Glossary of Trade Terms

international trade abbreviations and terms currently in use

Glossary of Trade Terms

International trade abbreviations and terms currently in use

A- B- C- D- E- F - G - H- I - J - K - L- M- N - O- P- Q- R- S- T- U- V- W - X- Y - Z

Last up-dated 13th August 2018. If you cannot find what you are looking for contact us

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  back to alphabetical list
A00   EU tax code indicating customs duty
AA   Classified Management Enterprises - AEO equivalent scheme in China
AA   Association Agreement – between the and a non-member country
AAD   Administration Accompanying Document - used to control the movement of excise goods. Replaced by EMCS
AAEI   American Association of Exporters and Importers found 1921
AANZFTA   ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement
AANZTA   ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand Trade Agreement
AB   Appellate Body (WTO)
ABD   Authorised by Declaration - replaced SiA for Special Procedures into the EU under UCC
ABI   Automated Broker Interface
ABM   Account Based Management

Automated Commercial Environment

ACFTA (1)   ASEAN + China Free Trade Agreement
ACFTA (2)   African Continental Free Trade Agreement
ACL   Allowable Chain Load

Accounting Period


The period (for deferment purposes) during which transactions are charged to the same period account for settlement

ACP (1)   African Caribbean and Pacific group of countries
ACP (2)   Accredited Client Programme - a system of authorising compliant and secure importers and exporters similar to AEO in countries such as the UAE and India
ACP (3)   Authorised Consignee Premises (under EU NCTS)
ACWL       Advisory Centre on WTO Law
ADB   Asian Development Bank
ADR (1)   Accord Dangeroux Routier - Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road agreement
ADR (2)   Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): Pilot scheme (2012) used independent HMRC facilitators to help customers resolve disputes with HMRC
ADS   Aerospace, Defence & Security organisation (formed from EGAD)
Ad Valorem   According to value.

Arms Export Control Act (USA)

AEO   Authorised Economic Operator - see also EOS
AEO (C)   Customs Simplification only - approval under AEO scheme
AEO (S)   Supply Chain Safety & Security only - approval under AEO scheme
AEO (F)   Full approval under AEO scheme - being phased out under UCC
AEO-GT   Authorised Economic Operator scheme - Guatemala
AER   Anticipated Export Record (see ECS)
AES   Automated Export System (term used in USA FTR)
AES (2)   Approved Exporter Scheme – used to authorise exporters under FTA/PTA so they can make invoice declarations to confirm the goods qualify under the agreement
AFAS   ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services
AfDB   African Development Bank
AFF   Additional Freight Fee (Customs duty)
AFRA   Air Freight Rates application - it is an online, real-time rate distribution and management application
AFTC   Advanced Freight Targeting Capability (UK Border Force)
AFTD   American Foreign Trade Definitions, out of date shipping terms not to be used.
AG   Australia Group (export controls)
AG   Agricultural products (under WTO terms)
AGR   Agriculture (USA EAR license exception)
AHTN   ASEAN Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature
AI   Additional Information - an important field on the UK/EU customs entry
AICO   ASEAN Industrial Cooperation Scheme
AIFTA   ASEAN + India Free Trade Agreement
Air Express Operator   see also courier/ integrator
AIS   Automated Import System - part of ICS
AJCEP   ASEAN + Japan Common Effective Preference
AKFTA   ASEAN + S. Korea Free Trade Agreement
AL   Ammunitions List – the German equivalent of our Military List
ALADI   Associação Latino-Americana de Integração (English acronym LAIA) is a Latin American trade integration association based in Montevideo, Uruguay.
ALV   Automatic Licence Verification
Amber Box   WTO Term: Domestic support for agriculture that is considered to distort trade and therefore subject to reduction commitments. Technically calculated as “Aggregate Measurement of Support” (AMS).
AMPS   Administrative Monetary Penalty System - part of Canada's PIP scheme
AMSCI   Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative
AMS   Aggregate Measurement of Support (see Amber Box)
AMU   Arab Maghreb Union
Country Group - Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru & Venezuela
AOG   Aircraft on Ground
APA   Advance Pricing Agreement ( Not used in the EU)- an international customs valuation term
APEC   Asia Pacific  Economic Cooperation
APEO   The APEO scheme is a fish specific extension to the AEO approval. Granted via DEFRA. Launched 2010
API   active pharmaceutical ingredient
API   Advanced Passenger Information (see also PNR) 
APO   Air Force Post Office
APP   Adjusted Peak Performance (USA EAR license exception and computer
Approved Exporter   Approval to make invoice declarations in the place of issuing EUR1 forms
APR   Additional Permissive Re-exports (USA EAR license exception)
Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement, previously named Bangkok Agreement
AQIS   Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
ARF   ASEAN Regional Forum
Arusha Declaration   WTO Declaration on Customs Integrity
Article 22 (10)   Dual-Use clause under which certain DUEC goods can move within the EU without requiring an export licence.  From EU Regulation 483/2009
ASEAN   Association of South East Asian Nations (10 members) Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar
ASIC   Aviation Security Identification Card
ASPAC   Asia Pacific Region
ASYCUDA   Automated System for Customs Data
AT   Anti-Terrorism (Wassenaar Arrangement reason for control)
ATT   Arms Trade Treaty
ATAF   African Tax Administration Forum
ATF   Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (USA)
ATIGA   ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement
ATPA   Andean Trade Preferences Act
ATP   Autonomous Trade Preferences
ATPCO   Airline Tariff Publishing Company
ATR   Preference Movement Certificate (Turkey - EU Associate Trade Agreement)
ATS   Automated Targeting Systems (Customs)
ATT   United Nations Arms Trade Treaty
AU   African Union
AVE   Ad Valorem Equivalent
AVG   Average
AVS   EAR exception for shipments of aircraft and vessels (USA)
AWB   Air waybill (air freight).
AWT   Advance Witholding Tax

back to alphabetical list

B00   EU tax code indicating VAT
B2B   Business to Business Sales
B2C   Business to Consumer Sales
BAG   Baggage (USA EAR license exception)



In the context of EDIFACT messages a batch is a number of messages sent in sequence in the same transmission

BCC   British Chambers of Commerce
B/D   Banker's Draft (payment term).
BDC   Beneficiary Developing Countries - under GSP
BDV   Brussels Definition of Value
B/E   Bill of Exchange (payment term).
BEIS       UK Department for Enterprise Innovation and Skills formed July 2016.  Took on some functions from the BIS
BERR   Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (formerly the DTI, replaced by BIS and currently called DIT)
BERTI   Binding European Retrieval of Tariff Information - the UK national BTI system
BF   Border Force (UK)
BIA   British Importers Association - closed 1999
BIFA   British International Freight Association
Binding Tariff   Commitment not to increase a rate of duty beyond an agreed level. Once a rate of duty is bound, it may not be raised without compensating the affected parties.
BIP   Bond Insurance Policy - a UK Export Finance service
BIS (1)   UK Department for Business Innovations & Skills (replaced BERR from June 2009) replaced by DIT in July 2017
BIS (2)   USA Bureau of Industry and Security
BIT   Bilateral investment treaty
B/L   Bill of Lading (sea freight).
BLA   Bilateral labour agreement
Blue Box   WTO Term: Amber Box types of support, but with constraints on production or other conditions designed to reduce the distortion. Currently not limited.
Blue Line   AEO equivalent customs compliance scheme in Brazil
BoD   Bill of Discharge
BoE (1)   Bank of England
BoE (2)   Bill of Exchange (also see B/E)
BOI   Binding Origin Information Ruling - a system of obtaining a ruling on the origin of goods, often required when preference is being claimed
BOM   Bill of Materials
Bonded Goods   Goods stored under the charge of customs, sealed until import duties are paid or goods taken out of the country.
Bonded Warehouse   Warehouse where bonded goods are stored.
BOP   Balance of Payments
Break Bulk   The dismantling of a large consignment into smaller lots for onward distribution to more than one customer.
Brexit   Conjoined word created to mean Britains Exit from the European Union
BRICs   International trade term coined in 2001 to describe the rise of key markets: Brazil, Russia, India and China
BRIICS   OECD abbreviation adding Indonesia and South Africa to the normal BRIC acronym
BSI   British Standards Institute
BTA   Bilateral Trade Agreement
BTA   Border Tax Adjustment
BTI   Binding Tariff Information Ruling - a system of obtaining a definitive commodity code from customs for goods being imported
BTIA   Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement
BTN   Brussels Tariff Nomenclature (1959)
BU   Business Unit
Bulk Cargo   Loose cargo, not unitised, not loaded in containers or on pallets
BVI   Binding Value Information Ruling (Not used in EU)
BXA   Bureau of Export Administration (USA)

