Import – Export Manual – Customs Glossary
Customs Glossary, Manual with Customs terminology
AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) : these operators ask the competent customs authority to assess their degree of reliability in the sector of the logistics chain in which they operate. Following to an audit, they may be granted the AEO status. AEO Certificate and AEO status bring advantages in customs procedures. Legal references: EC Regulation 648/2005 and EC Regulation 1875/2006.
Air waybill: A document of transport which is made out in all its parts by the airline (carrier) in accordance with the instructions of the shipper.
ATA Carnet (Admission Temporaire – Temporary Admission) : this document facilitates the movement of goods through the simplification of customs formalities and the reduction of costs for the operators. The procedure is implemented by replacing standard customs documentation with the ATA Carnet. The Initials “ATA” are an acronym of the French and English words “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission”.
ATR: ATR is a certificate used in the trade between the European Union and Turkey which is issued by customs authorities. It certifies the so-called free movement of goods. It must not be confused with the certificate of preferential origin.
Basic products: products to be exported before being processed to become processed products or goods; goods to be exported which have been processed are also classified as basic products.
Bill of lading (B/L) : document of transport by sea which executes the contract of carriage by sea. It is issued by the carrier to the shipper when boarding the ship.
CAD (Centro Assistenza Doganale) : in Italy, CADs are centres offering assistance to businesses as concerns customs procedures. In other countries (both EU and non-EU), customs authorities may have similar centres either they be traditional offices or online websites.
Carriage (contract of) : contract through which a party, named carrier, undertakes to carry some goods from an appointed place to another, for consideration, within an agreed period of time. The carrier performs the carriage on behalf of a person (the sender) and undertakes to deliver the goods to a third person (the recipient).
Caution money: form of guarantee to be given to the relevant customs office for customs operations under duty-suspensive procedures and/or procedures with economic impact. The amount of caution money must be equal to the value of the duties that would be levied on the goods for permanent operations.
Certificate of analysis: certificate issued by one of the chemical laboratories of the customs, following to the taking of a sample in the measure of six times on the goods to be exported or imported. The taking of a sample is carried out by the competent customs.
CIM (Convention Internationale Marchandise) : convention of international public law governing rail transport among various states. The states who have signed the convention have undertaken to enforce the clauses of the convention in their territory via a specific act of ratification.
CIM Consignment note : document for rail transport to be filled out in case of shipping by rail.
CMR Consignment note: standard document that governs the contract of carriage of goods by road signed in compliance with the “Convention relative au contrat de trasport international de marchandises par route” (Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road).
CMR (consignment note): international consignment note concerning the carriage of goods by road; CMR stands for “Convention relative au contrat de transport international de Marchandises par Route”
Combined Nomenclature (CN): 8-digit nomenclature of goods that includes about 9,500 entries with the relevant rates of duty. CN is the starting point for the determination of the 12-digit TARIC.
Combined transport: Transport carried out via different kinds of carriers.
Community Customs Code (CC) EEC Regulation 2913/92, new CC EC Regulation 450/08: it is the Regulation of the Community which includes all customs regulations, which have been harmonised and coordinated, with the only exception of the penalty system which is not included.
Community Origin: it is used to define when a product may be considered of Community origin i.e. if it has been wholly obtained within the EU or if the last substantial transformation was carried out within the Community in compliance with art. 23 and 24 or the EEC Regulation 2913/92
Customs areas: any premises where customs services are offered, or any premises where customs exercise supervision and surveillance. It also refers to industrial facilities, carriers, warehouses where customs officers are fulfilling customs operations.
Customs agent: physical person who is registered in the relevant register and who has been given the power to represent third parties before the customs authority.
Customs clearance: process through which foreign goods that have been permanently imported in a country are considered as national goods for the customs law of the country.
Customs form: paper or electronic document containing the customs declaration i.e. the declaration through which the subject (or third parties on their behalf) moving goods from and/or to non-EU countries informs the customs authorities about what type of operation they are carrying out (temporary or permanent importation, temporary or permanent exportation, storage in customs warehouse, release for free circulation, etc.) and undertakes to pay the relevant customs duties. Such declaration is made out on the SAD form (Single Administrative Document) as provided for in annexes 34 et seq. of the EC Regulation 2454/93 (Provisions implementing the Community Customs Code).
Customs circuit: Pursuant to the Italian law, the customs network (circuito doganale) includes all premises and areas which are used by the customs for the fulfilment of customs operations.
