The shipping and supply chain industry is full of terms and acronyms related to shipping domestic or international freight and Canadian customs regulations. Scroll down to see all terms and acronyms or select from the menu below:



Accelerated Commercial Release Operations Support System (ACROSS): CBSA-administered process that streamlines the way goods are imported into Canada. ACROSS allows importers and brokers to exchange information electronically with CBSA, thereby eliminating the requirement to present hard copies of all release packages. A CBSA inspector reviews the data and makes a determination to either release the shipment, or hold it for further review.

Accessorial Charges: Costs assessed by a freight provider for services that go beyond routine pickup and delivery functions. Common accessorial charges include fuel surcharges, waiting time, loading and unloading, and storage time.

Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS): CBSA-administered process that evaluates all customs-related complaints and, if warranted, imposes penalties. Penalties are generally assessed based on type, frequency and severity of compliance failure.

Ad Valorem Tariff: Duty levied on a product based on its value, rather than on the basis of quantity, size, weight or other metric. Because ad valorem tariff assessments are based on present market value, the amount of tariff assessed can fluctuate with market conditions.

 Advance Commercial Information (ACI): CBSA-administered risk assessment program that requires advance notification for all Canada-bound shipments. Pre-notification allows CBSA agents to conduct a risk assessment of incoming shipments, so that necessary security protocols can be in place when a “questionable” shipment arrives at the border.

Aftermarket: Secondary market that deals in the sale of used goods, replacement parts, accessories and repaired/refurbished products. Aftermarket materials are not necessarily produced by original manufacturers, but meet the size and performance requirements of the original manufacturer. In the United States, the automotive aftermarket employed approximately 4.6 million people during 2016 and generated $381 billion in sales.

Ambassador Bridge: Suspension bridge that connects Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario. The bridge is North America’s busiest international border crossing, with roughly 10,000 vehicles crossing each day. The Ambassador Bridge is the only privately-owned border crossing in the United States.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS): Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS is charged with keeping U.S. agricultural industries free from pests and diseases and certifying that the millions of U.S. agricultural and food products shipped to markets abroad meet the importing countries’ entry requirements.

Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties: Anti-dumping occurs when a foreign manufacturer sells goods in the United States at a cost less than fair market value, causing injury to U.S. industry. Anti-dumping cases are company specific, and duties are assessed at a rate that restores pricing to fair market value.

Countervailing duties are imposed when a foreign government provides assistance and subsidies, such as tax breaks to manufacturers that export goods to the U.S., enabling the manufacturer to sell the goods on the U.S. market at a lower cost than domestic manufacturers. Countervailing duties are country specific, and duties are calculated to duplicate the value of the subsidy.

Automated Broker Interface (ABI): Customs and Border Protection (CBP) administered program that allows qualified participants to file import data electronically. ABI is a voluntary program available to approved brokers, importers, carriers, port authorities and independent service centers. ABI is an integral part of the Automated Commercial System (ACS).

Automated Clearing House: Electronic fund transfer system run by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA).

Automated Commercial Environment (ACE): Primary system through which the trade community reports import and export information, and the government determines admissibility. Through ACE as the Single Window, manual processes are streamlined and automated, paper is eliminated, and the trade community is able to more easily and efficiently comply with U.S. laws and regulations. ACE is the successor to the Automated Commercial System (ACS).

Automated Commercial System (ACS): Comprehensive system used by the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to track, control, and process all commercial goods imported into the United States. ACS was replaced by the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).

Automated Export System (AES): Central filing system through which export shipment data required by multiple agencies is filed electronically to CBP, using the efficiency of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). AES is accessed through the ACE/Single Window filing system.

Automated Manifest Systems (AMS): U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) filing system used to process electronic air manifests. As of 2015, AMS information is transmitted through the ACE/Single Window filing system.

Automated Targeting System:Security and tracking program maintained by the Department of Homeland Security through which all cargo – and travelers – crossing the U.S. border is assigned a “risk assessment” score.

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Back Haul: Return leg of a distribution cycle, whereby a vehicle travels back to its point of origin. Often a source of cost-efficient service for non-time sensitive shipments.

Batch Order Picking: A fulfillment method in which an order processor works on multiple orders at the same time.

Batch Number: A number assigned to a specific batch of products, or a production run of products, that is used for tracking purposes.

Beyond the Border: Joint U.S.-Canada initiative announced in February 2011 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Through the initiative the two countries pledged to promote cross border trade while creating a “security perimeter” around the two countries.

Bill of Lading: A legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper acknowledging receipt of specified goods. A bill of lading also indicates the vehicle on which goods will travel, intended destination and the terms for transporting goods to their final destination.

Block Pallet:  A 4-way entry pallet whereby blocks of solid wood support the unit load.  Block pallets are typically stronger than stringer pallets – and more expensive to manufacture.  Block pallets utilize both parallel and perpendicular stringers for added strength and more efficient handling.

Breakbulk:  Cargo that does not fit in or utilize standard-sized containers or cargo bins.  Instead, breakbulk cargo is typically transported individually, often in a skid or pallet, or in a crate.  Examples of breakbulk cargo include boats, steel beams, oversized vehicles and generators.

Business Number: A 9-digit number assigned to businesses by the Canada Revenue Agency for tax matters related to doing business in Canada.

Bonded Carrier: Transporter licensed by customs to carry goods on which duty has yet to be paid.

Bonded Warehouse: A warehouse that has been authorized by customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.

Border Release Advanced Screening and Selectivity (BRASS) Program: Shipment type that allows expedited processing, through the use of bar-code technology and automation, of certain high-volume, repetitively-shipped merchandise that is imported at designated locations. BRASS shipments are allowed to cross the border before the filing of a formal entry by the customs broker.

Bundled Transaction:  Refers to the retail sale of two or more products (except real property and services to real property), where:  (1) the products are otherwise distinct and identifiable; and (2) the products are sold for one non-itemized price.  Examples of bundled transactions include tennis lessons in which the total cost includes a tennis racquet, or a cellphone purchase, which includes a service plan.

