FAQ: Miscellaneous Questions

  1. What does N.E.S.O.I. mean?
  2. Who is an "intermediate consignee"?
  3. Who is the "ultimate consignee"?
  4. What is "maquiladora"?
  5. What is a NOM?
  6. What is a CE mark?
  7. What are the INCOTERMS?
  8. What is a distributor?
  9. What is a sales representative?
  10. What is the Harmonized System?
  11. What is a pro forma invoice?
  12. What is a commercial invoice?
  13. What are title documents?
  14. What is a bill of lading?
  15. What types of bills of lading are used on international shipments?
  16. Can ocean bills of lading be negotiable?
  17. Can air waybills be negotiable?
  18. How significant is the form of a bill of lading or an air waybill?
  19. What are carrier releases and what function do they perform?
  20. What is a clean bill of lading?



  1. What does N.E.S.O.I. mean?

    N.E.S.O.I. is an acronym which means not elsewhere specified or indicated.


  2. Who is an "intermediate consignee"?

    An "intermediate consignee" is a party who effects delivery of merchandise to an ultimate consignee.


  3. Who is the "ultimate consignee"?

    An ultimate consignee is the true party in interest, receiving goods for the designated end use.


  4. What is "maquiladora"?

    A "maquiladora" is a Mexican in-bond processing operation which allows foreign manufacturers to ship components into Mexico on a duty-free basis for assembly and subsequent re-export.


  5. What is a NOM?

    A NOM is an acronym for "norma official mexicana" which is a mandatory Mexican standard that applies to a particular product or range of products. A product which is subject to a NOM cannot be imported into Mexico unless it is certified as being in compliance with the relevant NOM.


  6. What is a CE mark?

    A CE mark is a marking which is placed on a product to indicate that the product underwent assessment procedures and was found to be in compliance with the European standards that apply to such product. The designation "CE" is French for "Conformite Europeen".


  7. What are the INCOTERMS?

    Developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), INCOTERMS are a codification of rules for the interpretation of sales terms used in export import transactions. INCOTERMS 2000 is a collection of 13 internationally used terms of sale. They are as follows:
    Ex works (ExW-...named place)
    Free Carrier (FCA-...named place)
    Free Alongside Ship (FAS-...named port of shipment)
    Free on Board (FOB-...named port of shipment)
    Cost and Freight (CFR-...named port of destination)
    Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF-...named port of destination)
    Carriage Paid To (CPT-...named place of destination)
    Carriage and Insurance Paid to (CIP-...named place of destination)
    Delivered at Frontier (DAF-...named place)
    Delivered Ex Ship (DES-...named port of destination)
    Delivered Ex Quay (DEQ...named port of destination)
    Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU...named place of destination)
    Delivered Duty Paid (DDP...named place of destination)


  8. What is a distributor?

    A distributor is a party who purchases goods for inventory and re-sale.


  9. What is a sales representative?

    A sale representative or sales agent is a party who sells another party's products in return for a commission.


  10. What is the Harmonized System?

    The Harmonized System is a commodity classification system that was developed by the Customs Cooperation Council, an international Customs organization in Brussels, for use on a world-wide basis.


  11. What is a pro forma invoice?


  12. A pro forma invoice is a sales quotation drafted in the form of an invoice.
  13. What is a commercial invoice?


  14. A commercial invoice is a bill prepared by the seller for submission to the buyer which details items bought and amounts owed.
  15. What are title documents?


  16. Title documents transfer title to or at least possession of goods from a seller to a buyer. In an export transaction the title documents are comprised of the main carriage transportation documents or bills of lading, such as ocean bills of lading and air waybills.
  17. What is a bill of lading?


  18. A bill of lading (BL) is a contract for transportation and a receipt for cargo that a common carrier gives to a seller when a carrier transports goods on behalf of a seller.
  19. What types of bills of lading are used on international shipments?


  20. Bills of lading used on international shipments include ocean bills of lading for cargo transported by ocean and air waybills for cargo transported by air.
  21. Can ocean bills of lading be negotiable?


  22. Yes. Ocean bills of lading can be either negotiable (order of) or non-negotiable (straight).
  23. Can air waybills be negotiable?


  24. No. Air Waybills can only be non-negotiable (straight).
  25. How significant is the form of a bill of lading or an air waybill?


  26. The form of a bill of lading or an air waybill instructs the carrier on how to handle or disburse the goods that the carrier is transporting when the carrier reaches its destination. If the bill of lading is in negotiable form, i.e. "order of the shipper", the carrier will hold the goods until it receives an original bill of lading that has been endorsed by the shipper (seller). If the bill of lading is in non-negotiable or straight form and consigned to the buyer, the carrier will release the goods to the buyer on the buyer's identification of itself as the buyer. If on the other hand, the bill of lading is in non-negotiable or straight form and consigned to a third party, such as the buyer's bank, the carrier will release the goods as instructed by the third party consignee in a "release" (steamship guarantee or airway release) issued by the third party consignee to the carrier.
  27. What are carrier releases and what function do they perform?


  28. Carrier releases encompass steamship guarantees and airway releases. These documents act to give a buyer direct and immediate access to product that a seller has shipped, without regard to the structure of the title documents underlying a shipment.
  29. What is a clean bill of lading?


  30. A clean bill of lading is a bill of lading that is issued by a carrier when a shipment is received in good order.