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Commonly Used Shipping Terms

Wavecrest Ltd.
Denton Wharf
Mark Lane

DA12 2QD
United Kingdom

TEL: +44 1474 331146
FAX: +44 1474 333475


Registered in England
and Wales

Reg No. 4311051

WaveCrest Ltd
Established 1994    

Commonly Used Shipping Terms

Air Waybill (Abbreviation: AWB)

A document made out by or on behalf of an airline confirming receipt of the goods and evidencing the contract between the shipper and the airline for the carriage of goods as described therein.

Anti-Dumping Duty

A tariff imposed to discourage the sale of foreign goods, subsidised to sell at low prices detrimental to local manufacturers. Anti dumping duty is currently applied to imports of goods such as bicycles and ball bearings imported from specific countries. Please contact us for more detailed information.

Arrival Notice

A notification received from a shipping line or their agent giving details of a ship's arrival. The arrival notice will be sent to the consignee or "Notify Party" detailed on the bill of lading usually by post or fax and occasionally by e-mail.

  Abbreviation for "Bunker Adjustment Factor." A surcharge applied by shipping lines to compensate them for fluctuations in fuel costs. Sometimes called "Fuel Adjustment Factor" or FAF.
Bill of Lading (Abbreviation: B/L)

A document that evidences the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage and a receipt for goods. A B/L is usually issued as a set of three originals plus a number of copies. An original B/L is a negotiable document. In order to obtain release bestaucasinosonline.com of goods at the port of arrival, the consignee must surrender an original B/L to the shipping line or their agent.

  • B/L Terms & Conditions: the fine print on a B/L; defines the carrier's liabilities and contractual agreements.

  • Express B/L : Non-negotiable B/L where there are no hard copies of originals printed. Also known as a waybill or sea waybill.
Binding Tariff Information (Abbreviation: BTI)
  BTI is a written and legally binding decision on a classification code from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) - see also Harmonised System below. Please contact Wavecrest Ltd for further information.
  A shipping term for fuel used aboard a ship. - see also BAF above
Currency Adjustment Factor (Abbreviation: CAF)
  A surcharge, expressed as a percentage of a base rate, that is applied to compensate ocean carriers for currency fluctuations.
  A Customs document permitting the holder to temporarily carry or send merchandise into certain foreign countries (e.g. for display, demonstration or similar purposes) without paying duties.
  Abbreviation for "Cubic Meter."
Certificate of Origin
  A document showing the origin of goods certified by a Chamber of Commerce and used in international trade. Wavecrest Ltd is able to issue of EU certificates of origin as well as Arab-British certificates of origin for export shipments from the United Kingdom.
C + F / CIF
  Please see Incoterms below
Commodity Code
  Please see Harmonised System below
  The party mentioned in the transport document (e.g. Airwaybill or Bill of Lading) by whom the goods, cargo or containers are to be received. Also known as receiver.
  A truck trailer body that can be detached from the chassis for loading into a vessel, a rail wagon etc. Containers may be ventilated, insulated, refrigerated, flat rack, open top, bulk liquid or equipped with interior devices such as rails for transporting hanging garments. Containers are usually 20 feet or 40 feet in length, 8'0" in width, and 8'6" or 9'6" in height. Other sizes such as 45' long are used in certain trades. Within Europe it is possible to get pallet wide container designed for use with euro pallets.
  A penalty charge against a consignee for delaying a container beyond the allowed free time at the port of arrival.
  The unloading of a container
  The unloading of a vessel.The landing of cargo.
  Stowage material, mainly timber or board, used to prevent damage to/movement of cargo during sea transportation. Some countries (e.g. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) have restrictions on the importation of untreated timber. For further information, please contact Wavecrest Ltd.
Estimated Time of Arrival (Abbreviation: ETA)
  The expected date/time of arrival of the ship/aircraft at a named (air)port.
Estimated Time of Departure (Abbreviation: ETD)
  The expected date/time of departure of a ship/aircraft from a named (air)port.
EUR1 Form (Movement Certificate)
  An EUR1 form entitles originating UK or EU goods to lower import duties - usually zero - when shipped into twenty five foreign markets including South Africa, Chile, Mexico and Israel. An EUR1 Form is completed by the exporter and then has to be authenticated by HM Customs & Excise or an approved Chamber of Commerce.
Export License
  A government document which permits the "Licensee" to engage in the export of designated goods to certain destinations. A License would be required for example for the export of military equipment. Please contact Wavecrest Ltd for further advice.
Full Container Load (Abbreviation: FCL)
Free Time
  The amount of time that a container may be used without incurring additional charges. See also demurrage.
  Refers to either the cargo carried or the charges assessed for carriage of the cargo.
Full Trailer Load (Abbreviation: FTL)
Flight Number
  A combination of two letters, indicating the airline, and three or four digits indicating the number of the flight. Each airline has their own unique code - e.g. BA = British Airways, CX = Cathay Pacific etc.
  Containers may occasionally need to be fumigated to disinfect or kill vermin to comply with local national legislation. Wavecrest Ltd can arrange the fumigation of containers if required.
General Rate Increase (Abbreviation: GRI)
  An across-the-board tariff rate increase implemented by a shipping line and applied to base rates.
GSP Certificate / Form A

GSP abbreviation for General System of Preferences.

