IATA (International Air Transport Association): An international organization of airlines that promotes commercial air traffic.
ICC (International Chamber of Commerce): ICC is a non-government organization of over 12,000 chambers and their business communities worldwide. It represents the world business community at international levels, promotes world trade and investment and provides a range of practical services to trade. It also governs the Incoterm coding platform which is used worldwide to determine import customs duties.
IMDG Code (International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code): This is an international guideline for the safe water transportation of dangerous goods or hazardous materials, established by the International Maritime Organization. It contains advice on emergency procedures, packing of dangerous goods, labeling handling, etc. The guideline is recommended to governments for adoption or for use as the basis for national regulations.
Importer of Record (IOR): This is the person responsible for receiving the goods and shipment documents provided to Customs. They are also responsible for all import duties and taxes, unless otherwise specified.
Incoterms®: Incoterms are a set of rules that clearly define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the shipment and delivery of goods internationally. They are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are widely used in international commercial transactions. The most recent version, Incoterms 2010, was launched in September 2010 and became effective January 1, 2011. The most commonly used Incoterms are listed in this glossary. You may find it helpful to view our free webinar on the subject.
Indirect Exporting: This means the domestic sale of goods by a US producer to another company which then exports the product. Oftentimes the sale is to another manufacturer who install the item in something they make or assemble. As an example, a US tire manufacturer may sell to a vehicle manufacturer who then exports the finished car or truck.
Inspection Certificate: This document is required by some purchasers and countries to attest to the specifications of the goods shipped. The inspection is usually performed by a credible third party.
Insurance Certificate: This document is prepared by the exporter or freight forwarder to provide evidence that insurance against loss or damage has been obtained for the goods.
International Buyer Program (IBP): This is an (excellent) U.S. Department of Commerce, ITA program that brings thousands of international buyers to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows. Every year, the IBP results in approximately a billion dollars in new business for U.S. companies, and increased international attendance for participating U.S. trade show organizers.
International Trade Administration (ITA): This is a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce which is responsible for export promotion programs. The U.S. Commercial Service is part of the ITA, and operates U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs) nationwide, and commercial posts overseas in more than 75 countries. (Among other things, the USCS has supported the operation of the Export-U website.)
ITAR Regulations: International Traffic in Arms Regulations (commonly referred to as ITAR) are administered by the State Department. They govern the export of all types of military weapons and technology.
Joint Venture: This is an independent business formed cooperatively by two or more parent companies. This type of partnership is often used to avoid restrictions on foreign ownership in some countries, and for longer term arrangements that require joint product development, manufacturing, and marketing.
Landed Cost: Landed cost is the total price of a product or shipment once it has arrived at a buyer's doorstep. It includes the price of goods, shipping costs, insurance fees, customs duties, and any other charges incurred along the way.
L/C (Letter of Credit): This is a payment method where a bank (usually in the destination country) promises to pay for a shipment, if the exporter submits the required documents (such as a clean bill of lading, certificate of insurance, certificate of origin) within a specified time period. A letter of credit issued by a foreign bank is sometimes confirmed by a U.S. bank. (highly recommended) This confirmation means that the U.S. bank (the confirming bank) adds its promise to pay. A letter of credit should be “irrevocable,” which means it cannot be changed unless both parties agree to do so. Letter’s of credit are not used for all export payments because they can be expensive. They are most often used when the buyer and seller have not done business before, or for shipments to unfamiliar or risky destinations.
LCL (Less than Container Load): LCL implies a shipment smaller than a full container, where the container is shared by more than one exporter for cost savings. Freight forwarders often arrange to have LCL shipments “consolidated” in this manner.
Licensing: An arrangement under which a company sells the rights to use its products or services but retains some control. Although not usually considered to be a form of partnership, licensing can lead to partnerships.
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.