Export/Import Terms Company Profile

International Chemical Business Terms

Below is a list of export and import related terms to help you navigate the international chemical business. All terms are listed alphabetically.


D/A (Documents against Acceptance)

One of the trade settlement methods. With the condition of making promises to accept payment (Acceptance) on the settlement date (after 30 days, after 90 days or after 180 days), the importer can receive one set of the shipping documents including the original bill of lading (original B/L) sent to the bank from the importing country (the importer’s bank) by the exporter through a bank from the exporting country (the exporter’s bank), making possible the receipt of the cargo (at this point, the fee is not paid). When the settlement date agreed beforehand (after 30 days, after 90 days or after 180 days) comes, the importer must do the settlement at the bank, however unlike the case of a bill with letter of credit (L/C), the bank has no obligation to collect the price. Therefore, this is a settlement method carrying a high risk for the exporter and it is generally used for settlements with importers with a high credit worthiness.

D/O (Delivery Order)

The document issued by the shipping company to the consignee (importer) when importing, by which the consignee can receive the cargo in exchange for the delivery order. Basically, it is issued after presenting the bill of lading (B/L) to the shipping company, however, if the bill of lading has not been delivered to the consignee, submitting the letter of guarantee (L/G) to the shipping company makes possible to receive the delivery order and get the cargo.

D/O Fee (Delivery Order Fee)

The fee the shipping company charges for issuing the delivery order. Usually, the consignee (importer) pays the fee to the shipping company. A consumption tax is levied since 2014.

DAF (Delivered at Frontier)

The seller (exporter) delivers the cargoes that have completed the export customs clearance at a specified border, and the cost and risk generated afterwards will be borne by the buyer.

DDC (Destination Delivery Charge)

Regarding the cargo for the U.S., the surcharge that appears under the name of fees for handling at the container yard of the port of destination. It is called THC (DTHC) in countries other than the U.S. Basically the shipper doesn’t have to pay, however, prior confirmation is necessary especially regarding the U.S.


The extra charges that occur at the import of the cargo, when the container or goods carried from the ship to the container yard (CY) or container-freight station (CFS) are not picked up even after exceeding a fixed free storage period (free time). It is set so that the shipping company can facilitate an early delivery of the container or goods.

Detention (Container Detention Charge)

The detention charge that incurs at the import of goods by container units, after taking out the goods from the loaded container (the container with goods inside) taken from the container yard (CY), when the number of days (free time) allowed for returning an empty container to the container yard or vanpool (VP) specified by the shipping company exceeds the specified number of days. The extra charge per day of delay is set by each shipping company.

Devanning (Stripping, Devan, Unstuffing)

The removal of cargo from a container. Also called unstuffing.


Inconsistencies between the content of the shipping documents submitted by the exporter to the bank and the content of letter of credit (L/C). The letter of credit transaction is a very strict documentary transaction, and because there is a risk of refusing to make the bill payment, even inconsistencies such as minor spelling errors should not be allowed. When discrepancies have occurred, measures such as those listed below are usually taken: (1) request to modify the content of the letter of credit (amendment) to the importer, (2) cable negotiation (see cable negotiation), (3) undertake through L/G Negotiation (see L/G Negotiation), (5) forward the documents to the issuing bank through collection (see Collection).

DOC Fee (Documentation Fee)

The fee the shipping company charges for issuing documents such as the bill of lading (B/L). A consumption tax is levied since 2014.

Dock Receipt (D/R)

The document mentioning the details of the cargo made by the forwarder on behalf of the consignor (shipper) and submitted to the shipping company when carrying the cargo to the shipping company’s container yard (CY) or container-freight station (CFS).
The shipping company prepares the bill of lading (B/L) based on the dock receipt.

Documentary Draft (Documentary Bill)

The document with the shipping documents attached, such as the bill of lading (B/L), on the bill of exchange issued by the exporter. The exporter sends the bill of exchange and the shipping documents to the importer through the exporter’s and importer’s banks. In that case, if the importer doesn’t make the payment of the bill or doesn’t accept the bill (confirm the payment of the bill), it cannot obtain the shipping documents starting with the bill of lading and cannot possess the cargo. By using this arrangement, the exporter is able to reduce the risk that the importer doesn’t make the payment despite having received the cargo. There are cases when a letter of credit (L/C) is included and cases without a letter of credit (L/C), such as the D/P (Document against Payment) and D/A (Document against Acceptance).

Domestic cargo

The cargo before receiving the export authorization or the cargo arrived from abroad after receiving the import authorization.


A term related to a ship: the vertical distance between a ship’s waterline and the lowest point of its hull. It is the depth of the water to which the ship sinks, therefore if the draft is bigger than the water depth the ship will be stranded on the bottom of the sea. If the load increases the draft will be deepened. It changes also according to salt density of seawater and the draft increases due to differences in specific gravity between seawater and fresh water in the vicinity of a river or river mouth.

Draft (Bill of Exchange)

The certificate mentioning that the drawer of the bill entrusts a third party, which is the drawee (payer), with the payment of money to a payee (recipient), a type of bill similar to the promissory note. The abbreviated name is tamete. The obligation to pay is not on the drawer, but on the drawee. Whereas the promissory note is a transactions between two parties, drawer (payer) and drawee (recipient), the bill of exchange is a transaction between the three parties as follows.
A)Drawer: Draws the bill of exchange. The drawer of the bill of exchange is usually the exporter.
In the case of the promissory note, the drawer has the obligation to pay, however in the case of the bill of exchange, the drawer neither pay the bill it nor receive it.
B)Drawee = Payer: Pays the bill. The importer or the importer’s bank.
C)Payee = Recipient: Receives the payment of the bill. The negotiating bank.
In trade settlements, in cases of sending documents via a bank after loading the cargo according to the purchase agreement between the exporter and the importer, instead of sending cash directly, the exporter draws a bill of exchange having the importer or the importer’s bank as the drawee (payer) and the exporter’s bank as the payee (recipient). The conventional bill of exchange consists of a two-sheet set, and the general items mentioned in a bill of exchange with a letter of credit attached are: (1) the bill number, (2) the amount of the bill, (3) the place and date of drawing the bill, (4) the term of the bill (At Sight, etc.), (5) the payee of the bill (negotiating bank), (6) the actual payer (the importer), (7) information regarding the letter of credit (the name of the issuing bank, the number and date of issue of the letter of credit (after “Drawn Under”)), (8) the drawee of the bill (the bank issuing the letter of credit or the importer (after “To”)) and (9) the drawer of the bill (the exporter) and its signature.


In marine transportation, it usually refers to the land transportation of the container filled with goods.

Dry Container

A normal container for marine cargo that is not a special container such as a reefer container or a tank container.

Duty Exemption for Goods for Scientific Research or Education

The system of duty exemption for the import of goods for scientific research in Japan with the goal of promoting the development of education and academics.