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legal references

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glossary - alphabetical index



dispatch office
official journal of the european union

accounting period
the accounting period is a legally determined period (e.g. a month) for a special pro-cedure.

accompanying document
document for the identification of a delivery

general german carrier conditions

administrative document
official form which is equal in all eu member states. it consists of 56 arrays in which the information relevant for customs clearance is registered in coded form.

airport of entry
this term refers to an international airport at which all customs formalities of arriving passengers and goods can be managed.

aluid goods
incorrectly declared goods which are considered to have committed tax fraud.

generalised system of preferences for developing countries

actual time of departure

atlas is a data processing technique of the german customs office administration which replaces written customs declarations and administration cards.

available to promise
goods are available to promise if the buyer is promised an obligatory date of delivery.

in trading traffic this term refers to the announcement of a delivery. in payment traffic it refers to the advance notice of payment.

advance notice of incoming goods

authorised consignee
a person who has been authorised to receive goods under a transit procedure at his premises or at any other specific place, without presenting them and the transit dec-laration at the office of destination.

authorised consignor
a person who has been authorised to carry out transit operations without presenting the goods and the transit declaration at the office of departure.

av/r goods
designation of compensating products during the drawback procedure which is sig-nalised by a notation on the customs documents

av/s goods
designation of compensating products placed under suspensive arrangements which is signalised by a notation on the customs documents


external trade act

foreign trade law

external trade regulation



federal office of economic and export control located at: frankfurter straße 29-35, 65760 eschborn

backlog of goods at the airport of departure. frequently occurs in seasonal peaks.

standardised, swimming large containers

basic material
chemicals which can be misused for the production of narcotics. the basic material therefore underlies special controls and monitoring mechanisms.

bill of lading
a certificate for a concluded contract of affreightment as well as a document of title to goods and a receiving paper (also known as konossement)

bimodal traffic
the usage of two different vehicle systems during one transport (e.g. road and rail-road).

identification number of the parties concerned – electronic signature

blind storage
stored goods are treated neutrally at the entry and will be identified exactly at a later date.

block store
units are stored on top of each other or one behind the other. direct access is not possible

federal ministry of finance

bonded warehouse
free warehouse for duty unpaid goods

guarantee that duty is paid in the us

break bulk point
junction where large deliveries are separated into smaller units and are sent on

bunker surcharge
takes the variation of diesel prices into account

federal association of logistics e. v. – consists of more than 6000 members from all management levels of industry, trade, service and science.



cash against delivery
clause which regulates the payment against the delivery of certain documents

cargo aircraft only
designation of hazardous material which is only allowed to be loaded on cargo aircraft

carnet ata
customs document for temporary admission

a merchant who professionally overtakes the task to provide freight shipments for the account of a third party on his own behalf.

carnet tir
shipping document which facilitates the road transport

ce designation
signalises that a good is produced in compliance with the product safety require-ments of germany and the european community. ce stands for communauté eu-ropeéne which means european community.

certificate of origin
certifies a good’s origin. in some cases the certificate of origin can lead to the asser-tion of special tariffs.

is assigned in the import of vehicles if they have been tariffed regularly.

competent customs office
the premises of the customs office or the dispatch office intended to carry out cus-toms clearances.

compound duty
a combination of specific and ad valorem duty

compensating products
products resulting from processing under the inward or outward procedure
verfahren zur zollrückvergütung

community products
this term mainly refers to goods which,
-    are won or produced entirely  within the customs territory of the community
-    are won or produced outside the customs territory and are regularly introduced into free circulation of customs

cost, insurance, freight

container freight station
container freight station for loading and unloading lcl load.

transport document for agreements on international road and goods traffic

cash on delivery

code number
11- digit number which serves the encryption of goods. this number determines the traffic-rate and the approval requirements of goods.

completely knocked down
complete decomposition of a device and subsequent assembly in the target country. the reasons for this are high import duties on entire vehicles or the non-existence of markets for the import of entire devices.

commercial measures
non-tariff measures established in the framework of the common commercial policy, such as import and export surveillance, quantitative import and export restrictions or export and import prohibitions.