back to alphabetical list

C79   Monthly VAT statement issued by HMRC to show VAT paid on imports which can be reclaimed by the company under normal VAT procedures
C88 Form   The document reference number given in the UK to the SAD Form
CAA   Civil Aviation Authority.
Cabotage   In maritime transport, sea shipping between ports of the same country, usually along coasts.
CACB   Brazil Confederation of Trade and Business
CACM   Central American Common Market - comprised of Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua
CACO   Central Asian Cooperation Organisation
CACR   Cuban Assets Control Regulations (USA)
CAD   Cash Against Documents (payment term).
CAIS   Central American Integration System
CAN   Andean Community
CAN   Customs Alert Network (Customs modernisation tool)
CAO   Cargo Aircraft Only
CAO   Computer Audit Officers
CAP (1)   Common Agricultural Policy
CAP (2)   Compliance/ Corrective Action Plan
CAP   Counterfeiting and Piracy Group (WCO)
CARICOM   Caribbean Community
CARIFORUM   Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States
Carnet   Booklet issued by ICC to make customs clearance on temporary movements easier.
Carrier   The provider of the main means of transport in a shipment, e.g. airline, vessel operator, trucker.
CAS   Chemical Abstracts Service
CAT   Conventional Arms Transfer Policy
CB   Chemical Biological (USA EAR reason for control)
CBD   Cash Before Delivery (payment term).
CBD   Convention on Biological Diversity
CBP   Customs and Border Protection Agency - USA Customs Authority
CBR   Carrier Baggage Voucher - similar to the MUCR but relates to shipments declared by small parcel express operators
CBSA   Canada Border Services Agency
CBTPA   United States-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act
C&F   Cost & Freight – very old abbreviation for the Incoterms ® rule CFR
CC (1)   Commodity code - an abbreviation used within the EU
CC (2)   Centralised Clearance - the future! Under this the trader or forwarder in the EU will decide which member state to make Customs declarations in regardless of the physical location of the goods
CC (3)   Change in Chapter (Preference origin qualifying rules)
CC (4)   Crime Control concerns (see CCC (4))
CC(5)   Consolidated Code – the consolidation of the EU Customs Code in 2012 prior to the modernisations of the legislation in 2013 (in force 2016)
Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
CCAT   Commerce Classification Automated Tracking System (USA)
CCC (1)   Customs Cooperation Council
CCC (2)   Customs Code Committee
CCC (3)   China Compulsory Certification
CCC (4)   Commerce Country Chart (USA)
CCCN   Customs Cooperation Council Nomenclature
CC Committee   Customs Code Committee
CCF   Customs Clearance Fee
CCG   Customs Comprehensive Guarantee
CCIP   Customs Code Implementing Provisions
CCIQ   ChinaCustoms Inspection and Quarantine
CCL   Commerce Control List – USA EAR regulations
CCMAA   Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters between EU and Japan (signed 30 Jan 2008)
CCN   Common Communications Networks - part of ECS
CCOIC   China Chamber of International Commerce
CCP   Customs Civil Penalties
CCP       cargo clearance permit
CCR   Customs Clearance Requests
CCS-UK   Cargo Community System-UK. The name given to the computerised cargo processing system operating in the UK major airports.
CCT   Central Community Transit - see CT below
CCTO   Central Community Transit Office
CCVO   Combined Certificate of Value and Origin
CD   Council Directive
CDM   Customs Data Model
CDS   Customs Declaration System - replacement system for CHIEF in UK
CEC (1)   Council for Economic Cooperation (NAFTA)
CEC (2)   Commission of the European Communities
CECA   Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
CEE   Center of Excellence & Expertise (USA CBP)
CEFTA   Canada-Europe Free Trade Association Agreement
CE Mark   Conformité Européenne (European Conformity) - compliance procedure and mark
CEMA79   Customs & Excise Management Act 1979 - current UK law, under review
CEMAC   Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa
CENMaT   Customs Enforcement Management Team
CEN   Customs Enforcement Network (Customs modernisation tool)
CENcomm   Customs Enforcement Network communication tool (Customs modernisation tool)
CEPA   Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (China)
CEPT   Common effective preference tariff
Certified   Document such as a CofO stamped by a Chamber of Commerce (also see legalised)
CESS   A customs duty levied on certain goods only, similar to excise
CET   Common External Tariff
CETA   Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between EU and Canada
C.EU   Civil Aircraft End-Use procedure
CFR (1)   Cost and Freight (an Incoterms ® 2000 and 2010 rule).
CFR (2)   Code of Federal Regulations (USA)
CFS   Container Freight Station
CFSP (1)   Customs Freight Simplified Procedure - simplified import entry procedure used in the UK
CFSP (2)   Common Foreign Security Policy – EC supply chain security scheme
CFW   EU Competency Framework for AEO
CGC   Customs Golden Client scheme - the security accreditiation system in Malaysia
CGEA   Community General Export Authorisation - an EU version of an open licence now superceded by UGEAs (see below)
Chargeable Weight   The actual gross weight or volume weight of a shipment, whichever is higher (except in cases where a lower charge for a higher minimum weight applies)
CHIEF   Customs Handling of Import/Export Freight.
CHIEF Classic       Name given to the current Customs Computer operating in the UK while it is undergoing replacement – Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight
CIAT   Inter-American Center of Tax Administrations
CIE   Customs Input Entry - a way of submitting customs declarations into CHIEF
CIF (1)   Cost, Insurance & Freight (an Incoterms ® 2000/ 2010 rule).
cif (2)   jargon - cost, insurance, freight
CIM   Conditions of international carriage of goods by rail.
CIN   Customer Information Note (issued by UK DEFRA)
CIP (1)   Carriage, Insurance paid to (an Incoterms ® 2000 / 2010 rule).
CIP (2)   Customs Information Papers
CIQ   ChinaInspection and Quarantine Services
CIS (1)   Commonwealth of Independent States (comprising former Soviet Union countries - 12 members)
CIS (2)   Carnet Indemnity Scheme
CISADA   Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (USA)
CITEX   Customs, International Trade & Excise (UK Customs)
CIV   Civilian (USA EAR license enception)
CIVETS   International trade term describing major developing markets; Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa
CJ   Council Jurisdiction
CJEU   Court of Justice - European Union



The clearance of an entry is the point at which revenue associated with the declaration has been paid or secured and the entry can no longer be queried or amended on CHIEF. The goods can now be released into the declared Customs procedure or can be removed under a transit arrangement (subject to any commercial considerations)

Clearing Agent   The party appointed to submit entries to customs authorities on behalf of the buyer will handle duty, VAT and other financial accruals on behalf of his client.
CMAA   Customs Co-operative and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters Agreement - 1997 Agreement between USA and EU.
CMR   Conditions of international carriage of goods by road.
CN (1)   European Community combined nomenclature (based on Harmonised System adopted by EC).
CN (2)   Cryptography Note - explanatory note for Category 5 Part 2 of dual-use list
CNEN   Combined Nomenclature Explanatory Notes
CNL   Competitive Need Limitation - under GSP
COCOM   Co-ordinating Committee of Multilateral Export Controls (replaced by Wassenaar Arrangement)
Codex Alimentaruis   FAO/WHO commission that deals with international standards on food safety.
COF   Contribution to funding of social security (Customs duty)
COMESA   Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
COM/I   Commercial Invoice.
Commodity Code   Code used to identify goods under a tariff number
Commodity Rates   The rate applies to the shipment of a specific product between specified ports. It is lower than the general cargo rate.
Consignee   Importer (Buyer) - destination address.
Consignor   Exporter (Seller) - party who instigates the export.
Consol (Consolidation)   Bulking together of several shipments to same destination to reduce cost.
Controlled Goods   Goods which are subject to control under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 2008.
Controlled Technology   Technology relating to the design, development production and use of controlled goods, therefore subject to restrictions at export
CofO   Certificate of Origin
COOL   Country of Origin Labelling
CoRAP   Community Rolling Action Plan
COT   Consumption Tax 
COTIF   Convention Concerning International Carriage by Rail (Convention relative aux transports internationaux ferroviaires)
Countertrade   A generic term to identify a reciprocal form of export contract involving barter and other methods of trading
Country of Departure   The country from which a means of transport departs.
Country of Destination   The country to which goods are transported as final country for delivery.
Country of Origin   Country in which the goods have been produced or manufactured.
Courier Company   see also integrator/ air express operator
CP   Contracting Party (to a WTO/WCO instrument or tool)
CPC   Customs Procedure Code.
CPD Carnet   Carnet de Passage en Douane
CPEI   Customs Procedures with Economic Impact - a whole range of special procedures giving traders faster clearance of goods, removing duty/VAT liabilities, or extending the period of time duty needs to be paid, eg IPR, OPR, Warehousing, End-Use
CPM   Cost plus, Method - an international customs valuation term
CPL   European Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures
CPT   Carriage Paid to (an Incoterms ® 2000 and 2010 rule).
CR   Customs Regulation
CRI   Cargo Report Information
CRM (1)   Common Risk Management framework: EU scheme being adopted in all members states setting a standard system of risk management checks on freight. Will be essential when Centralised Clearance comes in. Also see RMF
CRM (2)   Customer Relationship Manager (HMRC officer responsible for your business activities)
CRO   WTO Committee on Rules of Origin
CRP   CHIEF Replacement Programme
CRR   Common Risk Rules (part of EU Security System)
CRTA   Committee on Regional Trade Agreements
CS   Central Site (for administrating AEO application in the UK)
CSA   Customs Self Assessment Programme - part of Canada PIP security accreditation scheme
CSCM   Corporate Supply Chain Management
CSDP   Common Security & Defence Policy (EU)
CSDR   Community System of Duty Reliefs
CSE      Customs Supervised Exports (replaces LCP under UCC)
CSI (1)   Container Security Initiative
CSI (2)   Common Service Interface (part of ECS)
CSP   Community System Providers
CSR   Corporate Social Responsibility
CT   Community Transit - see also NCTS
CTD   WTO Committee on Trade and Development.
CRTA   Committee on Regional Trade Agreements
CTC   Change in Tariff Classification - qualifying criteria type under preference agreements
CTD   Committee on Trade and Development
CTDSS   Special Sessions”, ie, negotiations meetings, of the WTO Committee on Trade and Development.
CTE   The WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.
CTESS   Special Sessions”, ie, negotiations meetings, of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment.
CTG   Council for Trade in Goods — oversees WTO agreements on goods, including the ATC.
CTH   Change in Tariff Heading (Preference origin qualifying rules)
CTN   Cargo Tracking Note
C to B   Customs to Business (information chain)
C to C   Customs to Customs (information chain)
C to G   Customs to Government (information chain)
CTP   Composite Theoretical Performance (USA EAR license exception and processor control parameter).
C-TPAT   Customs + Trade Partnership Against Terrorism - an accreditation program for USA importers. To be extended to exporting companies so it can be used alongside the AEO scheme
CTS   Compliant Trader Schemes - AEO equivalent customs compliance scheme in Rwanda and Tanzania
CTS   Consolidated Tariff Schedules Database
CTS   World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Consolidated Tariff Schedules
CTS   Cargo Tracking System
CTSH   Change to Tariff Sub Heading (Preference origin qualifying rules)
CUG   Customs Union Group
CUP   Comparable Uncontrolled Price - an international customs valuation term
CUSDEC   Customs Declaration
CUSRES   Customes Response (from an import or export declaration)
Customs   Authority that polices and controls international trade statements, declarations and undertake safety and security checks
Customs 2013   The EU scheme to rewrite all customs regulations for 2013 - delayed
Customs Regimes   Customs procedures available to traders and forwarders to simplify the movement of goods, declarations or to permit the suspension or waiver of customs duties, eg IPR, etc - see also CPEI
Customs Warehousing   A special regime that allows traders and forwarders to hold/ store goods without the need to complete full declarations at the time of arrival.
CV   Customs Value
CVA   WTO Customs Value Agreement – also abbreviation ACV
CCV   Committee on Customs Valuation (WCO)
CW   Customs Warehouse
CWC   Chemical Weapons Convention
CWC   Country Whence Consigned
CWO   Cash with order (payment term).

