The Glossary Terms Of Import and Export

Air Waybill (AWB)

An air waybill (AWB) is documentation accompanying items dispatched through an international courier. Its purpose is to furnish comprehensive details about the shipment, facilitating tracking capabilities. The document comprises multiple copies to enable each entity involved in the shipment process to record pertinent information.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

A bill of lading is an official document issued by a carrier or its representative, functioning both as an acknowledgment of received goods and as a contractual agreement for the transportation, delineating the terms and conditions of the carriage.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

A bill of materials or product structure is a compilation detailing the raw materials, sub-assemblies, intermediate assemblies, sub-components, and parts required, along with the respective quantities, for the manufacturing of a specific product.

Certificate Of Origin (COO)

A certificate of origin, commonly abbreviated as C/O or CoO, is a document employed in international trade. Whether in a printed format or as an electronic document, it is filled out by the exporter and authenticated by an authorized issuing entity. This certification verifies that the goods in a specific export shipment have been produced, manufactured, or processed in a designated country.

Clearing Agent

Clearing agents are professionals specialized in facilitating the clearance of goods through customs procedures, collaborating with carriers, and managing shipping and delivery tasks. The involvement of a clearing agent enables exporters to concentrate on their primary business operations.

Custom Clearance

The process of moving goods through the official department that administers and collects duties imposed by a government on imported goods.

Custom Clearance completed

Custom Clearance Completed” indicates that your shipment has successfully undergone the customs clearance procedure, and any relevant duties and taxes have been computed and settled. Once customs clearance is granted, the Customs Officer releases the shipment, allowing it to proceed to its next destination without impediment.

Custom Duty

Customs duties are fees imposed on goods as they traverse international borders. These charges are enforced by specific authorities and entities established by local governments to safeguard local industries, economies, and businesses.

Customs Brokerage

Customs brokerage firms play a role in streamlining the transportation and delivery of goods across international borders for both individuals and organizations.

Customs Clearance Documents (CCD)

Customs Clearance Documents (CCDs) are official documents issued by Customs authorities, providing a comprehensive account of the specifics regarding the clearance process for the goods.

Customs Compliance

Customs compliance involves conforming to the trade regulations of the countries involved in your export and import activities. Compliance entails comprehending and abiding by the laws, regulations, and procedures established by national governments and multinational authorities to oversee international trade.

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)

 “Delivered Duty Paid” signifies that the seller meets their responsibility to deliver when the goods are ready at the specified location in the importing country. The seller assumes the risks and covers the expenses, encompassing duties, taxes, and additional charges, for delivering the goods to that location, cleared for importation.

Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU)

 “Delivered Duty Unpaid” or DDU is an arrangement where the seller takes on all responsibilities and risks associated with delivering goods to a specified destination. Once the goods arrive, the buyer assumes the responsibility for paying import duties and any additional transportation costs.


A tax imposed by a government on goods and services that are either imported or exported.

Expected Time of Arrival (ETA)

ETAs, or Expected Time of Arrival, refer to the anticipated arrival time of goods as they progress through the logistics process.

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)

An Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is an alphanumeric code employed in the Commerce Control List to categorize items for export control. The ECCN serves to identify items based on their characteristics, including the type of commodity, technology, or software, along with their specific technical parameters, for export control purposes.

Export Transaction (ET)

An export transaction pertains to the sale and transfer of goods or services from a seller situated in one country to a buyer located in a foreign country. This process commonly involves international trade and entails crossing national borders.

Exporter of Record (EOR)

In the context of exports, EOR (Exporter of Record) denotes the individual or legal entity accountable for obtaining accurate documentation and ensuring adherence to legal compliance and regulations for exporting goods out of a country.

First Party Sellers (1P)

A term used to characterize brands that are being distributed and sold by Amazon on its platform is “Amazon Exclusive Brands” or “Amazon Private Label Brands.”

Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR)

Trade regulation is a legal domain, frequently associated with antitrust law, encompassing government oversight of unfair competition methods and deceptive business practices.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

A treaty, such as FTAA or NAFTA, between two or more countries to establish a free trade area enables commerce in goods and services across their shared borders without tariffs or hindrances. However, unlike a common market, capital or labor may not move freely. Member countries typically enforce a consistent tariff, known as a common external tariff, on trade with non-member countries.

Freight Forwarder

A freight forwarder (FF) is a middleman tasked with coordinating transportation and preparing the necessary documentation for the movement of goods.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service provided by Amazon, that enables third-party sellers to store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Upon a sale, Amazon takes on the responsibilities of selecting, packing, shipping, and managing customer service on behalf of the third-party seller.

Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)

Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) is a method wherein sellers independently manage the storage, picking, packing, shipping, and customer service for buyers who make online purchases of their products on an Amazon store. This approach typically involves lower Amazon fees for the sellers.

Fulfillment Center

A fulfillment center is a spacious warehouse where products are stored, prepared, and shipped, serving the purpose of handling logistics on behalf of Amazon and its third-party sellers.

Global Trade Compliance

Global Trade Compliance is a facet of corporate compliance that ensures all import and export transactions align with the laws and regulations of the respective countries involved.

Import Tax

Import taxes are tariffs imposed on goods and services brought into a country by its customs authorities, to generate state revenues.

Importer of Record (IOR)

An IOR (Importer of Record) is the individual or entity in the destination country tasked with ensuring compliance requirements are fulfilled for customs clearance, product classification, and the payment of customs duties and taxes.


Logistics is the procedure of overseeing the physical movement of goods throughout the supply chain, facilitating their transportation from one location to another.

Multi-Country Inventory (MCI)

This Amazon fulfillment option enables FBA sellers to select the countries where they wish to dispatch their inventory. Orders placed on that specific Amazon store are then fulfilled by the local fulfillment center in the chosen countries.

Non-Resident Importer (NRI)

A Non-resident Importer (NRI) in Canada is akin to an Importer of Record (IOR) and pertains to the entity that assumes responsibility for the importation of goods. The NRI is tasked with clearing the goods and ensuring the accurate completion and filing of all compliance documents, specifically applicable to entities situated outside of Canada.

Proof of Delivery (POD)

The Proof of Delivery serves as documentation confirming that the goods have been successfully delivered to the final destination.

Rules of Origin (ROO)

Rules of Origin encompass the criteria and regulations employed to ascertain the national source or origin of a product. This determination is crucial for the application of tariffs, trade preferences, and other trade-related measures.

Supply Chain

A supply chain is a network of companies and individuals engaged in the production and delivery of a product or service. Key components of a supply chain comprise producers, vendors, warehouses, transportation companies, distribution centers, and retailers.

Supply Chain Compliance

Supply chain compliance involves companies adhering to applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards throughout their supply chain operations. It encompasses ensuring that every facet of the supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to delivering finished products or services to customers, meets the necessary legal and ethical standards.

Third-Party Import

The term for this capability is “Third-Party Import.” Essentially, it involves the customs clearance of imported goods facilitated by a designated trustee, such as Folks Group. This trustee legally represents the purchaser, enabling them to manage all legal aspects of the international transaction.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

 A 3PL (third-party logistics) provider offers outsourced logistics services, encompassing the management of one or more aspects of procurement and fulfillment activities. In the business context, 3PL has a broad meaning that applies to any service contract involving the storage or shipping of items.

Third-Party Sellers (3P)

A term used to describe merchants not affiliated with the “owners” of an e-commerce platform is “third-party sellers” or “3P sellers.” For instance, on Amazon, 3P sellers are those who engage in either FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant).

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value-added Tax (VAT) or Sales Tax is a type of consumption tax levied on the acquisition of goods or services and other items classified as taxable supplies.

VAT compliance

VAT compliance pertains to the procedures involved in determining, recording, reporting, and fulfilling obligations for businesses operating in countries with a VAT system. This process encompasses not only interactions with tax authorities but also involves all buyers and sellers along the economic chain, extending through to the ultimate consumer.