ONLINE BUSINESS DICTIONARY


Your Online Business Dictionary Of Words And Phrases Commonly Used In International Trade

Welcome to your Online Business Dictionary that can help you quickly learn the meaning for some of the words and phrases frequently used in international trade and commerce.  The terms in this online business dictionary may easily be located by simply clicking on the first letter 'links' located at the top and bottom of the two column glossary.

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Term Definition
U     
Ultimate Consignee The person who is the true party in interest, receiving goods for the designated end use.
UN/Edifact United Nations Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport: A United Nations approved Electronic Data Interchange standard.
Unconfirmed Letter Of Credit A type of letter of credit bearing the obligation of the issuing bank only, not of any other bank.
Unconscionable Unreasonable; outrageous. Courts in many countries may refuse to enforce contracts which they deem to be unconscionable.
Underdeveloped Country A nation which, comparative to others, lacks industrialization, infrastructure, developed agriculture, and developed natural resources, and suffers from a low per capita income as a result.
Unfair Trade Practice Unusual government support to firms, ranging from export subsidies to anti- competitive practices by the firms themselves, such as dumping, boycotts or discriminatory shipping arrangements, that result in competitive advantages in international trade for the benefiting firms.
Uniform Commercial Code (USA) A law governing commercial transactions (sales of goods, commercial paper, bank deposits and collections, letter of credits, bulk transfers, warehouse receipts, bills of lading, investment securities, and secured transactions) adopted by all states in the US except Louisiana.
Unit Load Various cargo carrying devices, or sizes of containers, which carry several smaller shipping packages, including the banding together of a number of individual packages on a pallet to create a single unit.
Unit Load Device Term commonly used when referring to containers and pallets and similar devices which consolidate packages of freight for mechanical handling.
United Nations Conference On Trade And Development A part of the UN General Assembly which promotes international trade and seeks to increase trade between developing countries and countries with different social and economic systems.
United Nations Industrial Development Organization Established in 1967, under the UN Secretariat, UNIDO serves as a specialized agency to foster industrial development in lesser developed countries through offering technical assistance in the form of expert services, supplying equipment and/or training.
United States And Foreign Commercial Service United States And Foreign Commercial Service An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that helps U.S. firms be more competitive in the global marketplace.
United States Code (USC) A set of volumes containing the official compilation of U.S. law. are also local offices of the U.S. Government Printing Office in major U.S. cities.
United States Customs Service (USCS) U.S. governmental agency whose primary duties include the assessment and collection of all duties, taxes and fees on imported merchandise, and the enforcement of customs and related laws and treaties.
United States Department Of Agriculture An executive department which serves as the principal adviser to the president on agricultural policy. which works to improve and maintain farm income, implement nutrition programs and develop and expand markets abroad for U.S. agricultural products. It is also charged with inspecting and grading food products for safe consumption.
United States Department Of Commerce (DOC) An executive department which encourages and promotes the United States' economic growth, international trade, and technological advancement.
United States Department Of Defense A civilian executive department providing the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the U.S.
United States Department Of Energy (DOE) An executive department created in 1977 to consolidate all major Federal energy functions into one department. The principal programmatic missions are energy programs, weapons and waste clean-up programs, and science and technology programs.
United States Department Of Labor (DOL) An executive department which promotes and develops the welfare of U.S. wage earners, improves working conditions, and advances opportunities for profitable employment. The DOL keeps track of changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measures.
United States Department Of State An executive department which directs U.S. foreign relations and negotiates treaties and agreements with foreign nations. Activities of the State Department are coordinated with foreign activities of other U.S. departments and agencies.
United States Department Of The Interior (DOI) An executive department that has responsibility for most U.S. federal government owned public lands and natural resources; the principal U.S. conservation agency. The office of Territorial and International Affairs oversees activities pertaining to U.S. territorial lands and the Freely Associated States and coordinates the international affairs of the Department.
United States Department Of The Treasury An executive department which performs four basic functions: formulating and recommending economic, financial, tax and fiscal policies; serving as financial agent for the U.S. government; enforcing the law; and, manufacturing coins and currency.
United States Department Of Transportation (DOT) An executive department of the U.S. government which is responsible for the development of national transportation policies.
United States Information Agency (USIA) Responsible for the U.S. government overseas information and cultural programs, including Voice of America. Conducts a wide variety of communication activities-academic and cultural exchanges to press, radio, television and library programs abroad in order to strengthen foreign understanding of American society, obtain greater support of U.S. policies, and increase understanding between the U.S. and other countries.
United States International Trade Commission An independent fact-finding agency of the U.S. government that studies the effects of tariffs and other restraints to trade on the U.S. economy. It conducts public hearings to assist in determining whether particular U.S. industries are injured or threatened with injury by dumping, export subsidies in other countries, or rapidly rising imports.
United States Price (USA) In the context of investigations regarding dumping, this term refers to the price at which goods are sold to the U.S. compared to the sale price in the home market or in 3rd countries. The comparisons are used in the process of determining whether the imported merchandise is sold to the United States at less than fair value.
United States Trade And Development Agency The U.S. Trade and Development Agency assists in the creation of jobs for Americans by helping U.S. companies pursue overseas business opportunities. Through the funding of feasibility studies, orientation visits, specialized training grants, business workshops, and various forms of technical assistance, we help American businesses compete for infrastructure and industrial projects in middle-income and developing countries.
United States Trade Representative A cabinet-level official with the rank of Ambassador who is the principal adviser to the President on international trade policy, and has responsibility for setting and administering overall trade policy. The U.S. Trade Representative is concerned with the expansion of U.S. exports.
United States Travel And Tourism Administration An organization within the Department of Commerce which: stimulates demand internationally for travel to the United States, coordinates marketing projects and programs with U.S. and international travel interests, encourages and facilitates promotion in international travel markets by U.S. travel industry principals, works to increase the number of new-to-market travel businesses participating in the export market, generates cooperative marketing opportunities for private industry and regional and local governments, researches and provides timely and pertinent data, carries on training programs in international marketing for U.S. professionals, and works to remove government imposed travel barriers.
United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement The provisions of the US/Canada Free Trade Agreement were adopted by the US with the enactment of the FTA Implementation Act of 1988. The FTA reduced tariffs on imported merchandise between Canada and the U.S. and opened up new areas of trade in investment. It was followed by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which also includes Mexico.
Unitization The practice or technique of consolidating many small pieces of freight into a single unit for easier handling.
Universal Copyright Convention An international agreement that affords copyright protection to literary and artistic works in all countries that voluntarily agree to be bound by the Convention terms.
Unloading 1. The physical removal of cargo from a vessel, a truck, an airplane, a railroad car.