Bureau of Census Foreign Trade Division: Official source for U.S. export and import statistics. Also responsible for issuing regulations governing the reporting of all export shipments from the United States.

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS): Agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce charged with advancing U.S. national security, foreign policy and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system.

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Cabotage: Point-to-point transportation of goods within a single country, by a vehicle, aircraft or vessel registered in another country.  As defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Legal Counsel: “Airline cabotage is the carriage of air traffic that originates and terminates within the boundaries of a given country by an air carrier of another country.  Rights to such traffic are usually entirely denied or severely restricted.”

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA): The agency responsible for ensuring the security and prosperity of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from that country. CBSA’s key responsibilities include managing that country’s 117 land-border crossings, 13 international airports, 27 rail sites, and marine operations at major ports and numerous marinas.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency: Government agency created in 1999 when the Department of National Revenue was merged with Canada Customs. Agency was subsequently dismantled in 2003, with all customs functions transferred to the CBSA, and revenue functions falling to the renamed Canada Revenue Agency.

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): Agency charged with administering all tax laws for the Government of Canada and most provinces and territories. CRA also implements various social and economic benefit and incentive programs administered through the tax system.

Canada Customs Tariff: Official listing of applicable tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into Canada. The Customs Tariff is administered by the Canada Border Services Agency, and is based on the international Harmonized System, the global system of nomenclature that is used to classify most world trade.

Canadian Automated Export Declaration (CAED): Free and secure online reporting system administered jointly by CBSA and Statistics Canada through which registered exporters and agents report goods electronically. Eliminates paper-based reporting methods.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): Government agency charged with safeguarding that country’s food supply, protecting the environment and strengthening security at the border. Any business seeking to import a product that falls within the scope of CFIA must submit a permit or license application (depending on type of product) to the Pre-Market Application Submissions Office.

Cargo Control Document: Document required by CBSA, acts as the initial record of a shipment’s arrival in Canada.

Cargo Control Number: Bar-coded number that must be included on a cargo control document. The first four digits of the cargo control number must be the carrier’s unique carrier code.

Carnet: International customs document that simplifies the entry process for temporary shipments. A carnet allows goods that are going to be re-exported within 12 months to clear customs without paying duties or import taxes.

Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP): An Incoterm which refers to a situation in which a seller delivers goods to a carrier or another person nominated by the seller at an agreed place (if any such place is agreed between parties) and that the seller must contract for and pay the costs of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named place of destination. Applies to any mode of transport.

Carriage Paid To (CPT): An Incoterm that refers to instances in which a seller delivers the goods to the carrier or another person nominated by the seller at an agreed place (if any such place is agreed between the parties) and that the seller must contract for any pay the costs of carriage necessary to bring the goods to the named place of destination.

The seller also contracts for insurance cover against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. They buyer should note that under CIP the seller is required to obtain insurance only on minimum cover… Should the buyer wish to have more insurance protection, it will need either to agree as much expressly with the seller or to make its own extra insurance arrangements.

Applies to any mode of transport.

Carrier: A company engaged in the business of transporting goods.

Carrier Certificate: A document issued by a shipping company that certifies ownership of a shipment, and denotes to customs which parties may make a customs claim on that shipment.

Census Bureau: U.S. government agency charged with collecting statistics and data about the U.S. population, demographics and economy. The Census Bureau is also responsible for collecting data about international trade.

Certificate of Delivery: Required as part of duty drawback filing process. Customs Form 7552 – “Delivery Certificate for Purposes of Drawback” – summarizes required information included in original documentation that includes: Transfer of product from one party to another, identity of merchandise, and the transfer of drawback rights from the transferor to the transferee.

Certificate of Origin:  USMCA-mandated document used to determine if imported goods are eligible to receive reduced or duty-free treatment as outlined by USMCA. The Certificate details the country in which a shipment of goods was manufactured, and must be completed by an exporter – and be in possession of the importer – at the time the declaration is made.

Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF): A location authorized by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to screen cargo at a non-airport location. Cargo screened at a CCSF is subsequently transported to an airport, pre-cleared for loading. The CCSF function was authorized by the TSA to facilitate implementation of the federal screening mandate for all cargo travelling aboard U.S. passenger planes.

Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP): Program developed by the Transportation Security Administration TSA to facilitate implementation of federal screening mandate for all cargo travelling aboard U.S. passenger planes. CCSP allows qualified businesses and logistics and transportation providers to screen cargo off-site, thereby allowing shipments to arrive at the airport pre-cleared and ready for boarding.

Cluster Picking: Warehouse management process whereby multiple orders involving the same products are filled simultaneously.  Cluster picking helps minimize time to fulfill high volumes of orders that have low numbers of small units per order. 

Collaborative Distribution:  Process in which small to mid-size manufacturers centralize inventories in a common warehouse, from which shipments are co-mingled and consolidated into a single full truckload.  Process allows manufacturers that would otherwise have to use less-than-truckload service to take advantage of lower-cost full-truckload synergies.

Collaborative Outsourcing: Strategy whereby a company outsources components of its business processes, but maintains control of all outsourced functions.  Net result is a network of outside “experts” who theoretically offer expertise and best practices that would otherwise not be available through internal sources.

Commercial Cash Entry Processing System (CCEPS): CBSA-maintained self-service terminals that help clients prepare documentation needed to clear low-value commercial and personal goods into Canada. CCEPS terminals generate completed forms that are ready for CBSA inspection.

Commercial Invoice: An itemized listing of goods contained in a shipment – prepared by the person or corporation exporting the goods.

Commingling: Situation in which goods that are subject to different duty rates are packed together or combined in such a way that a customs officer cannot easily determine the quantity or value of each class of article. Commingled shipments are subject to the highest rate of duty applicable to any part of the shipment.

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA): Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety, in an effort to reduce accidents involving commercial vehicles.

Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010): U.S. Department of Transportation initiative designed to improve highway safety through enhanced inspection and safety requirements among large motor vehicle carriers and drivers.

Consignee: The individual or company to whom a seller or shipper sends merchandise.

