the standards set by the International Railways Union (IRU) for optimal use mainly in the case of a combination of road and rail carriage.

LCL (Less Container Load)
Used to describe container ocean shipments that are filled by multiple orders of goods, e.g. when an importer doesn’t have enough cargo to fill up an entire container. Shipments from different exporters are therefore consolidated with other LCL shipments into one container. Shipping costs are consequently apportioned according to the amount of space occupied in the container.

LDC (Least Developed Countries)
Least developed countries (LDC) are low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and have low levels of human assets. The list of LDCs which is reviewed every three years by the Committee for Development (CDP).

League of Arab States
The League of Arab States is a regional organization of Arab states in the Middle East and parts of Africa, formed in Cairo on March 22, 1945. Its main purposes are the creation of a closer relations among its members, the promotion of the collaboration among them, the protection of their independence and sovereignty, and the implementation of a common way for the affairs and interests of the Arab countries. The members states are the following: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Mauritania, Somalia, Palestinian Authority, Djibouti, Comoros. Its secretariat is based in Cairo, Egypt.

Lease management
Contract whereby the owner or the management of a business grants total or partial rights to an individual to run it on his account and at his own risk in exchange for the payment of a rent or a share in the profits.

Legal entity
The concept that expresses the autonomy of the company or group from its partners or management. A "legal entity" has the same attributes as an individual (natural person): a name (registered name), address (corporate address), duration, nationality, etc. and some rights and obligations there are independent of the members that form it.

LEI (Legal Entity Identifier)
The Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) is a code based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It connects to key reference information that enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions.

Letter of Credit
Abbreviation: L/C. A written undertaking by a bank (issuing bank) given to the seller (beneficiary) at the request and on the instructions of the buyer (applicant) to pay at sight or at a determinable future date up to a stated sum of money, within a prescribed time limit and against stipulated documents.

List price
The manufacturer's recommended retail price for an item.

Load unit
A load unit is the combination of several items into a single-unit. With the single-unit, shipments are easily transported or moved from one place to another.

Loading track
Track on which the loading, unloading and transhipment of ITUs (Intermodal Transport Unit) is carried out. The transhipment can be from wagon to wagon or from wagon to road vehicles and vice-versa.

Any activities for the purpose of storing or transporting a given quantity of a product from one place to a destination when and as needed.

Loyalty operations
Marketing operations aimed at maintaining the loyalty of active customers.


Marine (or air) transport document which lists all the goods loaded at a port (or airport) to be sent to another port (or airport).A list of all the cargo or passengers carried by a ship or aircraft.

Maritime container
Container conforming to the standards set by the International Standards Organisation for use in cellular marine transport.

Set of techniques applied to detect the consumer's or user's needs and continuously adapt production and sales accordingly. Marketing tries to determine the product to be sold, its price, the appropriate distribution network and the promotion required for it.

Marketing strategy
A marketing strategy is a scheme for planning business objectives that the company wants to achieve, for instance to increase the reputation or to develop a customer base for the product or service the business provides.

Markings serve to describe the nature of goods by way of various symbols identifying the type of goods (toxic products: poison, dangerous products: inflammable alcohol, etc.) and to identify the place of discharge.

Memorandum of association
An official document that, by law, shows that a company exists. It states the name and address of the company, the amount of authorised share capital and how it is divided among shareholders, a statement of limited liability, the purposes for which the company was formed, etc.

MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market)
Also known as MERCOSUL, it is a free-trade area between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, ans Surinam are associate members. It was created in 1991 and is headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay.

MFN (Most-Favoured Nation)
The Most-Favoured Nation clause forms part of the first principle of the World Trade Organisation and is one of "non-discrimination". This clause aims at putting an end to the advantages granted to a country as compared to the others. This clause obviously applies to the signatories of the treaty.

Middle man
A person or organisation that buys goods from the producer and sells them to the customer, with a profit.

Minority protection
Regulations that protect minority shareholders.

MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price)
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is the price at which the manufacturer recommends retailers sell its product. The MSRP generally reflects all the manufacturing and selling costs related to a product.

Multimodal terminals
Location for exchange of intermodal transport units from one mode to another where other technical and commercial operations linked to combined transport can also be carried out.

Multimodal transport
Carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport.


