Sacu The Southern African Customs Union is one of the oldest trading blocks that originated in 1889 and includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. See also US-SACU FTA
Sanction A punitive mechanism used. to encourage a country to adopt or revise its policies. Trade sanctions might include increases in tariffs.
Saps Structural Adjustment Programs Are a tool used by organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that primarily impose neoliberal rules in exchange for loans or grants. Typical SAPs include emphasizing exports over goods produced for people locally; eliminating all barriers to the flow of goods, services and money from outside the country; keeping inflation low and wages stagnant; privatizing public services; reducing government spending; and balancing government budgets.
Schedule The Remitting/Negotiating Bank’s letter covering a bill sent to the Collecting/Issuing Bank, which lists the documents attached and gives collection and/or payment instructions.
Seawaymax refers to vessels which are the maximum size that can fit through the canal locks of the St Lawrence Seaway that link the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. Seawaymax vessels are 740 feet in length, 78 feet wide, (maximum 226 m length, 24 m beam) and have a draft of 26 feet (7.92 m). Source
Self-Liquidating A transaction is said to be self-liquidating when there is a known source of funds available for its settlement on due date.
Shipment Date The date inserted on the bills of lading evidencing goods received on board is regarded for documentary credit purposes as being the date of shipment.
Shipper See consignor
Shipper’s Export Declaration A form required for all shipments by the U.S. Treasury Department and prepared by a shipper, indicating the value, weight, destination, and other basic information about an export shipment.
Shipping Guarantee (Sg) Guarantees of this nature are required to enable customers to obtain goods before the arrival of the documents of title, and are issued to the shipping companies by the Bank against an undertaking to forward the bills of lading when they are received. The Bank normally take 100% cash margin against the value of the goods if the customer does not have T/R facility.
Shipping Terms See Incoterms
Ship’s Manifest An instrument in writing, signed by the captain of a ship, that lists the individual shipments constituting the ship’s cargo.
Sight A bill payable at sight is payable on presentation to the drawee i.e. on demand.
Sight Draft (S/D) A draft payable upon presentation to the drawee. A sight draft is used when the seller wishes to retain control of the shipment, either for credit reasons or for the purpose of title retention. Money will be payable at sight of the completed documents.
Sovereignty The principle that the state exercises absolute power over its territory, system of government, and population. Accordingly, the internal authority of the state supersedes that of all other bodies.
Spot Exchange The purchase or sale of foreign exchange for immediate delivery.
Standard Industrial Classification (Sic) A standard numerical code system used by the U.S. Government to classify products and services.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) A standard numerical code system used to classify products and services.
Standard International Trade Classification (Sitc) A standard numerical code system developed by the U.N. to classify commodities used in international trade.
Standby Credit This may be established as security for facilities granted at another branch or bank, usually to a subsidiary of the DC applicant. – see Special DCs.
Standby Letter Of Credit A letter of credit issued to cover a particular contingency, such as foreign investors guaranteed payment for commercial paper.
Status Report Produced by a bank’s TCI department or a credit information bureau, giving details of the creditworthiness and business background of traders and manufacturers.
Steamship Conference A group of steamship operators that operate under mutually agreed upon freight rates.
Straight Bill Of Lading A nonnegotiable bill of lading in which the goods are consigned directly to a named consignee.
Strikes, Riots And Civil Commotions (S.R.&C.C.) A term referring to an insurance clause excluding insurance of loss caused by labor disturbances, riots and civil commotion or any person engaged in such actions.
Subsidies Grants of money made by the government to either a seller or a buyer of a certain product or service, thereby altering the price or cost in a way which affects the output. Governments usually make payments to domestic producers to offset partially their costs of producing and selling certain goods and services. Subsidies are commonly used to support infant firms just entering a new market, to bail out older firms suffering from intensified competition, and to provide support for sectors(such as farming) deemed essential
Substitution The act whereby the prime beneficiary substitutes his own documents i.e. invoices and drafts, in back-to-back and transferable credit operations prior to negotiation of the master credits.
Subzone A special purpose zone established as part of a zone project for a limited purpose, that cannot be accommodated within an existing zone.
Sue And Labor Clause A provision in marine insurance obligating the insured to take necessary steps after a loss to prevent further loss and to act in the best interests of the insurer.
Suezmax is a naval term for the largest ships capable of fitting through the Suez Canal fully loaded, and is almost exclusively used in reference to tankers. Since the canal has no locks, the only serious limiting factor is draft (maximum depth below waterline). The current channel on the canal allows for 16 m (53 ft) of draft (or depth), meaning many supertankers are of too deep to fit through. Currently, the canal is being deepened to 18 – 20 m. The typical displacement of a Suezmax ship is 150 000 tons. Of note is the head room limit of 68 meters by the Suez Canal bridge. There is also a width limitation of 70.1 meters, but only a handful of tankers exceed this size, and they are excluded from Suez by their draft in any case.
Surety bond A surety bond must be posted with the Customs Service to cover potential penalties, duties, or taxes before imported merchandise can be entered into the United States.