Consignor: The individual or company who sends a shipment via ship, by land or by air.

Consolidation: Process in which smaller shipments are combined, for purposes of expedited border clearance, or cost efficiency.

Container: Storage unit used to transport freight via highway, rail or ship. International shipping containers are 20 or 40 feet long, conform to International Standards Organization (ISO) standards and will fit in a ship’s hold.

Container Security Initiative (CSI): U.S. Customs and Border Protection program intended to provide enhanced screening and security for all containerized cargo shipped to the U.S. from global ports.

Continuous Bond: Type of bond most advantageous for businesses that import frequently and through various ports of entry. Customs bonds are required for all commercial imports valued at more than $2,500.

Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF): Incoterm that means the seller delivers the goods on board the vessel or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel. The seller must contract for any pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination. Applies to sea and inland waterway transport shipments.

The seller also contracts for insurance to cover against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage. The buyer should note that under CIF the seller is required to obtain insurance only on minimum cover. Should the buyer wish to have more insurance protection, it will need either to agree as much expressly with the seller or to make its own extra insurance arrangements.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP): International association of individuals involved in supply chain management.

Country of Origin: The legal determined country in which goods have been substantially manufactured, grown or produced.

Cost and Freight (CFR): Incoterm means the seller delivers the goods on board the vessel or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel. The seller must contract for any pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination. Applies to sea and inland waterway transport shipments.

Countervailing Duties: Countervailing duties are imposed when a foreign government provides assistance and subsidies, such as tax breaks to manufacturers that export goods to the U.S., enabling the manufacturer to sell the goods on the U.S. market at a lower cost than domestic manufacturers. Countervailing duties are country specific, and duties are calculated to duplicate the value of the subsidy.

Courier: A person or business that delivers messages, packages and/or mail. Courier service is considered premium level, since deliveries are generally expedited and involve specialized services including tracking and signature-verification.

Courier Imports Remission Order (CIRO): Directive by Canada Border Services Agency that goods valued at less than $20 CAD, that are transported via courier, are exempt from the harmonized sales tax, the goods and services tax, and are granted remission of all customs duties, excise taxes, and provincial sales tax.

Courier Low Value Shipment Program (LVS): CBSA-administered program that allows international couriers to facilitate the processing and release of low-value shipments (valued at $2,500 CDN/US or less).

Critical Freight: Shipments that are extremely time sensitive.

Cross-Docking: Process in which materials are unloaded from an incoming vehicle, and reloaded directly onto an outbound vehicle, with little or no storage in between.

Customs Automated Data Exchange (CADEX): Canada Border Services Agency initiative that allows importers and brokers to electronically transmit accounting documents to CBSA for already-released goods. CADEX removes the need to present hard-copy versions of documents.

Customs Automated Forms Entry System (CAFES): Pre-ACE system that allowed in-bond transactions to be inputted directly to CBP system by use of a two-dimensional barcode.

Customs Bond: A guarantee between three parties: (a) an insurance/surety company; (b) a principal; and (c) Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The customs bond guarantees CBP that if the principal defaults on obligations, remedy can be sought from the insurance/surety company. In essence, a customs bond is insurance that the U.S. Treasury will be paid, should an importer default on its obligations.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP): U.S. agency charged with securing and facilitating trade and travel while enforcing all U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws. CBP is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

Customs Broker: A private individual, partnership, association or corporation licensed, regulated and empowered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (for U.S. shipments) to assist importers and exporters in meeting federal requirements governing imports and exports. Brokers submit necessary information and appropriate payments to CBP on behalf of their clients and charge them a fee for this service. There are approximately 11,000 active licensed brokers in the United States.

Customs Declaration System (CUSDEC): CBSA process, similar to CADEX, through which importers and brokers transmit electronically accounting documents. However, with CUSDEC, data are transmitted using the international programming language known as UN/EDIFACT.

Customs Self-Assessment (CSA): Program administered by Canada Border Services Agency to facilitate the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved carriers. Approved shipments are cleared for delivery based on information that identifies the CSA-approved carrier and driver.

Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT): Voluntary border security program administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection through which members of the trade community undergo a rigorous application process and agree to take steps to ensure the safety of their supply chains – and the supply chains of their suppliers — in exchange for designated benefits.

Customs Valuation: Monetary value placed by a customs agency on a good or service destined for export or import.

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Dangerous Goods: Materials capable of causing damage to persons, property or the environment when transported in quantity, and subject to regulatory protocols as outlined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Products regarded as “dangerous goods” include, but are not limited to, aerosol cans, perfumes, paints, ammunition, butane, car batteries, fireworks, dry ice, solvents, and certain chemicals.

Day Specific: Delivery option in which packages are picked up, or delivered, on a specific day of the week.

Deadhead: Movement of an empty transportation container back to its point of origin, a process that generates no revenue.

Deadhead Miles: Miles incurred by a driver to get from point of last drop-off to point of next pick up.

Delivered at Place (DAP): Incoterm adopted in 2011 that refers to instances in which the seller delivers when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination. The seller bears all risks involved in bringing the goods to the named place. Applies to any mode of transport.

Delivered at Terminal (DAT): Incoterm adopted in 2011 that refers to instances in which a seller delivers when the goods, once unloaded from the arriving means of transport, are placed at the disposal of the buyer at a named terminal at the named port or place of destination. “Terminal” includes a place, whether covered or not, such as a quay, warehouse, container yard or road, rail or air cargo terminal. The seller bears all risks involved in bringing the goods to and unloading them at the terminal at the named port or place of destination. Applies to any mode of transport.

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP): Incoterm that refers to instances in which a seller delivers the goods when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer, cleared for import on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination. The seller bears all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the place of destination and has an obligation to clear the goods not only for export but also for import, to pay any duty for both export and import and to carry out all customs formalities. Applies to any mode of transport.

De Minimis Value: Value of a shipment of merchandise imported by one person on one day that generally may be imported free of duties and taxes. In March 2016, CBP announced the increase in the de minimis value from $200 to $800.

