Glossary of Terms

3PL-Third party Logistics

ADC area distribution center

Ad Valorem: According to value.

airlift - The movement of mail by air taxi operators and air carriers.

airmail - A service by which international mail receives First-Class Mail service domestically, is dispatched by the most expeditious transportation, and receives air or priority handling in the destination country.

AM Address Management

AMC/F airport mail center/facility

airport mail center/airport mail facility (AMC/AMF) - A postal facility at an airport that receives, concentrates, transfers, dispatches, and distributes mail transported by air.

AMS Alternate Mailing System

APO Army Post Office

army post office (APO) - A branch of a designated USPS civilian post office, which falls under the jurisdiction of the postmaster of either New York City or San Francisco, that serves either Army or Air Force personnel.

AWB-Airway Bill

Air Waybill-The Air Way bill is a non-negotiable Bill of Lading, and is used as a receipt for cargo and a contract for transportation between shipper and air carrier. Unlike an ocean carrier with a "to order" Ocean Bill of Lading, the air carrier must deliver the shipment to the consignee named on the non-negotiable Air Waybill. International air waybills or "airline air waybills," are used by the air carriers; "House air waybills” are used as receipts by Freight Forwarders who then consolidate them with the air carriers international air waybills.

Air cargo Agent-An agent appointed by an airline to solicit and process international airfreight shipments.

Airport Code-A three-letter code assigned to all airport locations worldwide.

            EWR-Newark International Airport

            BWI – Baltimore International Airport

            JFK-John F Kennedy International Airport

            ORD-Chicago O’Hare    

            LHR-London Heathrow

            LAX-Los Angeles international Airport

            YYZ-Pearson International Airport Toronto Canada

BBM bulk business mail

BC barcode

BCR barcode reader

BCS barcode sorter

Bill of Lading-Multi-use documents that are essential to conduct the day-to-day operations when transportation of supplies, materials, and personal property is required. These primary documents are used to procure freight and express transportation and

related services from commercial carriers, including freight forwarders.

What must be stated in a Bill of Lading?
- The name and address of:
- the carrier (the shipping company responsible for transport)
- the shipper (the consignor/sender, or his agent)
- the consignee (the buyer or his agent)
- Places of departure and destination
- Description of the goods
- Instructions for the payment of freight (collect or prepaid)
- Place and date issued
- Any other information relative to the shipment

BMC bulk mail center

BMC bulk mail center container

BMEU business mail entry unit

BPM Bound Printed Matter

BRM business reply mail

Canada Post Corporation (CPC)-A Corporation established by an Act of Parliament to carry out certain activities under the direction and control of a Board of Directors.

Canada Expedited Parcel-A domestic Canada parcel service for contract customers. Items must bear an Expedited Parcel bar-coded label.

CASS Coding Accuracy Support System

CBSA- Canada Border Service Agency

CIF: Cost + Insurance + Freight: A pricing term indicating that the cost of goods, insurance, and freight are included in the quoted price.

ClearPath- A business division of Pitney Bowes who has software that an asses duty and taxes to a specific country

COD collect on delivery

C of O-Certificate of Origin

Certificate of Origin-The document certifies that goods were manufactured in a specific country. It is signed by the shipper and may be a certified by a local Chamber of Commerce, notarized, and even visaed by a resident foreign consul. A Certificate of Origin may be required by a foreign government for control purposes or by the foreign importer to ensure that he receives U.S. goods. Specific C/Os are required for duty reductions with Canada (U.S./Canada Free Trade Agreement) and Israel (U.S./Israel Free trade Area).

Commercial Invoice-A commercial invoice is the basic statement of the seller to the buyer for payment of the goods shipped. It must conform to any Letter of Credit requirements, foreign government requirements, and U.S. export control requirements regarding destination statements. It is used as one of the primary documents in the collection process, and is the main document used by foreign Customs for control, valuation of the goods, pricing, terms of sale, payment and delivery, credit numbers, import license numbers, shipper and consignee names, and shipping marks and numbers. The exporter usually signs commercial invoices.

Commercial Value-Assessment of monetary value of manufactured goods including production costs, packaging, shipping, overhead and profit margin; used to determine duty.

Commodity-Any article or goods of commerce.

Consignee- A person or company to whom commodities are shipped.

CN22 and CN23 - customs declaration forms to be used for import and export of postal packets.

Customs clearance-Authorizing release of an article of mail to the addressee by Customs

Customhouse Broker- A person or firm, licensed by the treasury department of their country when required, engaged in entering and clearing goods through Customs for a client (importer).