Sustainability Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainable Growth Growth that does not negatively affect the poor, workers and the environment; economic growth that is just and fair and improves the likelihood of such growth in the future.
Tare Weight The weight of an empty container and packing materials (i.e. without the weight of the goods it contains.) Note that Gross weight = net weight + tare weight.
TARIC (Integrated Tariff of the European Communities) 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.
Tariff A tax on goods which a country imports. The rate at which imported goods are taxed. A tariff schedule usually refers to a list or schedule of articles of merchandise with the rate of duty to be paid to the government of importation.
Tariff Quotas Setting a higher tariff rate on imported goods after a specified, controlled quantity of the item has entered the country at the usual tariff rate during a specified period.
Technology Transfer The movement of modern or scientific methods of production or distribution from one enterprise, institution, or country to another, as through foreign investment, international trade, licensing of patent rights, technical assistance, or training. Technology may also be transferred by giving it away (technical journals, conferences, emigration of technical experts, technical assistance programs) or by industrial espionage.
Terms of Trade The ratio of prices (unit values) of a country’s exports to the prices (unit values) of its imports. Some economists have discerned a deteriorating trend in this ratio for developing countries as a whole. Other economists maintain that whereas the terms of trade may have become less favourable for certain countries during certain periods — and even for all developing countries during some periods — the same terms of trade have improved for other developing countries in the same periods and perhaps for most developing countries during other periods.
Telegraphic Transfer Money is transferred by coded interbank telex and as long as the exporter makes it clear to the overseas buyer exactly to which bank and account the remittance should be made, the exporter should receive very speedy payment.
Tenor (Of A Draft) Designation of a payment as being due at sight, a given number of days after sight, or a given number of days after date. The exporter’s bank in DC transactions, which dispatches the documents to the issuing bank.
Terminal Receiving Charge (TRC) Charge assessed by the terminal for cargo being delivered for export.
Terminal Handling Charge (THC) The charge assessed by the terminal for the positioning of containers within the terminal/yard.
Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) TEU is taken to mean the measure of a container capacity still used by some institutions (1 FFE = 2 TEU)
Through Bill Of Lading A single bill of lading converting both the domestic and international carriage of an export shipment. An air waybill, for instance, is essentially a through bill of lading used for air shipments. Ocean shipments, on the other hand, usually require two separate documents – an inland bill of lading for domestic carriage and an ocean bill of lading for international carriage. Through bills of lading are insufficient for ocean shipments. Compare Air waybill, Inland bill of lading, and Ocean bill of lading.
Through Rate A rate applicable from point of origin to destination. A through rate may be either a joint rate or a combination of two or more rates.
Time Draft A draft that matures either a certain number of days after acceptance or a certain number of days after the date of the draft.
TPA Trade Promotion Authority – see Fast Track
Tracer See Chaser.
Trade Agreement A bilateral or multilateral treaty or other enforceable compact committing two or more nations to specified terms of commerce, usually involving mutually beneficial concessions.
Trade And Credit Information (TCI) A bank department that prepares and distributes status reports on its own customers, and maintains records of traders and manufacturers with whom its customers deal.
Trade Deficit The value of a nation’s imports exceeds the value of its exports.
Trade Liberalisation The reduction of tariffs, quotas, and other barriers to permit more foreign trade and investment.
Tramp Steamer A ship not operating on regular routes or schedules.
Transaction Statement A document that delineates the terms and conditions agreed upon between the importer and exporter.
Transaction value The price actually paid or payable by the buyer to the seller for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States. Transaction value is the most common method for valuing imported merchandise.
Transfer To take merchandise with zone status from a zone for consumption, transportation, exportation, warehousing, cartage or lighterage, vessel supplies and equipment, admission to another zone, and like purposes.
Transferable Credit Permits the beneficiary to transfer all or some of the rights and obligations under the credit to a second beneficiary or beneficiaries – see Special DCs.
Transferee A party (2nd beneficiary) to whom a transferable credit is transferred in whole or in part.
Transferor A party (1st beneficiary) at whose request a transferable credit is transferred to a second beneficiary in whole or in part.
Transloading Transfer of containers from one vessel to another vessel. Synonymous with Transshipments.
Transnational Corporation Corporations that operate in multiple countries and can move their products, personnel, and even factories to the location that would be the most profitable.
Transhipment A shipment that has been moved through, imported, transferred, or unladen in one or more intermediary countries (other than their originating country) prior to importation into the final destination country.
Transparency This concept requires negotiations and agreements to be openly arrived at and openly presented so that all can know and understand the process and terms.
Transportation And Exportation Entry A form declaring goods entering the United States for the purpose of exportation through a U.S. port. Carriers and any warehouse must be bonded.
Transport Documents A transport document is given by the carrier to the shipper (seller/exporter) and serves as receipt for the goods during shipment and as evidence of a carriage contract. The transport document may in some cases also serve as a document of title.
Trips Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights is an agreement of the World Trade Organization that covers patents and other forms of intellectual property.