Demurrage: Refers to the period in which a ship remains under the control of a third party, or charterer, that exceeds the period normally allowed for loading and unloaded.  Demurrage fees are costs assessed by the shipowner as compensation for the extra use of the vessel.  Also refers to the excessive retention of a railroad car, truck, etc.  The opposite of demurrage is despatch.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS): U.S. federal agency formed in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks that is charged with preventing terrorist attacks within the United States, reducing America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimizing damage from a terrorist attack. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a division of DHS.

Despatch: Refers to situation in which a ship is loaded or unloaded ahead of schedule.  The opposite of dispatch is demurrage.

Detailed Adjustment Statement (DAS): Form used by Canada Border Services Agency when an adjustment is made to an accounting package, including to confirm changes requested by an importer.  DAS will ask party to submit any additional duties owed and interest payable because of the adjustment.  DAS is also used to inform parties of refunds, or owed interest.

Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC): Also known as the “Gordie Howe International Bridge,” this is a planned bridge that will connect Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario, the two countries’ busiest border crossing. Bridge would help alleviate congestion on the nearby Ambassador Bridge.

Dimensional Weight (DIM Weight): Calculation used by shippers/freight carriers to determine shipping costs based on package density, rather than by its actual weight. A package’s dimensional weight is calculated as follows: length X width X height, divided by 166.

Discrete Order Picking: Fulfillment method in which an order processor assembles one order at a time, moving around the warehouse until that order is complete, before moving on to the next order.

Distribution Center Bypass (DC Bypass): Supply chain option through which a shipment travels directly from a manufacturing facility or warehouse to a retailer or other end destination, thereby skipping a stop at a mid-route distribution center. DC Bypass generally is a more cost efficient and timely supply chain option.

Douglas Crossing: U.S./Canada border crossing located at Blaine, Washington and Douglas, British Columbia. Also known as the “Peace Arch Crossing,” because of the monument of that name located on that site. The Douglas/Peach Arch crossing is the main U.S./Vancouver entry point, but does not permit trucks or commercial vehicles.

Drawback: The refund of duties, taxes and fees paid on imported materials that are subsequently exported or destroyed.

Drayage: The movement of goods over a short distance. In freight transport, an example could be moving a shipment from an ocean port to a warehouse, rail yard, or other destination.

Drop Shipping: Supply chain management option through which a retailer does not maintain inventories, but instead forwards customer orders to either a manufacturer or supplier, who fulfills the customer order directly.

Dunnage: Term used to describe materials used to protect shipments from moisture, contamination and mechanical damage.  Dunnage usually applies to shipments stored in cargo holds and containers and may include plastic coverings, tarpaulins, wood, matting, or liner bags.

Duty: A tax levied by a government on the import, export or use and consumption of goods.

Duty Deferral Program: Trade program through which businesses are permitted to defer payment of duties on goods to be exported. As applied USMCA, duty deferral programs include foreign trade zones, temporary importations under bond, bonded warehouses, “maquiladoras,” and inward processing programs.

Duty Drawback program: Trade-enhancement program administered by Customs and Border Protection that allows U.S. businesses to be reimbursed for any duty collected on materials that are subsequently used in the manufacture of products intended for export. The duty drawback program prevents U.S. businesses from being taxed twice for the same product.

Dynamic Slotting: Warehouse management program in which best-selling and popular products are assigned to easily accessible locations, for faster and more cost-efficient processing.

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Electronic Data Manifest (EDS): The computer-to-computer exchange of information.

eManifest: Option developed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to allow the trade community to electronically transmit pre-arrival information through the internet.

Electronic Export Information: Electronic export data as filed in the Automated Export System (AES). This data is the electronic equivalent of the export data formerly collected as Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) information. This information is now mandated to be filed through the AES.

Enhanced Drivers License (EDL): State-issued driver’s license that includes an RFID chip and a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ), that allow Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to access biographic and biometric data about an individual attempting to cross the border. EDLs provide proof of identity and citizenship and facilitate the entry process for U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Canada or Mexico.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Network system through which company-wide database captures all inventory-related information including purchasing, sales, manufacturing, distribution and inventory management.  ERP replaces antiquated paper filing systems.   Through ERP a company’s inventory information is stored on a database that includes comprehensive information about vendors, lead times and supply chain partners.  ERP allows a business to seamlessly handle all inventory related activities including ordering, physical counts, scheduling, shipping, receiving, and planning.

Entry Summary Accounts and Revenue (ESAR): Series of Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) capabilities that act as a single source for master data and as an integrated account-based financial and entry summary processing system.

Export: Transfer of goods to a foreign country.

Export Administration Regulations (EAR): Regulations implemented by the Bureau of Industry Security to regulate and control the export of goods from the United States.

Ex Works (EXW): An Incoterm that refers to the process in which the seller delivers when it places the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the seller’s premises or at another names place (i.e., works, factory, warehouse, etc.). The seller does not need to load the goods on any collecting vehicle, nor does it need to clear the goods for export, where such clearance is applicable. Applies to any mode of transport.

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA): Agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation charged with ensuring the safety of the nation’s highways through regulatory oversight of motor carrier operators and drivers.

Fifth-Party Logistics Provider (5PL): A 5PL operates under the premise of “strength in numbers,” and generally works to find bulk volume as a way to maximize truck fill rates and control costs and environmental emissions.  5PLs are generally non-asset based, and rely on collaboration across multiple venues to secure volume efficiencies and favorable cost structures.

First Point of Arrival (FPOA): The physical location at which a shipment crosses a border.

Flying Truck: Canadian shipment category that allows for the release of shipments arriving at the border by highway carrier that were originally scheduled to arrive by air and have already been declared on an ACI eManifest for the air mode of transportation.

Fourth-Party Logistics Provider (4PL): A 4PL refers to a firm that integrates the services of all businesses involved in a supply chain.  While a 3PL is involved in the actual movement of shipments through a supply chain, a 4PL keeps an eye toward the future, and often has the 3PL included among its moving parts.  The “4PL” serves as a sort of “general contractor,” and manages the several different suppliers and businesses that have a role in the overall supply chain.

