U.S. Department of Commerce

Foreign Trade

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Trade Definitions

Select a letter to browse the items in the glossary:
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-

  • Adjustments

    The Foreign Trade Division applies adjustments for seasonal and working-day variations, and for price changes.

    Goods are initially classified under the Harmonized System (HS) which describes and measures the characteristics of goods traded. Combining trade into approximately 140 export and 140 import end-use categories makes it possible to examine goods according to their principal uses. These categories are used as the basis for computing the seasonal and working-day adjusted data. These adjusted data are then summed to the six end-use aggregates for publication. These data are provided to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, from the U.S. Census Bureau, for use in the Balance of Payments and the National Income and Product Accounts.

    The seasonal adjustment procedure is based on a model that estimates the monthly movements as percentages above or below the general level of each end-use commodity series (unlike other methods that redistribute the actual series values over the calendar year). Imports of petroleum and petroleum products are adjusted for the length of the month. Because of the extremely variable movements of the data series for aircraft, users studying data trends may wish to analyze aircraft separately from other trade.

    Price Change Adjustments are done using the Fisher chain-weighted methodology. The deflators are primarily based upon the monthly price indexes published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics using techniques developed for the National Income and Product Accounts by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  • Advanced Technology Products (ATP)

    About 500 of some 22,000 commodity classification codes used in reporting U.S. merchandise trade are identified as "advanced technology" codes and they meet the following criteria:

    • The code contains products whose technology is from a recognized high technology field (e.g.), biotechnology).
    • These products represent leading edge technology in that field.
    • Such products constitute a significant part of all items covered in the selected classification code.

    This product and commodity-based measure of advanced technology differs from broader NAICS industry-based measures which include all goods produced by a particular industry group, regardless of the level of technology embodied in the goods. ATP classifications are assigned by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • AES Applicant
    The USPPI or authorized agent who applies to the Census Bureau for authorization to report export information electronically to the AES, or through AESDirect or its related applications.
  • AESDirect

    A free Internet application supported by the U.S. Census Bureau that allows USPPIs, their authorized agent, or the authorized agent of the FPPI to transmit EEI through the AES via the Internet at www.aesdirect.gov.

  • AES Downtime Filing Citation
    A statement used in place of a proof of filing citation when the AES or AESDirect computer systems experience a major failure. The citation must appear on the bill of lading, air waybill, export shipping instructions, or other commercial loading documents.  The downtime filing citation is not to be used when the filer’s system is down or experiencing delays.   
  • Africa
    All Schedule C codes beginning with "7". Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, British Indian Ocean Territories, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, St. Helena, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • Agricultural Commodities
    Agricultural commodities, as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are derived from farming or the cultivating of the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock.
  • Air Carrier Codes
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) developed and maintains 2-digit and 3-digit codes for air carriers. The U.S. Census Bureau created a 4-digit air carrier code. Automated Export System (AES) and Automated Broker Interface (ABI) participants must report either the 2-digit IATA or the 3-digit IATA code. The AES and ABI systems will not accept the Census Bureau's codes. See a list of air carrier codes.
  • Air Shipping Weight (SWT)
    Represents the gross weight in kilograms of shipments made by air, including the weight of moisture content, wrappings, crates, boxes, and containers (other than cargo vans and similar substantial outer containers). In some instances, shipments between the United States and countries abroad enter or depart through Canada or Mexico. Such shipments are recorded under the method of transportation by which they enter or depart the United States regardless of the method of transportation between Canada or Mexico and the country of origin or destination.
  • Air Value
    The value of goods that enter or leave the country by air. In some instances, shipments between the United States and countries abroad enter or depart through Canada or Mexico. Such shipments are recorded under the method of transportation by which they enter or depart the United States regardless of the method of transportation between Canada or Mexico and the country of origin or destination.
  • Air Waybill
    The shipping document used for the transportation of air freight, which includes conditions, limitations of liability, shipping instructions, description of commodity, and applicable transportation charges. It is generally similar to a straight non-negotiable bill of lading and is used for similar purposes.
  • Annotation
    An explanatory note (e.g., proof of filing citation, postdeparture filing citation, AES downtime filing citation, exemption or exclusion legend) placed on the bill of lading, air waybill, export shipping instructions, or other commercial loading documents.
  • Asia Near East
    Bahrain, Gaza Strip Administered by Israel, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, West Bank Administered by Israel, Yemen.
  • Asia - South
    Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
    Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (South), Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
    Brunei, Burma (Myanmar),Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
  • Authorized Agent
    An individual or legal entity physically located in or otherwise under the jurisdiction of the United States that has obtained power of attorney or written authorization from a USPPI or FPPI to act on its behalf, and for purposes of this part, to complete and file the EEI.
  • Automated Broker Interface (ABI)
    A CBP system through which an importer or licensed customs broker can electronically file entry and entry summary data on goods imported into the United States.
  • Automated Export System (AES)
    The system, including AESDirect, for collecting EEI information (or any successor document) from persons exporting goods from the United States,
    Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands; between Puerto Rico and the United States; and to the U.S. Virgin Islands from the United States or Puerto Rico.
  • Automated Export System Trade Interface Requirements (AESTIR)
    The document that describes the technical and operational requirements of the AES. The AESTIR presents record formats and other reference information used in the AES.
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-B-

  • Balance
    The difference between exports and imports. A positive balance is called a surplus. A negative balance is called a deficit.
  • Balance of Payments (BOP)
    Goods on a Census basis are adjusted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis to goods on a BOP basis to bring the data in line with the concepts and definitions used to prepare the international and national accounts. Broadly, the adjustments include changes in ownership that occur without goods passing into or out of the customs territory of the United States. These adjustments are necessary to supplement coverage of the Census basis data, to eliminate duplication of transactions recorded elsewhere in the international accounts, and to value transactions according to a standard definition. (See more at Guide to Foreign Trade Statistics.)
  • Bill of Lading (BL)
    A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company under which freight is to be moved between specified points for a specified charge. Usually prepared by the authorized agent on forms issued by the carrier, it serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.
  • Bond
    An instrument used by CBP as security to ensure the payment of duties, taxes and fees and/or compliance with certain requirements such as the submission of manifest information.
  • Bonded Warehouse
    An approved private warehouse used for the storage of goods until duties or taxes are paid and the goods are properly released by CBP. Bonds must be posted by the warehouse proprietor and by the importer to indemnify the government if the goods are released improperly. Goods entering a bonded warehouse are included in General Imports but not Imports for Consumption. They are considered Imports for Consumption when they leave the bonded warehouse for domestic consumption.
  • Booking
    A reservation made with a carrier for a shipment of goods on a specific voyage, flight, truck or train.
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
    A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce that produces economic accounts statistics that enable government and business decision-makers, researchers, and the American public to follow and understand the performance of the Nation's economy. The BEA provides Balance of Payments adjustments to the international trade in goods data and data on international trade in services.
  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
    This bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce is concerned with the advancement of U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic interests. The BIS is responsible for regulating the export of sensitive goods and technologies; enforcing export control, antiboycott, and public safety laws; cooperating with and assisting other countries on export control and strategic trade issues; and assisting U.S. industry to comply with international arms control agreements.
  • Buyer
    The principal in the export transaction that purchases the commodities for delivery to the ultimate consignee. The buyer and ultimate consignee may be the same.
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-C-

