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    We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently used abbreviations and definitions that you may come across. Frequently, parties to a contract are unaware of the different trading practices in their respective countries. This can give rise to costly misunderstandings and disputes. Sending goods from one country to another, as part of a commercial transaction, can be a risky business at the best of times. If the goods are lost, damaged, or if delivery does not take place for some reason, the climate of confidence between all interested parties may degenerate to the point where a lawsuit or arbitration is contemplated.

    If, when drawing up their contract, the buyer and seller specifically refer to one of the Incoterms or Charter Terms, they can be sure of clearly defining their respective responsibilities simply and safely. In so doing them greatly reduce the possibility of misunderstandings and subsequent disputes.

    We hope you will find this information both helpful and informative. If you require clarification on any aspect, or have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


    AA   = Always Afloat

    AAAA  = Always Accessible Always Afloat

    AARA  = Amsterdam-Antwerp-Rotterdam Area

    ABT  = About

    ADCOM  = Address Commission

    AFSPS  = ArrivalFirstSea Pilot Station (Norway

    AFFREIGHTMENT = The hiring of a ship in whole or part

    AFT = At or towards the stern or rear of a ship

    AGW = All Going Well

    AHL = Australian Hold Ladders

    ANTHAM = Antwerp-HamburgRange

    APS = Arrival Pilot Station

    ARAG = Amsterdam-Rotterdam--Antwerp-GhentRange

    A/S = Alongside

    ATDNSHINC = Any Time Day or Night Sundays and Holidays Included

    ATUTC = Actual Times Used to Count

    BAF = Bunker Adjustment Factor. A Fuel Surcharge expressed as a percentage added or subtracted from the freight amountreflecting the movement in the market place price forbunkers.

    BALLAST = Heavy weight, often sea water, necessary for thestability and safety of a ship which is not carryingcargo.

    BAREBOAT CHTR = Bareboat Charter Owners lease a specific ship andcontrol its technical management and commercialoperations only.

    BBB = Before Breaking Bulk

    BDI = Both Dates Inclusive

    BENDS = Both Ends (Load & Discharge Ports)

    BI = Both Inclusive

    BIMCO = The Baltic and International Maritime Council

    BL (1) = Bale

    BL (2) = (Bill of Lading) A document signed by the carrier whichacts as a receipt and evidence of title to the cargo.

    BM = Beam

    BEAM = The maximum breadth of a ship

     BOB = Bunker on Board

    BOFFER = Best Offer

    BROB = Bunkers Remaining on Board

    BSS = Basis

    BSS 1/1 = Basis 1 Port to 1 Port

    BT = Berth Terms

    BUNDLING = This is the assembly of pieces of cargo, secured intoone manageable unit. This is a very flexibledescription; a rule of thumb is to present cargo at asize easily handled by a large (20 ton) fork lifttruck.

    BUNKERS = Name given for vessels Fuel and Diesel Oil supplies(Originates from coal bunkers)

    BWAD = Brackish Water Arrival Draft


    CBM = Cubic Meter

    CBFT (or CFT) = Cubic Feet

    CFR (or C&F) = Cost and Freight

    CHOPT = Charterers Option

    CHTRS = Charterers

    CIF = Cost, Insurance & Freight. Seller pays all these coststo a nominated port or place of discharge.

    COA = Contract of Affreightment Owners agree to accept acost per revenue ton for cargo carried on a specificnumber of voyages.

    COACP = Contract of Affreightment Charter Party

    COB = Close of Business

    COD = Cash On Delivery

    COGSA = Carriage of Goods by Sea Act

    CONS = Consumption

    COP = Custom Of Port

    CP (or C/P) = Charter Party

    CPD = Charterers Pay Dues

    CPT = Carriage Paid To

    CQD = Customary Quick Dispatch

    CROB = Cargo Remaining on Board

    CRN = Crane

    CST = Centistoke

    CTR = Container Fitted


    DAPS = Days all Purposes (Total days for loading & discharging)

    DDU = Delivered Duty unpaid.

