Transglobal Express - Worldwide Parcel Delivery
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Glossary of Terms

  • Actual Weight – The weight of a fully-packaged parcel or pallet. This will be used in conjunction with the dimensions of your parcel to calculate the price of the shipment, unless the Volumetric Weight is greater.
  • Air Waybill – AWB – A document issued by the carrier with the information required for shipping and tracking your parcel, including sender and receiver addresses and flight details. You are normally required to print and attach a copy to your parcel. Also referred to simply as your Shipping Label.
  • API – Application Programming Interface – An interface between two different applications or platforms. In the context of our services, it refers to plugins or tools that allow you to import orders from online platforms such as Magento or Etsy and book shipping for them via our website; or to make our shipping options available through your own webstore.
  • Back-to-Back – A type of air freight service in which bookings are made directly with the airline rather than with an agent. The goods will have their own Master Air Waybill (MAWB). See also: Consolidated (Air Freight).
  • B2B – Business to Business – Shipments between businesses, such as a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer.
  • B2C – Business to Consumer – Shipments that are sent by businesses or retailers to consumers. This includes any products that are shipped to you when you buy goods online (see E-Commerce).
  • BIFA – British International Freight Association – A trade association representing freight forwarders. We are a BIFA member and operate under their terms.
  • Bill of Lading – A document issued by the Carrier to acknowledge the receipt of cargo for air and sea freight shipments.
  • Bulk Upload – A tool that allows you to book multiple orders at once, by uploading a spreadsheet.
  • COD – Cash on Delivery. The duties can be paid at the time of delivery being attempted, rather than in advance of the shipment going out with a driver.
  • Commodity Code – This is an 8-10 digit number used to classify goods and determine the rate of tax payable (if any). You will need to provide one for each item in your consignment for international shipments.
  • Carrier – A company that fulfils courier or freight services. For example, FedEx, DHL or UPS.
  • Collection Cut-Off Time – In order to book a Same Day Collection, your booking will need to be made before a certain time in the day. This varies by service, carrier and region, but you can enter your postcode to see all cut-off times for your area.
  • Commercial Invoice – See Customs Invoice.
  • Consignment – Another term for shipment. A consigner is the sender of the shipment and a consignee is the receiver, usually responsible for paying any import duties. If something is referred to as ‘per consignment’ (such as a weight restriction or a surcharge), it refers to the shipment in its entirety, as opposed to ‘per piece’, which refers to each individual parcel.
  • Consolidated (Air Freight) – A type of air freight service in which you book with an agent who has purchased pre-booked space with the airline. This can make it the cheaper option. Your goods will be consolidated with other shippers’ under the same Master Air Waybill (MAWB). See also: Back-to-Back.
  • Consolidation (Courier) – When booking one of our Depot Services and opting for DPD collection, you can place multiple parcels into the same container (box) and have it treated as a single collection.
  • Courier Service – A door-to-door delivery service for parcels, pallets or documents. Also available to and from our depot. You can book a collection from your door or arrange a drop-off.
  • Credit Account – Transglobal Express customers with a credit account will receive monthly invoices rather than paying at the time of booking. You will need to apply and will be subject to credit checks and approval.
  • Customs Invoice – A document required for all international shipments, used by customs authorities for the assessment of goods and to calculate applicable duties and taxes. It includes details such as invoice number, importer and exporter information, VAT and EORI numbers, Commodity Codes, and the description and origin of your goods. We will generate this for you as part of a combined Customs Invoice / Packing List, or you can submit your own.
  • Dangerous & Hazardous – Goods that cannot be shipped by regular courier service because they require special handling or pose a safety risk in transport. Dangerous goods cannot be sent using any of our services. If they are found in your consignment, you will be fined. You will need to use a specialist service such as DG Parcel.
  • De Minimis – The value threshold for goods that can be imported without duties. Exclusions usually apply for particular goods such as alcohol.
  • DDP / DTP – Deliver Duties Paid / Deliver Taxes Paid – When the shipper agrees to pay customs duties and taxes that would normally have to be paid by the recipient. We offer DTP for selected services. An admin fee for Duty Reversal usually applies per shipment.
