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"What does that mean?" ... Freight Glossary

When you first get interested or involved in the freight / cargo world, the terminology and documents may, at first, appear a bit daunting. Well, to assist you with understanding and communicating with those in the industry, we have compiled a small glossary to assist you with some of those terms. ukimports.org

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- Document raised for each airfreight shipment, outlining all the shipment's details, along with an 'Airwaybill Number', allowing trackability during transit. ukimports.org

AEO (Authorised Econonic Operator)

- Approved Company/Organization within a recognised secure supply chain ukimports.org


- Airfreight Computer System supplied by Agency Sector Management (UK) Ltd ukimports.org


- Taken from Wikipedia "... is a customs document used in trade between EU members and Turkey, to benefit from cheaper rates of duty." ukimports.org

AWRS (Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme)

- Approved Company/Organization within a recognised secure supply chai ukimports.org


Bill of Lading

- Document raised for each Seafreight shipment, outlining all the shipment's details, along with an 'Bill of Lading Number', allowing trackability during transit. ukimports.org

BIP (Border Inspection Post)

- Control post operated by the Port Health Authorities ukimports.org

Bond (also known as a 'T1')

- Authorised movement of goods without Customs clearance. ukimports.org


- Not necessarily a shipping term, but this is the name used when the UK was leaving the European Union (EU). ukimports.org

Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF)

- The Bunker Adjustment Factor, or BAF, as it is more commonly known, is one of the charges levied on goods transported via Sea Freight. This particular charge represents the fluctuating costs to the shipping, caused by the varying global oil prices. ukimports.org

BTI (Binding Tariff Information)

- Confirmation, direct from Customs, of the exact classification/commodity code for your goods.  ukimports.org


CBV (Courier Baggage Voucher)

- Document raised for each courier shipment, outlining all the shipment's details, along with an 'Airwaybill Number', allowing trackability during transit. ukimports.org

CDS (Customs Declaration Service)

- This is the name of the new computer system from UK Customs, replacing the 25 year old CHIEF system. ukimports.org

C of O (Certificate of Origin)

- Stamped official document declaring Country of Origin. ukimports.org

CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight)

- HM Revenue & Customs computer system. ukimports.org

CNS (Community Network Services Ltd)

- Port Computer System. ukimports.org

Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF)

- The Currency Adjustment Factor, or CAF, as it is also known, is one of the charges levied during shipping. This charge covers changes to the differing currency exchange rates. ukimports.org



Deferment Account

- Bank account held with Customs to pay Duty and / or VAT (DAN - Deferment Account Number) ukimports.org


- Port Computer system operated by MCP (Maritime Cargo Processing PLC) ukimports.org


- taken from Wikipedia "... the industry refers to this container usage beyond the time allowed as Container Demurrage" ukimports.org

Devan (Devanned, Devanning)

- Unloading of Sea Freight Container ukimports.org

DG Cert (Dangerous Goods Certificate)

- Document which must accompany hazardous cargo during transit ukimports.org



- Term used for exemption from duty and/or VAT on aircraft or Ships spares, in transit ukimports.org

EORI (Economic Operator Registration Identification)

- Identifying number for all Commercial importers and exporters ukimports.org

ERTS (Enhanced Remote Transit Shed)

- Warehouse where goods are moved under Bond for Clearance ukimports.org


- taken from the London Chamber of Commerce (www.londonchamber.co.uk/): "The EUR1 form entitles originating UK or EU goods to lower import duties - usually zero - when shipped into twenty five foreign markets." ukimports.org


FCL (Full Container Load)

- Relating to a full Sea Freight Container (Opp. LCL) ukimports.org


- The process of expelling any possible dangerous gases from a sea freight container  ukimports.org



- A mixed container packed with different importers goods, is known as a 'Groupage' container.  ukimports.org

GSP (Generalised System of Preferences)

- Document relating to trade agreement to give preferential rates of duty to developing countries  ukimports.org



- UK Inland Delivery ukimports.org


- Person or Company making the UK Inland Delivery ukimports.org


- Lorry / Truck with a small crane attached ukimports.org

House Airwaybill (HAWB)