NIC (Newly Industrialized Country)
The term "Newly Industrialized Country" (NIC) refers to a subcategory of countries that are still developing but show already greater economic wealth growth compared to other developing countries. The NIC countries are continuously evolving and growing through industrialization and urbanization, and the most significant common sign that a country is evolving into a NIC is substantial growth in gross domestic product

Non-payment occurs when there is a failure to recover the sums due under the Contract within the waiting period.

Non-tariff barriers
Entire set of non-tariff restrictive measures implemented by a country seeking to protect its market from foreign competition. The most common examples are quotas, technical or health standards or any enactment favouring domestic companies.

Notify party
The party to be notified of arrival of goods.

NVOCC (Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier)
An NVOCC acts as a principal transport operator that acts on behalf of the seller or buyer in arranging the supply chain details. An NVOCC stands out as Non-Vehicle Operated Common Carrier because they only act as principal and do not own any transportation assets.


OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development includes countries such as EU countries, the United States of America, Canada, Japan, etc. The main objective of the OECD is to study the economic situation and to help economically disadvantaged countries. The OECD also analyzes the various restrictions linked to international trade. Its headquarters are located in Paris, France.

A type of countertrade whereby a seller agrees as a condition of his sale to undertake activities in the buyer's country which will benefit the buyer, giving the buyer more value for his money.

On Board
On Board signifies "embarked". The words "on board" signify that the goods have been placed properly on board the aircraft or ship. This marking is almost indispensable for documentary credit.

OPEC (Organisation of Petrol Exporting Countries)
This organisation gathering 13 oil-producing countries (Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela), whose aim is to coordinate production and market prices. It was created in 1960 and is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.

Open door policy
A system of importing goods with no or very few restrictions or import duties.

Order form
A form to be used by a customer requesting goods or a service.

Organised trade
Term encompassing all types of networked organisations: chain-stores, dealerships, franchises, cooperatives, voluntary retail buying chains, etc.

Goods are considered to originate from a country if they are obtained entirely in that country or have undergone final processing or substantial value addition there.

An outlet store, factory outlet or factory shop is a brick and mortar or online store in which manufacturers sell their stock directly to the public. Outlet stores are typically manufacturer-branded stores grouped together in outlet malls.

Outward processing allows EU goods to be temporarily exported in order to undergo processing operations (e.g. finishing work, assembly or repair) in a third country and then re-imported with total or partial relief from import duty.

Ship with one of its parameters exceeding 295 m (length), 32.25 m (external width) or 13.5 m (maximum draught). These ships cannot navigate through the Panama canal.


Material used to wrap, contain and protect products.

Packing list
The packing list is a document that itemizes in detail the contents of a particular package or shipment.

Generally in wood, a pallet allows for easier handling of goods. The standard dimensions are: 100 mm x 1200 mm (ISO) and 800 mm x 1200 mm (CEN).

Pan American Standards Commission
Pan American Standards Commission. COPANT is the reference for technical standardisation and conformity assessment for the countries of the Americas. It promotes the development of its members.

Ship whose parameters permit navigation through the Panama canal: maximum length 295 m, maximum external width 32.25 m and maximum draught 13.5 m.

Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement is the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate change agreement, adopted at the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015. The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It also aims to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.

Paris Club
Informal group of 22 official creditor countries founded in 1956 whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.

Paris Convention
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, applies to industrial property in the widest sense, including patents, trademarks, industrial designs, utility models, service marks, trade names, geographical indications and the repression of unfair competition. This international agreement was the first major step taken to help creators ensure that their intellectual works were protected in other countries.

A payment of part of a larger sum to be paid later.

Particular average
Damage of this kind, in the sphere of transport, concerns the goods themselves. It may be in the form of losses, missing items, damage suffered during transport or during handling prior to or after carriage of goods.

PASC (Pacific Area Standards Congress)
PASC is an independent and voluntary organisation of Pacific Rim National Standards Bodies. Its primary role is to support the region’s engagement in the international standardisation system for the advancement of economic, societal and environmental well-being.

Payment guarantee
A guarantee is a commitment given by a bank to pay a sum of money in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in the operation guarantee text.

A list of the people employed by a company, and the amount to be paid.

PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally for their inventions, helps patent offices with their patent granting decisions, and facilitates public access to a wealth of technical information relating to those inventions.

Perils of the sea
This term refers to all the risks likely to occur during transport by sea.

