International Trade Terms

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International Trade Terms

We display the most important terms and basic definitions related to international trade to help traders better understand the process and avoid any misunderstanding in their commercial dealings between different countries

These are subsidies paid by the state to encourage exports.

An arrangement between an exporting country and an importing country that limits the volume of trade for certain products, specifically restricting exports and imports between two countries within certain limits or as a percentage of domestic sales in the importing country, thus being an export restraint agreement protects domestic producers in the importing country from foreign competition and enhances the balance of payments in that country.

Financial assistance provided by the government to local companies to encourage exports and help balance the state's payments. Export incentives include direct subsidies to reduce export prices, tax privileges – exemption from earned profits from exports, financing facilities – export financing at low costs, financial guarantees – provision for bad debts. Other countries see export incentives as an unfair trade practice leading them to take retaliatory actions.

The amount imposed by the government as an indirect tax on goods exported abroad and is paid by the exporter whether borne by himself or transferred to the producer or charged to the importer, also includes what the government imposes as fees against the right to export.

The export of goods or commodities that were previously imported from a foreign country without being manufactured or fundamentally altered. This process occurs in cases where the goods are rejected by the importer due to non-compliance with shipping terms. Re-exportation of the goods to the country of origin or to another country also occurs if customs and health authorities refuse to clear them due to their unsuitability for human consumption.

A permit required for all chemicals and raw materials usually issued in the destination country.

An official document prepared by certified customs agents who estimate and calculate the customs duties and taxes to be collected by the customs authorities. The customs declaration must be accurately prepared and match the cargo declaration submitted by the transport company to the customs authorities to avoid customs penalties.

A tariff imposed to protect or encourage a domestic industry, by imposing high customs rates on imported goods that compete with similar domestically manufactured goods, such tariffs promote the national industry and its diversification but at the same time increase production costs and thus affect the purchasing power of citizens.

A statement prepared by the ship's captain about the goods unloaded from the ship to a specific port and a copy is sent to the customs authority and freight forwarders. The manifest contains a complete description of the goods, the name of the importer, the weight, number of parcels, size of the goods, name of the ship, voyage number, loading port, and unloading port.

A symbol used to distinguish one of the commercial products from similar products produced by competitors. Brand names are legally protected from infringement by others in domestic laws and international law.

A piece of paper or a printed statement or a metal or leather piece or the like that is attached to the goods or the container in which the goods are packed to describe the contents of the container and mention the party shipping the goods to, and to state their origin and price.

Barriers that prevent free trade other than customs duties, such as other restrictions on foreign goods such as domestic subsidies for some national goods.

The transport of goods from sending centers to reception centers and ports with the intent to temporarily deposit them or to perform some manufacturing processes on them or to package or pack them and then re-export them without paying customs duties.

Taxes imposed on imports from a particular country at a higher tax rate than that imposed on similar imports from other countries.

The transactions and formalities involving the payment of fees and presenting the necessary customs documents to clear imported goods after unloading at a customs inspection point whether by air, sea, or land.

A natural or legal person who handles official transactions for the clearance of imported goods from customs, preparing the paperwork for exported goods, and presenting them to the customs authorities, as well as presenting other documents and papers requested by government authorities in foreign countries.

A commitment requested from importers, warehouse owners, transport companies, and individuals involved in importing and handling dutiable goods, aimed at protecting government interests while these goods are in warehouses or during their handling and clearing before the customs duties on them are cleared.

When imported or exported goods pass through customs inspection or clearance points, they must be accompanied by declarations to facilitate their passage, and there are several forms of customs declarations to suit the specific customs process.

The papers given by the customs authorities in the port to the ship captain to indicate that the ship has met its obligations and has the right to leave the port.

This certificate is required for materials that need analysis to determine the percentage of their components and must be issued by specialized entities such as laboratories.

A certificate issued by specialized companies. It involves the surveillance and inspection of goods directly before shipment to verify their stated specifications, and it can also involve the inspection of goods at the port of arrival if they are perishable during shipping.

A document that shows the specifications and sizes of the goods in terms of length, width, thickness, and any other specifications, and also shows the quantity of goods in cubic meters, typically used for goods that rely on volume and measurement rather than weight or packaging, like timber and certain types of iron.

A certificate that shows the actual weight of the goods and is required for homogeneous goods that rely on weight such as rice, sugar, and iron.

