Mastering Import/Export Lingo: Your Essential Glossary

Importing or exporting goods means understanding specialized terminology. Our glossary provides clear definitions of the terms you'll encounter.

Mastering Import/Export Lingo: Your Essential Glossary

International trade has its own specialized language. This glossary breaks down essential import/export terminology to help you navigate the process smoothly.

Important Note: While these terms are widely used, specific regulations and documentation may vary between countries. Always consult with a customs broker or trade expert for the most accurate information.

Document Acronyms

  • AES (Automated Export System): A common electronic filing system for export information.
  • AWB (Air Waybill): A contract and shipping document used for air cargo.
  • BOL (Bill of Lading): A contract/receipt for goods carried by ocean freight.
  • BOM (Bill of Materials): A detailed list of all components needed to create a product.
  • CI (Commercial Invoice): A document detailing the transaction between seller and buyer.
  • COC (Certificate of Conformity): Certifies that a product adheres to certain standards.
  • COO (Certificate of Origin): Document verifying the country where goods were produced.
  • EEI (Electronic Export Information): Required export filing in many countries.
  • PL (Packing List): Itemized list of shipment contents.

Regulatory & Compliance Acronyms

  • DGN/DGR (Dangerous Goods): Goods with hazardous properties (e.g., chemicals, batteries).
  • EAR (Export Administration Regulations): A common framework for regulations controlling the export of sensitive goods.
  • ECCN (Export Control Classification Number): Determines restrictions on exporting an item.
  • HTS/HS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule/ Harmonized System): International product classification system.

Acronyms for Organizations & Agreements

  • FTA (Free Trade Agreement): Agreement between countries reducing trade barriers.
  • IATA (International Air Transport Association): Key agency setting air transport standards.

Acronyms for Roles & Processes

  • DEC (Declaration): Document needed for some exports in certain countries.
  • DPS (Duty Payment Service): Facilitates prepayment of duties and taxes.
  • EOR (Exporter of Record): The legally responsible party for the export.
  • FF (Freight Forwarder): Company arranging shipping, documentation, and logistics.
  • Incoterms (International Commercial Terms): Predefined contract terms delineating responsibilities between buyer and seller.
  • IOR (Importer of Record): The legally responsible party for the import.
  • ITN (Internal Transaction Number): Number used for tracking export shipments.
  • LoC (Letter of Credit): Bank-issued financial guarantee of payment.
  • NLR (No License Required): Export classification for low-risk items.
  • POA (Power of Attorney): Document authorizing someone to act on your behalf.

Need Help Importing from Indonesia?

Understanding the terminology is the first step! If you'd like assistance navigating the complexities of importing from Indonesia, contact us at for guidance.