Phytosanitary Certificate
This certificate is issued by an official department of agriculture and attests that the plants and plant products are free from parasites or toxic substances.

Piggyback Exporting
Collaborative exporting mode between a SME who wants to export to certain foreign markets and a larger company which already operates in those markets.

Piggyback transport
It refers to a transport combination where a transportation unit can be carried on the back of another way of transport. For instance, road vehicles such as trailers can be loaded onto trains.

Policy (credit insurance policy)
Insurance contract (credit insurance or investment insurance) concluded between the exporter and the Credit Insurer.

Political risk
Risk of non-payment or loss on investment due to political changes, governmental decisions or instabiliy in a country. Concerning trade, this risk can be covered by an export credit insurance or a confirmed Documentary Credit. Concerning foreign direct investment, this risk can be covered by investment guarantees and political risk insurance.

Port of exit
Last customs office from where the goods physically leave a customs territory.

POS (Point Of Sale)
A point of sale is a place organised in order to receive customers and offer them goods and/or services.

Positioning in marketing is a strategic process that involves creating a consistent, and recognized customer perception about a firm's offering and image. Product positioning is the creation of a clear image in the minds of consumers within the targeted segment about the nature of the product and the benefits to be gained from purchasing the product.

PP (Per Procurationem)
Per procurationem, on behalf of or with the authority of someone else.

PPI (Producer Price Index)
A set of figures showing the movement of prices of goods and services purchased and manufactured by industry over a period of time.

PPP (Public Private Partnership)
Long-term contract between a private party and a government entity in order to finance, build and operate public projects

Term designating both the price strategy and its results, in order to define a price level.

Principal franchisee
The franchisee who holds title to a contract of exclusivity for the development under a franchise of a trade name in a given territory (regional or national). It is a frequent practice with companies that wish to set up shop outside their national territory, in particular when they are unfamiliar with the country in question.

Pro forma invoice
The pro forma invoice is like a commercial contract in miniature and is perfectly suited to commercial transactions concerning ordinary goods.

Profit and loss statement
A profit and loss statement aggregates the revenues, expenses, and profits or losses of a business. This report describes the financial results of a business for a specific period of time. The profit and loss statement is identical to an income statement.

PSI (Pre-shipment Inspection)
It is an inspection of goods prior to shipment so as to control and certify their quality, quantity or price. Importers may require the exporter to furnish a certificate of inspection, commonly issued by certified firms.


QR Code
A QR code (for "Quick Response code") is a type of 2D bar code that is often used to provide access to information by scanning it with a mobile phone.

Qualitative market research
Qualitative market research is about understanding business or people’s beliefs and point of views and what they feel about an offer (services or products) and what are the deciding factors that influence their behaviour faced with this offer.

Quality control
The process of making sure that goods and services are produced and maintained to agreed quality standards. The verification can be made by testing a sample of the output against the specification.

Quantitative market research
Quantitative market research refers to the process of collecting large amounts of data through surveys, questionnaires, and polling methods in a market study context.

The period during which an arriving vessel, including its equipment, cargo, crew or passengers, suspected to carry or carrying a contagious disease, is detained in strict isolation to prevent the spread of the disease.

Part of a wharf used for the mooring of vessels.

Quantitative restriction on the import or export of a product either as a general rule or, as is more often the case, on the basis of its country of origin or destination.

Amount stated as the price according to tariff for certain services to be provided or issued to a customer with specification on conditions for carriage.


RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership)
This agreement includes the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It was signed on 15 November 2020 and entered into force on 1 January 2022. RCEP is expected to eliminate a range of tariffs on imports within 20 years. It also includes provisions on intellectual property, telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce and professional services. Its secretariat is located in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Registered office
Specific place identified in the articles of association of a company, which constitutes its address and determines, in most cases, its nationality.

Registered trademark
Inscription in the national registry of trademarks by a registry office such as INPI of a trademark that has been filed and considered as valid, after examination or rejection of any objections. Official notice is given of such inscription.

Release for free circulation
Customs regulation which confers upon third party goods a community goods status after application of commercial policy measures, the fulfilment of other formalities for import into the customs jurisdiction of the European Union and the collection of the customs duty legally due.

Repeat order
A new request for goods that were previously purchased.

Employee of a company who serves as an internal sales agent. Representatives are usually entrusted with a well-defined sales territory and maintain a continuous relationship with the company's partners, such as wholesalers and retailers.

