Jargon Buster

Ad Valorem

This is a Latin term meaning “according to the value”. All duties and taxes are calculated on the basis of value, so you may see this used quite often.

ATA Carnet

The ATA Carnet is an international Customs document. Issued under the terms of the ATA Convention and the Istanbul Convention, it incorporates an internationally valid guarantee.

The carnet can be used in place of national Customs documents and as security for import duties and taxes. This covers the temporary admission of goods and the transit of goods.

The ATA Carnet can also be accepted to control the temporary export and re-importation of goods. However, in this case, the international guarantee does not apply.

Bonded Goods

These are goods stored in a secure warehouse. While they remain there, they are not liable for any payment of import duty. That is, until the duty is paid or the goods
are exported or legally dealt with.

Booking a collection

Placing a request for a DHL courier to pick up your parcel


Often refers to customs brokerage, where a third party is used for the clearance of inbound or outbound shipments.

Cargo Manifest

A Cargo Manifest lists the goods carried in a means of transport or in a transport-unit. The manifest gives the commercial details of the goods, such as:

  • transport document numbers
  • consignors and consignees
  • marks and numbers
  • number and kind of packages
  • descriptions and quantities of goods

It may be used in place of the Cargo declaration.

Certificate of Origin

This is a specific document that expressly certifies that the goods to which the certificate relates, originate in a specific country. This Certificate may also include a
declaration by the manufacturer, producer, supplier, exporter or other competent person.

CFR Cost and Freight

The seller must pay the costs and freight required in bringing the goods to the named port of destination. The risk of loss or damage is transferred from seller to buyer
when the goods pass over the ship’s rail in the port of shipment. The seller is required to clear the goods for export.


An abbreviation used in some international sales contracts, when the selling price includes all “Costs, Insurance and Freight” for the goods sold. This means that the seller
arranges and pays for all relevant expenses involved in shipping goods – from their point of export to a given point of import. In trade statistics, “CIF value” means that
all figures for imports or exports are calculated on this basis, regardless of the nature of individual transactions.

CIP Carriage & Insurance Paid to

The seller has the same obligations as under CPT but has the responsibility of obtaining insurance against the buyer’s risk of loss or damage of goods during the carriage.
The seller is required to clear the goods for export however is only required to obtain insurance on minimum coverage. This term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.


Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Consular InvoiceThis is a detailed statement of goods shipped, certified by the consulate of a country. It is required by certain foreign governments that want a tighter
control over imports.

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice must be used when the goods shipped reflect a commercial transaction (i.e. the goods have been purchased by the receiver), and are for permanent export.
The invoice must be in English unless otherwise stated by the destination country. A commercial invoice is not required for goods shipped within the EU.

CPT Carriage Paid To

The seller pays the freight for the carriage of goods to the named destination. The risk of loss or damage to the goods occurring after the delivery has been made to the
carrier is transferred from the seller to the buyer. This term requires the seller to clear the goods for export.

Custom Declaration

Any statement or action, in any form prescribed or accepted by Customs, giving information or particulars required by Customs.

Customs Duties

A customs duty is a charge imposed by the custom authorities in the country you are sending to. The receiver is responsible for paying any duties and taxes that may apply.

Customs paperwork

The paperwork that is sent with the parcel, detailing its contents and the value. This allows customs to work out if any duties apply.

DAP Delivered At Place

The seller bears the responsibility and risks to deliver the goods to a named place. The goods are deemed to be delivered when they are placed at the disposal of the
buyer on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination. Parties are advised to specify as clearly as possible the point within
the agreed place of destination, because risks transfer at this point from seller to buyer.

The seller is required to clear the goods for export and the importer is responsible for effecting customs clearance, and paying any customs duties.

DAT Delivered At Terminal

The seller is responsible for the costs and risks to bring the goods to the point specified in the contract. The seller delivers when the goods, once unloaded from the
arriving means of transport, are placed at the disposal of the buyer at a named terminal at the named port or place of destination. “Terminal” includes quay, warehouse,
container yard or road, rail or air terminal. Both parties should agree the terminal and if possible a point within the terminal at which point the risks will transfer
from the seller to the buyer of the goods. The seller is responsible for the export clearance procedures and the importer is responsible for clearing the goods for import,
arranging import customs formalities, and paying import duty.