A certificate stating that the grains, seeds, or plant seedlings exported are free from diseases.

An internationally recognized classification system for goods traded internationally under a single commodity code, where materials are grouped according to the nature of the materials they are made from.

This certificate shows analytical data for the required goods and the nature of the materials used in their manufacture, and certifies that the product is fit for human or animal consumption.

The recovery of duties paid on imported goods when they are re-exported.

A government document that allows the exporter to export specified goods to a certain country.

A license or permit issued to the importer by a competent government authority that allows him to bring in specified quantities of specified goods and commodities, which cannot be imported without such a license. It is a governmental tool for controlling and monitoring trade movements across national borders and a mechanism for ensuring trade policies are implemented regarding the granting of preferential treatment and ensuring compliance with pre-approval and mandatory health and safety requirements.

A document issued by the exporter that shows the contents of each package and its number, the weight of the shipment, the name of the importer, and the number of the commercial invoice, and describes the products and their specifications accurately.

An invoice prepared by the exporter based on a sales order or inquiry, and the importer's receipt of this invoice does not oblige him to purchase the products. This document contains a full description of the products, prices, import specifications, expected delivery dates, terms and timing of payment, the route followed, packing, shipping, insurance, and unloading of the goods. This document may be necessary for the importer to obtain a government license for import or to open a documentary credit.

A set of rules included in trade agreements to facilitate the determination of the country of origin, where determining the country of origin is beneficial in obtaining preferential customs exemptions stipulated in free trade agreements.

Goods stored in public warehouses by their owners in preparation for paying the due duties or taxes when cleared or a part thereof or re-exported.

A document that describes the products and indicates their value, weight, the name of the exporter, the carrier, the port of departure, the destination country, the place of arrival, and is submitted to the customs authorities at export.

Public or private warehouses under the supervision of customs authorities where goods are stored under the supervision of the customs department before undergoing clearance procedures, and when these goods are removed from the warehouses, the customs duties due on them are collected instead of being collected at the time of import, but if the good is re-exported, there is no need to pay any.

Contains all customs tariffs and other specific import requirements (detailed and for each product) applied by a country to its imports.

An invoice that shows the quantity and value of the shipped goods and their specifications and the delivery condition linked to the price, issued by the exporter and certified by the chambers of commerce.

It is the regulation of the quantities of goods allowed for export, and the government resorts to this measure either with the intention of supporting price control to avoid their increase, or with the intention of controlling goods for defensive purposes.

A certificate issued by the chamber of commerce in the exporter's country that shows the place of manufacture or production of the goods intended for export, and is considered a necessary document to identify the nationality of the goods in order to estimate the rates of duties to be levied on them or the preferential treatments to be granted to them. It is used in controlling the leakage of economically boycotted or prohibited goods.

Taxes usually imposed on goods imported into the country or exported from it, and these taxes may be ad valorem, estimated as a percentage of the value of the goods, or may take the form of a fixed amount imposed on the goods regardless of their value, known as specific duties, and unlike tariffs, customs duties are used primarily as a tool to collect revenue for the government and as a tool to protect domestic producers from foreign competition.

Ground and storage fees in port yards paid by the importer or the authorized clearing agent on the goods after the expiry of the granted grace period

Fees paid by the importer for his delay in returning shipping containers to the destination port after a period of a week or two weeks or as per the agreement between the shipping company and the importer. The period is calculated from the date of arrival of the goods in the destination port until the containers are returned empty to the port.

A clause added to economic, financial, air, and maritime treaties and agreements, whereby each of the two states undertakes to grant the other the same privileges or facilities or exemptions previously granted or may be granted in the future to a third country, one of the principles of the World Trade Organization.

The quantity allowed of goods imported at a reduced tariff negotiated in a trade agreement.

A written list of the names and descriptions of the goods shipped on a cart, train, or truck, and is the official document accepted by the transport company in case the owner of the goods claims the transport company or the insurance company for reimbursement of the price of what was lost or damaged during shipping.

A document that constitutes the carrier's confirmation of receipt and readiness to transport the goods.

A document issued by the carrying company that is a transport contract between the exporter and the carrying company and shows the port of loading and the port of arrival and the means of transport and the freight charge and how it is paid. The bill of lading is a confirmation by the carrying company of the receipt of the goods in the ship's holds, and it is also a title of ownership to the entity to which it is exported as the bill describes the goods and the entity sent to.