Customs Declaration-A form affixed to international mail to simplify Customs clearance in the country of destination.

Customs duty-Amount of tax or tariff applied to an item imported from another country

Customs examination-Process of inspecting an item of mail by Customs officers to determine whether duty is applicable.

Customs label-CN22 label required on all international items, other than Parcel Post, subject to Customs control.

Customs primary screening center-An area at exchange offices (generally at the port of entry) where an initial segregation is made between non-dutiable and potentially dutiable items before dispatch to destination or diversion to Customs.

Customs Tariff - A schedule of charges assessed by a federal government on imported goods.

Dangerous Goods-Articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property when transported by air and which are classified according to subsections 3.1 through 2.10 in IATA. This includes cargo labeled as flammable, corrosive, radioactive, etc.

DDC-Destination Delivery Charge.

Declared Value-The value of a shipment as declared by the shipper, used to determine the value for duty and carrier liability.

DG-Dangerous Goods.

Dim Weight (Dimensional Weight) - An international airfreight formula determined by calculating length x width x height and dividing by 166. It is charged when the actual weight is less than the dimensional weight.

DMM Domestic Mail Manual

Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) - The USPS manual that contains the basic standards governing domestic mail services; descriptions of the mail classes and services and conditions governing their uses; and standards for rate eligibility and mail preparation. Domestic mail is classified by size, weight, content, service, and other factors.

DDU: Delivered Duty Paid

DDP: Delivered Duty Unpaid

Dutiable-Those goods that are subject to duty as per each nation's Customs regulation.

Duty-A tax imposed by a government on merchandise imported from another country. There are several types of duty, including: A) Ad valorem duty ("According to the value") - an assessment based on of the actual value of an article. B) Specific duty - an assessment based on the weight or quantity of an article without reference to its monetary value or market price.

Duty Drawback-A refund of duty paid on imported merchandise when it is later exported.

Duty-Paid Value: CIF or FOB value + duty

E4X- a customer of ClearPath who sells Pitney Bowes services

EC - European Community.

EIN (Exporter Identification Number)-An Employer's IRS Identification Number (needed on some international shipping documentation) assigned by the Government when exporting goods from the United States

ETA-Estimated Time of Arrival.

ETD-Estimated Time of Departure.

EX DEC-Shipper's Export Declaration.

EU and Member States - European Union consisting of twenty-five Member States. The current Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus*, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

Euro - unit of currency used by some Member States of the European Union.

Express Mail International Service (EMS) - A service available to nearly 200 countries and territories, providing delivery to foreign cities in most cases within 1 to 3 days. This is the fastest, most reliable way to send letters, documents, merchandise, and merchandise samples abroad. Express Mail International Service is a USPS trademark

Excise duty - tax charged on certain goods particularly alcohol and tobacco.

FCM First-Class Mail

FOB: Free on Board: Cost of the product + all transportation costs from the manufacturer to the port of departure + costs of loading the vessel.

FPO Fleet Post Office

Fleet post office (FPO) - A branch of a designated USPS civilian post office, which falls under the jurisdiction of the postmaster of either New York City or San Francisco, that serves Coast Guard, Navy, or Marine Corps personnel.

Gifts - goods of a non-commercial character sent by a private person to another private person without payment of any kind and intended for personal use only.

GPM Global Priority Mail

Global Priority Mail (GPM) - An expedited international service for the shipment of documents, correspondence, and merchandise, featuring a 4-business-day delivery standard to selected countries in Europe, the Pacific Rim, and Canada.

Harmonized system code-A numeric code used to classify goods for customs duty purposes

HAZ MAT- An industry abbreviation for "Hazardous Material."

HS Number: Harmonized System (HS) Numbers are used to classify products for customs purposes. Typically, 6-10 digits long, the first 6 digits are standardized internationally. To get a duty rate one needs to have the individual product number used in the importing country.

HTS Number: Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Numbers are based on the HS international nomenclature. The 10-digit HTS numbers are used on U.S. import documentation and to obtain U.S. tariff rates.

IATA (International Air Transport Association)-International Air Transport Association. The trade and service organization representing international airlines from more than 100 countries.

In Bond Cargo- moving under Customs control where duty has not yet been paid.

Intrinsic value - means the price paid or payable for the goods excluding postage and packing and insurance costs.

Import VAT - VAT chargeable on importation.

