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25 Export and Import Terms for Business

25 Export and Import Terms for Business

25 Export and Import Terms for Business



Welcome to our guide on export and import terms for business!

Doing business globally is becoming more and more common in today’s world, especially with the rise of e-commerce. To successfully navigate global trade, it’s important to have a good understanding of key export and import terms. In this guide, we’ll cover 25 essential terms that every business owner should know. So let’s get started!




  1. Trade: The buying and selling of goods and services between companies, countries or individuals.


  1. Export: The act of sending goods or services to another country for sale.


  1. Import: The act of bringing goods or services into a country from another country for purchase.


  1. Tariff: A tax imposed on imported or exported goods by a government in order to protect domestic industries.


  1. Duty: A tax placed on specific goods imported into a country.


  1. Free trade: The policy of allowing for the free flow of goods and services between countries without barriers such as tariffs or quotas.


  1. Quota: A limit set by a government on the quantity of certain goods that can be imported or exported during a specified period of time.


  1. Customs: The government agency responsible for regulating imports and exports, including collecting tariffs and enforcing trade laws.



  1. Exchange rate: The value of one country’s currency in relation to another country’s currency.


  1. International trade: Trade between countries that involves the exchange of goods and services across borders.


  1. Balance of trade: The difference between a country’s exports and imports.


  1. Trade deficit: When a country’s imports exceed its exports, resulting in a negative balance of trade.


  1. Trade surplus: When a country’s exports exceed its imports, resulting in a positive balance of trade.


  1. Embargo: A government-imposed ban on the import or export of certain goods or services to or from a specific country.


  1. Sanctions: Penalties imposed on a country in order to restrict or limit trade due to political or economic reasons.


  1. Certificate of origin: A document that confirms the country where goods were manufactured, and is required for international trade purposes.


  1. Incoterms: International commercial terms used to define responsibilities and costs between buyers and sellers in international trade transactions.


  1. Free on board (FOB): A pricing term that indicates the seller is responsible for all costs, including transportation, until goods are loaded onto a ship at the port of origin.


  1. Cost, insurance and freight (CIF): A pricing term that includes the cost of goods, insurance, and freight to the designated port of arrival.


  1. Ex work (EXW): A pricing term that indicates the buyer is responsible for all costs, including transportation and customs clearance, from the seller’s warehouse or factory.


  1. Bill of lading: A document issued by a carrier that serves as a receipt of goods being shipped and details the terms and conditions of transportation.


  1. Commercial invoice: A document issued by the seller to the buyer that includes a description and value of goods being sold.


  1. Pro forma invoice: A preliminary invoice issued by the seller to the buyer for goods or services before a final transaction is made.



  1. Letter of credit: A document issued by a bank guaranteeing payment to a seller upon presentation of specified documents, often used in international trade transactions.


  1. Trade agreement: A legally binding agreement between two or more countries that outlines the terms and conditions for trade.




As we come to the end of our discussion on export and import terms, it is important to highlight some key takeaways. Doing business internationally can be complex and challenging, but understanding these terms will help you navigate through the process with ease.

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