A type of certificate of origin issued by authorities in some designated developing countries which enables their goods to be imported into certain developed countries at a preferential rate of duty. In some cases the rate of import duty is reduced to zero.

  A consolidation service, putting small shipments into containers for shipment. Wavecrest Ltd is able to offer a groupage service to many destinations. Please contact us for further information
Harmonised System of Codes (HS)

An international goods classification system for describing cargo in international trade under a single commodity coding scheme.

This code is a hierarchically structured product nomenclature containing approximately 5,000 headings and subheadings. It is organized into 99 chapters arranged in 22 sections. Sections encompass an industry (e.g., Section XI, Textiles and Textile Articles); chapters encompass the various materials and products of the industry (e.g., Chapter 50, Silk; Chapter 55, Manmade Staple Fibers; Chapter 57, Carpets). The basic code contains four-digit headings and six-digit subheadings. Many countries add digits for Customs tariff and statistical purposes. Also referred to as a commodity code.

Import License
  A document required and issued by some national governments authorising the importation of goods. In the UK import licences are required for certain commodities depending on the country of origin. For example some textile products.

The recognized abbreviation for the International Chamber of Commerce Terms of Sale. These are standard terms of sale used in international trade. The most commonly used terms are as follows:

  • EXW (Ex Works) (...Named Place): A Term of Sale which means that the seller fulfills the obligation to deliver when he or she has made the goods available at his/her premises (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.) to the buyer. In particular, the seller is not responsible for loading the goods in the vehicle provided by the buyer or for clearing the goods for export, unless otherwise agreed. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller's premises to the desired destination. This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller.

  • FOB (Free On Board) (...Named Port of Shipment): An International Term of Sale that means the seller fulfills his or her obligation to deliver when the goods have passed over the ship's rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks to loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

  • CFR (Cost and Freight) (...Named Port of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller pays the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination, Terms of Sale but the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as (continued) well as any additional costs due to events occurring after the time the goods have been delivered on board the vessel, is transferred from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail in the port of shipment. The CFR term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

  • CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) (...Named Place of Destination): A Term of Sale where the seller has the same obligations as under the CFR but also has to procure marine insurance against the buyer's risk of loss or damage to the goods during the carriage. The seller contracts for insurance and pays the insurance premium. The CIF term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.
Letter of Credit (Abbreviation: L/C or LC)
  A document, issued by a bank in accordance with instructions received from a buyer of goods, authorising the seller to draw a specified sum of money under specified terms, usually the receipt by the bank of certain documents within a given time. Please contact Wavecrest Ltd if you require further advice regarding letters of credit
Less than container load (Abbreviation: LCL)
  Please see Groupage above
  A document listing in detail all the airwaybills/bills of lading issued by a carrier or its agent. A detailed summary of the total cargo of an aircraft or vessel. Used principally for Customs clearance purposes.
Marine Insurance
  Insurance covering loss or damage of goods during sea, air or road transit. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc. Following a recent change in UK legislation, Wavecrest Ltd is now able to arrange marine insurance cover at competitive rates for UK based Limited companies. Please contact us for more detailed information.
Notify Party
  The party to be notified of arrival of goods. See also Arrival Notice above
  A platform on which goods can be stacked in order to facilitate the movement usually by a fork lift truck. Pallets are generally made from timber but are due to local import restrictions in certain countries are now also manufactured from other materials such as plastic, metal and particle board.
Phytosanitary Inspection Certificate
  A certificate issued by an applicable National body (e.g. Forestry Commision) to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries; indicating that a shipment has been inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases. These are required for example for imports of certain types of timber from some countries.

An abbreviation meaning:

  • Port of Discharge/Destination ... or ...
  • Proof of Delivery.

Abbreviation for:

  • Port of Loading.
  The quantity of goods that may be imported without restriction during a set period of time. Quotas are applied for the import of certain products into the UK - e.g. some textile goods
  A refrigerated or temperature controlled container. Used for the movement of goods requiring cooling or occasionally heating during transit. E.g. fruit, ice cream, meat, fish etc
  An abbreviation of the term, "Roll On/Roll Off." A method of shipping using a vessel with ramps which allows wheeled vehicles to be loaded and discharged without the use of cranes. Wavecrest Ltd specialises in shipping vehicles of all types using roll on/roll off vessels to many destinations. Please contact us for further information.
  The person or company who is usually the supplier or owner of the goods shipped. Also known as the consignor.
  Said to contain. An abbreviation used, for example, on Bills of Lading. e.g. 1 x 20' stc 450 cartons tools
  Unloading cargo from a container (devanning).
  Loading and securing cargo into a container.
  Abbreviation for "Twenty foot Equivalent Unit." 1 x 20' container = 1 TEU
War Risk
  A surcharge particularly in conjunction with air freight shipments to compensate carriers for additional insurance premiums for loss of goods resulting from any act of war.
  Please see Bills of Lading above (Express B/L)
  Abbreviation for "Weight or Measurement;" the basis for assessing part container load freight charges. The rate charged under W/M will be whichever produces the highest revenue between the weight of the shipment and the measure of the shipment.
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All business is transacted in accordance with current British International Freight Association terms and conditions
a copy of which is available on request