Reservations - Reserve
With reference to documentary credit, a bank can decide to pay under reserve due to discrepentcies in the documents. For damage incurred during transport (visible or non-visible damage), the importer must issue a declaration called a "reserve". This document must be explicit and unambiguous and must be issued in written form within seven days following the delivery.

The sale of goods to the general public in shops and online.

Retention of Title (clause)
The Retention of Title clause signifies that, until the goods are paid for, they remain the property of the seller.

To send or take goods back to the seller.

Ro-Ro (Roll-On-Roll-Off)
More commonly called Ro-Ro (from Roll-On-Roll-Off), this technique allows a vehicle to enter/exit a ship or, in case of a land route, a train, on its own.

ROI (Return On Investment)
This is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment. This ration ratio divides the net profit (or loss) from an investment by its cost.

RPL (Restricted Party List)
Restricted Party List also referred to as Denied Party Lists. Official lists of individuals, companies and ships subject to financial sanctions or trade restrictions owing to acts or operations deemed illegal or dangerous for national security. These lists are issued by governments or organisations such as the United Nations.


SACU (Southern African Customs Union)
Created in 1910 under the name of Customs Union Agreement, SACU is the oldest customs union in the world. This union comprises South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. It is headquartered in Windhoek, Namibia.

SAD (Simplified Accompanying Document)
The single administrative document (SAD) is a form used for customs declarations in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia. In the EU, the single administrative document is used for trade with non-EU countries and for the movement of non-EU goods within the EU.

SAD (Single Administrative Document)
The Single Administrative Document (SAD) was set up by the European Union Council on 1st January 1988 with the purpose of standardising customs documents, harmonising codification and simplifying procedures in international trade exchanges.

SADC (Southern African Development Community)
The main objectives of SADC are to achieve development, peace and security, and economic growth, to alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa. This union includes 16 members states: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was created in 1992 and is headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana.

SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area)
The South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) is an agreement reached on January 6, 2004. It created a free-trade area with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to reduce customs duties. Its secretariat is located in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Sale contract
Legal formalisation of a transaction carried out between two parties : seller-exporter and buyer-importer. It defines the purpose, conditions, compensation and choice of arbitration for a commercial transaction.

Sales representative
A sales representative is an agent who is responsible, on a full time basis, for negotiating and possibly concluding contracts for the sale, purchase, hire or provision of a product or a service, in the name of or on behalf of producers, industrialists, traders or other sales representatives.

A single item or part of a whole product that can be looked at to see what the rest is like.

Distribution of promotional offers in the form of paper or a product sample, at a given point in time, in a specific place or geographical area in order to create direct contacts with a particular target group of consumers.

Schengen Agreement
The Schengen Agreement, signed on June 14, 1985 between Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, aimed to establish the free movement of persons and the suppression of border controls for citizens of EU States and other signatory European third countries. The Schengen Convention, which entered into force in 1995, defines the conditions and guarantees for this free circulation. In addition, any foreigner who legally enters one of the signatory countries has the right to move freely throughout the Schengen area. The Schengen area then designates this area of free movement of people. In 2021, it brings together 26 states: 22 of the 27 EU Member States (Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Croatia are not part of it and Ireland enjoys a special status); as well as four associated non-EU States: Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

SDR (Special Drawing Rights)
Special Drawing Rights were introduced by the IMF to serve as an international monetary reserve. SDRs can be used in transactions between the IMF and national governments. The unit value of an SDR is determined on the basis of a basket of currencies ( U.S. dollar, euro, Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, British pound). SDR is the unit of payment of compensations in international carriage.

To close something in such a way that it can only be torn or broken open.

Segmentation is the action of dividing a population (of customers, prospects) into homogeneous subsets according to different criteria (socio-demographic data, needs, purchasing behaviour, etc.).

Any non-motorised vehicle intended to be connected to a motorised vehicle so that a part of the trailer rests on the motorised vehicle and a substantial part of its weight and the weight of its load are taken by the motorised vehicle. Most semi-trailers are specially adapted for combined transport.

Shelf life
The length of time that goods, especially food items, can be on sale and remain fit for use.

Short-term Realisation of Receivables from Overseas
Short-term Realisation of Receivables from Overseas is a short-term financing technique for exporters who grant their foreign buyers a certain term of payment. The realisation of the invoice can be up to 100% of its value.