Free Alongside Ship (FAS): An Incoterm which means that the seller delivers when the goods are placed alongside the vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment. The risk of loss or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel, and the buyer bears all costs from that moment onwards. Applies to sea and inland waterway transport.

Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program: Joint U.S./Canada/Mexico security program designed to facilitate cross border trade by allowing qualified shippers expedited processing.

Free on Board (FOB): An Incoterm that refers to the point at which a seller delivers the goods on board the vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel, and the buyer bears all costs from that moment onwards. Applies to sea and inland waterway transport.

Free Carrier (FCA): An Incoterm which defines a situation in which the seller delivers the goods to the carrier or another person nominated by the buyer at the seller’s premises or another named place. The parties are well advised to specify as clearly as possible the point within the named place of delivery, as the risk passes to the buyer at that point. Applies to any mode of transport.

Free Trade Agreement: Arrangements among two or more countries intended to facilitate the flow of trade among signatory countries. Trade agreements reduce barriers to U.S. exports, and protect U.S. interests and enhance the rule of law in the FTA partner country.

Free Trade Zone (FTZ): A geographic area in which normal trade requirements such as tariffs and quotas are waived in the interest of attracting foreign investment. For U.S. businesses, FTZs are secure areas under U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervision that are generally considered outside CBP territory. FTZs are generally located near ports of entry or border crossings.

Freight Forwarder: An individual or business that assumes supply chain management for a third-party shipment of goods, using logistics and transportation services that may or may not be owned by the freight forwarder.

Freight Interlining: Freight shipments that rely on two or more transportation companies to move from point of origin to final destination.  Carriers may interchange equipment but usually the shipment is processed with original equipment.

Frequent Importer Release System (FIRST): Discontinued in 2008, FIRST was a CBSA program through which known carriers could apply to obtain accelerated clearance for low-risk, low-revenue shipments that were imported on a regular basis.

Full Truckload (FTL): Term that refers to the freight transport of a full container of goods.

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Gainsharing: Business management technique in which employees are motivated by financial incentives to improve performance. Gainsharing seeks to promote smarter work habits and team-based efficiencies.

Gateway: Point of entry into a country or region.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): Multi-party agreement among 153 countries intended to reduce trade barriers and promote trade. GATT was formed in 1949 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

General rate increase (GRI): Publicly announced price increases that set the non-contractual rate for basic LTL service.

Generalized System of Preference (GSP): Program that grants preferential trade and tariff treatment to developing countries. In the United States, this program is administered by the U.S. Trade Representative.

Global Affairs Canada: Canadian government agency charged with managing Canada’s diplomatic and consular relations and promoting international trade. Previously known as Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

Global Affairs Canada/Customs Automated Permit System (EXCAPS): CBSA-administered program through which importers or brokers obtain a permit from Global Affairs Canada. The department electronically transmits the permit information to the ACROSS database, while the importer or broker transmits the release information. CBSA will only release the shipment if data from both sources are in alignment.

Global Entry: U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.

Goods and Services Tax (GST): A value-added tax imposed on goods and services. In Canada a five percent GST is imposed on most goods and services, including imports.

Gordie Howe International Bridge: Planned bridge that will connect Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario, the two countries’ busiest border crossing. Bridge would help alleviate congestion on the nearby Ambassador Bridge.

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Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF): Fee assessed on imports, domestic shipments, Foreign Trade Zone admissions and passengers arriving in the U.S. at a domestic port. HMF is intended to require those who benefit from maintenance of U.S. ports and harbors to share maintenance costs. Fee is assessed at a rate of .125 percent of shipment value. Fee is not assessed on exports.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST): A combined federal and provincial tax that applies to goods sold in the provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The HST is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, which after collection, disburses the appropriate amounts to each participating province.

Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS): Official listing of applicable tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States. The HTS is administered by the International Trade Commission and is based on the international Harmonized System, the global system of nomenclature that is used to classify most world trade.

Harmonized System Tariff Code: An international goods classification system developed by the World Customs Organization whereby nations agree to classify goods and commodities using the same coding standards. Each country has the option to attach a unique supplemental code, which allows it to further categorize goods to meet recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Hours-of-Service Regulations: Requirements imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that control when and for how long commercial motor vehicle drivers may operate a vehicle.

Hub: A central location to which cargo from many different locations is directed, sorted and then reloaded based on geographic destination.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV): A fuel-efficient vehicle that derives its power from a combination of two or more energy sources.

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Import Bonds: A guarantee to CBP that all duties, taxes, and fees will be paid on an arriving shipment, if not from the importer then from the insurance/surety company that issued the bond. CBP requires all importers to file an import bond, even if the goods are “duty free.”

Importer of Record: Person or business responsible for: (1) ensuring that a shipment of goods complies with all border clearance requirements; (2) filing required customs documents; and (3) paying the assessed import duties and other taxes and fees.

Importer Security Filing “10+2”: CBP regulation that importers and vessel operating carriers to provide advance shipment information to CBP at least 24 hours before goods are loaded onto an ocean vessel. Mandate further dictates that cargo information includes 10 specific data elements, along with two data elements from the carrier. Regulation helps identify high-risk cargo arriving in the United States.

Indirect Air Carrier (IAC):   Any person or entity within the United States not in possession of a Federal Aviation Administration air carrier operating certificate, that employs the services of a licensed air carrier to move cargo.  IACs are regulated by the TSA through its Indirect Air Carrier Management System (IACMS).

Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs):  Multi-agency law enforcement teams that target cross-border criminal activity. Participating agencies include the Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Integrated Demand Planning: Process whereby businesses process data regarding consumer buying habits, seasonal activities, and trends to align product demand with supply levels. 

Intermodal Freight: Movement of freight that relies on more than one method of transportation, i.e. truck, rail, air.

International Air Transport Association (IATA): International trade association charged with representing the interests of the passenger and cargo airline industries.

International Commerce Terms (Incoterms): Administered by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Incoterms are the list of standard trade definitions most commonly used in sales and business contracts.  Incoterms are almost globally accepted, and define the terms used in most (but not all) international shipping transactions.