  • DDU – Deliver Duties Unpaid – Services for which the receiver is responsible for any customs charges. This is the standard for most courier services, but for selected services you are able to choose a DTP service instead. See Duty Reversal.
  • Depot Service – We use this to refer to services that ship from our depot (i.e. depot-to-door). Carriers will collect shipments from our depot at regular times every week, and as they are collecting in volume, which is cheaper for them, we are usually able to offer lower rates for these services. You can add an optional collection service for door-to-door delivery, or drop your consignments off.
  • Dimensional Weight – See Volumetric Weight.
  • Disbursement Fee – A charge applied by the carrier for the service of accepting the customs charges on behalf of the receiver.
  • Duty Reversal – Charging customs duties to the shipper rather than the receiver. Duty reversal can still be requested after duties have been applied. Charges may also be reversed to the shipper if the receiver refuses to pay. An admin fee usually applies.
  • E-Commerce – A general term for goods bought and sold online, accounting for a large and ever-growing proportion of all courier shipments. Cross-border e-commerce refers to transactions between a customer and a seller who are in different countries. See also: B2C.
  • Economy Service – A courier service for which longer transit times are offset by lower costs. For international shipments the service is usually fulfilled by road, as opposed to air.
  • EORI – Economic Operator Registration and Identification number. All businesses shipping to and from the UK require one. A separate EORI number is also needed for shipments to and from the EU.
  • Excess Baggage – Airline baggage or luggage that usually attracts hefty extra fees from passenger airlines. Shipping it by international courier is a great alternative solution. Just be sure to check which carriers accept suitcases.
  • Export License – Required for controlled goods and may be dependent on the destination or end use. The UK government’s licensing system is SPIRE. See also: OGELs, OIELs, and SIELs for the different kinds of license.
  • Export Preference – See Preferential Tariff.
  • Exporter of Record – The party responsible for the export declaration. If the registered address and contact details of the Exporter of Record differ from the collection address, you will be asked to provide both.
  • Express Service – A fast courier service, sometimes next working day depending on the destination. For international shipments the service is usually fulfilled by air, as opposed to road. As well as being used in the specific names for services of this type, logistics companies will often use the word to denote the division that deals with air transport (e.g. FedEx Express).
  • FIATA – International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations – A non-governmental organisation representing freight forwarders worldwide. They are responsible for creating industry-wide standards for shipping documents including the Bill of Lading and Air Waybill.
  • Freight – In the context of our services, this refers to port to port services (sea freight) or airport to airport services (air freight), typically for consignments too big or heavy for courier. However, we also offer courier services such as FedEx International Priority Freight® which are door-to-door services for pallets only.
  • Fuel Surcharge A fee charged by carriers that covers the fluctuating cost of fuel. We include this in our sell rates, and in any applicable service surcharges, rather than charging separately.
  • Fulfilment Service – A service that allows you to store inventory at our warehouse for quicker despatch of your goods.
  • IATA – International Air Transport Association – A trade association of the world’s airlines.
  • Incoterms – International commercial terms - A set of 11 rules issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) defining the responsibilities of buyers and sellers in every international transaction. There is a three-letter code for each rule. For example, DDP specifies that the seller is responsible for any applicable duties.
  • IOSS – Import One-Stop Shop – The EU’s electronic portal for declaring and paying VAT on imported goods (B2C shipments only). Using the IOSS means VAT is not paid on entry and reduces the chances of potential customs delays. It can be used for goods valued up to €150. IOSS registration is required for some services, such as DPD Classic to certain EU countries. For B2C shipments within the EU, see OSS.

    Online marketplaces, which are obliged to collect and file VAT on all sales up to €150 made to EU customers through their platforms, will have their own IOSS number. If you sell through an online marketplace, you should provide this number when making your booking, so that import VAT is not charged to the recipient of your shipment.
  • High-Value Insurance - Optional cover against the loss or damage of your shipment for commercial goods valued over £2,500. It’s provided by a third-party insurance company, Chaucer, and can be purchased when you make your booking.
  • HS Code – Another term for Commodity Code.
  • Importer of Record – The party responsible for the import declaration, duties and taxes. If the registered address and contact details of the Importer of Record differ from the receiver address, you will be asked to provide both.