back to alphabetical list

DA   Delegated Acts (of the EU UCC).  DA are mandated under the Customs Code (see also IA)


  Delivered at Frontier (Incoterms ® Rule under the 2000 set but not in the 2010 terms)
DAN   Deferment Account Number

Delivered At Place - new term in Incoterms 2010 ® Rules


Delivered At Terminal - new term in Incoterms 2010 ® Rules

DCFTA   Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between Georgia and Moldova (Dec 2011)
DCS   Destination Control Statement (USA EAR)
DDA   Doha Development Agenda (WTO)

Delivered Duties Paid - an Incoterms ® Rule

DDS (1)   Data Dissemination System
DDS (2)   Duty Deferment Scheme
DDTC   Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (USA ITAR)
DDU   Delivered Duties Unpaid (Incoterms ® Rule under the 2000 set but not in the 2010 terms)
DECC   Department of Energy & Climate Change (UK)
DG   Directorate General - EU Commission
DGFT   Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce (Government of India)
Deferment   Credit account opened with HMRC so import duty and VAT is paid once a month not prior to the goods being released. Requires a bank guarantee to cover 2 months worth of duty/VAT spend. Also see SIVA
DEP   Designated Export Point - a place (not a port or airport) authorised by HMRC for the export clearance of freight
DEQ   Delivered ex Quay (Incoterms ® Rule under the 2000 set but not in the 2010 terms)
DES   Delivered ex Ship (Incoterms ® Rule under the 2000 set but not in the 2010 terms)
DESA   United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
DESO   Defence Export Services Organisation (replaced by DSO)
DESP   Directorate of Export Services Policy
DeXEU   UK Department for Exiting the EU - formed July 2016
DFAR   Defense (DoD) Federal Acquisition Regulations
DfID   Department for International Development
DGN   Dangerous Goods Note
Direct Export   Goods exiting the UK for direct transport to a non-EU country, ie not travelling through any other member state (see also Indirect Export)
Distortian   Trade Term: When prices and production are higher or lower than levels that would usually exist in a competitive market.
DIT       Department for International Trade (replaced BIS in UK July 2016)
DM (1)   Data Model (WCO Tool)
DM (2)   Developed Markets
DMS   Duty Management System
DNL   Do Not Load - possible instruction under ECS or ICS security systems
DoC   Department of Commerce (USA)
DoD   Department of Defense (USA)
DOJ   Department of Justice (USA)
DOS   Department of State (USA)
DOT   Department of Transport (USA)
DPL   Denied Parties List (USA - EAR)
DPO   Documentary Proof of Origin
DR (1)   Direct Representation - the declarant (forwarder) acts as an agent on behalf of the importer/ exporter and therefore does not have any legal responsibility if errors are made. Unless an agent has written proof they are contracted as "DR" they will assumed to be acting under Indirect Representation (IR) by HMRC
DR (2)   Document Reference - an abbreviation used on customs entries before the title of a document used to support the presentation to customs, eg import licence
DSAB   Digital Services at the Border (UK term)
DSAS   Defence Security and Assurance Services (UK MoD)
DSB   Dispute Settlement Body (part of WTO)
DSO   Defence and Security Organisation (part of UKTI)
DSP (1)   Department of State Proforma - ITAR document/permit
DSP (2)   Dispute Settlement Panel (part of WTO)
DSP5   Dept of State Proforma for Permanent export – unclassified hardware and or tech data
DSP61   Dept of State Proforma Temporary import – unclassified hardware being returned
DSP73   Dept of State Proforma Temporary export – unclassified hardware
DSP83   Dept of State Re-transfer and Use assurance (not a licence)
DSP84   Dept of State Proforma Permanent export and temporary export/import – classified hardware/tech data
DSP119   Amendment form for a DSP (not licence)
DSS   Diplomatic Security Service
DSU    Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU)
DTA   Double Taxation Agreements
DTAG   Defence Trade Advisory Group (USA)
DTC   Defense Trade Control (USA)
DTCT   US-UK Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty
DTI (1)   Department of Trade & Industry - currently named DIT (other names BERR and BIS)
DTI (2)   Direct Trader Input

DTI System


A trade computer system that supports a network of trade users and provides access to CHIEF IES. Inventory Systems are usually associated with a DTI System

D-Trade   Dept of State electronic export licensing system (USA)
DTrade 2   Effective April 2009 upgrade in the USA Dept of State electronic export licensing system

Defense Technology Security Agency (ITAR/EAR)

DTT   Double Taxation Treaty
DU   Dual-Use
Dual-Use Goods   Goods not specifically designed, modified or adapted for military use but of a high technological level as listed in the Strategic Control List as defined by the Wassenaar Agreement. Meaning they require an export licence to leave the UK/EU
DUCR   Declarant's Unique Consignment Reference
DUEC   Dual-Use European Community - EU list of Wassenaar Arrangement controlled goods
Duty   Levy imposed on the landed value of goods imported. Controlled by the Customs Authorities the percentage is based on the commodity code applicable to the goods.
DVC   Delivery Verification Certificate
DWP   Department of Work and Pensions

back to alphabetical list

E2   Page 2 of an import entry in the UK - shows duty/VAT paid and valuation details
E3+3   Countries involved in the Iran JCPOA - France, Germany, UK and China, Russia, USA
EAA   Export Administration Act (EAR)
e-AAD   Electronic version of the Administrative Accompanying Document required for excise movements see EMCS
EAC   East African Community
EAD   Export Accompanying Document for indirect exports to meet Security & Safety Regulations in the EU
EAEC   Eurasian Economic Community - the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan
EAN   European Article Number
EAP   East Asia and Pacific
EAR   Export Administration Regulations - USA equivalent to DUEC
EAR99   A category of goods under the USA Dual-use control list which are not normally subject to export licensing regulations but are controlled when being shipped to denied parties/destinations. Not to be confused with NLR
EAU   The Eurasian Union - economic and political union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan and other post-Soviet states
eATA   Project to develop an electronic ATA Carnet
EBA   Everything But Arms (EU)
E-BPG   Export Best Practice Guide
EBS   English Business Survey
e-BTI   Electronic version of BTI - UK HMRC
EBTI   European Binding Tariff Information
EC (1)   European Community - term used to identify the group of countries for trade purposes
EC (2)   European Commission
ECA   Economic Committee for Africa
ECCAS   Economic Community of Central African States
ECCN   Export Control Classification Number - category of goods caught on the USA EAR dual-use list
ECEG   Electronic Crime Expert Group
ECGD   Export Credits Guarantee Department
ECHA   European Chemicals Agency
ECICS   European Customs Inventory of Chemical Substance
ECJ   European Court of Justice
ECN+   Explicit Congestion Notification (part of ECS)
eCO   online electronic Certificate of Origin
ECJU       Export Control Joint Unit -part of DIT it comprises ECO, FCO, MOD
ECO (1)   Export Control Organisation - part of DIT
ECO (2)   Economic Code - used in customs regimes to establish a company's right not to pay or suspend import customs duties
ECO (3)   Export Compliance Officer (usually used in USA)
ECP   Economic Competitiveness Package (WCO)
ECOWAS   Economic Community of Western African States
ECR   Export Control Reform (USA ITAR/EAR)
ECS   Export Control System (nothing to do with export licences) - this is the EU safety and security control systems requiring pre-departure messages for all goods leaving the MS of the EU
ECS1   Fiscal control part of the ECS, replacing the manual SAD Copy 3 for indirect exports - happened 1st July 2009
ECS2   Introduces the Pre-Departure Safety and Security Measures
ECTN   Electronic Cargo Tracking Note
ECU   European Currency Unit
EDB   Economic Development Board
EDI   Electronic Data Interchange
ECTIB   European Defence Technological and Industrial Base
EEA   European Economic Area - a group of countries using the same fiscal regulations, comprised of the EU member states plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein
EEC       Eurasian Economic Commission began work 1-1-2012
EEI   Electronic Export Information (USA FTR)
EEP   Export Enhancement Programme — programme of US export subsidies given generally to compete with subsidized agricultural exports from the EU on certain export markets.
EEU    Eurasian Economic Union  – due 2015
EFA   Export Finance Advisors - part of UKEF
EFTA   European Free Trade Association: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
EGAD   UK organisation Exporters Group Aerospace & Defence (see ADS)
EGS   Environmental Goods and Services
EHC   Export Health Certificates
EI   Encryption Item (reason for export control)
EIA (1)   Economic Integration Agreement
EIA (2)   Environmental Impact Assessment
EIDR   Entry Into Declarants Records - new procedures under UCC
ELA   Export Licence Applications
EM   Emerging Markets
EMCS   Excise Movement Control System
EMS   Export Management System (USA EAR)
EMU   Economic and Monetary Union
ENC   Encryption (USA EAR license exception)
EnU   End-Use procedures in the EU
Enhanced CHIEF    Name given to the programme for updating the UK Customs Computer by 2017– Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight
ENP   European Neighbourhood Policy
ENO   Entry Number - the formal customs declaration reference
ENS   Entry Summary Declaration (ICS) - see also ESD
EOD   Export on Demand System
EO (1)   Economic Operator (see also EORI and AEO)
EO (2)   Executive Order (USA government)
EOI   Evidence of identity
EoR   Exporter of Record
EORI   Economic Operator Registration Identification number - used in the EU (also see AEO). In the UK it evolved from the VAT and TURN - see also EOS
EOS   Economic Operator Systems = AEO and EORI
EP   European Parliament
EPA   Economic Partnership Agreements - are a scheme to create a Free Trade Area (FTA) between the EU and the ACP countries
EPCI   Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative (EAR proliferation rules)
EPD   Energy Products Directive



