This section features the most important terms and definitions for international trade and customs logistics.

The main terms are listed below in alphabetical order. Select the first letter and find the word you’re looking for.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

  • Antidumping

    Trade-defence measure imposed when a foreign supplier is found to be selling products at prices lower than those in its own domestic market. This practice is known as dumping.

B

  • Bulk

    A type of cargo transported in large quantities or amounts without being packaged.

C

  • Container

    Cargo transport receptacle.

  • Cross trade

    There are different types of cross-trade operations, depending on the level of specialisation.
    • Opaque vs. transparent cross-trade operations: operations can be made opaque by properly managing documents.
    • Intra-EU cross-trade operations, in compliance with VAT Law, vs. Extra-EU.
    • Extra-EU cross-trade operations can be mixed or pure, depending on whether or not there are preferential tariffs.

  • Customs

    A government authority or agency responsible for controlling the flow of goods into, out of and around the Customs Territory of the Community (CTC) to be transported to other countries. Customs offices are normally found in strategic locations (borders, ports, airports).

D

  • Dangerous goods

    Any substances or objects that may pose a risk to personal health, environment or property.

E

    F

    • Flexitank

      In recent years, demand has grown for transporting products like wine and oil more affordably. This has been made possible thanks to the flexitank service, a system that cuts handling, packaging and bottling prices, as well as allowing for quick, clean loading and unloading.

    • Freight

      Cargo on a vessel.

    • Freight forwarder

      Intermediary between the exporter and importer.

    • Freightage

      Price set for renting a vessel or part of one.

    G

      H

      I

      • Incoterms

        Series of international terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce to help interpret trade terms in an international sale of goods contract.

      J

        K

        L

        • Logistics clusters (ZAL – Zonas de Actividades Logísticas)

          Platform where customs figures are clustered.

        M

          N

          O

          • Origin of goods

            Geographic link between the goods and country of origin (economic nationality of the product).

          P

          • Perishable goods

            Any goods that deteriorate over a short period of time or under specific environmental conditions (temperature, pressure, humidity, etc.). Perishable goods include fresh produce like fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products. Also in this category: flowers, pharmaceutical products, frozen items and some chemicals.

          Q

          R

          • Rolling highway

            A land transport service that combines rail and road. One lorry leaves the container at a rail terminal to be put on a train and another lorry picks it up at the destination, making logistics more efficient and cutting costs by roughly 10% over purely road transport. These highways are also more eco-friendly, reducing CO2 emissions by 0.8 tonnes per 1,000 kilometres.

          S

            T

              U

              • Union Customs Code (UCC)

                Code of regulations, regimes and procedures applicable to goods traded between the European Union and other countries.

              V

                W

                X

                Y

                Z