Trust Receipt Release of merchandise by a bank to a buyer in which the bank retains title to the merchandise. The buyer, who obtains the goods for manufacturing or sales purposes, is obligated to maintain the goods (or the proceeds from their sale) distinct from the remainder of his or her assets and to hold them ready for repossession by the bank.
UNCTAD The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development is a structure established in 1964 to promote world wide development through various trade proposals. It is a source for technical assistance for developing countries around the issues of trade and development.
Uniform Customs And Practice Standardized code of practice issued by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris covering Documentary Credits. (See International Chamber of Commerce)
Uniform Rules Standardized rules issued by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris covering collections, Combined Transport Documents, and Contract Guarantees.
Unit Cost The cost associated with a single unit of product; it is calculated as the total cost of producing a product or service divided by the number of units in the run or lot.
Uruguay Round The most recent (1989-1994) round of trade talks of the member countries of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (see GATT).
Unique Identifier Number (UIN) This inventory method controls merchandise in a zone by unique numbers and/or letters that identify merchandise admitted to a zone.
Unitisation The general approach for trying to transport goods in larger units. Pallets and containers are two means to this end.
Usance Bill A Bill of Exchange which allows the drawee a term or period of credit (this period is also called usance). The term is usually stated in days (e.g. 30 days) or months and starts either from the date of the bill (e.g. 30 days date) or from the date of bill of lading, or from sight by the drawee (e.g. 30 days sight) which in practice means from the date of acceptance. An essential feature of acceptance credits and D/A collections. Used to describe a bill of lading without clauses that expressly declare a defective condition of the goods or the packing.
User A person or firm using a zone for storage, handling or processing of merchandise.
US-SACU FTA The United States-South Africa Customs Union free trade area negotiations began in June 2003 to create the first US free trade area in Africa. The South African Customs Union is one of the oldest trading blocks that originated in 1889 and includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland.
USTR The United States Trade Representative is a cabinet-level official of the US government responsible for developing and coordinating US international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and leading or directing negotiations with other countries on such matters.
Value The value of imported merchandise as declared by the importer and as finally determined by the Customs Service.
Value Added Tax (VAT) An indirect tax that is assessed at each stage of production and distribution from the raw material stage to the purchase of the final product on the amount of value contributed at each stage to the final product. Each company involved in the product or onward sale of the goods in question pays a tax proportional to the amount by which the firm increases the value of the goods purchased for resale after making his or her own contribution. VAT is a common tax found throughout the world, although not every country imposes such a tax.
Variable Levy Under the European Community’s Common Agricultural Policy, a duty that increases or decreases as domestic or world prices fluctuate to ensure that the price of the imported product after payment of duty will equal a predetermined “gate” price.
Visa A license issued to an importer by a foreign government pursuant to a quota. When asking for advice from the Customs Service, are you providing the most accurate, up-to-date, information you have on the merchandise.
Waive To relinquish a right: used in collections with BC charges and/or interest to be collected from the drawee: these can be waived in certain circumstances as set out in ICC 522.
Warehouse Entry A form declaring goods imported and placed in a bonded warehouse. Duty payment may not be required until the importer withdraws the goods.
Warehouse Receipt A receipt issued by a warehouse listing goods received for storage
Washington Consensus Refers to economic policies being put forth by the US Administration and Congress as well as the Washington DC-based International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Some of the elements of this Consensus are trade liberalization, privatization, deregulation, etc. that are often applied to all countries and all situations. See also neoliberalism and globalization
Wharfage A charge assessed by a pier or dock owner for handling incoming or outgoing cargo.
Without Reserve A term indicating that a shipper’s agent or representative is empowered to make definitive decisions and adjustments abroad without approval of the group or individual represented.
Wharfinger A Wharfinger is a keeper or owner of a wharf. The Wharfinger takes custody and is responsible for goods delivered to the wharf. Click here to learn more.
Wharfinger Receipt An acknowledgement of the receipt of goods by the wharfinger. It has no legal value.
World Bank Officially called the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, this bank was established in 1944 to provide loans for the reconstruction of Europe. In the 1970s the World Banks’ focus shifted to assist in the reconstruction and development of its poor members by facilitating capital investment, making loans, and promoting foreign investment. The Bank has historically focused on large infrastructure and other development projects. Like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank has a set of strict requirements for economic policy reform before making grants or loans(see SAPs).
World Trade Organization (Wto) The World Trade Organization, established in 1995 as the successor to the 1948 General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, administers trade agreements, provides a forum for trade negotiations, and monitors national trade policies for the 147 member countries. The overall aim of the WTO is to reach a single framework of rules for trade and “trade-related” activities.
Zone Lot Number (Zln) A collection of merchandise maintained under an inventory control method based on specific identification of merchandise admitted to a zone by lot and lot number.
Zone Project All of the zone and subzone sites under a single grantee, normally in a single port of entry
Zone Restricted (Zr) Merchandise admitted to a zone for the sole purpose of exportation or destruction.
Zone Site The physical location of a zone or subzone.
ZONE STATUS The status of merchandise admitted to a Foreign-Trade Zone, i.e., domestic (D), non-privileged foreign (NPF), privileged foreign (PF), or zone restricted (ZR) status.