International Standards Organization (ISO): International organization that develops standards to regulate a wide scope of activities ranging from agriculture to medical devices to supply chain logistics to engineering. ISO standards are recognized and implemented by countries around the globe to ensure consistency and uniformity in business activities.

Inventory Carrying Costs: Costs associated with maintaining stored inventory, including warehousing, transportation and insurance.

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Just-in-Time:  Inventory management strategy that seeks to eliminate waste and maximize efficiency through precision-timed manufacturing process in which components arrive as needed, rather than in anticipation of expected demand.  Ordering inventory on an as-needed basis eliminates inventory carrying costs and forces a manufacturer to adopt – and adhere to – rigorous supply chain practices.  However, the practice also minimizes availability of safety stock, and leaves manufacturer susceptible to late suppliers and other supply chain breakdowns.

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Kitting:  Process in which individual components are grouped and packaged together as one unit.  An example of kitting would be a board game with several different game pieces, or a personal computer that comes equipped with customized memory and software options.

Known Shipper: Entity or individual that an IAC or air carrier has validated according to TSA requirements in order to ship cargo on a passenger aircraft. Virtually all known shippers are corporate entities, although individuals may also apply.

Known Shipper Database: Web-based application developed by the TSA that was in use until October 2007. The database allowed IACs and air carriers to voluntarily input known shipper information, which could then be used to verify whether a shipper wishing to transport cargo on a passenger aircraft was an existing known shipper.

Known Shipper Management System (KSMS):  Mandatory management system developed and operated by the TSA through which all regulated entities must submit their shipper lists. KSMS took effect in October 2007. After that date, only shippers made known through KSMS are able to tender cargo for transport on a passenger aircraft.  KSMS replaced the Known Shipper Database.

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Landed Cost: The sum of all costs associated with making and delivering a product to its end destination. For cross border transactions, a landed cost includes all duties and taxes, fees, brokerage costs and other import-related costs.

Last Mile: Logistics services that cover delivery of shipment to final destination. Often refers to home deliveries, in which carriers must rely on local roads and non-urban transportation modes to ensure delivery.

Lay Day: Time set aside in a ship’s schedule for the loading and unloading of cargo.

Less-than-Truckload (LTL): Term that is used to describe transport of shipments – often from several different customers – on a single truck. In general, an LTL freight operator collects shipments from customers, and then consolidates those shipments based on geographic destination.

Lewiston-Queenston Bridge: International border crossing that connects Lewiston, New York to the village of Queenston, Ontario. The Lewiston-Queenston crossing is the fourth-busiest commercial land crossing between the United States and Canada. The arch bridge spans the Niagara River and is one of four bridges to service the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area, (Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Whirlpool Rapids Bridge).

Line Release: Automated system used by customs to facilitate the processing and release of repetitive and high-volume shipments. 

Load Board: Type of “bulletin board” used to match shipping needs with available carrier, driver and vehicle capacity.

Logistics: A coordinated plan of events that manages delivery of a product from point of manufacture, through a warehousing and transportation cycle, to its ultimate destination.

Low Value Shipments (LVS):  Shipments with a declared value that falls below the level at which certain customs filing mandates must be met.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has established $2,500 as the threshold for expedited customs clearance.  The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) maintains a Courier Low Value Shipment Program, which sets $2,500 CAD as the upper limit for expedited clearance.

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Machine Readable Zone: Portion of passport or other document that contains encoded data in a machine-readable format.

Manifest: A list of goods transported by a carrier that identifies the shipper, consignee, weight and description of goods. Also referred to by Canada Border Services Agency as a cargo control document (CCD).  See also eManifest.

Maquiladora: A factory that operates in Mexico under preferential tariff programs established and administered by the United States and Mexico.  Materials, assembly components, and production equipment used in maquiladoras are allowed to enter Mexico duty-free.

Multi-Channel: Approach to marketing through which a marketer may choose to implement different “channels” to reach consumers including website/web advertising, social media, mobile, print media, broadcast media, billboards and direct mail.

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Near Sourcing: Strategy in which businesses locate manufacturing or other key business functions close to their customer bases as a way to reduce costs and increase competitiveness.   Near shoring is the opposite of outsourcing, in which processes are located in distant countries as a way to maximize cost savings. Advantages of near shoring include:  Shorter supply chain and greater control over processes/quality, along with considerations about time zone, language, legal, workforce, and cultural issues.

NEXUS: Program administered jointly by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to allow expedited border clearance to low-risk, pre-approved drivers and passengers. NEXUS accessibility is offered at designated air, land, and marine locations.

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission: International public authority charged with maintaining three bridges that connect New York State and Ontario, Canada: the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, and the Rainbow Bridge.

Non-Resident Importer (NRI): CBSA-administered program that allows U.S. businesses to act as “importers of record,” thereby allowing pre-payment of all taxes, duties and fees before a shipment arrives at the border. Pre-payment of fees allows U.S. businesses to charge their Canadian customers for all costs at time of purchase, and levels the playing field for U.S. businesses interested in competing in the Canadian market.

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD): The bi-national U.S.-Canadian military organization responsible for the aerospace and maritime defense of the United States and Canada.

North American Free Trade Agreement (USMCA): International trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada intended to promote free trade among the three countries.  Among USMCA’s many provisions is the elimination of tariffs on domestically manufactured goods traveling between the three nations.  The agreement took effect on January 1, 1994, resulting in the world’s largest free trade area.

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Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC): Agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals.

Other Government Departments (OGDs):  Also called Partner Government Agencies (PGAs), OGDs are government agencies that have regulatory control over import/export of products that fall under their jurisdiction. Businesses are responsible for determining if their shipments fall under the purview of any OGD(s), and for complying with applicable requirements.

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Pacific Highway Crossing: The point at which trucks and commercial vehicles are allowed to cross the border between Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia.  This crossing is located on the Pacific Highway, which runs from San Diego, CA to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Packaging: Materials used to store, protect and transport goods throughout the supply chain process.