    DDP = Delivered Duty Paid.

    DEM = Demurrage

    DESP = Dispatch

    DET = Detention

    DHDATSBE = Dispatch Half Demurrage on Actual Time Saved Both Ends

    DHDWTSBE = Dispatch Half Demurrage on Working Time Saved Both Ends

    DISCH = Discharge

    DK = Deck

    DLOSP = DroppingLastOutwardsSea Pilot (Norway

    DO = Diesel Oil

    DOLSP = Dropping Off LastSea Pilot (Norway

    DOP = Dropping Outward Pilot

    DOT = Department of Transport

    DNRSAOCLONL = Discountless and Non-Returnable Ship and/or CargoLost or Not Lost

    Draft = Depth to which a ship is immersed in water. The depthvaries according to the design of the ship and will begreater or lesser depending not only on the weight of the ship and everything on board, but olso on the density of the water in which the ship is lying.

    DRK = Derrick

    DUNNAGE = Materials of various types, often timber or matting,placed among the cargo for separation, and henceprotection from damage, for ventilation and, in the caseof certain cargoes, to provide space in which the forksof a lift truck may be inserted.

    DWAT (or DWT) = Deadweight. Weight of cargo, stores and water, i.e. the difference between lightship and loaded displacement.


    = East Coast

    EIU = Even if Used

    ELVENT = Electric Ventilation

    ETA = Estimated Time of Arrival

    ETC = Estimated Time of Completion

    ETD = Estimated Time of Departure

    ETS = Estimated Time of Sailing

    EXW = Ex Works


    FAS = Free Alongside Ship. Seller delivers goods toappropriate dock or terminal at port of embarkation and buyer covers costs and risks of loading.

    FD = Free of Dispatch

    FDD = Freight Demurrage Deadfreight

    FDIS = Free Discharge

    FEU = Forty foot container equivalency unit Standard 40'Container

    FHEX = Fridays/Holidays Excluded

    FHINC = Fridays/Holidays Included

    FILO = Free In/Liner Out. Seafreight with which the shipperpays load costs and the = carrier pays for dischargecosts.

    FIO = Free In/Out. Freight booked FIO includes the sea freight,but no loading/discharging costs, i.e. the chartererpays for cost of loading and discharging cargo.

    FIOS = Free In/Out Stowed. As per FIO, but includes stowagecosts.

    FIOT = Free In/Out and Trimmed. As per FIOS but includestrimming the leveling of bulk cargoes

    FIOSLSD = Free In/Out Stowed, Lashed, Secured and Dunnaged. As per FIO, but includes cost of lashing securing and dunnagingcargo to Masters satisfaction.

    FIOST = Free In/Out and Trimmed. Charterer pays for cost ofloading/discharging cargo, including stowage andtrimming.

    FIT = Free In Trimmed

    FIW = Free In Wagon

    FIXING = Chartering a Vessel

    FLT = Full Liner Terms Shipowner pays to load and dischargethe cargo

    FMC = Federal Maritime Commission US

    government agency

    FMS = Fathoms = 6 feet

    FO (IFO) = Fuel Oil/Intermediate FO

    FOB = Free on Board. Seller sees the goods "over the ship's rail" on to the ship which is arranged and paid for by the buyer

    FOFFER = Firm Offer

    FOG = For Our Guidance

    FOQ = Free On Quay

    FOR = Free On Rail

    FORCE MAJEURE = Clause limiting responsibilities of the charterers, shippers and receivers due to events beyond their control.

    FOT = Free On Truck

    FOW (1) = First Open Water

    FOW (2) = Free On Wharf

    FREE OUT = Free of discharge costs to Owners

    FWAD = Fresh Water Arrival Draft

    FWDD = Fresh Water Departure Draft

    FYG = For Your Guidance

    FYI = For Your Information


    GA = General Average

    GLS = Gearless

    GNCN = Gencon a standard BIMCO charter party form

    GN (or GR) = Grain (capacity)

    GO = Gas Oil

    GRD = Geared

    GRT = Gross Registered Tonnage

    GSB = Good Safe Berth

    GSP = GoodSafePort

    GTEE = Guarantee


    2H = Second Half

    HA = Hatch

    HDWTS = Half Dispatch Working Time Saved

    HMS = Heavy Metal Scrap

    HO = Hold

    HW = High Water


    IMDG = International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code

    IMO = International Maritime Organization

    IND = Indication

    INTERMODAL = Carriage of a commodity by different modes of transport, i.e. sea, road, rail and air within a single journey.