  • CAFTA-DR (Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement)
    Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua.
  • Calculated Duty
    Estimates of calculated duty do not necessarily reflect amounts of duty paid and should, therefore, be used with caution. The inclusion in the figures of some U.S. products returned after processing and assembly abroad, for which a portion of the value is eligible for duty free consideration, may cause these duty figures to be somewhat overstated as a result. In cases where articles are dutiable at various or special rates, a dutiable value is shown but no duty is calculated. Thus, there is an understatement in the estimates of calculated duty to the extent that these situations exist.
  • Canadian Estimate
    Effective with January 2001 statistics, the current month data for exports to Canada contain an estimate for late arrivals and corrections. The following month, this estimate is replaced, in the press release tables only, with the actual value of late receipts and corrections. This estimate improves the current month data for exports to Canada and treats late receipts for exports to Canada in a manner more consistent with the treatment of late receipts for exports to other countries.
  • Canadian Data Exchange
    The data for U.S. exports to Canada are derived from import data compiled by Canada.
  • Card Count
    The number of individual export or import line items.
  • Cargo
    Goods being transported.
  • Carnet
    An international customs document that allows the carnet holder to import into the United States or export to foreign countries certain goods on a temporary basis without the payment of duties.
  • Carrier
    An individual or legal entity in the business of transporting passengers or goods. Airlines, trucking companies, railroad companies, shipping lines, pipeline companies, and slot charterers are all examples of carriers.
  • Category Code
    A 3-digit Textile Code used in the Textile Data Products.
  • Central American Common Market
    Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua.
  • Charges
    Also referred to as Import Charges. The import charges represent the aggregate cost of all freight, insurance, and other charges (excluding U.S. import duties) incurred in bringing the merchandise from alongside the carrier at the port of export in the country of exportation and placing it alongside the carrier at the first port of entry in the United States. In the case of overland shipments originating in Canada or Mexico, such costs include freight, insurance, and all other charges, costs and expenses incurred in bringing the merchandise from the point of origin (where the merchandise begins its journey to the United States) in Canada or Mexico to the first port of entry.
  • CIF (Cost, Insurance, Freight) Import Value
    Represents the landed value of the merchandise at the first port of arrival in the United States. It is computed by adding import charges to the Customs value and therefore excludes U.S. import duties.
  • Civil Penalty
    A monetary penalty imposed on a USPPI, authorized agent, FPPI, carrier, or other party to the transaction for violating the Foreign Trade Regulations, including failing to file export information, filing false or misleading information, filing information late, and/or using the AES to further any illegal activity, and/or violating any other regulations of this part.
  • Classification
    A systematic grouping of commodities, such as the Harmonized System (HS), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTS), Schedule B, Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), or End-Use. The Foreign Trade Division collects statistical import data by HTS numbers and export data by Schedule B numbers. These are recoded to SITC, NAICS, and End-Use codes for publication in the monthly trade press release.
  • Commerce Control List (CCL)
    A list of items found in Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 of the EAR. Supplement No. 2 to Part 774 of the EAR contains the General Technology and Software Notes relevant to entries contained in the CCL.
  • Commercial Loading Document
    A document that establishes the terms of a contract between a shipper and a transportation company under which freight is to be moved between points for a specific charge. It is usually prepared by the shipper or the shipper's agent or the carrier and serves as a contract of carriage. Examples of commercial loading documents include the air waybill, ocean bill of lading, truck bill and rail bill of lading.
  • Commodity
    An economic good such as a product of agriculture, mining, or a customized or mass produced article that is readily exchanged within the market.
  • Compliance Alert
    An electronic response sent to the filer by the AES when the shipment was not reported in accordance with this part (e.g., late filing). The filer is required to review their filing practices and take steps to conform with export reporting requirements.
  • Confidentiality
    Title 13 United States Code, Section 9, prohibits the Census Bureau from publishing results in which an individual's or business' data can be identified.
  • Consignee
    The person or entity named in a freight contract, a contract of carriage that designates to whom goods have been consigned, and that has the legal right to claim the goods at the destination.
  • Consignment
    Delivery of goods from a USPPI (the consignor) to an agent (consignee) under agreement that the agent sells the goods for the account of the USPPI.
  • Constant Dollar Adjustment
    The U.S. Census Bureau began publishing seasonally adjusted constant dollar merchandise trade data in January 1990. The constant dollar series was created to meet the requirements of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. Census replaced its fixed-weighted constant dollar series with a chained-dollar series with the release of the April 2003 issue of the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (FT-900), on June 13, 2003. We adopted this methodology to improve the quality of the constant dollar series and for consistency with other official government statistics released by the Department of Commerce. Users are reminded, however, that the Census constant dollar series will not match BEA's constant dollar series because of the underlying coverage differences between the current dollar National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) and Census data. See Real Dollars.
  • Consumption (Imports Only)
    Measures the total of merchandise that has physically cleared through Customs either entering consumption channels immediately or entering after withdrawal for consumption from bonded warehouses under Customs custody or from Foreign Trade Zones. Many countries use the term "special imports" to designate statistics compiled on this basis.
  • Container
    A uniform, reusable metal "box" in which goods are shipped by vessel, truck, or rail as defined in the International Convention for Safe Containers, as amended (TIAS 9037; 29 U.S.T. 3709).
  • Containerized Shipments
    Shipments transported in any van-type container. Containerized import shipments are identified by the reported method of transportation code, and therefore all shipments are either identified as containerized or non-containerized. This excludes containerized import shipments into Foreign Trade Zones, which are not identified by CBP and as such are not included in this release. Export shipments are reported with an indicator that can either identify an export shipment as containerized or non-containerized. Filers may not always report an indicator, resulting in missing containerized information on export shipments. No attempt is made to estimate the value or shipping weight of containerized exports with missing indicators. Therefore, the containerized export data may be understated.
  • Controlling Agency
    The agency responsible for the license determination on specified goods exported from the United States.
  • Cost of Goods Sold
    Cost of goods sold is the sum of expenses incurred in the USPPI's acquisition or production of the goods.
  • Country Codes
    The names and codes of the countries of the world are listed in Schedule C, Classification of Country and Territory Designations for U.S. Foreign Trade Statistics.
  • Country of Destination (Exports Only)
    Country of destination for exports is the country where the goods are to be consumed, further processed, or manufactured, as known to the USPPI at the time of exportation.
  • Country of Origin (Imports Only)
    The country where the goods were mined, grown, or manufactured or where each foreign material used or incorporated in a good underwent a change in tariff classification indicating a substantial transformation under the applicable rule of origin for the good. The country of origin for U.S. imports are reported in terms of the International Standards Organization (ISO) country codes designated in the Schedule C, Classification of Country and Territory Designations. Certain foreign trade reports show country subcodes to indicate special tariff treatment afforded some imported articles.
  • Country of Shipment (Imports Only)
    The country where the merchandise was shipped. The U.S. Census Bureau does not publish statistics based on the country of shipment.
  • Country of Ultimate Destination
    The country where the goods are to be consumed, further processed, stored, or manufactured, as known to the USPPI at the time of export. (See §30.6(a)(5).
  • Country Subcodes
    Indicators used to identify special trade agreements and are found in several U.S. Census imports of merchandise products.
  • Criminal penalty
    For the purpose of this part, a penalty imposed for knowingly or willfully violating the Foreign Trade Regulations, including failing to file export information, filing false or misleading information, filing information late, and/or using the AES to further illegal activity. The criminal penalty includes fines, imprisonment, and/or forfeiture.
  • Cumulative to date or Year-to-Date (YTD)
    Data for January of the current year through the current data month. For example, if merchandise trade data were just released for July, the cumulative to date totals would be for the first seven months (January-July).
  • Customized Data Request (Special Request)
    Foreign Trade Data Service that allows customers to request customized report(s) to their specifications for a fee.
  • Customs Broker
    An individual or entity licensed to enter and clear imported goods through CBP for another individual or entity.
  • Customs Value

    The Customs value is the value of imports as appraised by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in accordance with the legal requirements of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. This value is generally defined as the price actually paid or payable for merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States, excluding U.S. import duties, freight, insurance, and other charges incurred in bringing the merchandise to the United States. The term "price actually paid or payable" means the total payment (whether direct or indirect, and exclusive of any costs, charges, or expenses incurred for transportation, insurance, and related services incident to the international shipment of the merchandise from the country of exportation to the place of importation in the United States) made, or to be made, for imported merchandise by the buyer to, or for the benefit, of the seller. In the case of transactions between related parties, the relationship between buyer and seller should not influence the Customs value.

