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Import-Export Vocabulary

term meaning
bill of lading n. list of all goods being sent and shipping instructions; waybill
The list of goods and shipping instructions on the bill of lading is correct.
c.&f. abbr. cost & freight: includes shipping to named port but not insurance
Do they want a quote for sending the shipment c.&f. or c.i.f.?
c.i.f. abbr. cost, insurance & freight: includes insurance and shipping to named port
They usually want c.i.f., but check to make sure.
cargo n. goods or products that are being transported or shipped
How's the cargo getting from the port to our warehouse?
certificate of origin n. a document that shows where goods come from
Should I put the city on the certificate of origin, or just the country?
container n. huge box to hold goods for transport - container port n. to containerise v.
Have you ever watched containers being loaded from a dock onto a ship?
customs n. 1 government tax or duty on imported goods 2 officials who collect this tax
Customs won't clear our shipment until we've paid customs duty.
declare v. to make a statement of taxable goods - customs declaration form n.
If customs officials find taxable goods that you haven't declared, you'll have to pay a fine.
f.a.s. abbr. free alongside ship [includes delivery to quayside but not loading]
If the shipment's sent f.a.s., the buyer pays for loading onto the ship.
f.o.b. abbr. free on board: includes loading onto ship
If it's f.o.b., the loading cost is included.
freight n. goods being transported; cargo
Let's pay a freight forwarder to arrange transport and prepare all the documents.
irrevocable adj. that cannot be undone; unalterable - irrevocable letter of credit n.
The granting of citizenship is irrevocable, isn't it?
letter of credit n. a letter from a bank authorising a person to draw money from another bank
Before shipping, we'd require either payment in advance or a letter of credit.
merchandise n. things bought and sold; commodities; wares - also v.
We import a range of merchandise, from clothes to furniture and electrical goods.
packing list n. a document that is sent with goods to show that they have been checked
Make sure the quantity of each item matches the quantity on the packing list.
pro forma invoice n. an invoice or request for payment sent in advance of goods supplied
Could you send us a pro forma invoice, please?
quay n. a solid, artificial landing place for (un)loading ships; wharf - quayside n.
The customs warehouse is in the docklands area near the old quay.
ship v. to send or transport by land, sea or air - also n. shipment n.
The latest models are being shipped from Osaka this week.
shipping agent n. a person acting for or representing a ship or ships at a port
If you use a freight forwarder, you won't have to find a shipping agent yourself.
waybill n. list of goods and shipping instructions; bill of lading - air waybill n.
If you're sending air freight, use an air waybill instead of a standard bill of lading.