Packing List: A document that itemizes in detail the contents of a particular package or shipment.

Pallet: A flat transport structure to which loose goods are secured while being transported.

Parcel: Packages that are generally sent through the postal system or via a courier delivery service as a single shipment. Parcel shipments are often business-to-consumer, including e-commerce shipments.

Partner Government Agency (PGA): Also called “Other Government Departments,” PGAs are government agencies that have regulatory control over import/export of products that fall under their jurisdiction.  Businesses are responsible for determining if their shipments fall under the purview of any PGA(s), and for complying with all applicable requirements.

Partners in Protection (PIP): CBSA-administered “trusted trader” program through which businesses agree to voluntarily ensure the security of their supply chains and undergo a rigorous application process in exchange for accelerated clearance and other benefits.  Similar to the U.S. government’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

Peace Arch: Third busiest U.S./Canadian border crossing.  Located between Blaine, Washington, and Surrey, British Columbia, does not permit trucks or commercial vehicles.

Peace Bridge: International border crossing that connects Buffalo, New York with Fort Erie, Ontario.

Pick Carts: Motorized vehicles used in warehouse fulfillment.  Pick carts typically hold multiple cartons and travel through a warehouse, allowing operators to select specific items to fill customer orders.  Pick carts are increasingly loaded with software that interacts with package bar codes for more efficient and faster processing.

Place of Safekeeping: Goods not claimed from a Canada Border Services Agency-licensed sufferance warehouse after 40 days are transferred to a place of safekeeping.  Party responsible for the goods is notified and if goods are not claimed within 30 days, goods will be forfeited to the federal government for disposal.

Point Roberts-Boundary Bay Border Crossing: U.S./Canadian border crossing located at Point Roberts, Washington and Boundary Bay, British Columbia. The boundary cuts through the southern tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, and the U.S. portion is not directly connected to the lower 48 states.

Port of Entry: A government-approved location at which a person or shipment may legally enter a country. Usually the points at which customs-related procedures are performed, including cargo clearance, duty collection, and passenger processing.

Postal Imports Remission Order (PIRO): CBSA-administered program that exempts from duties, with certain exceptions, goods being transported by mail that are valued at $20 CAD or less.

Pre-Arrival Processing System (PAPS): U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-administered cargo release mechanism that utilizes barcode technology to allow carriers to submit clearance documentation as much as 30 days prior to a shipment’s expected arrival at the U.S. border. PAPS is mandatory for truck carriers at land border points of entry.  Shipments must still be processed through the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)/Single Window filing system.

Pre-Arrival Review System (PARS): CBSA-administered program that allows carriers to submit clearance documentation as much as 30 days prior to a shipment’s expected arrival at the Canadian border.

Pro forma Invoice: An estimated invoice sent by a seller to a buyer in advance of a shipment of goods. The pro forma invoice notes the type of goods under consideration, as well as the quantity and value of the shipment. Pro forma invoices are generally used as a way to provide a quotation, in advance of a sale, or for customs purposes.

Provincial Sales Tax (PST): Certain Canadian provinces that do not participate in the HST revenue collection process impose their own taxes. Provincial taxes are collected at the local level, rather than through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Provincial sales taxes vary by province, but range from a low of six percent imposed by Saskatchewan to seven percent collected by New Brunswick and Manitoba.

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Quebec Sales Tax (QST): Sales tax collected on goods and services purchased in Quebec, and administered by Revenue Quebec.  QST is a value-added tax, and is applied in addition to the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The current QST is 9.975 percent, and the current GST is five percent.

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Rainbow Bridge: International border crossing that connects Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Rainbow Bridge is located approximately one mile from the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge and is administered by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. No commercial trucks are allowed on the Rainbow Bridge.

Reason to Believe: Reason to Believe occurs whenever an importer has specific information regarding the origin, tariff classification, value for duty or diversion of imported goods that gives CBSA reason to believe that a declaration is incorrect.

(Source: Farrow )

Receiver: Consignee, importer, or buyer who is listed in a bill of lading as the intended receiver of a shipment.

Regulatory Cooperation Council: Bilateral U.S.-Canada commission launched in 2011 as part of the Beyond the Border initiative. As stated, the purpose of the council is to find ways to coordinate and synchronize regulations in order to reduce or eliminate red tape for companies that engage in cross border business.

Release on Minimum Documentation (RMD): CBSA-administered program that allows importers to obtain release of their goods by presenting data for interim accounting. Full accounting data and payment are not required at the time of release but they are required within a certain time frame.

Release Notification System (RNS): Process through which CBSA electronically notifies brokers, importers and warehouse operators when a transaction is released, and when a PARS transaction has been approved.

Returns Material Authorization (RMA): Returns management process whereby an individual wishing to return a product receives clearance – via a RMA number — from the supplier or manufacturer before the item is sent back. RMA allows businesses to track volume and reasons for product returns, and provides consumers with greater visibility to track status of returns.

Revenue Canada/Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): Federal agency that administers tax laws and oversees revenue collection for the government of Canada and several provinces.

Reverse Logistics: Supply chain process through which a shipment travels from a customer or other end-user, back to the original manufacturer or retailer. Reverse logistics supply chain includes returns processing – i.e. issuance of credit, replacement, repair, refurbishment, and resale on secondary market.

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Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection: (SENTRI): CBP-administered program that offers trusted traveler program benefits for qualified participants who frequently cross the U.S./Mexican border.

Secure Freight Initiative (SFI):  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that expands the use of scanning and imaging equipment to include examination of additional U.S. bound containers, not just those determined to be high risk. SFI is sometimes referred to as an outgrowth of the Container Security Initiative (CSI).

Sell Rate: Average period of time that it takes a business to sell a specified amount of inventory.

Shipment: A load of goods.

Shipper: Consignor, exporter, or seller named in a bill of lading as the party responsible for initiating a shipment.

Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED): Form previously required by the U.S. Census Bureau to accompany any shipment with more than US$2,500 worth of a single commodity. Beginning in 2008, the SED was replaced by the Electronic Export Information (EEI) form, which is filed electronically through the Automated Export System.