    = International Transport Federation international body that regulates crewing of ships

    IU = If Used

    IUATUTC = If Used, Actual Time Used To Count

    IUHATUTC = If Used, Half Actual Time Used To Count

    IWL = Institute Warranty Limits


    LANE METER = A method of measuring the space capacity of Ro/Ro ships whereby

    each unit of space (Linear Meter) is represented by an area of deck 1.0 meter in length x 2.0 meters in width.

    LASH (1) = To hold goods in position by use of Ropes, Wires, Chains or Straps etc.

    LASH (2) = Lighter Aboard Ship a vessel that loads small bargesdirect from the water

    LAT = Latitude

    LOA = Length Overall of the vessel

    LOW = Last Open Water

    LS (or LUMPS) = Lumpsum

    LSD = Lashed Secured Dunnaged

    LT = Liner Terms

    LW = Low Water

    LYCN = Laycan (Layday Canceling Date)


    MB = Merchant Broker

    MDO (DO) = Marine Diesel Oil

    MIN/MAX = Minimum/Maximum (cargo quantity)

    MOLCHOPT = More or Less Charterers Option

    MOLOO = More or Less Owners Option

    MT = Metric Ton (i.e. 1,000 kilos / 2204.6lbs)

    M/V = Motor Vessel

    NAABSA = Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground

    NCB = National Cargo Bureau

    NESTING = Implies that cargo is presented stacked in the contour of similarly shaped cargo, it may be likened to a stack of plates.

    NON-REVERSIBLE = (Detention). If loading completed sooner than expected, then saved days will not be added to discharge time allowed.

    NOR = Notice of Readiness

    NRT = Net Registered Tonnage

    NYPE = New York

    Produce Exchange


    OO = Owners Option

    OSH = Open Shelter Deck

    OWS = Owners

    PASTUS = Past Us

    PC = Period of Charter

    PCGO = Part Cargo

    PCT = Percent

    PDPR = Per Day Pro Rata

    PERDIEM = Per Diem = By the Day

    PHPD = Per Hatch Per Day

    PRATIQUE = License or permission to use a port


    RCVR = Receivers

    REVERSIBLE (Detention)   = If loading completed sooner than expected at load port, then days saved can be added to discharge operations.

    ROB = Remaining On Board

    RT = Revenue Ton (i.e. 1.0 metric Ton or 1.0 cubic meter, whichever is greater). The overall RT is calculated on a line by line basis of the Packing List using the largest amount. The overall freight liability is calculated on the total RT amount, multiplied by the freight rate.

    SATPM = Saturday P.M.

    SB = Safe Berth

    SD (or SID) = Single Decker

    SEAFREIGHT = Costs charged for transporting goods over the sea. This does not cover any haulage or loading/discharging costs but the sea transport only.

    SELFD = Self Discharging

    SF = Stowage factor. Cubic space occupied by one ton (2,240 lbs/1,000 kgs) of cargo.

    SHINC = Sundays/Holidays Included

    SHEX = Sundays/Holidays Excluded

    SKIDS = Are bearers (timber or steel) positioned under cargo to enable fork lift handling at port, and for ease of rigging and lashing on board ship.

    SL = Bale (capacity)

    SOC = Shipper Owned Container

    SOF = Statement Of Facts

    SP = SafePort

    SRBL = Signing and Releasing Bill of Lading

    SSHEX (or SATSHEX) = Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays Excluded

    SSHINC = Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays Included

    or SATSHINC)

    STABILITY = It is paramount that a vessel is stable in all respects at all times. When cargo is loaded / discharged, the stability is monitored by a computer, which takes into account the weight and position of cargo within the vessel.