  • Importer’s Knowledge – A form of Proof of Origin that can be used instead of an Origin Declaration. An importer can claim a Preferential Tariff on the basis that they have knowledge of the goods’ origin. This will require supporting documentation.
  • Invoice Declaration – See Origin Declaration.
  • LCL – Less than Container Load. This is the service we offer for sea freight. Your goods share the space of a single a shipping container with other customers’ goods, as opposed to a Full Container Load (FCL), where you would book a whole container.
  • Loyalty Points – Points awarded each time you make an order, which can be redeemed on subsequent orders for a discount. Earn 1 point for every £1 spent; each point is worth 1p.
  • Mail Service – A courier service for documents and parcels that is fulfilled in part by a country’s designated postal operator (for example, USPS).
  • No Compensation – Items that you can ship but for which we don’t offer insurance cover against loss or damage, usually because they’re particularly fragile.
  • Packing List – A document that provides information for the exporter, importer and freight forwarder relating to the items packed in your parcel or pallet, including the weight and dimensions of each item. It’s required by carriers for international shipments. We will generate this for you as part of a combined Customs Invoice / Packing List, or you can submit your own.
  • Pre-Paid Credit – For faster checkout, you can add funds (credit) to your account ahead of time. Then you can pay using these credits rather than entering your card details.
  • Prohibited Items – Goods that cannot be sent by courier or imported to a country. Such shipments may be destroyed or incur fines.
  • Proof of Origin – In order to claim a Preferential Tariff—for example, for EU-UK shipments as part of the Trade & Co-Operation Agreement—you will need to be able to provide proof of your goods’ origin to tax and customs authorities. The proof required will depend on the nature of the goods, their origin and their destination. See Origin Declaration and Importer’s Knowledge for different types of proof.
  • OGELs – Open General Export Licenses - Reusable export licenses for exporters who regularly send military or ‘dual-use’ items, which means items that are controlled because they can be used in restricted goods. See also: OIELs, SIELs, and SPIRE.
  • OIELs – Open Individual Export Licenses – Export licenses for controlled goods that are typically valid for 3-5 years to named destinations. See also: OGELs, SIELs, and SPIRE.
  • OSS - One-Stop Shop – The EU’s electronic portal for reporting VAT for B2C sales within the EU. It simplifies the process of registering and paying for import VAT in different EU countries, by allowing you to register in just one EU country. Whether you should use the Union or Non-Union One-Stop Shop depends on your tax status within the EU. For imports from outside of the EU, use the IOSS.
  • Origin Declaration – A form of Proof of Origin. It’s a declaration of the goods’ country of origin that you must provide on the Customs Invoice / Packing List or in an accompanying delivery note. The declaration itself must be supported by the details you provide for your goods on the invoice, including Commodity Codes and statement of origin for each item. Under certain trade agreements, Importer’s Knowledge can be used instead.
  • Personal Effects – Privately-owned items, including personal documents, luggage, items shipped as part of a Transfer of Residence, and gifts. Customs duties and taxes may still apply for international shipments even if they are not commercial in nature, and an HS Code is still required, along with a description and value, for each item. Some countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and the USA, require you to complete a declaration for the entry of any unaccompanied personal effects.
  • Preferential Tariff – A trade tariff that is available under a preferential trade agreement between two countries. For example, the EU-UK Trade & Co-Operation Agreement allows goods to be shipped between the UK and the EU with a Zero Tariff. See also: Rules of Origin and Proof of Origin.
  • PVA – Postponed VAT Accounting – When import VAT is deferred for later payment as part of your tax return rather than being payable on entry. DHL applies PVA automatically for shipments imported to the UK.
  • Remote Area – A region of a country, usually designated by postal code, that is difficult for couriers to reach. Carriers may therefore apply a Remote Area or Extended Area surcharge. Include your collection and delivery postcodes when getting a quote to see any such charge in advance.
  • Residential Delivery – A delivery to a home rather than a business address. A service for B2B shipments only may not deliver to residential addresses. UPS currently applies a surcharge for all residential deliveries.
  • Restricted Goods – Goods that are not necessarily prohibited but may be subject to restrictions or extra licensing requirements (for example, alcohol). This can depend on the carrier and the destination country.