Excise Payment Security System

EPU   Entry Processing Unit - the point where goods are declared to Customs or where specific activities take place
EPZ   Export Processing Zone
e-RPA   Electronic Version of the RPA
ERTS   Enhanced Remote Transit Shed - specially authorised warehouses approved to hold freight prior to customs clearance. Tends to be freight forwarders' premises
ESCI   European Supply Chain Institute
ESCAP   United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCAP   Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 
ESD   Exit Summary Declaration - the export declaration under ECS (see also ENS)
ESL   Export Sales List - used in conjunction with the Intrastat report. It states the EU VAT registration numbers of companies supplied goods from the UK. Issued monthly
ESM   Emergency Safeguard Mechanism
EST   Environmentally-sound technology.
EST&P   Environmentally-sound technology and products.
ETA   Estimated Time of Arrival
ETID   Europe, Trade and International Directorate
ETS (1)   Estimated Time of Shipment
ETS (2)   Electronic Transit System - new name (2016) for the NCTS
ETSF   External Temporary Storage Facility
ETSF (AD)   Approved Depository - External Temporary Storage Facility
ETSF (SP)   Approved CFSP Temporary Storage Facilities - External Temporary Storage Facility
ETSI   European Telecommunications Standards Institute
EU (1)   European Union - legal name of the EC
EU (2)   Abbreviation used by Customs to express any End-Use duty relief procedure
EUGA       Alternative abbreviation for the UEGA – European Union General (Export) Authorisations for dual-use 3rd country exports
EUMOFA   European Market Observatory for Fishery and Aquaculture Products
EUR1 Form   European Preference/Movement Certificate used between EU countries and countries with whom the EU has bilateral trade agreements. Confirms goods qualify under the origin rules of the agreement(s)
EurAsEC   Eurasian Economic Community - Customs Union currently with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan (also known as EAEC)
EUR-MED   Similar to the EUR1 Form the EUR-MED is used when goods can only meet the rules of preference origin by taking into consideration material from Mediterranean countries not in the EU
EUU   End User Undertaking - declaration made by customer to confirm the end-use of goods subject to export controls. Need to obtain or confirm correct use of export licences.
EUS   End User Statement
EWP   Ex-works Price – abbreviation used in FTA/PTAs
EX1   Not an official term but was used to indicate the NES Export Declaration needed when goods cross EU MS by road prior to being exported into a non-EU country (indirect export). Replaced by the EAD
Excise Duty   A national tax levied on "luxury" goods - in the EU goods subject to excise taxes are hydrocarbon oils, alcohol and tobacco. As this is a domestic tax goods in these categories moving around the EU come under customs control (see EMCS)
Export Licence   A specific approval granted by the authorities (UK = ECO) approving goods caught on a control list (eg dual-use or military list) to be exported out of the UK.
EXPY   Average product/ income of a country's export basket (see PRODY below)
EXS   Exit Summary Declaration under ECS - see also ESD
Extra-territoriality   Additional controls by the origin authorities on strategic goods and technology after it has left the origin country or manufactured overseas.  Current in USA but also Australia, Japan and UK on some items.
EXW   EXW - an Incoterms ® Rule more appropriate for domestic trade than international transactions
exworks   jargon: means the price of goods only includes the cost of goods, packing and profit

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F680   Form 680 - DSO application to release information on military goods to promote the sale of, or release information related to their products to overseas markets. Sometimes a requirement to use an OGEL
FAK   Freight all Kinds
FARS   Federal Acquisition Regulations (USA)
FAS   Free Alongside Ship - an Incoterms ® Rule
FAS           Flexible Accounting System
FAST   Free and Secure Trade - part of the PIP and CSA security accredition programme in Canada
FATF   Financial Action Task Force - an inter-governmental body, has recentlyreiterated its calls for countries to apply effective counter-measures to protect their financial sectors from money laundering and financing of terrorism risks emanating from Iran
FCA   Free Carrier - an Incoterms ® Rule
FCG   Free Circulation Goods (EU Term) also see UG
FCL   Full Container Load (single supplier) - see also FCX
FCO   Foreign and Commonwealth Office
FCPA   US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
FCPA   Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (USA)
FCX   Full Container Load (multiple Suppliers) - see also FCL
FDI   Foreign Direct Investment
FEC   Front End Credibility checkes - mechanism on CHIEF whereby apparently "odd" data is identified in response to the submission of a declaration, eg commodity code doesn't exist.
FEDAT   Freight Engagement and Data Acquisition Team (part of UK Border Force DSAB)
FEZ   Free Economic Zone
FFS   Frontier Freight Solution - UK HMRC project for replacing CHIEF when it ceases operation (sometime between 2015-2030)
FHDDS   Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme
FIA   Freedom of Information Act (UK)
FLEGT   Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trace
FMS   Foreign Military Sales
FMV (1)   Fair Market Value
FMV (2)   Fair Manufacturing Value
FOB   Free on Board - an Incoterms ® Rule (not appropriate for containerised freight under the 2010 set)
FOC   Free of Charge (Payment Term)
FOI   Freedom of Information Act
FoIA   Freedom of Information Act 2000 (UK)
Form A   GSP Preference Certificate
Form B   A Certificate of Origin issued in GSP beneficiary countries when the goods do not qualify for preference
Forwarder   The party contracted primarily to prepare export documentation and act as interface between shipper and carrier
Foul Bill of Lading   A receipt for goods issued by a carrier with an indication that the goods were damaged when received. Compare Clean Bill of Lading.
FP   Free Port
FPM   FEDAT Partnership Managers
FPO (1)   Fast Parcel Operator
FPO (2)   Fleet Post Office
FPPI   Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FTR) - USA Term
Free Circulation   Goods which can freely move around the EU without requiring customs paperwork. Goods are in free circulation if they are either wholly manufactured in the EU or imported (in all or part) and all relevant import duties have been paid
Freight collect   Indication from the shipper as to who pays main freight costs - collected at destination
Freight forward   Indication from the shipper as to who pays main freight costs - sent forward to consignee's account
Freight prepaid   Indication from the shipper as to who pays main freight costs - costs paid by shipper
FRN   Federal Register Notice 
FROB   Freight Remaining on Board (part of ECS terminology)



Any place where the goods are still to be notified formally to Customs by placing them under a nominated Customs procedure

FSC   Facility Security Code
FSD   Final Supplementary Declaration - this completes the entry of any goods originally declared to Customs under CFSP or NES
FTA   Free Trade Agreement
FTAA   Free Trade Area of the Americas (NAFTA + 34 S. American countries [not Cuba] - not in place still under discussions which have stalled
FTAAP   Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific
FTC   Free Trade Commission
FTR   Foreign Trade Statistics Regulations (USA)
FTSR   Foreign Trade Statistics Regulations (USA)
FTWZ   Free Trade & Warehousing Zone
FTZ   Free Trade Zones
Full Declaration   When this term is used Customs are referring to "normal" procedures for declaring goods, ie no simplified procedure is applicable.
FZ   Free Zone


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G7   Group of seven leading industrial countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States.
G8   G7 plus Russia.
G15   Group of 15 developing countries acting as the main political organ for the Non-Aligned Movement.
G77   Group of developing countries set up in 1964 at the end of the first UNCTAD (originally 77, but now more than 130 countries).
GAFTA   Greater Arab Free Trade Agreement (also known as PAFTA)
GATS   General Agreement on Trade in Services
GATT   General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
G.B.O   Goods in Bad Order (Bill of Lading statement)
GBS   Group B Shipments (USA EAR license exception)
GC   General Correspondence (USA ITAR)
GCC   Gulf Co-operative Council
GCHQ   Government Communications Headquarters
GCR   General Cargo Rates
GDM   Goods Departed Message - electronic message received from CHIEF under NES procedure to show that goods have been exported.
GDPR   General Data Protection Regulation
GEA   Global Express Association
GEO   Government Equalities Office (UK)
GES   Global Express Association (association of FPO, eg DHL, UPS, TNT, Fedex)
GDP   Gross Domestic Product
GEP   Global Entrepreneur Programme
GFI   Global Financial Integrity
GFT   EAR exception for shipments of gift parcels and humanitarian donations
GHA   Ground Handling Agent
GHS   United Nations Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
GI   Geographical Indicators
GIIS   Global Information and Intelligence Project Group
GIR   General Interpretive Rules for Classifying Goods under the Harmonised System (called GRI in USA)
GMP   Good Manufacturing Practice
GNC   Globally Network Customs (WCO Concept)
Golden Card   AEO equivalent customs compliance scheme in Thailand
Golden List   AEO equivalent scheme in Jordan
GOST Certificate   Conformity certificate raised for goods shipped to Russia under their pre-shipment inspection rules
GOV   Government (USA EAR license exception)
GPA   Government Procurement Agreement (WTO)
GPA   Government Procurement Agreement: a “plurilateral” agreement (ie, signed by only some WTO members) covering the procurement of goods, services and capital infrastructure by governments and other public authorities.
GPL (1)   Global Project Licence (export controls)
GPL (2)   Government Procurement Law
GRI   General Rules for Interpretation used when Classifying Goods under the Harmonised System (called GIR in UK)
Gross Weight   Total weight of goods and packing
Groupage   Small consignments bulked together and consigned by a forwarder or carrier as one shipment to reduce the cost of freight. This term tends to apply to sea freight and road haulage
Green Box   WTO Term: Domestic support for agriculture that is allowed without limits because it does not distort trade, or at most causes minimal distortion
GRN (1)   Goods Received Note
GRN (2)   Transit Guarantee Number - used in EU for NCTS movements
GSP   Generalised System of Preferences - see also Form A and Form B
GSP Form A   The certificate declaring both the origin of goods and that they conform to the preference rules
GSP Form B   A certificate issues from a GSP country which only confirm origin but states that the goods do not qualify for preference
GSP Form D   Combined Declaration of Origin and Preference for goods moving within ASEAN to establish GSP qualifying status
GST   General Sales Tax - a tax collected in other countries domestically and on imports; similar to VAT
GSTP   Global System of Trade Preferences for Developing Countries
GTGA   Government to Government Assurance
GTM   Global Trade Management
GTSP   Global Tax Simplification Program
GU   General Undertaking - generally known as an End-User Undertaking (EUU) - export controls


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HAWB   House Air Waybill
HazMat   Hazardous Materials - USA government official term for Dangerous Goods
HLSG   High Level Strategic Group (WCO)
HMF   Harbour Maintenance Fee
HMRC   Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (formerly HMCE)
hOds   WTO Term: Heads of delegations (usually ambassadors or ministers).
Home Use   Goods being imported for use/ sale in the UK or the EU
HPC   High Performance Computer (dual-use controls)
Hub   The central transhipment point in a network, serviced by truck transport and serving spokes
HSC   Harmonised System Committee
HS Code   Harmonised System Code (tariff number)
HSNO   Hazardous Substances and New Organisms
HSEN   Harmonised System Explanatory Notes
HTISC   Harmonised Tariff Item Statistical Code - Australia
HTS   Harmonised Tariff Schedule (USA - FTR)
HWP   WCO Harmonisation Work Programme

