FAS (Free Alongside Ship): This Incoterm indicates that the seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when the goods have been placed alongside the vessel at the named port of shipment. The buyer bears all costs and risks of goods from that moment onward. FAS is used only for sea or inland water transportation.
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS): FAS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s bureau for export market development, international trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection of export statistics and market information. It also administers the USDA’s export credit guarantee and food aid programs, and helps increase income and food availability in developing nations.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): This act makes it unlawful for U.S. citizens or companies to bribe, offer, pay, or promise to pay money or anything of value to any foreign government official for the purpose of obtaining business. It is also unlawful to make a payment to any person while knowing that all or a portion of the payment will be offered, given, or promised, directly or indirectly, to any foreign official for the purposes of assisting the company in obtaining or retaining business. “Knowing” includes the concepts of “conscious disregard” and “willful blindness.” The FCPA also covers foreign persons or companies that commit acts in furtherance of such bribery in the territory of the United States. Basically, if you bribe an overseas government official, you are in violation of US law, and subject to serious fines or imprisonment.
FCA (Free Carrier): This Incoterm means that the US exporter has fulfilled his obligation when the goods are cleared for export and delivered to the carrier or another person at the seller’s premises or another named place. FCA is used for any mode of transportation.
FCL (Full Container Load): A full container load means a 40 foot container filled with goods from one consignor to one consignee.
FOB (Free on Board): This Incoterm means that the seller is obligated to deliver the goods onto the ship and cleared for export, at a named port of shipment. (e.g., FOB Miami) The buyer bears all costs and risks from that point forward. FOB is used for sea and inland water transportation.
Free In: This is a pricing term that indicates the charterer of a vessel is responsible for the cost of loading goods onto the vessel.
Free in and Out: This pricing term indicates that the charterer of the vessel is responsible for the cost of loading and unloading goods from the vessel.
Free Trade Agreements: These are agreements that create stable and transparent trading between countries by reducing barriers to exports. They enable easier access to foreign markets and reduce the end cost of US goods.
Freight Forwarder: A freight forwarder is an agent responsible for moving cargo to an overseas destination. The forwarder is essentially a travel agent for your goods. Competent freight forwarders are familiar with the import rules and regulations of foreign countries, the export regulations of the U.S. government, the methods of shipping, and the documents related to foreign trade. Their job is to provide the best and most economical export shipping. And, while they may prepare much of the shipping paperwork, you the exporter are ultimately responsible for the documentation process.
Goods and Services Tax (GST): These are taxes levied on goods or services purchased in the destination country, whether the goods are imported or not. They impact a product’s end price overseas, and thus affect both the exporter and importer.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): The total value of all goods and services produced by a country.
GSP (Generalized System of Preference): GSP is a framework under which developed countries give preferential tariff (a reduced or zero rate) treatment to manufactured goods from certain developing countries.
Harmonization: The process of making procedures or measures applied by different countries — especially those affecting international trade—more compatible. As an example, they might, involve simultaneous tariff cuts to make tariff structures more uniform.
Harmonized System: This is an international numbering system published by the World Customs Organization that classifies all products shipped internationally. The 6-digit HS code is used by customs and statistical authorities, traders, and carriers. Goods are grouped in Sections, Chapters and Sub-Chapters.
These links updated: 4/23/18. This website has been funded in part by the U.S. Commercial Service. Copyright (c) All Rights Reserved by the District Export Council of Georgia. Image: shutterstock_1069133606.