Gats The General Agreement on Trade in Services is one of 28 free trade agreements of the World Trade Organization and it sets the rules for trade and investment in services. Services are estimated to represent 60 – 80% of GDP of WTO member countries. GATS covers 160 service sectors such as road building, water delivery, education, health care, telecommunications, tourism, postal delivery, social security, a variety of municipal services, and insurance. The scope of the agreement is very broad potentially covering government regulation of trade in services, and potentially covering government services at all levels of governments.
Gatt General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade A multilateral treaty intended to help reduce trade barriers between signatory countries and to promote trade through tariff concessions.
General Average Loss which is the result of a sacrifice voluntarily made or an expense incurred; for the sole purpose of saving a ship and its cargo in face of a common danger (e.g. jettison of cargo to lighten a ship in distress). The loss is borne proportionately by ship and cargo owners according to their respective interests in the voyage.
General Export License Any of various export licenses covering export commodities for which Individually validated export licenses are not required. No formal application or written authorization is needed to ship exports under a general export license.
General License Limited Value (Glv) Authorization to export a limited value amount of a good without specific documentary authorization.
General Order A Customs term by which if proper entry has not been made for merchandise within five working days after arrival in a port of entry, the goods are sent to a general order warehouse. All costs are charged to the importer.
Globalization The term frequently used to identify a trend toward increased flow of goods, services, money, and ideas across national borders and the subsequent integration of the global economy. However, the term is also used to refer to a deliberate project led by powerful institutions, people, and countries like the United States to apply a single template of economic strategy and policy-“market fundamentalism”-to all countries and all situations.
Government Procurement Policies Rules utilized by governments for purchasing of goods and services. Such rules are often used as a way to promote important public policy goals such as consumer protection, economic development, environmental protection, public health, and gender and racial equality.
Grantee A corporation to which the privilege of establishing, operating, and maintaining a foreign-trade zone has been granted by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board.
Gross Weight The full weight of a shipment, including goods and packaging.
Handymax is a naval term for a bulk carrier, typically between 35 000 and 60 000 deadweight tonnage (DWT). A handymax is typically 150-200 meters (492-656 feet) in length, though certain bulk terminal restrictions such as those in Japan mean that many handymax ships are just under 190 meters in overall length. Modern handymax designs are typically 52 000-58 000 deadweight tonnage in size, have five cargo holds and four cranes of 30 metric ton lifting capacity. Source
Handysize refers to a dry bulk vessel or product tanker with deadweight of 15,000–50,000 tons. Handysize is the most widespread size of bulk carrier, with nearly 2000 units in service for a total of 43 million tons of carriage. Very flexible, they also tend to be the oldest of the bulk carriers. Sometimes the smaller of these vessels carrying 20 000-28 000 deadweight tonnage are referred to as ‘Small Handysize’. Source
Hard Currency A freely convertible currency worldwide.
Harmonized System The harmonized system (HS) is a classification system for goods in international trade that provides a domestic market uniform system of product classification for all major trading countries.
IATA International Air Transportation Association
ICC International Chamber of Commerce
ICC 322 Uniform Rules for Collections
ICC 323 Standard Forms for Issuing Documentary Credits
ICC 420 Guide to the Prevention of International Trade Fraud.
ICC 460 Incoterms 1990. Explains the 13 standard Incoterms.
ICC 500 Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (1993 revision) replaced the previous ICC 400 as from 1 January 1994.
ICC 522 Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (1995 revision) replaced the previous ICC 322 as from 1 January 1996.
ILO The International Labor Organization, founded in 1919, is a Specialized Agency that forms part of the United Nations system. Each country’s delegation to the ILO includes two government, one labor, and one business representative. The ILO has developed international conventions on labor practices and called upon states to ratify and adopt these labor standards.
IMF The International Monetary Fund is an organization of governments set up at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 to stabilize currency exchange rates among trading countries. In 1971 the IMF began providing emergency loans to countries in debt to foreign creditors if they satisfied conditions, called Structural Adjustment Policies, for restructuring their economies The IMF voting system is weighted in proportion to the amount invested which means it is controlled by the major industrial powers.
Import License A permit issued by the importing country’s authorities in respect of goods subject to import licensing restrictions.
Import Quota A restricted amount of certain types of goods entering a country, usually maintained through licensing importers assigning to each a quota, after determining the amount of goods or commodities allowed for that period. The license may also state the country from which the importer is allowed to buy, thus restricting free trade, but many times adopted by governments because of internal pressures from certain industries worried about competition.
Import Subsitition Import subsitition refers to a trade policy adopted by some countries to encourage their local industries to produce goods domestically that are normally imported (thus – supposedly – helping grow new industries and reduce forex expenditures. They strive to enforce this policy by imposing high import duties on the imported goods in question and may even provide certain incentives to encourgae local companies to launch such import substitution operations. These local industries often prove inefficient and struggle to compete against their international competitors and governments are often forced to continue supporting such inefficient idnustries or see them go under when they eventually do away with such policies..
Importer’s indent See indent..
Incoterms Incoterms are a uniform set of international rules, promulgated by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, for the interpretation of the terms most commonly used in international contracts for the sale of goods. Incoterms define the obligations of buyer and seller at every stage of an international sale of goods transaction. The Incoterms were first issued in 1953; they were last revised effective January 1, 2000.
Indemnity Also known as Letter of Guarantee (L/G), it is an undertaking given in respect of discrepancies in documents presented under a credit. The beneficiary who issues the indemnity is primarily liable to repay funds received from the negotiating bank in settlement under the credit, if the negotiating bank cannot obtain reimbursement from the issuing bank as a result of documents being rejected by the applicant.