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IA   Implemented Acts (of the EU UCC).  IA can be debated by the MS under the Customs Code Implementing Provision (see also DA)
IADB   Inter-American Development Bank
IAEA   International Atomic Energy Agency
IATA   International Air Transport Association
IB   Interventions Board (for agricultural goods)
IBFD   International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation
IBRD   International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – also known as the World Bank
IBSA   Trade Agreement under discussion - India, Brazil and South Africa trilaterial deal
ICAO   International Civil Airlines Operation
ICC   International Chamber of Commerce
ICCPR   International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
ICD   Inland Clearance Deport - a place (not a port or airport) authorised by HMRC for the import clearance of freight
ICD   Interface Control Document
ICESCR   International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
ICN   International Competition Network
ICP   Internal Control Programme - in-company compliance (USA ITAR)
ICP   Implied Compliance Papers (from USA CBP)
ICO   Information Commissioner’s Office (UK)
ICS (1)   Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
ICS (2)   Import Control System: EU wide supply chain security system came into force January 2011
ICSID   International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes
ICT   Intra-Community Transfer - EU Directive aiming to simplify the terms and conditions of intra-community transfers of defence-realted products within the EU
ICT   Information & Communication Technologies (WCO Guidelines)
ICTSD   International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
IDB   World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Integrated Data Base
IDB   Integrated Data Base
IDR   Import Duty Rate
IE    Individual Examination (ADD Measure)
IEC Code   Importer/Exporter Code Number issued in India
IE501   ICS/ECS code generated by CHIEF stating that "goods are on their way"
IE518   ICS/ECS code generated by CHIEF stating that "goods have exited"
IEEPA   International Emergency Economic Powers Act - USA (EAR and OFAC)
IFC   International Finance Corporation
IFIA   International Federation of Inspection Agencies
IGO   International Government Organisation, eg WTO
IIC   International Import Certificate - a form sometimes supplied to support export licence application when the customers/ suppliers are based within the EU. Can replace an EUU
I/L   Import Licence - either individual or open general - issued to allow or limit imports of certain specified commodities. Controlled by the ILB of the DIT in the UK
ILB   Import Licensing Branch
IMCO   Internal Marketing & Consumer Protection Committe (EU)
IMF   International Monetary Fund
IMO   International Maritime Organisation
IMP Code   A code applied to cargo that requires special handling - eg live animals (AVI), cargo aircraft only (CAO), foodstuffs (EAT), human remains (HUM), Dry ice (DRY), perishable cargo (PER)

A set of internationally recognised shipping/delivery terms published by the ICC. They define where costs and risk passes from buyer to seller in contracts. Current set Incoterms® 2010 rules

Indirect Export   Goods going to a non-EU country but travelling through other members states prior to the final exit from the EU, eg road shipments from UK to Russia. See also direct export
INF   Title given to Information Documents used by customs within the EU when goods being moved are under customs control
INN Table   The International Non-proprietary Names (INN) Table is a reference document published by the WCO Secretariat to facilitate the identification of pharmaceutical substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients against the corresponding Harmonised System (HS) Code.
Intangible Export   Controlled technology or software transmitted overseas by email, fax, telephone conversation
Integrator   see also courier/ air express operator
Intrastat   Intra-Community Trade Statistics: monthly reports required to be submitted to HMRC on movements of goods in free circulation to other member states of the EU (see also ESL and SD)

Inventory System


A (trade) computer system that controls the arrival and departure of consignments at most ports and airports in the UK. See also DTI system

Invoice   Document issued by the supplier of goods detailing the transaction, description of goods and values involved
    a) Commercial invoice - used to claim payment and often required by customs authorities
    b) Export Invoice - an invoice used to ship goods, sometimes called "for customs purposes only" must cross reference to a commercial invoice and have all the same information as the commercial invoice but may have additional details required for overseas customs or export control purposes
    c) Proforma Invoice - an invoice raised in advance of the shipment of goods for a number of purposes, eg to obtain an import licence, to claim payment in advance, to support the issuing of a letter of credit
    d) Shipping Invoice - generally used when goods are shipped where there is no payment involved, eg after repair, free of charge replacements, samples. A value is required on this document for insurance purposes.
INTA   Committee on International Trade (EU)
IOR   Importer of Record
IOR-ARC   Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation
IP   Inward Processing - Customs duty relief procedure (see IPR (1))
IPA   Instrument for Pre-Accession assistance (EU)
IPCP   Import Product Certification Programme
IPM   Interface Public Members (Customs modernisation tool)
IPPTA   Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement
IPR (1)   Intellectual Property Rights
IPR (2)   Inward Processing Relief - also abbreviated as IP. A customs regime procedure which permits the suspension of customs duty and VAT if goods temporarily imported into the EU for a process, eg repair, manufacturing. Goods must be correctly imported and exported into this regime.
IR   Indirect Representation - this is when the declarant (eg forwarder) shares liability for all information submitted to customs ("jointly and severely responsible"). Unless an agent has written authorisation to the contrary HMRC will assume they are acting as IR. See also DR
IRCAI   Index of Revealed Comparative Advantage in Innovation
IRG   Immediate Release Guidelines (WCO Tool)
IRGC   Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp Economic Exclusion Act
IRU   International RoadTransport Union
ISA   Iran Sanctions Act (USA)
ISBP   International Standard Banking Practice - a document instructing banks on the best practice methods of checking documents under letter of credit transactions
ISCM   International Supply Chain Management - guidelines lay down by the WCO
ISF   Import Security Filing - also known as 10+ 2 rule - a system of safety and security declarations operated in the USA; requires pre-notification of freight details 24 hours in advance of a ship destined for the USA being loaded
ISI   Import Substitution Industrialisation
ISO   International Standards Organisation
ISPS Code   International Ship and Port Facility Security Code - international mandatory IMP convention
Individual Treatment (ADD Measure)
ITA       Information Technology Agreement - Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology
ITA-II   The amended Information Technology Agreement expected to come out of the Bali Conference of the WTO in December 2013
ITA-II   Information Technology Agreement – 2nd revision December 2013
ITAR   International Traffic In Arms Regulations - USA Military List subject to export, re-export and re-transfer controls
ITAS   US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Import Trade Auxiliary Communication System
ITC   The International Trade Centre, originally established by the old GATT and is now operated jointly by the WTO and the UN, the latter acting through the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Focal point for technical cooperation on trade promotion of developing countries.
ITC   International Tax Compact
ITC (2)  
UN International Trade Commission
ITCB   International Textiles and Clothing Bureau — Geneva-based group of some 20 developing country exporters of textiles and clothing.
ITDA   International Trade Data System (USA)
ITDLO   International Trade Development Liasion Officer - a role in UK customs
ITE   Integrated Tariff Environment
ITN   Internal Transaction Number (FTR)
ITRA   Iran Threat Reduction and Human Rights Act of 2012 (USA)
ITRA (EO)   Executive Order implementing portions of the ITRA
ITSF   Internal Temporary Storage Facility
ITSF (R)   Internal Temporary Storage Facility (Remote)
ITSW   International Trade Single Window - single source of information
IVL   Individual Validated License (USA term under EAR)


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JCCC   Joint Consultative Customs Committee
JCL   Joint Contractual Liability (when securing financial guarantees for customs purposes)
JCPOA   Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Sanctions)
Joint Economic and Trade Commission
JV   Joint Venture

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kg   kilogrammes
KORUS   The US-Korea free trade agreement
KPCS   Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (related to controls on diamonds)


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Landed Value   The amount calculated by adding the value of the goods to amounts for freight and insurance
LAIA   Latin American Integration Association
LADI   Is a Latin American trade integration association based in Montevideo, Uruguay (aka Associação Latino-Americana de Integração (ALADI) 
LC   Letter of Credit - a letter from one bank authorising payment to the seller on presentation of compliant documents to the banks (payment term)
LCH   Landing Charges
LCP   Local Clearance Procedures - permits importers/exporters/ forwarders to do full customs declarations at their own premises under control of their local customs office.
LDC   Less Developed Countries
LE   Law Enforcement division of HMRC now undertaking some work formerly done at ports/ airports
Legalised   Documents, such as a CofO, stamped by the Embassy of the receiving country (also see certified)
LIC99   Standard customs code used in the UK to indicate that, though similar goods may require an export or import licence, the ones being presented to customs at this time do not. May be required to justify use of this code
List N   A commercial site (ie non-Government) on UK soil that is approved to hold UK government secure information relating to civil nuclear research or power generation, and is administered by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
List Rules   The rules of origin (preferential and non-preferential) under which a product is deemed to originate in a certain country (market) due to specific criteria linked to the HS Chapter of the goods in question
List X   A commercial site (ie non-Government) on UK soil that is approved to hold UK government protectively marked information marked as 'confidential' and above. It is applied to a company's specific site and not a company as a whole. The term has been used since the 1930s and is equivalent to FSC used in other countries.
LLDC   Landlocked Developing Countries
LO   Licensing Officer (EAR/ITAR/OFAC)
LOP   Labour, Overheads and Profit
LTSD   Long Term Supplier Declaration
LVBI   Low Value Bulking Imports
LVCR   Low Value Consignment Relief - a UK Customs term
LVS (1)   Low Value Shipments (USA EAR license exception)
LVS (2)   Low Value Statement used on invoices to replace preference forms, eg EUR1 Forms