Should Cost Analysis: Process of determining what a product should cost based upon its component raw material costs, manufacturing costs, production costs and reasonable profit margins.  Knowing the “should cost” price of a product gives a purchaser added leverage over a manufacturer during negotiations.

Simplified Entry: First phase of cargo release in the Automated Commercial Environment(ACE), intended to facilitate the border clearance process for routine shipments. 

Single Entry Bond:  Type of customs bond most appropriate for parties that only import on occasion.  Bond is required for all commercial imports valued at more than $2,500.

Single Window: Centralized filing system through which the trade community reports import and export information, and the government determines admissibility. Both the United States and Canada have introduced single window systems as a way to eliminate paper filings and streamline the filing process.  

Sleeper Team: Team of drivers – usually comprised of two drivers — used to operate a truck with a sleeper berth. In general, the two drivers alternate between driving and resting.

Slotting Optimization: Process whereby inventory is assigned to locations within a warehouse based on considerations including physical characteristics and sales volume.  In addition, products that are often ordered together may be slotted next to each other to save time.

Specific Tariff: A tariff rate assessed on a per unit basis.  An example would be a tariff of “$100 per automobile.”  Specific tariffs differ from ad valorem tariffs, which are assessed based on market value.

Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC): A unique two-to-four letter code used to identify transportation companies.  SCAC codes are administered by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA).

Statistics Canada: Canadian federal agency responsible for providing statistical information on a wide range of topics. Agency conducts a national Census every five years.

Stringer Pallet: Type of pallet most commonly used in the United States.  Composed of boards – “stringers” – that are sandwiched between top and bottom deck boards in order to support the overall unit load.  Although the most common size stringer pallet is 48×40”, pallets can be customized to meet specific needs.  Stringer pallets are usually referred to as two-way pallets, since a pallet-jack may only access it from two directions, as opposed to a block pallet, which may be accessed from all four sides.

Sufferance Warehouses: Privately-owned and operated facilities licensed by the Canada Border Services Agency for the short-term storage and the extermination of imported goods pending release from customs. Sufferance warehouse keepers charge user fees to their clients for storage and handling.

Supply Chain: A network of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, transporters, storage facilities and brokers that are involved in the production, sale and delivery of a product to its end user. The supply chain is typically made up of several different businesses and service providers, each fulfilling a specific role.

Surface Trade: Goods that are transported using surface transportation, generally referring to truck, rail and pipeline.

Surety: An individual or business that agrees to be liable for the performance of another party.

Surety Bond: A written agreement in which one party agrees to be liable to a second party, should a third-party default on a commitment.

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Tare: The amount of weight that is deducted from a shipment to take into account the weight of the box, bag or other receptacle that contains the merchandise.

Tariff: Tax imposed by a government on goods being imported into that country – or in some cases on goods being exported from that country.

Tariff Classification: Identification code assigned to every product crossing an international boundary. Tariff classifications are used to establish uniformity in international trade, to determine tariff obligations, for statistical purposes, and to determine free trade agreement benefits eligibility.

In the United States, import tariff codes are found in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, maintained by the International Trade Commission. Export codes are found in the “Schedule B” listing, maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Temporary Imports: Goods that are brought into a country for a temporary duration. Temporary goods may not be sold, leased, or used for further manufacturing or processing. Examples of temporary imports include items returning for repair, trade show booths and supplies, and samples used to solicit sales.

Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL): A 3PL is an external firm that provides logistics services that may include transportation, warehousing, cross docking, inventory management, packaging, customs management, freight forwarding, last mile services, and returns management. A 3PL often will not own its own assets, and instead rely on relationships with networks of providers. Non-asset-based providers are often able to offer highly-flexible, customized solutions.

Time-Specific Delivery: Refers to designated time of day by which a carrier guarantees delivery.

Transaction Value: Value of an imported product based on the price actually paid for it at the time it was exported.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA): U.S. agency charged with overseeing the security of the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. The TSA was created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and in March 2003 was transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security.

Transshipment: The transfer of a shipment from one conveyance to another for reshipment or reexport.

Trusted Shipper: Trade community member that is a voluntary participant in a border security enhancement program (C-TPAT, FAST, PIP) that is authorized either individually or jointly by the CBSA or CBP, and through that participation, is entitled to benefits including accelerated clearance upon arrival at the border.

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Unentered Goods: A shipment that arrives at a border with no accompanying customs documentation.

UN/EDIFACT: (United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport): Regulations and protocols established by the United Nations to ensure worldwide uniformity in processes for electronic data interchange.

U.S. Trade Representative: Executive branch agency responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and for overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a cabinet member who serves as the President’s principal trade advisor.

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Value for Duty: Term used by Canadian customs officials that refers to the price paid for goods, converted to Canadian funds, with certain additions or deductions, including commissions and royalties. The value for duty is the base figure on which duty is calculated.

Vendor: A seller of goods.

Vested Outsourcing: Business practice in which all parties (i.e. Manufacturing company and third-party suppliers) have a stake in a particular outcome. Interactions are results-based, rather than activity based. Operates on the premise that a third-party supplier will perform with greater efficiency and purpose if they have a stake in the outcome.

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Waybill: Document prepared by a carrier that provides detailed information about a shipment, including contents, weight, destination, consignor, consignee, charges and any special instructions.

Whirlpool Rapids Bridge: International crossing that connects Niagara Falls, New York with Niagara Falls, Ontario. The bridge does not permit commercial vehicles, and is the preferred crossing for NEXUS tag holders.

World Customs Organization (WCO): Intergovernmental organization that focuses on customs matters, including the development of global standards, the simplification and harmonization of customs procedures, and trade supply chain security. The WCO represents 179 customs administrations worldwide, which accounts for approximately 98 percent of total world trade.

World Trade Organization (WTO): International body formed in 1995 to oversee – and in some instances police – worldwide trading practices. WTO replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

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Yield management: Management technique whereby a business attempts to maximize revenue by allocating limited inventory based on factors including anticipated consumer demand and acceptable price points.

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