Customs procedure: term that indicates under what type of customs declaration or customs form the goods must be placed. The most common types are: Exportation, Transit, Customs warehouse, Release for free circulation, Inward processing, Outward processing, Processing under customs control, Temporary admission.
Customs status of the goods: term used to indicate whether the goods are Community goods or not.
Customs territory of the Community: it is the territory in which the Community Customs code is in force. It does not correspond to the sum of the territories of the Communities in which Member States exercise their sovereignty, since some areas which belong to some Member States are excluded. On the other hand, however, the Customs territory includes some territories which do not belong to the Member States of the EU.
Customs warehouse: any premises which have been authorised by and under the supervision of the customs authority where goods may be stored under the terms set out by the regulations in force.
Economic Operator Registration and Identification scheme (EORI) : EORI scheme has the purpose of assigning a unique customs identification number (known as EORI number) to the economic operators who are recognised by all Community customs authorities. In Italy, EORI number corresponds to the ISO code of Italy (IT) followed by the VAT registration number or the fiscal code of the operator.
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) : IT procedure that enables to replace the paper version of the SAD. It consists in the electronic submission of data in the form of messages whose content is identical to that of the original paper version.
EFTA (European Free Trade Association) : Intergovernmental association and free-trade area within the EU which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Endorsement of certified exit from the Community: Endorsement issued by the appropriate customs offices which certifies the exit of the goods from the European Community by land. Nowadays it corresponds to the “exit results” message, which, with regard to the Italian customs authority, may be freely checked out at the website (Italian version only) http://www.agenziadogane.it (Please select: L’operatore economico/e-customs AIDA/AES – Automated Export System).
EUR.1 : Certificate issued by the customs authorities of the EU and by authorities of non-EU countries with which the European Union has signed trade and customs agreements. This certificate is used as evidence of preferential origin of the goods and therefore enables to obtain preferential tariff treatment.
European Economic Area (EEA) : European Economic Area that includes the Member States of the European Union along with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Export Accompanying Document (EAD) : this form is issued by the customs office of export and it accompanies the goods to the customs office of exit of the Community. This form must be lodged with this customs office in order to verify the operation and to enter all relevant data on the AIDA system so to “close” the movement. AIDA is the IT system of the Italian Customs Agency. This procedure is also necessary to obtain the so-called “exit results” message for VAT purposes.
Exportation: the fulfilment of all customs formalities of exportation, after which the goods exit the customs territory of the Community.
Export license (AGREX) : In Italy, export licences are issued by the Ministry of Economic Development, and such licences authorise the exportation of agricultural products towards third countries within their period of validity. Export licenses with advance fixing of the refund establish the rate of the refund to be applied in case of export refund.
Free zones/Free Warehouse (CC EC Regulation 450/08): physical areas of the customs territory of the Community (indoor and/or outdoor areas, warehouses, etc.) where non-Community goods, due to the application of duties and of commercial policy measures on imports, are considered as goods which are not physically located within the customs territory of the Community, provided that they are not released for free circulation or subject to other customs procedures, nor consumed or used in conditions, other than those provided for by the legislation in force.
Harmonised System for customs tariffs (HS) : Acronym that refers to a convention, which has been signed by many countries, concerning the harmonisation of customs tariffs.
Importation: Fulfilment of all customs formalities of importation, after that the goods have entered the customs territory of the Community.
Import duties: customs duties, as well as other equivalent taxes and other import taxes provided for under CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) or under specific procedures concerning the trade of some goods obtained by the working and processing of agricultural products.
Intermodal transport: Transport system that involves two or more different modes of transport without breaking of bulk when moving from a mean of transport to another.
Integrated Tariff of the European Union (TARIC) : system of classification of goods through which the goods are identified by a 10-digit number to which corresponds a rate of duty. TARIC is mandatory and is used by all Member States of the European Union.
Inward processing: customs procedure that allows the temporary importation of goods or semi-manufactured goods to be processed and re-exported later as finished products.
MRN (Movement Reference Number) : Number that uniquely identifies the customs operations of exportation and exportation with confirmation of exit. It is essential that the operator is given the MRN so that they can verify that the goods have successfully exited the customs territory of the Community and therefore are non-taxable for VAT.
Multimodal transport : Usage of different modes of transport to carry goods from the place of departure to the place of arrival.