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M&A   Mergers and Acquisitions
MAA   Mutual Assistance Agreements (Customs to Customs)
MADB   The EU Market Access Database
MAFTA   Malaysia- Australia Free Trade Agreement
  Country Group - Algeria, Morocco & Tunisia
MAI   Multilateral Agreement on Investment
MAI   Market Access Intelligence
Manifest   List of goods, cargo, destination(s) for one movement of goods by air or sea
MAP   Mutual Agreement Procedure
Mashraq   Country Group - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon & Syria
MASP   Multi-Annual Strategic Plan - the plan used by UK Customs for the introduction of trade simplification procedures recommended by the EU. Already in place CFSP, NES, NCTS
MAWB   Master Air Waybill
Max   WTO Term to indicate Maximum duty charged
Max fac   Maximum Facilitation - UK preferred option of a future relationship with the EU after Brexit
MCC   Modernised Customs Code (also see Customs 2013) - the re-writing of the customs rules and regulation in the EU
MCD   Munitions Control Division
MCCIP   Modernised Customs Code Implementation Provisions
MECR   Multilateral Export Control Regimes, they are WA, AG, MTCR and NSG
MDE   Major Defence Equipment
MEA   Multilateral Environmental Agreement
MENA   Middle East and North Africa
Mercosur   Customs Union between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela: Mercado Común del Sur (Common Market of South America)
MET   Market Economy Treatment (ADD Measure)
METI   Ministry of Economic Trade & Industry (Japan)
M.EU   Military End-Use - a customs regime
MFA   Multifibre Arrangement (1974-94) under which countries whose markets are disrupted by increased imports of textiles and clothing from another country were able to negotiate quota restrictions.
MFN   Most Favoured Nations – customs duty agreements between countries setting the Standard Rate of Customs duty against the tariff
MG   Missile Group
MID   Manufacturer's Identification Number under the AEO/C-TPAT agreement (MRA)
MID   Manufacturers Identification Details
MID   Manufacturers Identification (USA)
MIFT   Manchester International Freight Terminal
Military Goods   Goods or technology specifically designed, modified or reconfigured for military purposes as detailed in the military list controls, eg UK ML
Minimum Charge   The lowest rate applicable on each type of air cargo service no matter how small the shipment
Minimum Weight   The lowest weight at which a freight rate is applicable (see Weight Breaks)
MIPDs   Multi-Annual Indicative Planning Documents (EU)
MIST   Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey: an acronym invented by Goldman Sachs in 2012 to cover the 4 biggest world markets with potential
MITA   AEO equivalent customs compliance scheme in Indonesia
ML   UK Military List
MLA   Manufacturing License Agreement (USA - ITAR)
MLAT   Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
MNC   Multinational Company
MNE   Multinational Enterprise
MINT   Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey – emerging markets ripe for trade development
MOA   Memorandum of Arrangements
MoD   Ministry of Defence
MOP   Method of Payment - used on UK customs entries to indicate how duty/VAT will be paid
MOU   Memorandum of Understanding - often between Customs and freight company/ trader
M-PCA   Multi-Party Commercial Agreement - a type of free trade agreement
MRA   Mutual Recognition Agreements - under AEO schemes
MRN   Movement Reference Number - electronic code (bar-code) used by EU customs to control the movement of goods under a number of systems, eg ECS, EMCS, ICS, NCTS
MS   Member State of the EU
MSAR   Macau Special Administrative Region
MSC   Member State Committee
MSDS   Material Safety Data Sheet
MSIC   Maritime Security Identification Card
MSS   Management Support System - data of imports/exports supplied by subscription from HMRC
MT   Missile Technology (reason for export control)
MTCR   Missile Technology Control Regime
MTN   Multilateral Trade Negotiation
MUCR   Master Unique Consignment Reference


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NACCS   Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System
NAFTA   North American Free Trade Agreement (USA, Canada and Mexico)
NAMA   Non-agricultural market access: broadly covers industrial, fisheries and forestry products
NAS   National Advice Service - HMRC's helpline 0845 0109000
NAV   Non-Ad Valorem Duty
NB   Nota bene (EAR)
NCA   Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
nCEN   National Customs Enforcement Network
NCH   National Clearance Hub - UK Customs central controlling office
NCP   New Customs Partnership - UK second option on the future trade relationship with the EU after Brexit
NCTS   New Computerised Transit Systme - not new but an electronic tracking system used by Customs authorities around the EU plus EFTA to control the movement of "controlled" goods within the EU. Term replaced by ETS - Electronic Transit System in 2016
NCV   No commercial value
NDA   Non-Disclosure Agreement
Negotiated Rate   In the USA an agreed rate between an airline and a shipper which is not otherwise provided in the current air freight rate tariff. These rates became legal when aifreight was deregulated in Nov 1977
NES (1)   National Export Systetm - UK electronic system for declaring exports into CHIEF (based on SAD)
NES (2)   Not Elsewhere Specified (USA - EAR term)
Nett Rate   Either the cost per unit of transporting a shipment or the lowest discounted rate a carrier is willing to offer a customer. The term can be used either way
Nett Weight   Weight of the goods only
NGTF   Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation (WTO)
NFAC   National Freight Advisory Committee (USA)
NFAU   National Frontier Approvals Unit (UKBF)
NGEA   National General Export Authorisation - abbreviation used in the EU to indicate national open licences for the export of controlled goods/technology, eg UK and OGEL. See also UGEA
NIDAC   National Indigenous Drug & Alcohol Committee
NIRU   National Imports Relief Unit - located in Enniskillen it is UK Customs office looking after duty relief procedures under the simplified authorisation
NLR (1)   No Licence Required - UK means goods not high technology (ie dual-use) or specially designed or modified for military purposes.
NLR (2)   No Licence Required - USA means that though the goods/technology is controlled no physical export license is required to export, often due to an exception or country of destination not deemed a risk for those particular items.
Non-AG   Non-Agricultural products (WTO term)
NoTC   Nature of Transaction Code - used in Intrastat declarations to declare why goods physically moved to another member state of the EU
NOVA   Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (UK HMRC)
NP   Nuclear Non-proliferation concerns (see USA CCC (4))
Notify Party   Additional party shown on an air waybill, bill of lading, etc normally to aid customs clearance or payment issues. This party will be contacted on arrival of the goods though they do not have to physically take the goods.
NPO   Non-Preference Origin
NS   National Security (USA EAR reason for control)
NSG   Nuclear Suppliers Group (EAR)
NTAS   National Temporary Admission Section - HMRC office in Salford UK
NTB   Non-Tariff Barrier
NTM   Non-Tariff Measure 
NTR   Normal Trade Relations (see also PNTR)
n-UG   Non-Union Goods - new term introduced with the UCC in the EU (also see T1)
Nuisance Tariff   Tariff so low that it costs the government more to collect it than the revenue it generates. Sometimes, a tariff that does not have any protective effect — some countries defend this as necessary in order to raise revenues


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OBL   Ocean Bill of Lading
OCAC   Organisation of Central Asian Cooperation - composed of Kazahstan, Kyrgyszstan, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan and Russia
OCT   Overseas Countries & Territories
ODR   Online Dispute Resolution
ODC   Other Duty Charges
ODS   Ozone Depleting Substances
OECD   Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
OEE   Office of Export Enforcement (USA BIS)
OEM   Original Equipment Manufacturer
OFAC   Office of Foreign Assets Control (US Government)
OGD   Other Government Department(s)
OGEL   Open General Export Licence - a system of general approvals issued by the UK ECJU which permits the export of controlled goods named in the OGEL to named destinations without the requirement of an individual export licence. Companies must register for first time use of any OGEL via SPIRE
OG(I)L   Open General Import Licence - UK/EU licence which approves the import of all goods except those named in the appendices of the OGIL. Current version Issued May 2009
OGTCL   Open General Trade Control Licence
OIEL   Open Individual Export Licence
OIIL   Office of Intelligence and Investigative Liaison (USA CBP)
OIT   Office of Information & Technology (USA CBP)
OITCL   Open Individual Trade Control Licence
OJ   Official Journal
European Anti- Fraud Office (its French name: Office de Lutte Anti-Fraude)
OMA   Orderly Marketing Arrangement
OMD   Organisation Mondiale des Douanes – French name for the WCO
OMR   Outermost Regions of the EU
OMS   Other Member State (of the EU)
OoFE   Office of First Entry - related to ICS
OoSE   Office of Subsequent Entry - related to ICS
OPCW   Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
OPEC   Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
OPR   EU Customs Procedure allowing goods to be exported outside the EU on a temporary basis for a process, eg repair, further manufacture, and then be returned to the EU without the requirement to pay customs duties on the value of the original export product
OSBP   One-Stop Border Post
OSCE   Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
OSR   Onward Supply Relief (VAT can be passed to another Member State at import)
OT   Office of International Trade (USA CBP)
OTS   Overseas Trade Statistics
OTD   Office of Training and Development (USA CBP)
OTDS   overall trade-distorting domestic support, eg Blue Box or Amber Box support


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P2P   Permission to Proceed - Customs response instruction related to ECS and ICS
PACE   AEO equivalent customs compliance scheme in El Salvador
PACER   Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations
PAFTA   Pan-Arab Free Trade Area
Pallet   A platform of standard dimensions on which goods are assembled and secured by nets and strags before being loaded as a unit onto transportation.
PAPD   Pre-Arrival/Pre-Departure Messaging System - the general term for the supply chain security messages being introduced around the world. EU versions are ICS and ECS
Paragraph 6 Systems   A “waiver” and pending amendment allowing generic medicines to be made under “compulsory licences” exclusively for export to countries that cannot produce the medicines themselves. The system deals with a problem identified in Paragraph 6 of the 2001 Doha Declaration on the TRIPS (intellectual property) Agreement and Public Health by removing a limit in the TRIPS Agreement’s Article 31(f) on the amount nations can export under a compulsory licence to countries needing the medicines.
Parallel imports   When a product made legally (i.e. not pirated) abroad is imported without the permission of the intellectual property right-holder (e.g. the trademark or patent owner). Some countries allow this, others do not.
Paris Convention   Treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), for the protection of industrial intellectual property, i.e. patents, utility models, industrial designs, etc.
PARN   Pre-Authenicated Release Note (EU NCTS)
PC   Partial Cumulation (Rules of preference origin)
PCA   Post Clearance Amendments
PCC   Processing under Customs Control - an EU Customs regime merged with IP under from 1st May 2016 under UCC changes

Political Contributions, Fees and Commissions (ITAR)