    STARBOARD = Right side of a ship when facing the bow

    STEM = Subject To Enough Merchandise (Availability of Cargo)

    STERN = The aft part of a ship

    SUB = Subject (to)

    SUPERCARGO = Person employed by a ship owner, shipping company,charterer of a ship or shipper of goods to supervisecargo handling operations. Often called a port captain.

    SWAD = Salt Water Arrival Draft

    SWDD = Salt Water Departure Draft


    TC = Time Charter Owners agree to hire a particular shipfor a set length of time

    TEU = Twenty Foot Equivalency Unit Standard 20' Container

    TTL = Total

    TW = Tween Decker


    USC = Unless Sooner Commenced

    UU = Unless Used

    UUIUATUTC = Unless Used If Used Actual Time Used To Count


    VPD = Vessel Pays Dues


    WCCON = Whether Customs Cleared Or Not

    WIBON = Whether In Berth Or Not

    WIFPON = Whether In Free Pratique or not

    WIPON = Whether In Port Or Not

    WLTOHC (distance) Water Line-To-Hatch Coaming

    WOG = Without Guarantee

    WPD = Weather Permitting Day

    WWD = Weather Working Day

    WRIC = Wire Rods In Coils

    WWR = When, Where Ready

    WWWW = Wibon, Wccon, Wifpon, Wipon


    YAR = YorkAntwerp


    Resources for Shipping and International Trade Services

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    Một số từ viết tắt dùng trong chứng từ, điện telex, xuất nhập khẩu
    Some abbreviations used in documents, telex and import-export activities

    ABB,ABBR Abbreviation Sự viết tắt, chữ tắt
    ABT About Về
    ABV Above Bên trên
    ABS Abstract statement Lời tóm tắt, nét chính
    ACPT *Accept Chấp nhận
    ACPTC *acceptance Sự chấp nhận
    ACPTBL acceptable Có thể chấp nhận
    ACCESS *Accessory Phụ tùng
    ACDG(LY) Accordingly Tuỳ trường hợp, cho phù hợp
    A/C,AC,ACCT Account Tài khoản, báo cáo
    A/C Account current Tài khoản vãng lai, tài khoản hiện hành
    A/O Account of… Tài khoản của…., được tính vào tài khoản của…
    A/P Account paid Tài khoản đã được thanh toán
    A/S *account sales Báo cáo bán hàng
    ACK *acknowledge Chứng nhận, thừa nhận, ký nhận
    A/W Actual weight Trọng lượng thực tế
    ADD,ADDN,ADDTN *addition Thêm vào, ngoài ra
    ADDL,ADDNL *additional Bổ sung
    A/P Additional premium Phí bảo hiểm ngoại tệ, phụ phí bảo hiểm
    ADR Address địa chỉ
    ADRSEE *addressee Người nhận
    ADJ Adjustment điều chỉnh
    AD,ADV Advertise, advertisment Quảng cáo
    ADV Advice Thông báo
    ADV.ADVS Advise(v) Thông báo
    AFT *after Sau đó
    A/D After date Sau ngày
    A/S *after sight Sau khi trình
    AGN *again Lần nữa
    AAR Against all risks Bảo hiểm mọi rủi ro
    AGR *agree đồng ý
    OK Agreed được đồng ý/ đã đồng ý
    AGB *a good brand Mặt hàng có uy tín
    AIRFRT Airfreight Cước máy bay
    AIR *airmail Gửi thư máy bay
    AIRD *airmailed được gửi bằng thư hàng không
    AIRG *airmailing Việc gửi bằng thư hàng không
    AWB Airway bill Vận đơn hàng không
    AA All after Sau cùng
    OK *all correct Tất cả đều đúng
    AR All risks Mọi rủi ro
    ALWNC Allowance Tiền trợ cấp
    ALRDY *already đã rồi
    AMT *amount Số lượng, trị giá
    AMP Amprere Am-pe
    AD *Anno Domini Sau công nguyên
    ANS *answer Trả lời, phúc đáp
    ANS Answered được trả lời
    ANX *anxious Nóng lòng
    AM Ante meridian Trước 12 giờ trưa
    A-1 A numbet –one Số 1
    AGB * any good brand Bất kỳ mặt hàng tốt nào
    APT Apartment Căn hộ, toa tàu
    APLNC * application đơn xin
    APRV *aprove Chấp nhận, chuẩn y
    APRVL *aproval Sự chấp thuận
    APPROX Approximate Vào khoảng
    APPRCX(LY) *approximately Một cách phỏng chừng
    APR April Tháng Tư
    APO *army post office Quân bưu
    ARIZ *Arizona Arizona (bang)
    ARK Arkansas Arkansas (bang)
    ARRG *arrange Dàn xếp, sắp xếp
    ARVL Arrival Tới, đến
    AR,ARV *arrive(v) Tới, đến
    ARVD *arrived đã đến
    ASSMT Assignment Chỉ định, chuyển nhượng
    ASST Assistant Phụ tá
    ASSN Association Hiệp hội
    AF As follow Như sau
    ASAP As soon as possible Càng sớm càng tốt
    ASSMT Assortment đủ loại, lẫn các loại
    ATM *atmosphere át-mốt-phe
    A/S At sight Khi trình, tức kì
    ATTN,ATT,ATTEN *attention Lưu ý, chuyển cho (thư từ)
    AUCT Auction đấu giá
    AUG Ausgust Tháng Tám
    AVE Anvenue đại lộ
    AV,AVG,AVRG *average Trung bình, tổn thất (bảo hiểm)
    AWT *await đợi