contracted agreement to serve the same area between legally independent shipping lines

customs entry
 zolldeklaration (= offizielle angabe über den inhalt von etwas).

customs office of account
the customs office of account is the customs office where the additional customs declarations for a facilitated procedure of transit have to be handed in.

customs account
an account legalised by the principle customs office from which a person’s debts have to be paid to the federal treasury of trier on a regulated date.

customs offence
act with which a person deceives or attempts to deceive the customs. customs of-fence is the official term for ‚smuggling’

government body which guarantees the collection of customs (taxes which are ap-plied during the import of goods from countries not belonging to the european un-ion).

customs declaration
document with which a person declares that a good shall be transferred into a certain customs procedure.

customs result
written documentation of the results from the check of the customs declaration.

customs territory of the community
limited geographic area in which the customs legislation of a community is applied consistently.

customs investigation service
consists of all customs offices and the customs criminal investigation office.

conversion of bonded goods
refers to the approval of goods from abroad for further use in the inland

customs commissionership
office for monitoring the goods traffic outside the external borders of the european community

customs investigation office
central department of the german customs investigation service located in cologne

customs warehousing procedure
customs procedure under which imported goods are stored under customs control in a designated place without payment of import duties and taxes.

customs number
centrally assigned identification number for applicants which either take part in pro-cedures with data processing support or in certain approval procedures and / or and in customs declarations regularly.

customs status
goods which are in the customs territory of the european community either have the status of a community good or of a non-community good. the status determines the customs treatment.

customs debt
liability of customs applicants to customs administration

customs debtor
person who is bound to pay import duties

customs tariff number
designates goods for customs purposes. this number has to be reported to customs for each import business.

customs procedures
there are:
-    realease for free circulation
-    transit
-    customs warehousing*
-    inward processing*
-    processing under customs control*
-    temporary importation*
-    outward processing*
-    exportation
* customs procedures with economic impact



liability of a person to an authority. the liability binds to pay a defined amount of taxes (personalised liability)

any natural or legal person who makes a customs declaration or in whose name such a declaration is made.

deferred payment
accommodation for payment in which import duties are not already paid during cus-toms procedure. payment will be made at a later time according to which postpone-ment is granted

has to be paid if the agreed storing time is exceeded

person who is integrated into the customs warehousing via customs declaration

fee for the delayed return of containers

dispatch note t1
t1 refers to a customs document which is needed to transport a bonded good from one customs office to another. the t1 dispatch note has a validity of 8 days.

dual use goods
goods which can be used for civil as well as for military reasons

export for underprices



european free trade association. members are island, liechtenstein, norway and switzerland.

european community

equivalent compensation
the equivalent compensation is a term from the inward processing. it refers to a sys-tem allowing under certain customs procedures the exportation or importation of goods identical in type, description, quality and technical characteristics to those previously imported or exported. the equivalent compensation stands in contrast to the principle of identity.

estimated time of arrival

estimated time of sailing / estimated time of delivery

form which is applied in international commercial imports

import turnover tax. tax which is charged for the import of goods from third countries into the federal republic of germany

european economic area

export permit
is needed in the export of goods which are subject to control (e.g. weapons).

export certificate
a customs document issued in the export into third countries. it serves as a proof for the exemption from vat.

exchange of barges
two transporting vehicles exchange their goods on half of each vehicles way.



fcl / fcl
container from one consignor to one consignee (full container load)

fcl / lcl
one consignor but several consignees of one container. the container is unloaded at the cfs at the port of destination

a forgery is a counterfeit. the forger designates an object with a brand to deceive about its origin and quality.

vehicles which deliver goods to seagoing vessels and aircrafts

federation of freight forwarders associations

fifo principle
fifo is an acronym for first in, first out, an abstraction in ways of organizing and manipulation of goods relative to time and priorisation. this expression describes the principle of a queue processing technique or servicing conflicting demands by ordering process by first-come, first-served (fcfs) behaviour: what comes in first is handled first, what comes in next waits until the first is finished.

foc: free of charge  kostenfrei

freight documents
documents providing the particulars required by the customs concerning cargo / freight carried by commercial means of transport.

