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.


B/L (Bill of Lading)

The document that the exporter (consignor) receives in exchange of the cargo delivered to the shipping company at the place of loading, a receipt that certifies that the cargo was delivered for transportation to the shipping company. At the place of discharge, the importer (consignee) submits the bill of lading (B/L) received from the exporter to the shipping company and receives the cargo. The bill of lading is a voucher (certificate enabling ownership of the cargo) necessary when the importer receives the cargo from the shipping company, and a valuable paper transferable by endorsement. It also has the quality of a transportation contract that proves the shipping agreement between the owner of the goods and the shipping company.
The content of the Bill of lading (B/L) is written according to the instructions of the exporter, based on the shipping instructions submitted to the shipping company through a customs broker.
The main entries of a bill of lading (B/L) are as follows:
Shipper:Consignor. Usually the exporter.
Consignee:Recipient. The document having mentioned the importer and the bank who issued the L/C is called straight bill of lading, and the document that has mentioned “To Order” or “To Order of Shipper” is called order bill of lading. The exporter must always do the endorsement when sending the order bill of lading to the bank or to the importer.
Notify Party:A party who receives notification of arrival. The party that the shipping company notifies when the cargo has arrived at the place of discharge. If it is the same as the Consignee (recipient) in the straight B/L, “Same as Consignee” may be written on it.
Place of Receipt:The place of receipt. The place where the shipping company receives the cargo from the consignor side. Mentioned as Kobe CY or Yokohama CFS. The shipping company’s range of responsibility for the transportation is from this Place of Receipt to the Place of Delivery.
Vessel Name:The vessel’s name. The voyage number is also indicated.
Port of Loading:The port of loading. The port where the cargo is loaded onto the ship.
Port of Discharge:The port of discharge. The port where the cargo is unloaded from the ship.
Place of Delivery:The place of delivery. The place where the shipping company delivers the cargo to the consignee side. Mentioned as Shanghai CY, New York CFS, etc. The shipping company’s range of responsibility for the transportation is from the Place of Receipt to this Place of Delivery.
Marks & No.:The cargo mark (shipping mark) and the number (NO.1-10, etc.) mentioned on the cargo.
When there is no cargo mark (shipping mark) on the cargo, it will be mentioned as N/M (No Mark), etc.
Container No.:The number of the container to be transported. All of the containers are given different individual numbers that are mentioned outside of the container’s door
Seal No.:The number mentioned on the seal that prevents the container’s door from opening during transportation.
Description: Details of the cargo.
Gross Weight:Gross weight of the cargo. (Including the weight of the packaging containers and pallets.)
Measurement:Capacity of the cargo.
Freight:Mentioned as Freight Prepaid, Freight Collect, etc. When the ocean freight amount is not mentioned, it is mentioned as “Freight as Arranged”, etc.
On Board Date:Mentions the date of loading at the port of loading. Mentioned such as Laden on Board Date Aug. 15, 2014. The date becomes the day of loading.

B/L fee

Charges that have to be paid to the shipping company for issuing the bill of lading (B/L). A consumption tax has been levied from 2014.


A flat-bottomed boat for carrying transported goods from large ships to land. Because it is usually not equipped with an engine and cannot move by itself, it is moved by a tugboat.

Basel Convention

An international treaty was created to regulate the cross-border movement of hazardous waste. Adopted in 1989 at Basel, Switzerland, it took effect in 1992. Japan joined in 1993. On its background there was the 1980’s worsening problem of causing local environmental pollution by moving and dumping hazardous waste from developed countries including European countries to developing countries including African nations.


A facility where the ship comes alongside at the wharf or dock of the harbor.

Berth Congestion

The situation when a number of ships have to wait their turn to enter the port and lay at anchor in the offing because there are too many ships wanting to enter the port at the same time. Attention must be paid to the fact that the scheduled date of the B/L may be postponed due to berth congestion.

Blank 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 by mentioning the endorsee in whose favor the transfer is made is called a full endorsement.
Regarding the B/L on which “To Order” or “To Order of Shipper” is mentioned in the Consignee (recipient) column, the B/L is sent to the bank negotiating the letter of credit (L/C) and to the importer, usually after the consignor (shipper) has made a blank endorsement.

Bonded Manufacturing Warehouse (Bonded Factory, BMW, Customs Warehouse)

A place where a cargo imported from overseas can be stored long-term without passing through the customs clearance (without paying the import duties and the import consumption tax) and which was granted authorization by the head of the customs office for processing and manufacturing operations. This is a system made for the promotion of processing trade, through which the raw materials and intermediate products imported from overseas are processed or manufactured in bonded manufacturing warehouses without paying customs duties, and then such products can be exported overseas. The system is used by makers of petrochemical products, ships, automobiles, steels, fibers, precision instruments, etc.


The owner of the goods makes a reservation with the shipping company and the forwarder for the bottom of the ship (freight space) for the cargo to export, from the port of loading to the port of discharge.


Fuel oil supply for ships, such as heavy oil.