    BCL Bank Comfort Letter Thư ưng thuận của ngân hàng
    BAF Bunker Adjustment Factor Nhân tố điều chỉnh nhiên liệu
    BSS Basis on Dựa trên
    BG *Bag Túi
    BAL,BALCE Balance Cán cân (kế toán), số dư
    B/S, BS Balance sheet Bảng tổng kết tài sản
    BL(S) *bale(s) Kiện (bông, vải)
    BK Bank Ngân hàng
    B/D *bank draft Hối phiếu ngân hàng
    BPB Bank post bill Hối phiếu ngân hàng gửi qua bưu điện
    BBL(S).BL(S) *barre(s) Thùng phuy
    BCAUS *because Bởi vì
    BEF *before Trước
    BC Before Christ Trước Công nguyên
    BEG *beginning Bắt đầu, khởi đầu
    BLV *believe Tin tưởng
    BTR *better Tốt hơn
    BTWN Between Giữa
    BB Bill book Sổ hoá đơn
    B/E Bill of entry Tờ khai nhập cảnh
    B/E *Bill of Exchange Hối phiếu
    B/H *Bill of Health Giáy chứng nhận Y tế, vệ sinh
    B/L,BL *Bill of lading Vận đơn
    BP *Bill of parcels Hoá đơn hàng hoá
    B/P *Bill of payment Hoá đơn thanhtoán
    B/S,BS *Bill of sale Hoá đơn bán hàng
    B/R, BR *Bill receivable Hối phiếu có thể thu
    B/P,BP *Bill payable Hối phiếu có thể thanh toán
    BW *Bonded warehouse Kho ngoại quan
    BV Book value Giá trị trong sổ sách kế toán
    UK Britain Nước Anh
    BTU British thermal units đơn vị nhiệt của Anh
    BRKGE Brokerage Phí môi giới
    B/D *Brought down đem xuống (kế toán)
    B/F Brought forward đem qua (kế toán)
    B/O Brought over Mang tới
    BLDG Building Toà nhà
    BV Bureau Veritas Cơ quan bảo hiểm tàu biển Pháp
    BIZ,BSNS Business Kinh doanh
    BYR *Buyer Người mua