freight prepaid
consignor or consignee pays the freight beforehand

freight collect
consignor or consignee pays the freight when the goods are received

freight village
centre of logistics in which goods are collected, handled and redistributed

free circulation
goods which were imported from a third country with regular paid duty are in free circulation.



g7 staates
union of the leading industrialised nations (france, italy, japan, canada, usa, united kingdom, germany)

general agreement on tariffs and trade

grid system
symbolises the existence of direct relations between several locations

all movable commercial goods

global sourcing
this term refers to a procurement strategy during which it is attempted to use interna-tional sources on the world market.

dangerous goods regulation on transport on road

gross weight
the good’s gross weight including the package

supervision act for the trade with basic material



main customs office



international air transport association located in montreal

international freight station

chamber of industry and commerce

interim storage
refers to a temporary storage for the temporal bridging of two consecutive processing steps

inland port
a junction of transport located at a waterway. it connects inland navigation with rail-road and road.

inland market
the european inland market is the economic area of the european member states without internal borders

internal customs office
customs office in the inland

in bond
duty unpaid goods under seal

intermodal transport
this term refers to the usage of several transport systems for one delivery

survey system for the detection of all actual goods traffics between the member states of the european union. this system provides an overview over the goods traf-fic for each country inside the eu.

inward processing
a procedure allowing the import of goods for the purposes of processing and re-exporting them.

international code for the transport of hazardous goods on sea going vessels

international maritime organisation

in the narrower sense the term refers to the introduction of non-community goods into the customs territory of the community.

imperfect customs declaration
a customs declaration which does not contain all required information or in which documents are missing.

import duties
duties according to customs code:
-    duties having an equivalent effect ( e.g. anti-dumping duties)
-    duties according to the collective agricultural policy or to special regulations which apply to certain agricultural products
duties according to customs administration law:
-    duties regulated in customs code
-    import-turnover tax
-    excise duties

imported goods
goods which are overtaken into free circulation under customs law either by a sus-pensive arrangement or via inward processing (process of drawback)

international regulations for the interpretation of customary contracts

internet customs declaration





control during export: dv-procedure

small packages – duty free allowances – regulation

smallest packing unit of a delivery



letter of credit

letter of credit
a letter of credit is a written commitment between the parties concerned. the importer pays money to his bank and informs the employees which documents have to be handed in by the exporter in order to receive the money. credit operations today mostly take place in overseas trade.

several senders but one recipient per container

general cargo parties in (consolidated) container traffic

local clearance procedure
the local clearance procedure is a facilitating procedure fort he handing in of the customs declaration. the presentation takes place in the business rooms or at another place which is authorised by the customs office. the declarant can transfer the goods self-reliantly into a customs procedure via entering them in the corporate bookkeeping. 



international it processes for combating drugs smuggling in maritime-traffic

measured goods
voluminous goods for whose assessment the measurement counts instead of their effective weight.

movement reference number



north american free trade area. members are: usa, canada, and mexico

non-community goods
all goods which are not considered to be community goods

customs paying procedure which is it-supported



overland transportation
refers to all physical movements of goods in which the goods are transported on the land route

obsolete stock
stock which can no longer be used

outward processing
a customs procedure allowing the export of community goods for processing abroad and re-import of the processed products under total or partial duty relief if the prod-ucts contain goods from the customs territory of the community.

serves to determine whether non-community goods have been imported and pre-sented in due form.

bonded warehouse



additional load

designation for hazardous material which can also be loaded onto passenger aircraft

public warehouse
accessible for everybody (types a, b, f)

place of introduction
place where non-community goods are integrated into the customs territory of the community.

processing under customs control
in this process goods undergo processing leading to an earlier stage of manufacture and therefore to a lower tax load (e.g. usable in recycling).

principle of identity
term used in inward processing and processing under customs control. it determines that products used in inward processing and processing under customs control have to be identical with the imported goods. the principle of equivalence which is only applicable in inward processing stands in contrast to this principle.

the customs office’s permission to use a customs procedure with economic impact

infringement of an industrial property right. the plagiarist consciously violates copy-rights by claiming the ideas of others to be his own.