    In those instances where assistance was furnished to a foreign manufacturer for use in producing an article which is imported into the United States, the value of the assistance is required to be included in the value reported for the merchandise. Such "assists" include both tangible and intangible assistance, such as machinery, tools, dies and molds, blue prints, copyrights, research and development, and engineering and consulting services. If the value of these "assists" is identified and separately reported, it is subtracted from the value during statistical processing. However, where it is not possible to isolate the value of "assists", they are included. In these cases the unit values may be increased due to the inclusion of such "assists".

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-D-

  • Deficit
    When import value is greater than export value.
  • Destination
    The foreign location to which a shipment is consigned.
  • Diplomatic Pouch
    Any properly identified and sealed pouch, package, envelope, bag, or other container that is used to transport official correspondence, documents, and articles intended for official use, between Embassies, legations, or consulates, and the foreign office of any government.
  • Disclosure Limitation

    Disclosure limitation is the process for protecting the confidentiality of data. A disclosure of data occurs when published statistical information identifies either an individual or business that has provided information under a pledge of confidentiality. The techniques used by the Census Bureau to protect confidentiality in tabulations vary, depending on the type of data.

    To limit disclosure, statistics for two or more CBP ports may be combined and published under an arbitrary designation, or shipping weight or value may be excluded from an individual CBP port. In addition, value and shipping weight for a commodity may be placed in separate ports. Consequently, statistics for individual ports may be understated or overstated due to the suppression of the weight or value of the affected commodities. See Suppression below.

  • Distributor
    An agent who sells directly for a supplier and maintains an inventory of the supplier's products.
  • District and Port Classification
    The names and codes of districts and ports are listed in Schedule D, Classification of U.S. Customs Districts and Ports for Foreign Trade Statistics. The geographical limits of each district are published in the U.S. Customs Regulations. Schedule D is published as a statistical annex in HTSA and as a part of Schedule B. Statistics for two or more Customs Districts may be combined and published under an arbitrary designation or shipping weight may be excluded from an individual Customs District as a solution to disclosure situations. Consequently, statistics for individual ports may be understated due to the suppression of the weight of the affected commodities.
  • District (or Port) of Entry
    The district (or port) in which merchandise clears Customs for entry into consumption channels, bonded warehouses or Foreign Trade Zones.
  • District (or Port) of Exportation
    For vessel or air shipments, the district (or port) in which the merchandise is loaded on the vessel or aircraft which takes the merchandise out of the country. For rail, truck, pipeline, or other overland transportation, the district (or port) through which the merchandise crosses the U.S. border into foreign territory. Aircraft exported under their own power are credited to the district from which they are flown out of the United States.
  • District (or Port) of Unlading
    The district where merchandise is unloaded from the importing vessel or aircraft.
  • Districts (Special)
    There are three special districts included for statistical purposes in special Customs districts and are not reported by geographical location of the individual Customs district of entry or exportation: (a) Vessels under their own power or afloat (imports and exports); (b) Low-valued imports and exports; (c) Mail shipments (exports only).
  • Domestic Exports
    Goods that are grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States, and commodities of foreign origin that have been changed in the United States, including changes made in a U.S. FTZ, from the form in which they were imported, or that have been enhanced in value or improved in condition by further processing or manufacturing in the United States.
  • Download
    Foreign Trade data product electronic dissemination method from the FTD internet site. Customers can retrieve standard data products using their username and password.
  • Drayage
    The charge made for hauling freight, carts, drays, or trucks.
  • Drop Box
    Foreign Trade Data FTD data product electronic dissemination method from the FTD internet site for retrieval of customized data files.
  • Drop Shipment
    A shipment of goods from a manufacturer directly to the ultimate consignee, avoiding shipment to the foreign buyer.
  • Dumping
    Occurs when goods are exported at a price less than their normal value, generally meaning they are exported for less than they are sold in the domestic market or third-country markets, or at less than production cost. (Source: World Trade Organization)
  • Dun and Bradstreet Number (DUNS)
    The DUNS Number is a unique 9-digit identification sequence that provides identifiers to single business entities while linking corporate family structures together.
  • Dunnage
    Materials placed around cargo to prevent shifting or damage while in transit.
  • Duty
    A charge imposed on the import of goods. Duties are generally based on the value of the goods (ad valorem duties), some other factor, such as weight or quantity (specific duties), or a combination of value and other factors (compound duties).
  • Dutiable Value of Imports
    The "dutiable value" represents, in general, the Customs value of foreign merchandise imported into the United States, which is subject to a duty.
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-E-

  • Electronic Export Information (EEI)
    The electronic export data as filed in the AES. This is the electronic equivalent of the export data formerly collected as Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) information and now mandated to be filed through the AES or AESDirect.
  • Electronic CBP Form 214 Admissions (e214)
    An automated CBP mechanism that allows importers, brokers, and zone operators to report FTZ admission information electronically via the CBP’s Automated Broker Interface. The e214 is the electronic mechanism that replaced the Census Bureau’s Automated Foreign Trade Zone Reporting Program (AFTZRP).  
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
    The USPPI's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) EIN is the 9-digit numerical code as reported on the Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return, Treasury Form 941.
  • End-Use
    A classification system for U.S. exported and imported merchandise based on principal use rather than the physical characteristics of the merchandise. End-Use codes are assigned by the Bureau of Economic Analysis under the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • End User
    The person abroad that receives and ultimately uses the exported or re-exported items. The end user is not an authorized agent or intermediary, but may be the FPPI or ultimate consignee.
  • Enhancement
    A change or modification to goods that increases their value or improves their condition.
  • Entry Number
    Consists of a three-position entry filer code and a seven-position transaction code, plus a check digit assigned by the entry filer as a tracking number for goods entered into the United States.
  • Equipment Number
    The identification number for shipping equipment, such as container or igloo (Unit Load Device (ULD)) number, truck license number, or rail car number.
  • Europe
    All Schedule C codes beginning with "4". Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Svalbard, Jan Mayen Island, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vatican City.
  • European Union
    Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
  • Euro Area
    Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain.
  • Exchange Rate
    The price of one currency expressed in terms of another, i.e., the number of units of one currency that may be exchanged for one unit of another currency.
  • Exclusion
    A specific reason as cited within the Foreign Trade Regulations that excludes a shipment from the requirement of filing EEI.
  • Exclusion Legend

    A notation placed on the bill of lading, air waybill, export shipping instructions, or other commercial loading document that describes the basis for not filing EEI for an export transaction. The exclusion legend shall reference the number of the section or provision in the Foreign Trade Regulations where the particular exclusion is provided.