2. The physical removal of cargo from a container; also called devanning.
Unrestricted Letter Of Credit A letter of credit which may be negotiated through any bank of the beneficiary's choice.
Uruguay Round The eighth round of multilateral trade negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The Uruguay Round (so named because meetings began in Punta de Este, Uruguay in 1987) concluded in December, 1993 after seven years of talks between 117 member nations. From these negotiations the World Trade Organization came into being.
Usance The common period fixed for payment by usage, custom, or habit of dealings between the country where a bill of exchange is drawn and that where it is payable. It varies according to the countries involved.
Users Fee (USA) Assessments collected by the U.S. Customs Service to help defray various costs to Customs involved in the handling of shipments.
V     
Validity 1. Validity - Legal sufficiency. Mere regularity in the execution of documents may not be enough for "legal sufficiency."

2. The time period for which a letter of credit is valid.
Valuation The act of ascertaining the worth of a thing. The estimated worth of a thing.
Valuation Charges Transportation charges assessed shippers who declare for carriage a value of goods higher than the carriers' limits of liability. They may be in lieu of or in addition to regular freight charges.
Value Added The amount by which the value of an article is increased at each stage of its production, exclusive of initial costs.
Value Added Tax An indirect tax on consumption that is assessed on the increased value of goods at each discrete point in the chain of production and distribution, from the raw material stage to final consumption. The tax on processors or merchants is levied on the amount by which they increase the value of items they purchase and resell.
Vendor A company or individual that sells goods or services. A merchant, a retail dealer; a supplier; one who buys to sell.
Vessel Ton A unit of measurement of vessels which provides that 100 cubic feet of vessel volume equals one ton.
Visa A stamp, seal or endorsement on a document validating it for a particular use such as on a passport admitting the holder to a country, or on a license issued by the government of an exporting country for the export to a specific importing country of a certain quantity of a quota controlled commodity subject to a voluntary export restriction or a voluntary restraint agreement.
Volume Rate A freight rate assessed in connection with a specified volume of freight based upon the premise that it will be substantial in total over a period of time. It is generally a lower rate than normally assessed for smaller lots of cargo.
Voluntary Export Restriction An understanding between trading partners in which the exporting nation, in order to reduce trade friction, agrees to limit exports of a particular good to the other partner.
Voluntary Restraint Agreements Informal bilateral or multilateral arrangements through which the exporting nations voluntarily restrain certain exports, usually through export quotas, to avoid economic dislocation in an importing country and to avert the possible imposition of mandatory import restrictions by the importing country.
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