SIC (Standard Industrial Classification)
The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) are four-digit codes that categorize the industries that companies belong to while organizing the industries by their business activities. The SIC codes were created by the U.S. government in 1937 to help analyze economic activity.

Single market
The free trade association between members of the European Union, to allow money, goods, services and people to move freely within the Union.

SME (Small and Medium-sized enterprise)
The European definition is a maximum of 250 employees, a turnover not exceeding 40 million euros, and with less than 25% holding by one or more non SME enterprises - with the exception of investment or venture capital companies. Usually these SME identification tests do not apply to research organisations or consultants.

Research and evaluation of different suppliers able to meet a specific need of a company.

SPS (Sanitary and PhytoSanitary measures)
The "SPS Agreement" entered into force with the establishment of the World Trade Organization on 1 January 1995. It concerns the application of health security measures designed to protect food, animals and plants (from diseases, pests, or contaminants).

Standard of living
The level of material comfort and wealth of a person, community or country.

Standby Letter of Credit
A Standby Letter of Credit is a guarantee made by a bank to a supplier (exporter) on behalf of a client (importer) which ensures payment will be made even if their client cannot fulfil payment of the supplied goods or services.

Legal mechanism by which the Credit Insurer, having indemnified the exporter, holds the exporters rights and shares and can rightfully exercise them against the debtor.

A firm placed under the direction of a parent company which holds the majority of its shares. As a legally independent entity, the subsidiary enjoys management autonomy.

Super High Cube container
Container that does not comply with ISO standards in length, width or height. The dimensions are variable and can sometimes be as long as 45' (13.72m), 48' (14.64m) or 53' (16.10m).

Supplier credit
An offer of long term credit extended to a buyer by a seller or supplier.

SWOT analysis
An abbreviation for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. It is a way to analyze one's chances in a market.


The T1 Transit regime applies mainly to the movement of non-EU or similar goods in the territory of the European Union. This regime is formalised by a document of the same name.

The T2 transit regime (or document) applies to EU goods which are shipped from one point to another of the customs territory of the European Union through one or more EFTA countries.

The T2L regime/document allows EU goods to be carried out with part of the European union customs territory with special tax status (eg overseas departments and territories).

The T5 document, under the T5 customs regime, provides certification for CAP products (Common Agricultural Policy) to exit from the EU customs territory when the customs exit office is different from the customs clearance office.

Tare, dead weight
Weight of the ITU (Intermodal Transport Unit) or of the vehicle without any load.

This is the current version of the Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System. It is the leading euro payment system and one of the largest payment systems in the world.

Integrated tariff of the EU. The TARIC classification is a 10-digit codification, which serves to integrate Community regulatory measures such as preferential tariffs, tariff quotas and anti-dumping duties. The common customs tariff is based on the TARIC.

An amount of money that must be paid when particular goods are imported into a country.

Tariff category
This is the designation of goods in terms of customs tariffs.

Tariff classification of goods
National customs authorities complete the 6-digit Harmonized System classification number to set up detailed products classifications. This number, which consists of 8 or more digits, is essential to determine the duties, taxes and charges at the country of destination of the goods. Various procedures such as national regulations (sanitary or commercial) depend on this number.

Temporary admission
The Customs procedure under which goods of non-member States can be brought into the European Union conditionally relieved totally or partially from payment of import duties and taxes. The goods must not have undergone any change. Upon their re-exportation, no duties or taxes are paid by the user company (except in exceptional cases).

A tender is an invitation to bid for a project. It usually refers to the process whereby governments, corporations and financial institutions invite bids for large projects in different sectors that must be submitted within a defined timeline.

Place of transhipment from one means of transport to another.

TEU (Twenty feet Equivalent Unit)
TEU is a standard unit based on a ISO container of 20 feet length (6.10 m), used as a statistical measure of traffic flows or capacities. One standard 40' ISO Series 1 container equals 2 TEUs.

THC (Terminal Handling Charges)
THC corresponds to the handling services provided during loading/unloading operations at ports and airport terminals.

TIR carnet
A book with tear-off slips used for an international road transit operation.

TIR regime (Transports Internationaux Routiers)
In English: International Road Transport. This is a customs tax regime that allows goods to transit by road from a country of origin to a country of destination in sealed cargo compartments controlled by customs through a recognized multilateral system. TIR convention was signed in 1975. To date, it has 77 contracting parties, including the European Union.