- Transit document issued by a Freight Forwarder for use in consolidated air freight shipments. ukimports.org

HS Code (Harmonised Code)

- Overseas classification / commodity code (similar to EC Code). ukimports.org


ICD (Inland Clearance Depot)

- Warehouse where goods are moved under Bond for Clearance  ukimports.org

Impatex System

- Import and Export Customs and Duty Management software supplied by Impatex Computer Systems Ltd. ukimports.org

IPR (Inward Processing Relief)

- Goods being imported temporarily for a process ukimports.org




LCL (Less than a Container Load)

- Small shipment in a shared Container (Opp. FCL) ukimports.org

LO-LO (Load-On, Load-Off)

- A charge for loading and unloading a container ukimports.org


Master Airwaybill (MAWB)

- Transit document issued by an airline ukimports.org

Moffitt Truck

- Lorry / Truck with a Fork-lift attached ukimports.org


NCTS (The New Computerised Transit System)

- The New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) is a computer system that has been developed to enable traders to submit Community/Common Transit declarations electronically. ukimports.org

NIRU (National Import Relief Unit)

- Temporary Import unit of Revenue & Customs ukimports.org

NOVA (Notification Of Vehicle Arrival)

- The HMRC/DVLA computer system used to register vehicles arriving into the UK ukimports.org



- Goods arrived unexpectedly (un-manifested) ukimports.org


POD (Proof of Delivery)

- These are usually given verbally or as a hard-copy (copy of the signed delivery note) ukimports.org

Pre-Lodged (Pre-Lodgment)

- Goods entered to Customs prior to goods arrival ukimports.org


- Record of goods has been removed from a Computer system ukimports.org

PVA - Postponed VAT Accounting

- VAT registered businesses can sign up for PVA, to account for their VAT in their quarterly returns, as opposed to paying the VAT at the time of arrival into the UK  ukimports.org



- The Import Quotas system allows the import of limited amounts of goods at a rate of duty lower than would otherwise apply. Quotas apply to certain goods from particular countries - so they are very specific. ukimports.org


Release (Commercial Release)

- Instructions, usually a fax or email instructing the carrier to release the cleared goods to the collecting party ukimports.org


- Return of Container to Port (or other designated location as specified by the leasing shipping line) ukimports.org

RO-RO (Roll-on, Roll-Off)

- Non-containerised cargo e.g. Car, Bus ukimports.org

RPA (Rural Payments Agency)

- Taken from the Import licensing Branch (www. berr.gov.uk) "... the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) issues import licence's for agricultural, horticultural products and certain items of food and drink". ukimports.org



- The term sometimes used when goods have not arrived, when they were supposed to.  ukimports.org


- The short movement of a Container, usually from Port Quayside to a Warehouse, or internally around the dock yard ukimports.org

Status 1

- A term used in air freight, referring to the date and time at which an air cargo shipment was checked in e.g. Status 1 was set at 09:15 on the 9th March. This date starts the clock ticking of the free time, and outlines when storage charges will start. ukimports.org


T1 / TAD (Transit Accompanying Document)

- Document accompanying uncleared goods during transit from one authorised location to another ukimports.org

Tremcard (Travel Emergency Card)

- Document used when transporting hazardous cargo ukimports.org



- Unique Consignment Number ukimports.org

UOD (Use of Deferment)

- Charge for an agent paying Duty and/or VAT to Customs ukimports.org

UTL (Unable To Locate)

- Warehouse term meaning that they cannot find some freight. ukimports.org


VAT (Value Added Tax)

- UK Tax (currently 20.0%) which applies to most goods imported into the UK - Exemptions and relief's may apply ukimports.org

VBS (Vehicle Booking System)

- System in place at many UK Ports, whereby vehicles must be booked-in prior to Collection / Delivery of Containers ukimports.org


Wet Bond

- Term used to describe a Bonded Warehouse which is authorised to store Alcohol (and other excisable goods) ukimports.org

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