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.


Fair Trade

A movement for continuously purchasing and consuming agricultural products and other goods made in developing countries at fair prices, in order to promote improvement of quality of life and the independence of producers and workers in those countries, who are in a weaker position under free trade.

Feeder Service

A large container ship transporting small container ships or trucks from major ports of call to local ports.

FIFO (First In, First Out)

In the manufacturing industry, the system to always store new articles in a warehouse by taking out raw materials and products that were stocked first.

Flag Certificate (Ship’s Registry Certificate)

A certificate mentioning the ship’s registry, which is the country of registration of the ship (country name). Issued by a shipping company.

Foreign cargo

The cargo that has already obtained the export authorization or the cargo arrived from abroad, before obtaining the authorization for import.

Foreign Cargo Working

The work involving a foreign cargo in bonded areas such as bonded manufacturing warehouses.

Foreign Exchange

A method of making the settlements for international hiring through bills of exchange or check remittance, without cash transportation. Formerly, there were restrictions to transactions stipulated by law (Foreign Exchange Control Law), however, the foreign exchange has presently become completely free, making various transactions possible.

Foreign Exchange Rate

The exchange rate for each currency. For Japan, a fixed rate exchange of 360 yen for one U.S. dollar was set in 1949, and it was changed to a floating exchange rate system in 1973, the one in use presently. The system varies greatly by country, and the currencies using a perfect floating exchange rate system are limited to some currencies, such as those of the developed countries.

Form A

One of the formats of the Certificate of Origin certifying the origin of a cargo. In order to apply general preferential duties and to import the cargo, it is necessary to submit the original form to customs when making an import declaration. The form must be in accordance with the regulations of the customs or chamber of commerce in the country of origin. Because discrepancies between the shipping documents such as the commercial invoice or bill of lading (B/L) and the content of Form A may cause problems, for example the customs’ refusal to approve preferential duties for import, it is necessary to check the content beforehand.

Formal Objection

According to the provisions regarding The Customs Law of Japan or another taxation law, when there are objections to the dispositions of the Chief Customs Inspector, the objection that can be claimed within two months from the receipt of the disposition. The Chief Customs Inspector who receives the formal objection analyses whether the disposition was correct and notifies the petitioner of the result by sending a transcript of the decision.


The operator who undertakes duties related to international transportation, such as the transportation of international cargo and customs clearance. Without having its own transportation means, it uses ships or planes owned by another party and transports the shipper’s cargo.

Foul B/L (Dirty B/L)

The bill of lading (B/L) issued by the shipping company when abnormalities in the appearance and quantity of goods are recognized when loading the cargo. In contrast, if the cargo is loaded without abnormalities in appearance and in adequate quantity, a clean bill of lading (Clean B/L) is issued. When doing the settlement of the letter of credit (L/C), the negotiating bank accepts undertaking of a clean bill of lading only.

Free Time

See Detention and Demurrage.

FTA (Free Trade Agreement)

An international agreement aiming at the development of free trade transactions by eliminating customs duty and other trade barriers between specific countries and regions. In contrast to this, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is an international agreement that aims at the strengthening of comprehensive relationships by stipulating a wide range of rules regarding not only the trade, but also traveling of human resource, freedom of investment and the protection of intellectual property rights.

Full Endorsement

When the holder of a negotiable instrument, such as a bill of lading (B/L), makes an endorsement in order to transfer the instrument to another party, it makes the endorsement without specifying the endorsee in whose favor the transfer is made.
The fact of endorsing without mentioning the endorsee in whose favor the transfer is made is called a Blank Endorsement.


Sterilizing wooden materials used for packing (pallets, wooden boxes, wooden frames, etc.) with heat and methyl bromide. As evidence that the materials are sterilized after processing, it is necessary to display the approval mark required by international standards or by the importing country.
Regulations regarding the fumigation of wooden packing materials for import are enforced in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Australia, New Zealand, EU member countries, Switzerland, Norway, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Omar, Egypt, Kenia, South Africa, etc.