Common Terms in Customs


Physically and legally transmitting goods from a the boundaries of a country or national territory.


Physically and legally transmitting goods into the boundary of a country or national territory.


Exportation from a customs territory of goods previously imported into that territory

Bonded Storage/Transport 

A method of storing or transporting goods that have either already been exported from an national territory, or have yet to be imported. The warehouse or truck are "international grounds."


The act of lawfully importing goods through a recognised import authority.


Any third party who works on behalf of a contracting party. Most common in customs clearance are "clearing agents" and "forwarding agents."


Cargo that is held up and unable to be imported to a country or territory for whatever reason.


Fees that accrue from cargo behind held pre-customs. Frustrated cargo can greatly increase demurrage fees.


The physical edge when entering or leaving a country or national territory.


The actual physical crossing point of a boundary. 

Port of Entry

Port through which goods are imported.

Import Fees/Duties/Tariffs 

The legally required fees charged by governments to import goods. Each country has vastly different regulations. 


When part or all of the import fees and / or process are exempted for specific goods or organizations, usually in response to extraordinary circumstances. 

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