protective duty
charge which is applied onto the import of foreign products in order to protect na-tional products

procedure of drawback
procedure which takes place in the inward processing procedure under which the import duties are paid at release for free circulation and refunded when the proc-essed products or the goods in an unaltered state are re-exported.

provement of delivery

person who places goods under the transit procedure. even where this is done by an authorised representative this person has all obligations of the procedure.

procurement conditions
this term refers to payment and delivery conditions, the agreed price and place of transfer of risk

special tariffs, reduction of customs duty

information that a good is located physically at a customs office.

private warehouses
warehouses which are only accessible for the warehouse keeper (types c, d, e)

the spread of nuclear, biologic and chemical weapons and their carrier systems





railroad bill of loading
document for freight transport via railroad

goods are re-exported in an unaltered condition, duty unpaid

recovery of duties
supplemental claim of taxes

repayment of taxes already paid

regional freight carrier
person who bundles the deliveries of several suppliers within a limited area and de-livers them to one certain consignee.

the reconstruction of outworn or defective goods and the improvement of incorrectly produced goods including the exchange of parts during inward or outward process-ing.

council of customs cooperation (predecessor organisation of the wco)



single administrative document

standardised software which images, integrates and connects all functional areas of business including accountancy, erp-system and payroll accounting.

security surcharge
applied by airlines per kg

suspension system
collective name for certain customs procedures in which non-community goods are introduced (e.g. transit, customs warehousing, processing under customs control and temporary importation). at the introduction of goods into a suspension system no import duties are applied. in inward processing there is suspension system as well as drawback system.

semi knocked down
production method in which, due to special tariffs, assembly kits and part modules are exported instead of entire machines or vehicles. this method provides a circum-vention of greater tariff rates for finished devices. the devices can be finished in the importing country.

single authorisation
an authorisation which is granted by the customs administration of a member state and can be occupied in several member states of the european community. single authorisations can be granted for all customs procedures with economic impact ( inward and outward processing, processing under customs control, customs warehousing, temporary importation), for the transfer of goods into free traffic for special usage and for facilitated procedures for the transfer of goods into free traffic of customs administration( vav, asv ).

simplified procedures
imperfect customs declaration
simplified declaration
clearance procedure

federal statistical office

summary declaration = listing of presented goods



transit declaration for duty unpaid goods which do not originate from the customs territory of the european community

transit procedure
goods are transported under abandonment of the actually accruing duties

serves to determine the air cargo tariff

integrated tariff of the european union

term referring to the weight of a good’s package. according to customs law this in-cludes the weight of all wrappers.

tariff rate
determines the amount of taxes:
-    specific duty
-    ad valorem duty
-    compound duty (specific + ad valorem duty)

tax ancillary services
default fines, interests, late payment fines, other fines and costs

temporary storage
refers to the time space between a good’s presentation and the receipt of a customs approved treatment.

temporary importation
serves the temporary import of non-community goods. these are partly or entirely exempted from import duty because they do not belong to the economic cycle.

terms of delivery
refers to that part of the transportation service contract between consignor and con-signee which determines who takes the costs of the transport. furthermore it con-tains the agreed place of performance.

terminal handling charges, charges of shipping companies for the handling of goods.

third country
all areas which do not belong to the customs territory of the community

three letter code
each airport has a signature which consists of three letters (e.g. fra=frankfurt, main; cgn=cologne, vie=vienna)

refers to the transfer of physical goods through a territory which are not taken into free circulation, meaning which are not dispatched by customs.

types of warehouses
public warehouses (types a, b, f) – private warehouses (types c,d,e) 



unit load device

uid number
uid is an acronym for vat identification number (umsatzsteuer-identifikationsnummer). referring to the uid, the acceptor declares that he is subject to turnover tax in another member state. the selling company can therefore demand exemption from tax.



value added tax

a defined amount or percentage of the compensating products gained through in-ward or outward processing.

visegrád states
hungary, poland, slovak republic, czech republic (until their introduction into the european community in 01.05.2004).



warehouse keeper
the person who has the permission to lead a warehouse. this person has to live in the european community.

waiver on a tax claim which has not been paid already

world trade organisation

erp system







customs office

customs regulation from 23.12.1993