    CBL *Cable điện báo (quốc tế)
    CALIF *California California (bang)
    CA Canada Canada
    CQD Customary Quickly Despatch
    CCEL Cancel Huỷ bỏ
    CANC Canceled Bị huỷ bỏ, đã huỷ bỏ
    CANC Cancelation Sự huỷ bỏ
    CP * Candle power Sức nén
    CANT *Cannot Không thể
    CAPA *capacity Khả năng, công suất
    C/A Capital account Mục/tài khoản vốn
    CAPT Captain Thuyền trưởng
    CC Carbon copy Bản giấy than
    C/O Care of Nhờ chuyển
    CARR Carriage Chuyên chở
    C/F *carried forward Chuyên chở tới
    CGM Computer General Message Thư điện thực hiện trên máy tính
    C/O Carried over Chuyển qua
    CBD *Cash before delivery Trả tiền trước khi giao hàng
    CB Cash book Sổ tiền mặt,sổ quỹ
    COD *Cash on delivery Trả tiền khi giao hàng
    COS *Cash on Shipment Trả tiền khi gửi hàng
    C/O Cash order đơn đặt hàng trả tiền mặt
    CWO *Cash with order Trả tiền mặt khi đặt hàng
    CI Cash Iron Sắt đúc
    CAT,CTLG Catalogue Ca-tê-lô
    CM Centimeter Cm,xăng ti mét
    CONTG Containing Chứa
    CONTEMPO *contemporary đương thời, đương đại
    CONT,CONTR Contract Hợp đồng
    CVENCE *convenience Sự tiện lợi
    CONVL *convenienal Phổ thông
    COOP Cooperate Hợp tác
    COOP Cooperation Sự hợp tác
    COOP Cooperative Hợp tác xã
    COOP Cooperator Người hợp tác
    CY *copy Bản sao
    CORP Corporation Công ty
    CRCT *Correct Chính xác, đúng
    CI *Cost and Insurance Giá+ bảo hiểm
    CFR *Cost and Freight Giá + cước chuyên chở
    CANDFC,CFC Cost and freight commisson Giá+ hoa hồng chuyên chở
    CANDF *Cost, assurance and freight Giá+bảo hiểm+cước chuyên chở
    CFANDE *Cost, freight and exchange Giá +cước chuyên chở+ hối suất
    CIF *Cost, Insurance and freight Giá +bảo hiểm+ cước chuyên chở
    CUD,CLD *could (đã) có thể
    CFT Cubic feet Bộ khối
    CY *Currency Tiền, đồng tiền
    CSTME *Customer Khách hàng
    CERT *Certificate Giấy chứng nhận
    C/O *Certificate of Origin Giấy chứng nhận xuất xứ
    CERT *Certificate Chứng thực
    CHOVR *Changeover Thay đổi theo
    CHRG *charge Phí tổn, lệ phí
    CHTRS *Charters Người thuê tàu
    CP *Charter party Hợp đồng thuê tàu
    CK *Check Kiểm tra, séc
    CHQ Cheque Séc
    CIRCS *Circumstances Hoàn cảnh, trường hợp
    COD *Collect on delivery Thu tiền khi giao hàng
    COLO Colorado Colorado
    COMB *combine Phối hợp
    COMBN *combination Sự phối hợp
    COMBN Combustion động cơ đốt trong
    CML *commercial Thương mại
    COMM Commission Hoa hồng
    CMDTY *commodity Hàng hoá
    COMNCTN *communication Truyền thông
    CO Company Công ty
    CF Compare(confer) So sánh
    CMPTV *competitive Cạnh tranh
    COMPTOR *compertitor Người cạnh tranh
    COMPLT *complete Hoàn tất, đầy đủ
    CONDI,CNDTN Condition điều kiện
    CFM Confirm Xác nhận
    CFMTN Confirmation Sự xác nhận
    CFMD *confirmed được xác nhận
    CONN Connecticut Connecticut
    CONSGT Consignment Chuyến hàng
    CTL Constructive total loss Tổng thiệt hại về kiến trúc
    CON INV Consular invoice Hoá đơn lãnh sự
    CFS Container freight station Trạm hàng container
    CL Container load Dung tích container
    CY Container yard Sân, bãi container