PEE   Prior Export Equivalents (under EU Inward Processing)
PEM   Pan-Euro-Med Regional Convention
PGA   Partner Government Agencies
PIC   Partners in Compliance - part of the Canadan PIP security accredition scheme
PICTA   Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement
PL   UK specific strategic goods category within the Military List.  Indicates Paramilitary Use/ Design
PIP   Partners in Protection - Canada's AEO scheme accrediting safe and secure international traders. Also see AMPS, CSA, FAST and PIC
PIS   Contribution to Social Integration Programs (Customs duty)
PM   Political Military (USA ITAR)
P/N   Promissory Note (payment term)
PNR   Passenger Name Record (see also API)
PNTR   Permanent Normal Trade Relations (see also NTR)
POA   Power of Attorney
POD (1)   Paid on Delivery (payment term)
POD (2)   Proof of Delivery
POD (3)   Period of Disposal - used with regard to Inward Processing Relief to establish the length of time a company may keep an item in the EU without having to account for customs duty
POIC   Overseas Private Investment Corporation
POP Convention   Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic 
Post Entry   Goods entered to customs after they ahve been exported or imported. Also refers to an amendment being made to an existing customs entry
POUS   Proof of Union Status (EU-UCC) see also T2F and T2L
PPI   Principal Party in Interest (USA)
PPP   Purchasing Power Parity
PRA   Paperwork Reduction Act (USA)
Pre-Entry   Relates to the requirement that goods must be declared to customs prior to export
PRODY   Average Productivity/ Incomer of countries exporting (see also EXPY)
PROFAC   Customs Facilitation Programme for Reliable Trade - equivalent AEO programme in Costa Rica
PRTR   Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry 
PSA   Post Shipment Advices - CHIEF pre-notification required in certain instances under the UK electronic export declaration procedure (NES). Not to be confused with pre-departure messaging
PSCG   Private Sector Consultative Group (WCO)
PSI   Pre-Shipment Inspection
PSM   Profit Split Method - an international customs valuation term
PSR   Product Specific Rule (a qualification List Rule under FTA/PTA)
PTA   Preferential Trade Agreement/ Arrangements (Agreements)
PTC   Permanent Technical Committee (WCO) 
PTS   Permission to Ship (CITEX approval for SIEL to EU countries)

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QIZ   Qualified Industrial ZoneS - similar to free trade zones
QMV   Qualified Majority Voting
QRs   Quantitative restrictions — specific limits on the quantity or value of goods that can be imported (or exported) during a specific time period.
Quad   Canada, EU, Japan and the United States.
Quota   Quantity limit (ceiling) levied on the import of certain goods; often controlled by import licence


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RA (1)   Risk Analysis - part of the audit requirements for being granted AEO or similar supply chain security accreditation
RA (2)   Risk Assessment - another name for the part of the audit requirements for being granted AEO or similar supply chain security accreditation
RAR   Risk Assessment Report
Rating   Obtaining a formal statement from the ECO/BUS to say if your goods/technology is subject to export licensing controls. Obtain via SPIRE
RCA   Revealed Comparative Advantage
REACH   European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals.
REFIT   Regulatory Fitness and Performance
REIO   Regional Economic Integration organisation (clause)
REV REC   Revenue Recognition
REX (1)   Rate of Exchange
REX (2)   Registered Export System - authorisation to make invoice declarations to replace GSP Forms
RFS   Road Feeder Service
RFQ   Request for Quotation
RGF   Real Good Friends - 16 countries, the United States, countries from the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taipei, Pakistan, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, call themselves the real good friends (RGF) of liberalisation of trade in services.
RGR   Returned Goods Relief (EU Customs procedures)
RID   Regulations Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail
RILO   Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (WCO)
RKC   Revised Kyoto Convention (on TF)
RMA   Returned Material Authorisation
RMF   Risk Management Framework - world-wide security checking requirements
RoHS   Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment
ROO   Rules of Origin
ROU   Record of Understanding
RoW   Rest of the World
ROY   Rate of Yield - used to calculate the use of goods under customs regimes such as IPR or OPR
RPA   Rural Payments Agency: an Executive Agency of Defra and provides services such as rural payments, rural inspections and livestock tracing.
RPA   Reciprocal Preference Agreement
RPL   Replacement (USA EAR license exception)
RPM   Resale Price Method - an international customs valuation term
RPS   Restricted Party Screening
RTA   Regional Trade Agreement
RTA   Reciprocal Trade Agreement
RTA-IS   Regional Trade Agreement Information System
RS   Regional Stability concerns (see USA CCC (4))
Rummage   The act of searching a vessel or aircraft thoroughly, it includes moving around turning over or looking through contents
RVC   Regional Value Content - qualifying criteria type under preference agreements
RWA   Return Without Action


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S&S   Safety and Security
SAOC   Customs System of Reliable Operators - Argentina scheme similar to AEO
SA   Self-Assessment (AEO)
SAA   EU bilateral Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAAs) in place
SAARC   South Asian Association for Regional Corporation - comprised of Bangladesh, Bhuttan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
SACU   South African Customs Union
SAD   Single Administrative Document - EU-wide customs document introduced in 1988. See also C88/NES
SADC   South African Development Community
SADH   SAD Harmonisation. A rationalising and standardisation procedure to ensure all EU countries use and complete the SAD Form in the same way. Completed 2008
SAFE (1)   State Administration of Foreign Exchange (China)
SAFE (2)   Safe and Fast Environment - principle of supply chain security
SAFE Framework   WCO Standard to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade - from this the concept of AEO and secure supply chain is being adopted around the world
SAFE Ports Act   Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port. USA introduced this Act in 2006 as part of their security initiative, it includes the requirement that every container is scanned before it leaves the export country if destined for the USA.
SALW   small arms and light weapons
SAOC   Customs System of Reliable Operators - the system of supply chain accredition used in Argentina
SAP   Not the accounting programme ... Single Electronic Access Point, a scheme by which HMRC and other government bodies (DEFRA, RPA, ECJU) can make information available to trade via a single access point
SASP   Single Authorisation for Simplified Procedures
SAQ   Self Assessment Questionnaire - used when applying for AEO status
SAR   Special Administrative Region
SBC   Standard Beneficiary Countries = main GSP Beneficiary countries under EU-GSP agreement
SCF   Supply Chain Finance
Schedule B   The shorter, concise list of commodity codes used on export declaration from the USA – only first 4-digits correspond to HS codes
SCL   Special Comprehensive License (USA EAR)
SCM   Subsidies and Countervailing Measure Agreement (WTO)
SCO   Special Compliance Officer (USA ITAR)
SCOMET   Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment & Technology list - (India - dual-use controls)
SCR   Specific Commodity Rates
SCSS   Supply Chain Security Specialists
The "Schedule"   Another name for the section of the tariff listing commodity code numbers
SD   Supplementary Declaration - official name of the Intrastat report stating the physical movement of goods
SDBA   Simplified Discharge by Anticipation - under EU IP duty relief scheme discharge to EnU
SDE   Supplementary Declaration - Export. Only needed if a simplified export declaration is made when goods are physically exported. A SDE gives full information
SDGT   Specially Designated Global Terrorist (on the USA Denied Party Lists)
SDI   Supplementary Declaration - official name of the Intrastat report stating the physical movement of goods
SDN   Specially Designated National (USA OFAC)
SDN   Specially Designated Nationals
SDNTK   Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpin
SDP   Simplified Declaration Procedure
SDPA   Simplified Discharge Procedure Aircraft - applies to a discharge procedure under IP
SDS   Safety Data Sheets
SDT   Special and Differential Treatment – special measures for developing countries within WTO agreements
SDW   Supplementary Declaration Warehouse
SEA   Single European Authorisation. Customs scheme approving traders to use Customs regimes in more than one member state of the EU. Not many companies approved. See SASP
SEC   Securities and Exchange Commission (USA)
SED   Shipper's Export Declaration - the USA export customs form
SEED   System for the Exchagne of Excise Data
SES (1)   Standard Exchange System - used in IPR and OPR when items are repaired by replacement
SES (2)   Secure Export Scheme - the AEO type security accreditation in New Zealand
SEZ   Special Economic Zone
SFD   Simplified Frontier Declaration (part of CFSP)
SFO   Serious Fraud Office
SiA (1)   Simplified Authorisations - applying to use customs authorisation, eg IP, OPR at the time of import/export.  Term being replaced by ABD under UCC 2016
SIA (2)   Sustainability Impact Assessment
SIDS   Small Island Developing States
Shipper   The company who originates the requirement to move goods
Short Shipped   cargo landed that is less than the quantity which has been invoiced, valued or declared
SIEL   Standard Individual Export Licence (UK ECJU) - related to controlled goods
SIS   Schengen Information System
SIS II   Schengen Information System updated system went live in April 2013
SITC   Standard International Trade Classification
SITCL   Standard Individual Trade Control Licence
SITPRO   Simplification of International Trade Procedures Board - worked on standardising international documents world-wide. Closed in the UK July 2010
SIVA   Simplified Import VAT Accounting - works alongside the Deferment Account (see above). If an importer is SIVA approved then the supporting deferment bank guarantee just has to cover 2 months worth of duty spend - not duty and VAT.
SLA   Service Level Agreement
SLI   Shipper's Letter of Instruction

Service Management Centre (formerly EDCS)

SME (1)   Small & Medium Sized Enterprise
SME (2)   Significant Military Equipment (USA ITAR)

Simplified Network Application Process – Revised (EAR)

SOAC   Customs System of Reliable Operators - similar to AEO in Argentina
SOEs   State Owned Enterprises
SOLAS   International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
SOW   Statement of work
SP (1)   Specific Process (a qualification List Rule under FTA/PTA)
SP (2)   Special Provision (Preference origin qualifying rules)
SP (3)   Substantial Process (non-preference origin rule)
SP (4)   Special Procedures - part of the UCC covering customs procedures.  There are 4 main types: Transit - Processing - Specific Use - Storage
SP1   UK Application form for End-Use (EnU) under UCC 
SP2   UK Application form for Cusoms Warehousing (CW) under UCC 
SP3   UK Application form for Inward Processing (IP) under UCC 
SP4   UK Application form for Outward Processing Relief (OPR) under UCC 
SP5   UK Application form for Temporary Admission (TA) under UCC 
SPARTECA   South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement.  Comprises Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. 
SPIRE   Shared Primary Information Resource Environment - the UK ECJU electronic export licensing system. Completed September 2007
Spoke   The route used to service smaller distribution centres or customers from a central "Hub" distribution centre
SPOFF   Supervising office of customs
SPS   The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
SS   Short Supply (EAR reason for control)
SSD   Security and Safety Document
SSG   Special Safeguards
SSN   Standard Shipping Note - not used very often now, it is a freight delivery note required at some ports or terminals for sea freight shipments. Being replaced by computerised shipments
SSTL   Safe & Secure Trade Lanes
STA   Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization in EAR.
STA   Strategic Trade Authorisation – USA EAR License Exception
STD   Stamp Duty
STELA   System for Tracking Export License Applications (EAR)
STP   Secure Trade Partnership - the AEO type security accreditation in Singapore
Stripping   A term often used to denote the process for removing cargo from a container.
Stuffing   Denotes the process of loading cargo into a container.
STX   Sales Tax
SU   Stockist Undertaking - new export licence undertaking required by UK ECO when shipping to Stockists overseas (from 31st July 2012)
SW   Software
SWG   SAFE Working Group
SWL   Safe Working Load