  • Exemption
    A specific reason as cited within the Foreign Trade Regulations that eliminates the requirement for filing EEI.
  • Exemption Legend
    A notation placed on the bill of lading, air waybill, export shipping instructions, or other commercial loading document that describes the basis for not filing EEI for an export transaction. The exemption legend shall reference the number of the section or provision in the Foreign Trade Regulations where the particular exemption is provided (See Appendix D to this part).
  • Export
    To send or transport goods out of a country.
  • Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
    Regulations administered by the BIS that, among other things, provide specific instructions on the use and types of export licenses required for certain commodities, software, and technology. These regulations are located in 15 CFR 730-774.
  • Export Control
    Governmental control of exports for statistical or strategic and short supply or national security purposes, and/or for foreign policy purposes.
  • Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)
    The number used to identify items on the CCL, Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 of the EAR. The ECCN consists of a set of digits and a letter. Items that are not classified under an ECCN are designated "EAR99." Section 738.2 of the EAR describes the ECCN format.
  • Export License
    A controlling agency's document authorizing export of particular goods in specific quantities or values to a particular destination. Issuing agencies include, but are not limited to, the U.S. State Department; the BIS; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; and the Drug Enforcement Administration permit to export.
  • Exports
    Exports measure the total physical movement of merchandise out of the United States to foreign countries whether such merchandise is exported from within the U.S. Customs territory or from a CBP bonded warehouse or a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone.
  • Exports (Domestic)
    Goods that are grown, produced, or manufactured in the United States, and commodities of foreign origin that have been changed in the United States, including changes made in a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone, from the form in which they were imported, or that have been enhanced in value or improved in condition by further processing or manufacturing in the United States.
  • Exports (Foreign or Re-exports)
    For statistical purposes: These are exports of foreign-origin goods that have previously entered the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands for consumption, entry into a CBP bonded warehouse, or a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone, and at the time of exportation, have undergone no change in form or condition or enhancement in value by further manufacturing in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or U.S. FTZs. For the purpose of goods subject to export controls (e.g., U.S. Munitions List (USML) articles) these are shipments of U.S.-origin products from one foreign destination to another.
  • Exports (Total)
    Total exports are calculated by adding domestic exports to foreign exports (also called re-exports).
  • Exporter Data Base
    Provides data on the number of exporters, their distribution in cities and states, and their economic characteristics. The EDB, developed by the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration and the Census Bureau links commodity data from millions of U.S. export declarations to the Bureau's various databases on the business characteristics of U.S. firms.
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-F-

  • 484(f) Committee
    Inter-agency committee that reviews requests for changes to the statistical reporting requirements of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSA) for imports or the Schedule B for exports. The 484(f) Committee is comprised of the U.S. Census Bureau's Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Requests for changes should be addressed to: The Chairman; Committee for Statistical Annotation of Tariff Schedules; United States International Trade Commission; Washington, D.C. 20436; and emailed to 484(f)@usitc.gov no later than April 1 for the July revision of the HTS only, or August 1 for the January revision of the HTS or Schedule B.
  • Fatal Error Message
    An electronic response sent to the filer by the AES when invalid or missing data has been encountered, the EEI has been rejected, and the information is not on file in the AES. The filer is required to immediately correct the problem, correct the data, and retransmit the EEI.
  • Filers
    Those USPPIs or authorized agents (of either the USPPI or the FPPI) who have been approved to file EEI directly in the AES or AESDirect Internet application.
  • Filer ID
    The Employer Identification Number or Dun & Bradstreet Number of the company or individual filing the export information in the Automated Export System.
  • Filing Electronic Export Information
    The act of entering the EEI in the AES.
  • Foreign Entity
    A person that temporarily enters into the United States and purchases or obtains goods for export. This person does not physically maintain an office or residence in the United States. This is a special class of USPPI.
  • Foreign Exports (Re-exports)
    For statistical purposes: These are exports of foreign-origin goods that have previously entered the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands for consumption, entry into a CBP bonded warehouse, or a U.S. FTZ, and at the time of exportation, have undergone no change in form or condition or enhancement in value by further manufacturing in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or U.S. FTZs. For the purpose of goods subject to export controls (e.g., U.S. Munitions List (USML) articles) these are shipments of U.S.-origin products from one foreign destination to another.
  • Foreign Military Sales (FMS)
    The shipment of military goods for sale or repair to a foreign country.
  • Foreign Port of Unlading
    The port in a foreign country where the goods are removed from the exporting carrier. The foreign port does not have to be located in the country of destination. The foreign port of unlading shall be reported in terms of the Schedule K, “Classification of CBP Foreign Ports by Geographic Trade Area and Country.”
  • Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FPPI)
    The party abroad who purchases the goods for export or to whom final delivery or end-use of the goods will be made. This party may be the ultimate consignee.
  • Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)
    Specially licensed commercial and industrial areas in or near ports of entry where foreign and domestic goods, including raw materials, components, and finished goods, may be brought in without being subject to payment of customs duties.  Goods brought into these zones may be stored, sold, exhibited, repacked, assembled, sorted, graded, cleaned, manufactured, or otherwise manipulated prior to re-export or entry into the country's customs territory. Goods entering an FTZ are included in General Imports but not Imports for Consumption. They are considered Imports for Consumption if they leave the FTZ for domestic consumption.
  • Forwarding Agent
    The person in the United States who is authorized by the principal party in interest to facilitate the movement of the cargo from the United States to the foreign destination and/or prepare and file the required documentation.
  • Free Along Ship (F.A.S.) Export Value
    The value of exports at the U.S. seaport, airport, or border port of export, based on the transaction price, including inland freight, insurance, and other charges incurred in placing the merchandise alongside the carrier at the U.S. port of exportation. The value, as defined, excludes the cost of loading the merchandise aboard the exporting carrier and also excludes freight, insurance, and any charges or transportation costs beyond the port of exportation.
  • Freight
    A term for cargo or the cost of shipping.
  • Freight Forwarder
    An independent business which handles export shipments for compensation.
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-G-

  • General Imports
    Measures the total physical arrivals of merchandise from foreign countries, whether such merchandise enters consumption channels immediately or is entered into bonded warehouses or Foreign Trade Zones under CBP custody.
  • Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
    A framework under which certain developing countries are given preferential tariff treatment to their manufactured goods.
  • Geographic Discrepancies
    The following types of shipments are included for statistical purposes in special CBP port groupings and are not reported by their geographical location: Vessels under their own power or afloat (imports and exports); Low valued imports and exports; Mail shipments (exports only); Norfolk VA, Charleston SC, and Mobile AL (Exports of bituminous coal); Wilmington NC and Savannah GA (Exports of cotton linter pulp).
  • Goods
    Merchandise, supplies, raw materials, and products or any other item identified by a Harmonized System (HS) code.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
    The market value of goods and services produced by labor and property in the United States, regardless of nationality; GDP replaced Gross National Product (GNP) as the primary measure of U.S. production in 1991. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • Gross National Product (GNP)
    The market value of goods and services produced by labor and property supplied by U.S. residents, regardless of where they are located. It was used as the primary measure of U.S. production prior to 1991, when it was replaced by Gross Domestic Product (GDP). (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)
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  • Harmonized System (HS)

    The Harmonized System (HS) is an international classification system administered by the World Customs Organization. The 2-, 4-, and 6-digit HS headings and subheadings are the basis for the 10-digit statistical classification systems used in the United States. The HS is revised approximately every five years. For more information, see The World Customs Organization.

    In the United States, the import classification system is called the "Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSA)" while the export system is called the "Schedule B".

  • Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSA)
    The import statistics are initially collected and compiled in terms of approximately 18,000 10-digit commodity codes in the HTSA. The HTSA is maintained by the U.S. International Trade Commission and is based on the 2-, 4-, and 6-digit headings and subheadings of the international Harmonized System (HS). The HTSA is revised and published at least twice annually; new codes are usually effective January 1 and July 1. Suggested changes to the statistical requirements of the HTSA should be submitted in the form of a request to the 484(f) Committee. For more information, see http://hts.usitc.gov/.
  • Household Goods
    Usual and reasonable kinds and quantities of personal property necessary and appropriate for use by the USPPI in the USPPI’s dwelling in a foreign country that are shipped under a bill of lading or an air waybill and are not intended for sale.
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-I-

  • Imports

    All goods physically brought into the United States, including: (1) Goods of foreign origin, and (2) Goods of domestic origin returned to the United States without substantial transformation affecting a change in tariff classification under an applicable rule of origin.

  • Import Adjustments
    See Adjustments
  • Import Charges
    The import charges represent the aggregate cost of all freight, insurance, and other charges (excluding U.S. import duties) incurred in bringing the merchandise from alongside the carrier at the port of exportation in the country of exportation and placing it alongside the carrier at the first port of entry in the United States. In the case of overland shipments originating in Canada or Mexico, such costs include freight, insurance, and all other charges, costs and expenses incurred in bringing the merchandise from the point of origin (where the merchandise begins its journey to the United States) in Canada or Mexico to the first port of entry.
  • Imports (General)
    Measures the total physical arrivals of merchandise from foreign countries, whether such merchandise enters consumption channels immediately or is entered into bonded warehouses or Foreign Trade Zones under CBP custody.
  • Imports for Consumption
    Measures the total of merchandise that has physically cleared through Customs either entering consumption channels immediately or entering after withdrawal for consumption from bonded warehouses or Foreign Trade Zones under CBP custody. Many countries use the term "special imports" to designate statistics compiled on this basis.
  • Inbond
    A procedure administered by CBP under which goods are transported or warehoused under CBP supervision until the goods are either formally entered into the customs territory of the United States and duties are paid, or until they are exported from the United States. The procedure is so named because the cargo moves under a bond (financial liability assured by the principal on the bond) from the gateway seaport, airport, or land border port and remains "inbond" until CBP releases the cargo at the inland Customs point or at the port of export.
  • Inland Freight
    The cost to ship goods between points inland and the seaport, airport, or land border port of export, other than baggage, express mail, or regular mail.
  • Inland Freight in Canada
    An addition is made for inland freight in Canada. Imports of goods from all countries are valued at the foreign port of export, including inland freight charges ("customs value"). In the case of Canada, this should be the cost of the goods at the U.S. border. However, the customs value for imports for certain Canadian goods is the point of origin in Canada. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) makes an addition for the inland freight charges of transporting these Canadian goods to the U.S. border to make the value comparable to the customs value as reported by all other countries. Insurance and freight charges for transporting goods to the United States from all other countries to the U.S. border are included in services by the BEA. (The same procedure is used for Mexico as an Other Adjustment, but is much smaller.)
  • Intermediate Consignee
    The person or entity in the foreign country who acts as an agent for the principal party in interest with the purpose of effecting delivery of items to the ultimate consignee. The intermediate consignee may be a bank, forwarding agent, or other person who acts as an agent for a principal party in interest.
  • Internal Transaction Number (ITN)
    The AES generated number assigned to a shipment confirming that an EEI transaction was accepted and is on file in the AES. The ITN must appear on the bill of lading, air waybill, export shipping instructions, or other commercial loading documents.
  • International Standards Organization (ISO) Country Codes
    The 2-position alphabetic code for countries used to identify countries for which shipments are reportable. While U.S. international trade data are collected using the ISO code, they are published using the 4-digit Schedule C Country Code.
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)
    Regulations administered by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) within the U.S. State Department that provide for the control of the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services. These regulations are located in 22 CFR 120-130.
  • International Waters
    Waters located outside the U.S. territorial sea, which extends 12 nautical miles measured from the baselines of the United States, and outside the territory of any foreign country, including the territorial waters thereof.  Note that vessels, platforms, buoys, undersea systems, and other similar structures that are located in international waters, but are attached permanently or temporarily to a country’s continental shelf, are considered to be within the territory of that country.
  • Interplant Correspondence
    Records or documents from a U.S. firm to its
    subsidiary or affiliate, whether in the United States or overseas.
  • In-Transit Shipments
    Goods shipped through the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands from one foreign country or area to another foreign country or area without entering the consumption channels of the United States. In-transit shipments should not be part of the U.S. international trade data.
  • Issued Banknotes
    A promissory note intended to circulate as money, usually printed on paper or plastic, issued by a bank with a specific denomination, payable to an individual, entity or the bearer.
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-K-

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-L-

  • L (Liter)
    See Conversion Tables and Units of Quantity
  • Latin American Free Trade Market (LAFTA)
    Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.
  • License Applicant
    The person who applies for an export or re-export license. (For example, obtaining a license for commodities, software, or technology that are listed on the CCL.)
  • License Exception
    An authorization that allows a USPPI or other appropriate party to export or re-export under stated conditions, items subject to the EAR that would otherwise require a license under the EAR. The BIS License Exceptions are currently contained in Part 740 of the EAR (15 CFR 740).
  • Low-Value Shipments
    Shipments whose value is so low that trade is estimated instead of being based on trade filings. For exports, these are items where the value of trade is $2,500 or less for each individual Schedule B number. Low value estimates represent about 2.5 percent of the monthly value of U.S. exports. For imports, the threshold is $2,000 or less for most shipments although certain shipments' thresholds are $250. Low value shipments represent about 1 percent of the monthly import value.
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-M-

  • Manifest
    A collection of documents, including forms, such as the cargo declaration and annotated bill of lading, that lists and describes the cargo contents of a carrier, container, or warehouse. Carriers required to file manifests with the CBP Port Director must include an AES filing citation, exemption legend, or exclusion legend for all cargo being transported. In general, the shipping manifest is a document in the public domain and can be viewed by anyone.
  • Mass-Market Software
    Software that is generally available to the public by being sold at retail selling points, or directly from the software developer or supplier, by means of over-the-counter transactions, mail-order transactions, telephone transactions, or electronic mail-order transactions, and designed for installation by the user without further substantial technical support by the developer or supplier.
  • Merchandise
    Goods, supplies, raw materials, and products or any other item identified by a Harmonized System (HS) code.
  • M (Meter)
    See Conversion Tables and Units of Quantity
  • Merchandise Trade
    Goods, including physical items such as automobiles, steel, food, clothing, appliances, and furniture. Merchandise trade does not include services or balance of payment adjustments.
  • Merchandise Trade Balance
    The merchandise trade balance represents the difference between U.S. total exports based on F.A.S. values and U.S. general imports based on Customs values. This balance corresponds to a measurement of the international payments or credit flows resulting from the physical movement of goods between the U.S. and foreign countries. Monthly balances are based on seasonally adjusted data.
  • Method of Transportation (MOT)
    The method by which goods arrive in or are exported from the United States by way of seaports, airports, or land border crossing points. Methods of transportation include vessel, air, truck, rail, or other. For statistical purposes, methods of transportation are classified as vessel, air, or other.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
    An agreement between two or more government agencies detailing the release or exchange of confidential or prerelease data, the purpose for which the data may be used, who may have access to the data, the restrictions on use of the data, and how the data will be protected from unauthorized disclosure.

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-N-

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

    The formal agreement, or treaty, among Canada, Mexico, and the United States to promote trade amongst the three countries. It includes measures for the elimination of tariffs and nontariff barriers to trade, as well as numerous specific provisions concerning the conduct of trade and investment.