  • Rules of Origin – The rules that govern whether your goods can be treated as originating in the country you are importing from, in order to qualify for a Preferential Tariff. The origin of manufacture for the goods or their materials may affect your claim. See also: Proof of Origin.
  • SAD – Single Administrative Document - also referred to as C88 in the UK. This is a standard document format for customs declarations, including harmonised Commodity Codes. Also known as (or covered by) the Customs Invoice.
  • Same Day Collection – When collection is made on the same day your booking is made. A surcharge sometimes applies. See also: Collection Cut-Off Time.
  • SDR – Special Drawing Rights – An accounting unit (or artificial currency) used by the International Monetary Fund. Its value is based on the world’s five leading currencies. It was introduced to help stabilise global financial conditions by supplementing the reserves of developing or low-income countries. SDRs can be exchanged for hard currency in any IMF member country. We offer free cover against loss or damage of your shipment for up to 2SDR per kilo.
  • Shipping Label - A document issued by the Carrier with the information required for shipping and tracking your parcel, including sender and receiver addresses. You are normally required to attach a copy to the container of your document, parcel or pallet. May be referred to as a waybill (i.e. Air Waybill).
  • SIELs – Standard Individual Export Licenses – Export licenses for controlled goods that are typically valid for 2 years but specify the exact quantity and value of the items for export, as well as the consignee/end user. See also: OGELs, OIELs, and SPIRE.
  • SPIRE – The UK government’s licensing system for controlled goods. See also: OGELs, OIELs, and SIELs.
  • Standard Insurance – Optional cover against the loss or damage of your shipment that can be purchased when you make your booking. The maximum value of goods for which standard cover is available depends on the service, but it’s normally £2,500. For commercial goods of higher value, there is High-Value Insurance.
  • Statement On Origin – See Origin Declaration.
  • Surcharges – Fees from the Carrier that apply in addition to the carriage and insurance costs, usually for shipments that are in some way irregular (for example, exceeding maximum dimensions) or for extra administrative tasks (such as Duty Reversal or address change). We include these in your quote where possible (i.e. Remote Area and dimensional surcharges), but for most surcharges this is not possible as they will only apply after the fact, or once we have received additional information about your shipment (e.g. Residential Delivery and Same Day Collection - if surcharges apply for these, you'll be notified at the relevant stages of the booking process). You will need to check the full surcharges list in the service information for your chosen carrier before shipping.
  • Tariff Code - Another term for Commodity Code.
  • Thermal Label – A Shipping Label formatted specifically so you can print on thermal paper, using a thermal label printer.
  • Tracking Number – Carriers provide a reference number for every shipment that can be used to track its progress in transit. For some services with multiple carriers, you may receive more than one tracking number. However, you can use any tracking number associated with your order to view updates on our site.
  • Transfer of Residence – Duty relief may apply if you are shipping items as part of a permanent move of residence. If moving or returning to the UK, you will need to fill in a ToR1 form to apply for relief.
  • Transit Time – The estimated time it takes for your goods to reach their destination once collected/dropped off. Carriers fulfil the vast majority of deliveries within the given time period, but due to factors such as adverse weather conditions, transit times cannot be guaranteed.
  • Volumetric Weight – also known as Dimensional Weight. It’s a measurement used by Carriers to account for parcels that are light but very large. Carriers take the three dimensions of your parcel and divide by 5000 or 6000 (depending on the service). If the Volumetric Weight is greater than the Actual Weight of your parcel, it will be used to calculate the price of your shipment.
  • VAT – Value-Added Tax. For domestic shipments within the UK, 20% sales VAT applies to the carriage cost (i.e. the cost of the delivery service). We will provide notice of VAT where it applies (as ‘+VAT’) rather than including it in the quoted price, but the total price calculation including VAT will appear on your order overview prior to checkout. For international shipments, import VAT may apply. The rate of import VAT will vary depending on the destination country.
  • Zero Tariff - A form of Preferential Tariff that applies under the EU-UK Trade & Co-Operation Agreement, which means that goods shipped between the UK and the EU are exempt from duties. Proof of Origin is required for all shipments.
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