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T1   EU Customs status of goods which is used to decide if they have to be presented to customs authorities when moving to another member state. Transit Status 1 indicates that the goods are not in free circulation (non-Union Goods - nUG) and therefore do have to be moved with customs forms. (see NCTS/ETS and "free circulation goods")
T2   EU Customs status of goods which is used to decide if they have to be presented to customs authorities when moving to another member state. Transit Status 2 indicates that the goods ARE in free circulation (Union Goods - UG) and can be shipped around the EU without customs forms. (see Intrastat and "free circulation goods")
T2F   Document raised by proof that the goods are in free circulation is needed, eg when moving goods to a Special Territory of the EU (see POUS for UCC term)
T2L   Document raised by proof that the goods are in free circulation is needed, eg when moving goods being shipped with mixed origin cargo, eg loaded in Greece on a ship that arrived from North Africa (see POUS for UCC term)
TA   Temporary Admission - a customs procedure allowing the temporary import of goods under certain conditions and customs controls
TAA   Technical Assistant Agreement (USA - ITAR)
TACT   The Air Cargo Tariff
TAD   Transit Accompanying Document
Tare   Actual weight of the packaging/ container without goods. Commonly seen on the back of vehicles ie unloaded weight
TARIC   The EU's system of identifying and controlling goods for customs control purposes by the use of commodity code number. TARIC stands for Tarif Integre des Communautes Europeanes
Tariff   A document setting forth applicable rules, rates, charges, regulations - used by freight companies and customs authorities
tariffication   Procedures relating to the agricultural market-access provision in which all non-tariff measures are converted into tariffs.
Tariff Number   Also known as a commodity code. A series of numbers describing the type of goods for customs purposes. Based on the Harmonised System
TAXUD   Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union
TBT   Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade
TCP   Technology Control Plan (USA - ITAR)
TCCV       Technical Committee on Customs Valuation
TCMP    Trade Compliance Measurement Program (US Customs)
TCRO   Technical Committee on Rules of Origin (WCO)
TCS   Tariff Classification Service (UK)
TD   Technical Data
TDCA   Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement
TEC   Transatlantic Economic Council
TESCM   Tax-Effective Supply Chain Management
TF   Trade Facilitation (WTO/WCO)
TFA   Trade Facilitation Action Plan
TFE   Trader Front End - method of declarations under ICS
TFE   Trader Front End (CHIEF UK)
TFEU   Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 2009 
TGP   OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines (TPG) for Tax Administration
TGS   Tax on the Circulation of Goods and Services (Customs duty)
TH   Tariff Heading (term used in preference agreements = 1st 4-digits of HS Code)
TH   Tariff Headings
THC   Terminal Handling Charges
TIB   Temporary Import Bond
TIC   Taxation Information and Communication: provides EU Member State information on invoicing rules, VAT refunds and the standard VAT rate
TIEC   Tax Information Exchange Method
TIFA   Taiwan-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement
TIFA   Trade and Investment Framework Agreement
TIG   Tax on Industrialised Goods
TIIN   Tax Information and Impact Note
TIN   Trader Identification Number
TIN   TINs (Tax Identification Numbers) are used by EU countries to identify taxpayers
TIR   Transport Internationale Routes - road transport under customs control; sealed on departure to be opened only at destination
TIR-EPD   Transports Internationaux Routiers, Electronic Pre-Declaration
TIS   Technical Interface Specification
Trade in Services Agreement – being negotiated between the EU and China
TL   Tariff Line
TLA   Three Letter Acronym - especially for those people fed up with them!
TM   Tariff Measures
TMP   Temporary (USA EAR license exception)
TNMM   Transactional Net Margin Method - an international customs valuation term
TORO   Transfer of the rights and obligations – used within the EU for transferring responsibilities of a customs regime to another trader
TP   Transfer Pricing - an international customs valuation term
TPA   Transfer Price Agreement
TPP   Trans-Pacific Partnership - also known as the Trans-Pacific Stretegic Economic Partnership Agreement. A USA mulitateral free trade agreement. The parties involved are, besides Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Peru, the United States and Vietnam (since March 2010) as well as Malaysia (since October 2010).
TPRM   Trade Policy Review Mechanism
TR   Technical Regulations
TR   Russian Technical Regulations
TRACES   Trade Control and Export System (EU).
TRAINS   United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's Trade Analysis and Information System
TRC   Telecommunications Regulatory Commission
TRIAD   International trade term describing the 3 big trading markets of EU, USA and Japan
TRIMS   Trade Related Investment Measures
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
TRIPS   Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights
TRQ   Tariff Rate Quota (see also TQ)
TRS   Time Release Study (WCO Tool)
TS   Temporary Storage
TSAD   Transit Security Accompanying Document
TSPA   Technology and Software Publicly Available

Technology and Software Restricted (EAR license exception)


Technology and Software Unrestricted (EAR license exception)

TSU   Trade Statistics unit of HMRC
TTCP   Technology Transfer Control Plan (USA - ITAR)
TTIP   Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership - USA/EU FTA
TTIP   Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – Trade Agreement under negotiation between EU and the USA
TURN   Trader's Unique Reference Number - used in the UK to identify exporters and importers for customs purposes. Replaced in July 2009 by the EORI an EU wide registration system
TVA   Taxe a la valeur ajoutee (French VAT)
TWEA   Trading with the Enemy Act (USA)


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UAC- OEA   Certified Customs User -the Peru equivalent of AEO
UCC   Union Customs Code - the newly issued amendment to the EU Customs Code published (recast) in March 2012 comes into force in EU 1 May 2016. Formerly known as the Modernised Customs Code
UCAV   Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle
UCP600   Current version of the Uniform Customs and Practice guide for Documentary Letters of Credit. Replaced UCP500 in July 2007
UCR   Unique Consignment Reference
UDHR   Universal Declaration of Human Rights
UEMOA   African Economic and Monetary Union
UFH   Usual Forms of Handling - used in conjunction with customs regimes such as IPR
UG   Union Goods - term introduced with the UCC. (see also T2)
UGEA   Union General Export Authorisations - introduced into the EU in 2011 as open general export approvals covering the shipment of dual-use goods and technology. Replaced the CGEA
UKBF   UK Border Force
UKEF   UK Export Finance organisation - replaced ECGD
UKTI   UK Trade & Investment - formerly a division of BIS aimed at promoting international trade, now merged within DIT
ULD   Unit Load Device
UMA   Arab Maghreb Union (Union du Maghreb Arabe, UMA)
UN   United Nations
UNDP   United Nations Development Programme
UNFCC   UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
UNECE   United National Economic Committee for Europe
UN/ CEFACT   United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business
UNCTAD   United National Conference for Trade and Development
UNDG   United Nations Dangerous Goods List
Unit Load   A number of pieces of freight or cargo in a single box, container or pallet suitable for transporting as a single unit. Could also be a single large item packaged for transporting, stacking or storage.
UN-LOCODE   United Nations Code for Trade and Transport Locations
UNODC   United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNSPSC   United Nations Standard Products and Services Code
UNTDED   UN Trade Data Elements Directory
UoE   Unit of Expertise
UPOV   International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Union internationale pour la protection des obtentions végétales)
UPS   Universal Product Code
URAA   Uruguay Round Agreements Act
URC522   Uniform Rules for Collections under bills of exchange
USBP   USA Border Patrol
USCIB   United States Council for International Business
USG   United StatesGovernment
USITC   US International Trade Commission administers the import commodity codes
USML   United States Munitions List (ITAR)
USPPI   United States Principal Party in Interest (USA FTR)
USPL   United States Person Libya (USA EAR license exception)
USTR   USTtrade Representative
UV   Unit Value


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VA   Value Added (a qualification List Rule under FTA/PTA)
VAT   Value Added Tax
VATE   VAT exemption (new CDS code)
VATZ   VAT zero-rated (new CDS code)
VD   Voluntary Disclosure
VEU   Validated End User (USA EAR)
VER   Voluntary Export Restraint
VFCC   Value for Currency Conversion
VGDC   Vietnam General Department of Customs
VIES   VAT Information Exchange System (EU system for checking VAT Numbers)
VM   Valuation Method
VMUO   Value of Materials of Undetermined Origin
VNM   Value of Non-Originating Material
Volumetric Weight   Freight calculated and charged on the size of the shipment when the actual weight does not adequately reflect the space the shipment requires.
VOM   Value of Originating Material
VRA   Voluntary Restraint Agreement


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WA   Wassenaar Arrangement
WAHID   World Animal Health Information Database
WAML   Wassenaar Arrangement Munitions List
Waasenaar Arrangement   Arrangement between countries to set the level of technology controlled under the dual-use regulations
WB (1)   World Bank
WB (2)   Weight Breaks = weights at which discounted rates will apply to a shipment so that heavier or larger shipments are charged at a lower rate per kg (lb is USA)
WBGC   West Bank and Gaza Strip
WCF   World Chambers Federation
WCO   World Customs Organisation
WEF   World Economic Forum
WFOEs   Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises
WHO   World Health Organisation
WIP   Work in Progress
WIPO   World Intellectual Property Organisation
WITA   Washington International Trade Association
w/m   weight or measure
WMD   Weapons of Mass Destruction
WME   World’s Most Ethical companies
WMS   Warehouse Management System
WO (1)   Wholly Obtained - qualifying criteria type under preference agreements: also used to establish non-preference origin
WO (2)   Wholly Originating (non-preference origin rule)
WO   Wholly Originating or Wholly Obtained (Rule of Origin)
World Bank   International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – also known as IBRD
WP   Wholly Produced (Rule of Origin)
WPM   Wood Packaging Material
WT (1)   Weight
WT (2)  

Weighted TeraFLOPS (dual-use measure of computer performance)

WTA   World Trade Agenda
WTO   World Trade Organisation

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XP   High Performance Computer (USA EAR reason for control)
XPS   Express Parcel Service
XTN   External Transaction Number (USA FTR)


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YAF   Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC)
YAR   York Antwerp Rules 2004 - current rules cover General Average claims
YE   Year End


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Zero-rated   The right to issue invoices without charging VAT - applicable to shipments exported from the EU

Zoll Einreihung Unterstützung System (A German national system for issuing various certificates related to customs procedures, including Binding Tariff Information decisions)


Zolltechnische Prüfungs- und Lehranstalt (Customs Technical Testing and Education Institute)


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