Indent The term indent is merely another word for an order or requistion stating conditions of the sale. Thus, an importer’s indent is an importer’s order and an indent number refers to the order number. Acceptance of an importer’s indent by an exporter means his agreement of terms specified in the importer’s order and will thus lead to a contract of sale..
Indirect Exporting Sale by the exporter to the buyer through an intermediary in the domestic market.
Individually Validated Export License A required document issued by the U.S. Government authorizing the export of specific commodities. This license is for a specific transaction or time period in which the exporting is to take place. Compare General export license.
Inherent Vice The propensity of a commodity to self-destruction which gives rise to a high insurance risk, therefore cover is given only after payment of an additional premium (e.g. fruit rots, coal-dust spontaneously ignites).
Inland Bill Of Lading Inland Bill Of Lading A bill of lading used in transporting goods overland to the exporters international carrier, where the ocean bill of lading becomes applicable. Although a through bill of lading can sometimes be used, it is usually necessary to prepare both an inland bill of lading and an ocean bill of lading for export shipment.
Inland Carrier A transportation line which hauls export or import freight between ports of entry and inland destinations.
Insurance An agreement or contract (commonly called a policy) between the insured, who pays a premium, and the insurer, who in return promises to compensate the insured if he suffers specified losses. It is important to have insurance cover against loss or damage which may occur during shipment. The contract with the supplier should clearly state who is responsible for arranging the insurance at all stages from the time the merchandise leaves the supplier’s premises until the buyer takes possession of the goods. The stages to be covered include:

  • Transportation of the goods to the docks or the airport
  • Time during which they are stored awaiting shipment or loading
  • Periods whilst on board the ship, aircraft or conveyance
  • Off-loading and storage on arrival in destination.
  • Transportation to the buyer’s premises.It is advisable for an importer to buy goods on FCA, FAS or FOB terms in order that he can arrange the insurance in his own country. Insurance, particularly marine insurance, is a complicated subject, and it is advisable to get a professional insurance broker to arrange cover for your shipment.
Insurance certificate A document prepared by the exporter or the freight forwarder to provide evidence that insurance against loss or damage has been obtained for the goods to be exported.
Integrated Carriers Carriers that have both air and ground fleets. Since they usually handle thousands of small parcels an hour, they have more competitive prices and offer more diverse services than regular carriers.
Integrated Tariff of the European Communities – TARIC TARIC is designed to show the various rules applying to specific products when imported into the EU. This includes the provisions of the harmonized system and the combined nomenclature but also additional provisions specified in Community legislation such as tariff suspensions, tariff quotas and tariff preferences, which exist for the majority of the Community’s trading partners. In trade with third countries, the 10-digit Taric code must be used in customs and statistical declarations.
Intellectual Property The patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights and trade secrets of a business.
Intellectual Property Rights The right to control and derive the benefits from writing (copyright), inventions (patents), processes (trade secrets) and identifiers (trademarks).
International Chamber Of Commerce (ICC) The international body which promotes and facilitates world trade, and which codifies world trade practices in various publications
International Finance Corporation (Ifc) A separately organized member of the World Bank Group, receiving its funds through stock subscriptions from member countries, revolving loans and earnings. The IFC encourages the flow of capital into private investment in developing countries. It makes loans at commercial interest rates, usually as a lender of last resort when sufficient capital cannot be obtained from other sources on reasonable terms.
International Freight Forwarder See Freight forwarder.
Invisible trade Invisible trade generally refers to those trade-related services such as freight, insurance, and financial services that enable physical exports and imports to take place. These items are included in the current account of a nation’s balance-of-payments, even though they are not physical exports in themselves..
IRD Stands for Inland Rail Depot which is used for customs clearance.
Irrevocable Letter Of Credit A letter of credit in which the specified payment is guaranteed by the bank if all terms and conditions are met by the drawee.
Issuing Bank The bank that opens a documentary credit at the request of its customer, the applicant.
Jettison This terms refers to the throwing or dumping of cargo overboard and is ocassionally resorted in the shipping world in to order to save a ship in peril while at sea..
Knocked Down (KD) This is a term often referred to in exports and international trade when goods are imported inot a country in unassembled (i.e. in ‘knocked down’) form and then reassembled in that country usually to facilitate packing and shipping as may be the case with large machines, but also to save on import duties as the component parts being imported may attract a lower duty that the assembled item. See also completely knocked down or CKD.
Lay Time The time allowed a ship to load or unload. If this number of days is exceeded, demurrage is incurred.
Legal Weight The weight of the goods plus any immediate wrappings which are sold along with the goods.
Letter Of Credit (L/C) A method of payment for goods by which the buyer establishes his/her credit with a local bank, clearly describing the goods to be purchased, the price, the documentation required and a limit for completion of the transaction. Upon receipt of documentation, the bank is either paid by the buyer or takes title to the goods themselves and then transfers funds to the seller. The bank will insist upon exact compliance with the terms of the sale, and will not pay if there are any discrepancies.
Liquidation: The final determination of the duties due.
Liner Terms An expression covering assessment of ocean freight rates generally implying that loading and discharging expenses will be for ship owner’s account, and usually apply from the end of ship’s tackle in port of loading to the end of ship’s tackle in port of discharge.
Letter Of Hypothecation A promise to hold goods as security taken from customers who are granted loans against goods imported on a collection basis.
Licensing A business arrangement in which the manufacturer of a product grants permission to some other group or individual to manufacture that product in return for specified royalties.
Loan Against Imports (Lai) Loans granted to import customers for payment of bills.