  • N.E.S.O.I.

    An acronym, which means "Not Elsewhere Specified Or Included".

  • N.S.P.F.

    An acronym, which means "Not Specifically Provided For".

  • Noncontiguous States (Non-Con) Statistics

    Statistics on shipments from the U.S. Virgin Islands and other U.S. possessions (Guam, America Samoa, and North Mariana Island) to the United States. Statistics are published on shipments from and to the U.S. from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Statistics on shipments from the U.S. to other U.S. possessions as well as between the possessions are not compiled.

  • Non-Petroleum Products

    All products except petroleum products.               

  • Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC)

    A freight forwarder that acts as common carrier but does not operate the vessels by which ocean transportation is provided, and is a shipper in relation to the involved ocean common carrier.

  • Nominal Dollars

    An unadjusted value reflecting the current price of merchandise, it does not include adjustments to reflect factors such as seasonality or inflation. See Real Dollars.

  • North America

    Canada, Mexico.

  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

    Replaced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system in 1997 as the industry classification system used by the statistical agencies of the United States. Under NAICS, economic units that use like processes to produce goods or services are grouped together, creating a "production-oriented" system. NAICS codes are assigned by the Economic Classification Policy Committee at the U.S. Census Bureau. For more information, see the NAICS website.

  • North American Treaty Organization (NATO) Allies
  • Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom.

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-O-

  • Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)

    An agency within the U.S. Department of the Treasury that administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under U.S. jurisdiction.

  • Order Party

    The person in the United States that conducts the direct negotiations or correspondence with the foreign purchaser or ultimate consignee and who, as a result of these negotiations, receives the order from the FPPI.  If a U.S. order party directly arranges for the sale and export of goods to the FPPI, the U.S. order party shall be listed as the USPPI in the EEI.

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

    Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

  • Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

    Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela.

  • Origin of Movement (OM)

    In 1985, a new field indicating the state where the export journey begins, was added. This field allowed the compilation of the State of Origin of Movement Series. The OM series based on origin state, available since 1987, provides export statistics based on the state from which the merchandise starts its journey to the port of export; that is, the data reflect the transportation origin of exports.

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  • Packing List

    A list showing the number and kinds of items being shipped, as well as other information needed for transportation purposes.

  • Pacific Rim

    Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (South), Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan.

  • Patnership Agencies

    U.S. government agencies that have statistical and analytical reporting and/or monitoring and enforcement responsibilities related to AES postdeparture filing privileges.

  • Party ID Type

    Identifies whether the Party ID is an EIN, DUNS, or Foreign Entity reported to the AES, i.e., E=EIN, D=DUNS, T=Foreign Entity.

  • Person

    Any natural person, corporation partnership or other legal entity of any kind, domestic or foreign.

  • Petroleum Products

    Products including crude oil, petroleum preparations, and liquefied propane and butane gas. End-use code 100 (imports) or 111 (exports). SITC code 33.

  • Port of Export

    The port of export is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seaport or airport where the goods are loaded on the aircraft or vessel that is taking the goods out of the United States, or the CBP port where exports by overland transportation cross the U.S. border into Canada or Mexico.  For EEI reporting purposes only, for goods loaded aboard an aircraft or vessel that stops at several ports before clearing to the foreign country, the port of export is the first CBP port where the goods were loaded. For goods off-loaded from the original conveyance to another conveyance (even if the aircraft or vessel belongs to the same carrier) at any of the ports, the port where the goods were loaded on the last conveyance before going foreign is the port of export.  The port of export  is reported in terms of Schedule D, “Classification of CBP Districts and Ports.”  Use port code 8000 for shipments by mail.

  • Postdeparture Filing

    The privilege granted to approved USPPIs for their EEI to be filed up to five (5) calendar days after the date of export. 

  • Postdeparture Filing Citation

    A notation placed on the bill of lading, air waybill, export shipping instructions, or other commercial loading documents that states that the EEI will be filed after departure of the carrier. 

  • Power of Attorney

    A legal authorization, in writing, from a USPPI or FPPI stating that an agent has authority to act as the principal party’s true and lawful agent for purposes of preparing and filing the EEI in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States. 

  • Preferences

    Special trade advantages (e.g. tariff preferences) given to least developed countries by governments of developed countries in order to promote export growth and development. Special trade advantages include licensing practices, quotas or preferential application of other measures, including taxes in the non-tariff area.

  • Primary Benefit

    Receiving the majority payment or exchange of item of value or other legal consideration resulting from an export trade transaction; usually monetary.

  • Primary Quantity

    The quantity is the total number of units that correspond to the first unit of measure specified in the Schedule B or HTSA.  Where the unit of measure is in terms of weight (grams, kilograms, metric tons, etc.), the quantity reflects the net weight, not including the weight of barrels, boxes, or other bulky coverings, and not including salt or pickle in the case of salted or pickled fish or meats.  For a few commodities where “content grams” or “content kilograms” or some similar weight unit is specified in Schedule B or HTSA, the quantity may be less than the net weight.  The quantity is reported as a whole unit only, without commas or decimals.  If the quantity contains a fraction of a whole unit, round fractions of one-half unit or more up and fractions of less than one-half unit down to the nearest whole unit.  (For example, where the unit for a given commodity is in terms of “tons,” a net quantity of 8.4 tons would be reported as 8 for the quantity.  If the quantity is less than one unit, the quantity is 1.)

  • Primary Unit of Measure

    The unit of measure shall correspond to the primary quantity as prescribed in the Schedule B or HTSA.  If neither Schedule B nor HTSA specifies a unit of measure for the item, an “X” is required in the unit of measure field

  • Principal Parties in Interest

    Those persons in a transaction that receive the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the transaction.  Generally, the principals in a transaction are the seller and the buyer.  In most cases, the forwarding or other agent is not a principal party in interest.

  • Program Indicators

    Types of General System of Preferences or Trade Agreements.

  • Proof of Filing Citation

    A notation placed on the bill of lading, air waybill, export shipping instructions, or other commercial loading document, usually for carrier use, that provides evidence that the EEI has been filed and accepted in the AES.

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-Q-

  • Quantity

    Units of quantity shown are published in terms of the units specified in the HTSA and Schedule B for each classification. When two units of quantity are required for an item in the HTSA or Schedule B, both units are shown along with the value. Quantity is only used at the 10-digit HS level. Any higher aggregation may result in multiple units of quantity being included.

  • Quota

    Import quotas control the amount or volume of various commodities that can be imported into the United States during a specified period of time. Quotas are established by legislation, Presidential Proclamations or Executive Orders. Quotas are announced in specific legislation or may be provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. (Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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-R-

  • Rate Provision

    The rate a tariff or duty is set according to the provision allowed by a trade agreement.

  • Real Dollars

    A constant dollar or real dollar refers to dollars adjusted for inflation/deflation and includes adjustments to reflect seasonality. See Nominal Dollars.

  • Re-Exports

    For statistical purposes: These are exports of foreign-origin goods that have previously entered the United States, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands for consumption, entry into a CBP bonded warehouse, or a U.S. FTZ and at the time of exportation, have undergone no change in form or condition or enhancement in value by further manufacturing in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or U.S. FTZs. For the purpose of goods subject to export controls (e.g., U.S. Munitions List (USML) articles) these are shipments of U.S.-origin products from one foreign destination to another.

  • Related Party Indicator

    Used to indicate when a transaction involving trade between a USPPI and an ultimate consignee where either party owns directly or indirectly 10 percent or more of the other party.