DDP Delivered Duty Paid

The seller is responsible for delivering the goods to the named place in the country of importation, including all costs and risks in bringing the goods to import
destination. This includes duties, taxes and customs formalities.

De Minimis

This is a Latin term and is a shortened version of the expression “de minimis non curat lex” meaning “the law does not care about very small matters”. It is often considered
more efficient to waive very small amounts of duties and taxes rather than collect them.

Description of Contents

A description of the items in your parcel.

DHL Security Inspection

All parcels being sent by non DHL account holders / cash customers must be left open for inspection by the courier to ensure they contain no prohibited items.

Document shipment

A parcel that contains only document items e.g. business correspondence such as contracts.

Economic Operator Registration Identification

If you need to interact with the customs authorities, you will need an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. Irish EORI numbers are pre-fixed with
IE and in the vast majority of EORI numbers will be equivalent to the trader’s VAT number.


Electronic Data Interchange – the electronic transmission of data.


Sending a parcel outside the Republic of Ireland

EXW Ex Works

The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller’s premises to the desired destination. The seller’s obligation is to make the goods
available at his premises (works, factory, and warehouse). This term represents the minimum obligation for the seller.

FAS Free Alongside Ship

The seller has fulfilled his obligation when goods have been placed alongside the vessel at the port of shipment.

The buyer is responsible for all costs and risks of loss or damage to the goods from that moment. The buyer is also required to clear the goods for export.

FCA Free Carrier

The seller’s obligation is to hand over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If no precise point
is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose within the place or range stipulated where the carrier shall take the goods into his charge. When the seller’s assistance
is required in making the contract with the carrier the seller may act at the buyers risk and expense.

FOB Free On Board

Once the goods have passed over the ship’s rail at the port of export the buyer is responsible for all costs and risks of loss or damage to the goods from that point.
The seller is required to clear the goods for export.

Free Zone

An area within a country (a seaport, airport, warehouse or any designated area) regarded as being outside its customs territory. Importers may therefore bring goods of
foreign origin into such areas without paying customs duties and taxes. This is always pending eventual processing, trans-shipment or re-exportation. Free zones were once numerous and prosperous when tariffs were higher many years ago. Some still exist in capital cities, transport junctions and major seaports, but their number and prominence have declined as tariffs have fallen in recent years. Free zones may also be known as “free ports”, “free warehouses”, “free trade zones” and “foreign trade zones”.


The contents of your parcel.

Harmonised System

The international system published by the World Customs Organisation that sets out in a systemised form the goods handled in international trade. Goods are grouped in Sections,
Chapters and sub-Chapters that are governed by rules.


Importing goods into the Republic of Ireland.


The recognized abbreviation for the International Commercial Terms of Sale. These terms were last amended in the year 2010.

Landed Cost

The cost of the imported goods at the port or point of entry into a country, including the cost of freight, insurance and port and dock charges. All charges occurring after
the goods leave the import point are not included.

Non-Document shipment

A parcel that contains items other than documents e.g. gifts, mobile phones, cameras.

Phytosanitary Certificate

A certificate issued by a Government agency (usually Agriculture) to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries. The certificate indicates that a shipment has been
inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases.

Preference (or Preferential) Duty

A lower duty rate based on the value of the goods and dependent on the country of origin.

Pro-forma Invoice

An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value and specifications
(weight, size, etc.). A pro-forma invoice, is used for items like gifts, samples or items not for re-sale.

Prohibited items

Items that cannot be sent via DHL e.g antiques, human remains.

Sending a domestic shipment

Sending a parcel within the Republic of Ireland

Sending an international shipment

Sending a parcel outside the Republic of Ireland


Sending your parcel


Parcel, or several parcels being sent together

Shipment contents

The items in your parcel.

Tariff guide

A tariff guide outlines the services available and the prices associated with the available services.


Being able to see the whereabouts of your parcel from collection to delivery

Transit Times

The number of working days it takes for your parcel to be delivered.


United Nations EDI For Administration, Commerce and Transport.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Standards are developed and supported by the UN for electronic message (data) interchange on an international level.

Volumetric Weight

The cost of a shipment can be affected by the amount of space that it occupies on an aircraft, rather than the actual weight. This is the volumetric (or dimensional) weight.
To calculate the volumetric weight simply multiply the length by width by height and divide by 5000.


Label for your parcel.

Waybill number

The number to track your parcel that can be found at the top of the label.