• Glossary of freight forwarding terminology you should know

ETC International Freight System Terms, Conditions, & License Numbers

ETC Intl. Freight System, a licensed / bonded international freight forwarder and serves as the booking agent on behalf of their customers. All shipments are carried under the terms and conditions set forth by the carrier (steamship line, airline, or trucking company). If no insurance is purchased for the cargo being shipped, the shippers' recourses for losses can be made to the steam lines or the airlines, while holding ETC International Freight System harmless for their role in booking their shipments. Delays in the delivery of shipments do not constitute a claim, as referred by our US Congress in the ratified Shipping Act of 1993. When the customer elects not to obtain cargo insurance, any claims are subject to the limitations of liability established by the underwriter issuing liability coverage to the carrier. For more information related to liability coverage, please see below:

General Terms of Sale (INCOTERMS)


The buyer is responsible for all transport charges. You still are the shipper of record and are responsible for providing shipping documents.

FOB named port: (Free Onboard) example - FOB port of NY/NJ

The seller is responsible for getting the shipment placed onto the ocean vessel at the port that is named. Typical charges are transport to the port, port fees, loading fees and export customs charges. You are still the shipper of record and are responsible for providing shipping documents. This term is only used for ocean shipments.

CIF named port: (Cost, Insurance & Freight) example – CIF port of Liverpool

The seller is responsible for all transport charges to the destination port and is responsible for insuring the product to the destination port. Typical charges are transport to the airport or seaport, port fees, loading fee, export customs charges, ocean line charges, insurance, and freight forwarder fees. You are the shipper of record and are responsible for providing shipping documents.

DDU: (Delivered Duty Unpaid):

The seller is responsible for all transportation charges to the final destination address (door to door) and for the customs broker’s service fees but is not responsible for customs duty and taxes. Typical charges include inland transport to the airport or seaport, port fees, loading fees, freight forwarder fees, export customs charges, destination port fees, customs brokerage fees, inland delivery charges. Basically all charges except the customs duty and taxes (VAT).

DDP: (Delivered Duty Paid)

The seller is responsible for all charges from Door to Door including customs duty and taxes (VAT). Note that duty and taxes can be 20-40 % of the initial cost of the goods. This is very risky as you are responsible for any problems encountered even though you may have no control over them as in changing country requirements.


Wood Packaging:

Most countries require that all wood bracing and pallets (skids) be certified as being made of a hard wood, fumigated or processed wood such as plywood. Certified wood pallets / crates must be stamped & acceptable per ISPM15 standard (www.ispm15.com)

Commercial Invoices:

They must have all normal items including a statement identifying the country of origin and each item must show the customs tariff code number also called the Schedule B export code. This is used by all countries to determine the correct duty rate.

ETC Intl. Freight System is a licensed freight forwarder, NVOCC bonded & a California Corporation since 1984. Whether, you seek air or ocean freight & to our broad customer base, we offer warehousing, distribution, packing, crating, trucking, customhouse brokerage & inland delivery/pickup services. For more information or pricing through the web, please visit us at www.etcinternational.com.

FMC: 3230N/F - IATA# 01-1-9957/013) Rated AA from the Better Business Bureau. Since 1984

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