New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) : computerised system through which all movements of goods may be processed electronically and therefore they are not processed through the lodgement of the declarations with the appropriate customs. Once fully operational, this system will foster the simplification and the unification of transit procedures among the countries of the European Union, EFTA countries, and the Visegrad group (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary), with an improvement in the movement of goods, more effective anti-fraud prevention, a strong rationalisation of services and a considerable reduction of costs.
Outward processing: custom procedure that allows the temporary exportation of goods to be processed abroad. Such goods must be then re-imported as finished products.
Pallets: loading and unloading platforms whose function is to facilitate the handling of goods for the various modes of transports and, when possible, to eliminate the use of external packaging.
Permanent exportation : Permanent shipment of goods outside the customs territory of the Community.
Permanent importation: procedure through which the goods enter permanently the Member State of the European Union, subject to the payment of customs duties and the fulfilment of all required formalities.
Processed products : products obtained from the processing of basic products for which export refunds are applied.
Processing under customs control: procedure that enables to use, within the customs territory of the Community, non-Community goods with the purpose of processing them in a way that modifies their kind or status, without them being subject to import duties or to commercial policy measures. It is possible to release the processed goods for free circulation at a later stage, after the payment of import duties.
Reintroduction under relief of customs duty procedure: customs procedure through which the goods belonging to the EU customs territory and which have been permanently exported, may be reintroduced within the EU territory free of import duties (duty relief), provided that the goods are goods of the Community, that their origin has been proven, and that no processing has occurred. Such procedure must take place within three years from the date of permanent exportation.
Release for free circulation: customs procedure that, through the payment of customs duty and the complete fulfilment of commercial policy measures and local fiscal measures, enables the free circulation of foreign goods within the EU territory. The goods are then only subject to fiscal obligations.
Repackaging : A form of handling of the goods; more specifically, it is part of the so-called minimal operations which do not change the origin of the goods. Such operations are allowed provided that you submit an authorisation request for goods which are still under customs procedure. Repackaging may be carried out in warehouses, private or public customs areas, warehouses where the goods are in temporary storage or in VAT/excise duties tax warehouses.
Simplified assessment procedure: Particular procedure that enables some businesses to be exempt from the lodging of the goods with the customs. Physical inspections are replaced by indirect administrative inspections which are based upon the records and the general accounting of the businesses which are required to make accounts available to customs authorities. Such procedure is applicable to those businesses (either commercial, industrial, agricultural, private or state-owned) whose activities fall under the art. 2195 of the Italian Civil Code.
Single Administrative Document(SAD): single form which, pursuant to the Community legislation is used in all cases where you are referring to an import declaration, an export declaration or to the placing of goods under any other customs procedures, including the Union transit procedure.
T 1 : symbol that refers to a shipment carried out under the external Community transit procedure. It refers to the movement goods which are non-Community goods and have not been released for free circulation in the Community. They are goods of third countries which either have not been customs cleared in one of the Member States or have to transit across the territory of the European Community for the purpose of being exported in third countries.
T 2 : symbol that indicates a shipment carried out under the internal Community transit procedure and it refers to the movement of goods which are in free circulation in the countries of the European Community, should they cross a third country.
Temporary exportation: customs operation that enables the exporter to ship goods abroad without a sale, to participate in tradeshows and sport events, to undergo repairs, for test purposes, for attempted sale or for other reasons. It is necessary to apply for authorisation to the territorially competent customs office depending on the residence of the applicant. The applicant must also provide all documentation attesting the reason for the application, and provide information about what operations will be carried out abroad and for what period of time. An easier and faster alternative is to apply for ATA Carnet, provided that the country where the goods are sent has adhered to the convention and that the operation the applicant wishes to carry out is included.
Temporary importation : customs operation that enables the temporary introduction of goods within the territory of the Community for participating in tradeshows, sport events, for repairs, for test purposes, etc. The applicant must apply in advance for the authorisation to the territorially competent customs office, depending on the residence of the applicant. The applicant must provide the documentation that justifies the reason for the application and must also inform the office about the operation they intend to carry out and the time needed for such operations. ATA Carnet may be used in this case as well.
TIR: Acronym of “Transports Internationaux Routiers”.
TIR Carnet : Special guarantee document to which carriage by road is bound at international level. It enables a motor vehicle to arrive to the place of destination in a third country, without customs endorsements for the Member States it crossed.
Transport document: document constituting evidence of carriage of the goods from the place of loading to the final destination. There are different versions of the document depending on the type of carrier.