IBRS International Business Reply Service

IEO international exchange office

IMM International Mail Manual

International Mail Manual (IMM) - The USPS manual that contains classification regulations and other requirements for mailing between the United States and other countries.

IPA International Priority Airmail

International Priority Airmail (IPA) - An international service for all mail items except postal parcels. This service is designed to be 1 day faster than regular airmail, if mailers meet minimum volume and sortation requirements. It is available to all countries except Canada. International Priority Airmail is a USPS trademark. (Also, see Priority Mail.)

ISAL International Surface Air Lift

International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) - A bulk mailing service for fast, economical international delivery of any periodical publication, advertising mail, catalog, other printed matter, or a small packet. Mail is airlifted directly to the country of destination or routed through key distribution centers. (Also, see surface airlift mail.)

JTrac-The system used by the customer E4X to list and monitor issues that arise

Kilogram- 1,000 grams or 2.2046 pounds.

Landed Cost- The total cost of a good to a buyer, including the cost of transportation.

LCL- Abbreviation for "Less than Container Load." The quantity of freight, which is less than that, required for the application of a container load rate. Loose Freight.

LTL- Less Than Truckload Also known as LCL. Is an acronym for Less-Than-Load, meaning cargo that is not of the quantity to require an entire truckload (TL) by itself. Typically, an LTL shipment ranges from 100 lbs to 20,000 lbs.

MPO military post office

Military post office (MPO)- A branch of a U.S. civil post office, operated by the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps to serve military personnel overseas or aboard ships

Minimum Charge- The lowest charge that can be assessed to transport a shipment.

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) - A free trade agreement comprising the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico.

NVOCC- Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier, A company that is a NVOCC does not own the actual ocean vessel. It leases space with the VOCC under contract

OCR/CS optical character reader/channel sorter

OS/D-Overages, shortages and damages report 

Package - includes a letter, parcel, packet or other article transmissible by post.

par avion - (French) International term for airmail

PO post office

POD-Proof of delivery

Postal indicia-Bilingual indicia which show payment and must include:  the Post logo, the product or service type, the permit or customer number, the registration number (where applicable) and the Agreement number (where applicable).

Restricted Articles- Articles handled only under certain conditions.

RMA-Return merchandise authorization

Royal Mail- The Post Office of the United Kingdom

SAD - Single Administrative Document (C88).

SCF sectional center facility

Schedule B Numbers: Numbers used to classify exported products in the United States. The Schedule B system is based on the international HS system and must be provided on the Shippers' Export Declaration or Automated Export System (SED or AES) submission, on which U.S. export statistics are calculated. Schedule B numbers can be an approximate classification for determining duties but may not be exact.

Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) - A form required by the U.S. Treasury Department and completed by a shipper showing the value, weight, consignee, and destination of export shipments as well as the Schedule B identification number.

Small packet-An international package weighing up to 2 kg, usually containing goods

Tariff & Duty: (interchangeable terms): A product-specific tax imposed on imports by the customs authorities of a country.

Tariff number-An international standardized code for each commodity that must be entered on the Bill of Lading, if available.

Taxes: Charges applied in addition to duty.

UAA undeliverable as addressed

UPU Universal Postal Union

Undeliverable mail-Mail that for any cause cannot be delivered to the addressee. This category also includes any mail the delivery of which is prohibited by law or is refused by the addressee. Mail is also considered undeliverable if it does not bear a complete address, the addressee has moved without providing a forwarding address, it is refused by the addressee or the postage due is not paid by the customer, or the addressee, on demand.

Universal Postal Union (UPU) - An international postal organization that is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its 189 member countries form a single postal territory for the reciprocal exchange of letter-post items. Its Convention establishes the common rules applicable to the international postal service and the provisions governing letter-post services

USPS United States Postal Service

United States Postal Service (USPS) - The successor to the Post Office Department, created on July 1, 1971, by the Postal Reorganization Act, as an independent establishment of the executive branch.

USPS Parcel Post - A subclass of Standard Mail with rates based generally on weight and zone

VAT: Value added tax (similar to a sales tax). Generally applied on duty-paid value.

Volumetric weight-The volumetric weight ensures that the postage for lightweight and bulky parcels adequately covers the cost of transportation for the space they occupy.

Xpresspost (Canada)-A service for documents or packages of goods, merchandise or other articles. The envelope or packaging must bear a bar-coded Xpresspost prepaid label (except in the case of prepaid containers). [Xpresspost]

ZIP Code-A United States Postal Service term for their type of postal code. ZIP stands for “Zone Improvement Plan.

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