Track gauge
Distance between the inside faces of the rails of a railway track. It is normally 1.435 m large. Other gauges are generally used in some European countries: for instance, 1.676 m in Spain & Portugal, 1.524 m in the Russian Federation.

Trade union
An organisation of employees working in the same industry, or doing similar jobs, that represents its members in discussions with Management.

A trader is an enterprise whose function consists of purchasing on its own account and reselling in its own name, with a self-determined margin. The agency of a trader helps a supplier to overcome a lack of knowledge of international markets, while reducing the difficulties caused by international practices, as well as helping a supplier organise risk-management. The trader's profession is based on a geographical or productline specialisation.

Trading company
A trading company (also referred to as Export Trading Company, or ETC) is a company that buys products in one country and sells them in different countries where it has its own distribution network.

Any vehicle without a motor intended to be connected to a motorised vehicle, with the exception of trailer trucks.

Transfer of the entitlement to indemnities (credit insurance)
The payment from insurance, that is to say, the right to receive indemnities in the event of a covered claim that can be transferred to a third party (for example the bank financing it) on agreement from the Credit Insurer.

Transfer risk
The transfer risk (sometimes also referred to as non-transfer risk) is the risk that a transaction cannot take place because a government or central bank will not allow currency to leave a country.

Transformation rate
This rate is defined by the percentage of clients or prospective clients transformed into buyers. For example, the number of sales completed in relation to the number of free estimates requested.

Customs regulation which allows, subject to certain guarantees, the movement of goods with suspension of duties, taxes and other economic, fiscal or customs measures.

Transhipment consists of changing the mode of transport en route.

TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights)
This WTO agreement introduced intellectual property rules into the multilateral trading system and sets minimum standards in the international rules governing patents. It came into effect on 1 January 1995 and it applies to all WTO members. Its secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Twist lock
Standardised fastening piece to lock an ITU (Intermodal Transport Unit) onto a ship or the vehicle transporting it.


UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine)
Also referred as WEAMU in English (West African Economic and Monetary Union). Created on January 10, 1994 in Dakar, the Union's objective is the construction, in West Africa, of a harmonised and integrated economic space, within which is ensured total freedom of movement of people, capital, goods and services. Member States are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. It is headquartered in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

UKGT (UK Global Tariff)
The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) describes all taxes paid on goods imported into the United Kingdom. It is updated by British customs according to the decisions of the government.

Unaccompanied transport
Transportation of a fully roadworthy means of transport by another means of transport (e.g. a train or ferry boat), without the presence of the driver

UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development)
This organisation was set up by the United Nations to help developing countries to integrate into the global economy and to promote their economic and social development. It was established in 1964 and serves 165 members States. Its headquarters are located in Geneva, Switzerland.

USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement)
This trade agreeement was signed by the United States, Mexico and Canada on November 30, 2018 and entered into force on July 1, 2020. It replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which had been in effect since January of 1994. Secretariats for each of the three members are located repectively in Washington D.C., Mexico City and Ottawa.


VAT (Value Added Tax)
General indirect tax on expenses included in prices, applied at different rates to all sales of goods and services except in cases where legal exemptions have been granted.


A large building where goods are stored.

The warrant is a purchase option (in the case of the "Call") or a sale option (in the case of the "Put") which gives the right but not the obligation to buy (in the case of the "call") or to sell (in the case of "Put") an underlying asset for a determined period at a price determined in advance. Warrants are financial products issued by financial institutions (banks in most cases).

WCO (World Customs Organization)
The World Customs Organization was established in 1952. Its mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of its member’s Customs administrations, particularly with regard to trade facilitation, revenue collection, community protection and national security. This organisation is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

An organisation that buys large quantities of goods from manufacturers and sells them to retailers who sell directly to the public. The wholesaler buys in order to resell to traders, retailers or companies.

WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation)
The WIPO is the global organisation for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. It was established in 1967 and has 167 members. Its secreatariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

Working hours
The time during which shops and offices are open for business.

World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides financing and advice to developing countries for investment projects and economic advancement. It is headquartered in Washington,DC, United States.

WTO (World Trade Organisation)
The World Trade Organisation was created in 1947 under its old appellation "GATT" (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). The principal objective of the WTO is to promote international trade and put an end to protectionism. The WTO has about 160 signatory countries. Its secreatariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

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