  • Related Party Transaction

    A transaction involving trade between a USPPI and an ultimate consignee where either party owns directly or indirectly 10 percent or more of the other party.

  • Remission

    The cancellation or release from a penalty, including fines, and/or forfeiture.

  • Retention

    The necessary act of keeping all documentation pertaining to an export transaction for a period of at least five years for an EEI filing, or a time frame designated by the controlling agency for licensed shipments, whichever is longer.

  • Revisions or Revision Policy

    Corrections and improvements made to the data. Each month, a preliminary estimate for the current month and a revised estimate for the immediately preceding month are released. After the initial revision, no further changes are made to that month until more complete source data become available in March, June, September, and December. The releases in March, June, September, and December contain revised estimates for the previous six months. The release in March also contains revisions for all months of the previous year in order to align the seasonally adjusted monthly data with annual totals. The release in June contains annual revisions, which reflect updated source data and changes in estimating methodologies.

  • Routed export transaction

    A transaction in which the FPPI authorizes a U.S. agent to facilitate export of items from the United States on its behalf and prepare and file the EEI.

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  • Sampling and Non-Sampling Errors:

    The goods data are a complete enumeration of documents collected by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and are not subject to sampling errors; but they are subject to several types of nonsampling errors. Quality assurance procedures are performed at every stage of collection, processing and tabulation; however the data are still subject to several types of nonsampling errors. The most significant of these include reporting errors, undocumented shipments, timeliness, data capture errors, and errors in the estimation of low-valued transactions:

    • Reporting Errors: Reporting errors are mistakes or omissions made by importers, exporters or their agents in their import or export declarations. Most errors involve missing or invalid commodity classification codes and missing or incorrect quantities or shipping weights. They have a negligible effect on import, export and balance of trade statistics. However, they can affect the detailed commodity statistics.
    • Undocumented Shipments: Federal regulations require importers, exporters or their agents to report all merchandise shipments above established exemption levels. The U. S. Census Bureau has determined that not all required documents are filed, particularly for exports.
    • Timeliness and Data Capture Errors: The U.S. Census Bureau captures import and export information from administrative documents and through various automated collection programs. Documents may be lost, data may be incorrectly keyed, coded or recorded. Transactions may be included in a subsequent month's statistics if received late.
    • Low-Value Shipments: The total values of transactions valued as much as or below $2,500 for exports and $2,000 ($250 for certain quota items) for imports are estimated for each country, using factors based on the ratios of low-valued shipments to individual country totals for past periods.

    The U. S. Census Bureau recommends that data users incorporate this information into their analyses, as nonsampling errors could impact the conclusion drawn from the results. For a detailed discussion of errors affecting the goods data, see "U.S. Merchandise Trade Statistics: A Quality Profile."

  • Selected Commodity Subscription (1-10 Service)

    A monthly, customized data service that consists of detailed data on up to ten 10-digit HS codes that is electronically transmitted to the customer on press release day. Each report contains current month and cumulative year-to-date statistics.

  • Schedule B

    The export statistics are initially collected and compiled in terms of approximately 9,000 10-digit commodity codes in the Schedule B, Statistical Classification of Domestic and Foreign Commodities Exported from the United States. The Schedule B is maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau and is based on the 4- and 6-digit headings and subheadings of the international Harmonized System (HS). The Schedule B is revised once annually; new codes are usually effective January 1. Suggested changes to the statistical reporting requirements of the Schedule B should be submitted in the form of a request to the 484(f) Committee.

  • Schedule C

    The Classification of Country and Territory Designations. The Schedule C provides a list of country of origin codes. The country of origin is reported in terms of the International Standards Organization Country Codes.

  • Schedule D

    The Classification of CBP districts and ports. The Schedule D provides a list of CBP districts and ports and the corresponding numeric codes used in compiling U.S. foreign trade statistics.

  • Schedule K

    The Classification of Foreign Ports by Geographic Trade Area and Country.  The Schedule K lists the major seaports of the world that directly handle waterborne shipments in the foreign trade of the United States, and includes numeric codes to identify these ports.  This schedule is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Seasonal Adjustment

    The seasonal adjustment procedure is designed to reflect seasonal patterns at the most detailed commodity levels. The Census Bureau is seasonally adjusting the merchandise trade data at the most detailed end-use level possible. These detailed data are then summed to the 1-digit level for release with the monthly merchandise trade totals. The adjustment is made at that end-use commodity level for which significant stable seasonality is identified. The use of the end-use commodity classification system for seasonal adjustment ensures methodological consistency with the quarterly adjusted balance of trade data published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and reflects the BEA coding descriptions which combine data into broad categories based upon principal uses of the commodities.

  • Seller

    A principal in the transaction, usually the manufacturer, producer, wholesaler, or distributor of the goods, that receives the monetary benefit or other consideration for the exported goods.

  • Service Center

    A company, entity, or organization which has been certified and approved to only transmit complete EEI to the AES.

  • Services

    The services statistics are estimates of services transactions between foreign countries and the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories and possessions. Transactions with U.S. military, diplomatic, and consular installations abroad are excluded because they are considered to be part of the U.S. economy. Services are shown in seven broad categories. Types of services for imports and exports are the same for six of the seven categories. They are Travel; Passenger Fares; Other Transportation; Royalties and License Fees; Other Private Services; and U.S. Government Miscellaneous Servcies. For the seventh, exports are "Transfers Under U.S. Military Sales Contracts" while for imports the category is "Direct Defense Expenditures." The services statistics are collected by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  • Shipment

    All goods being sent from one USPPI to one consignee located in a single country of destination on a single conveyance and on the same day.  Except as noted in §30.2(a)(1)(iv), the EEI shall be filed when the value of the goods is over $2,500 per Schedule B or HTSA commodity classification code.

  • Shipment Reference Number

    A unique identification number assigned to the shipment by the filer for reference purposes. The reuse of the shipment reference number is prohibited.

  • Shipper's Export Declaration (SED)

    The Department of Commerce paper form used under the Foreign Trade Statistics Regulations to collect information from an entity exporting from the United States.  This form was used for compiling the official U.S. export statistics for the United States and for export control purposes.  The SED became obsolete on October 1, 2008, with the implementation of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) and has been superseded by the EEI filed to the AES or through the AESDirect.

  • Shipping Documents

    Documents that include but are not limited to commercial invoices, export shipping instructions, packing lists, bill of ladings and air waybills.

  • Shipping Weight (SWT)

    The shipping weight is the weight in kilograms, which includes the weight of the commodity, as well as the weight of normal packaging, such as boxes, crates, barrels, etc.  The shipping weight is required for exports by air, vessel, rail, and truck, and required for exports of household goods transported by all methods.  For exports (except household goods) by mail, fixed transport (pipeline), or other valid methods, the shipping weight is not required and shall be reported as zero.  For containerized cargo in lift vans, cargo vans, or similar substantial outer containers, the weight of such containers is not included in the shipping weight.  If the shipping weight is not available for each Schedule B or HTSA item included in one or more containers, the approximate shipping weight for each item is estimated and reported.  The total of these estimated weights equals the actual shipping weight of the entire container or containers.

  • South/Central America

    All Schedule C codes beginning with "2" or "3", excluding Mexico. Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sint Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela.

  • Special Districts

    There are three special districts included for statistical purposes in special CBP districts and are not reported by geographical location of the individual CBP district of entry or exportation: (a) Vessels under their own power or afloat (imports and exports); (b) Low-valued imports and exports; (c) Mail shipments (exports only).

  • Special Program Indicator (SPI)

    Codes used to identify specific General System of Preferences (GSP) preferential tariff treatment program in the trade statistics.

  • Split Shipment

    A shipment covered by a single EEI transmission booked for export on one conveyance, but divided prior to export where the exporting carrier at the port of export will file the manifest indicating that the cargo was sent on two or more of the same conveyances leaving from the same port of export of the same carrier within 24 hours by vessel or 7 days by air, truck, or rail.  For the succeeding parts of the shipment that are not exported within time frame specified above, a new EEI must be filed and amendments must be made to the original AES record.

  • Standard Data Product

    Foreign Trade Division (FTD) established electronic merchandise trade data products containing most frequently requested statistical information.

  • Standard International Trade Classification (SITC)

    Commodity classification system defined by the United Nations.

  • Statistical Month

    The month of importation is the month in which CBP releases the merchandise to the importer.

  • Subzone

    A special purpose foreign trade zone established as part of a foreign trade zone project with a limited purpose that cannot be accommodated within an existing zone. Subzones are often established to serve the needs of a specific company and may be located within an existing facility of the company.

  •  Suppression

    When the statistics disclose a company's shipments of a particular commodity to or from a specific country, it may be necessary to suppress quantity and/or shipping weight data. Similarly, when disclosure occurs on a worldwide basis, it may be necessary to suppress shipping weight and/or quantity data for shipments of one commodity to or from all countries.

  • Surplus

    When export values are greater than import values for a given time period.

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  • Tariff

    Customs duties on merchandise imports. Levied either on an ad valorem basis (percentage of value) or on a specific basis (e.g. $7 per 100 kgs.). Tariffs give price advantage to similar locally-produced goods and raise revenues for the government. (Source: World Trade Organization)

  • Tariff Schedule

    A comprehensive list or schedule of goods with applicable duty rates to be paid or charged for each listed article as it enters or leaves a country.

  • Transiting Goods

    Shipments of goods moving through the United States en route from one country to another, where the United States is not the country of ultimate destination, can create coverage problems that affect trade statistics. When such goods, referred to as transiting goods, are shipped under bond, they are not subject to duties and are excluded from the merchandise trade statistics in accordance with the guidelines for international merchandise trade statistics established by the United Nations. Many companies, however, enter transiting goods into the United States using an import entry summary and file an export declaration when the goods leave the United States. While this practice does not affect the total trade balance, it does affect bilateral trade balances, and creates discrepancies between U.S. statistics and those of other countries. This issue is especially problematic for bilateral trade between Canada and the United States, where goods transiting through the United States from Canada are entered as U.S. imports from Canada. Also see In-Transit Shipments.

  • Transmitting Electronic Export Information

    The act of sending the completed EEI to the AES.

  • Transshipment

    The transfer of merchandise from the country of origin to an intermediary country prior to shipment to the country of ultimate destination.

  • Transportation Reference Number

    A reservation number assigned by the carrier to hold space on the carrier for cargo being shipped.  It is the booking number for vessel shipments and the master air waybill number for air shipments, the bill of lading number for rail shipments, and the freight or pro bill for truck shipments.

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  • Ultimate Consignee

    The person, party, or designee that is located abroad and actually receives the export shipment.  This party may be the end user or the FPPI.

  • United States Munitions List (USML)

    Articles and services designated for defense purposes under the ITAR and specified in 22 CFR 121.

  • Unit of Quantity

    The unit of measure that merchandise is counted either in numbers or weight such as yards, meters, pieces or numbers. The Harmonized System (HS) collects information based on the metric standard.

  • Undocumented Shipments

    Federal regulations require importers, exporters, or their agents, to submit import and export information for all merchandise shipments above the established exemption levels. Exemption levels are $2,000 for imports (or $250 for certain quota items), and $2,500 for exports to countries other than Canada. The U.S. Census Bureau has determined that not all required documents are filed, particularly for exports, as import information is subject to greater scrutiny by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in relation to the administration of tariffs, quotas, and other enforcement activities. Goods withdrawn from Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) for exportation, and exports of U.S. goods through Canadian ports en route to other destinations are two examples of commonly unreported shipments that can lead to errors in export statistics. Undocumented foreign merchandise entering FTZs, which should be included in import trade statistics under general imports, is an example of undocumented import data that can contribute to the problem of import under coverage.

  • Unlading

    The physical removal of cargo from an aircraft, truck, rail, or vessel.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

    The border agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry of the United States.

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

    An agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is responsible for enforcing customs, immigration and related laws and investigating violations of laws to secure the Nation’s borders.

  • U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI)

    The person or legal entity in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the export transaction. Generally, that person or entity is the U.S. seller, manufacturer, or order party, or the foreign entity while in the United States when purchasing or obtaining the goods for export.

  • U.S. State of Origin

    The U.S. state of origin is the 2-character postal code for the state in which the goods begin their journey to the port of export.  For example, a shipment covering goods laden aboard a truck at a warehouse in Georgia for transport to Florida for loading onto a vessel for export to a foreign country shall show Georgia as the state of origin.  The U.S. state of origin may be different from the U.S. state where the goods were produced, mined, or grown.  For shipments of multi-state origin, reported as a single shipment, report the U.S. state of the commodity with the greatest value.  If such information is not known, report the state in which the commodities are consolidated for export.

  • USA Trade Online

    USA Trade Online is a service provided by the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau. The database holds current and cumulative U.S. export and import data for over 9,000 export commodities and 17,000 import commodities. USA Trade Online provides trade statistics using the Harmonized System (HS) up to the 10-digit level and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) commodity classification codes up to the 6-digit level.

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  • Value

    In general, the value to be reported in the EEI shall be the value of the goods at the U.S. port of export in U.S. dollars.  The value shall be the selling price (or the cost, if the goods are not sold), plus inland or domestic freight, insurance, and other charges to the U.S. seaport, airport, or land border port of export.  Cost of goods is the sum of expenses incurred in the USPPI’s acquisition or production of the goods.  Report the value to the nearest dollar, omit cents.  Fractions of a dollar less than 50 cents should be ignored, and fractions of 50 cents or more should be rounded up to the next dollar.

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

    A number issued by the manufacturer and used for the identification of a self-propelled vehicle.

  • Verify Message

    An electronic response sent to the filer by the AES when an unlikely condition is found.

  • Violation of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR)

    Failure of the USPPI, FPPI, authorized agent of the USPPI, FPPI, carrier, or other party to the transaction to comply with the requirements set forth in 15 CFR 30, for each export shipment.

  • Voluntary Self-Disclosure

    A narrative account with supporting documentation that sufficiently describes suspected violations of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR).  A VSD reflects due diligence in detecting, and correcting potential violation(s) when required information was not reported or when incorrect information was provided that violates the FTR.

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  • Warning message

    An electronic response sent to the filer by the AES when certain incomplete and conflicting data reporting conditions are encountered.

  • Wholesaler/Distributor

    An agent who sells directly for a supplier and maintains an inventory of the supplier's products.

  • Written Authorization

    An authorization, in writing, by the USPPI or FPPI stating that the agent has authority to act as the USPPI’s or FPPI’s true and lawful agent for purposes of preparing and filing the EEI in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States.

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  • Year-to-Date (YTD) or Cumulative to Date

    Data for January of the current year through the current data month. For example, if merchandise trade data were just released for July, the YTD totals would be for the first seven months (January-July).

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  • Zone Admission Number

    A unique and sequential number assigned by a FTZ operator or user for shipments admitted to a zone.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Foreign Trade | ftdwebmaster@census.gov |  Last Revised: April 09, 2014