Freight acronyms: everything you need to know

We understand that the freight lingo and jargon is complicated – read our glossary to understand the freight acronyms that you hear a lot.

  • An internationally recognised status awarded by Customs.
  • We were awarded this status in 2019, which recognises our internal processes as reliable, meaning we are a ‘trusted trader’.
  • AEO status is desirable as the Customs guarantee ensures our trusted trader status will require fewer checks – meaning less delays for your goods.
  • Information that is provided by the exporter/importer, which provides clearance information to us.
  • A certificate highlighting the exact origin of goods – where it was made.
  • Affects duty rate, quotas, tariffs and more.
  • A customs system that allows faster release of goods at the customs clearance destination.
  • In order to use this system, you must have a deferment account and an EORI number.


  • A UK import entry (customs declaration).
  • A plain paper document normally submitted electronically with a number of electronic responses following its transmission.
  • Also referred to as a SAD (Single Administrative Document).
  • Also referred to as an EX or EX1 in mainland Europe (not to be confused with EUR-1 or T-1).
  • In order to export goods from the Customs territory, an EAD export declaration must be created – this must be created by the exporter.
  • All traders must have an EORI number beginning with GB in order to trade between the UK and the EU.
  • Your customer (in the EU) must also have an EORI number based in their country e.g. beginning DE for Germany.
  • If you don’t have an EORI number, you can apply on here.
  • This alerts the import border of the imminent arrival of the shipment.
  • ENS must be lodged at least 2 hours before arrival at the border (1hr for Eurotunnel).
  • A way of delaying the payment of taxes. Goods can be placed in a facilitation before the customer is ready to use them. They are placed here before being customs cleared, meaning taxes are not paid until the moment the goods are needed.


  • This is created by the EAD and alerts the export border that the shipment is on its way.
  • It allows HMRC (and Border Force) to decide if they want to stop the vehicle for additional checks.


  • An agent who is appointed to pay for VAT and possible duty in a shipment’s destination country. Read more in our blog post here.
  • These taxes must be paid in the relevant customs territory – so if you’re based in the UK, and you’re paying taxes in the EU, they’ll act on your behalf.
  • The final number which is asked for by the clearance agent in order for the trucks to get onto the ferry.
  • This is generated by a combination of documents uploaded to the GVMS.
  • This is not yet confirmed.
  • A software that amalgamates all the numbers and information together in order for drivers to move between countries – it combines everything electronically – this allows it to create the GMR number.


  • The shipping terms which establish who pays for duty, VAT, freight and clearance.
  • There are many but the ones we recommend are:
    • Export: DAP – delivery at place.
    • Export: DDP – delivery duty paid.
    • Import: FCA – free carrier.


  • Known in EU as Direct/Indirect Representative)
  • An agent (Baxter Freight) is appointed to act on behalf of a customer – in order to ‘officially’ be represented, customers must sign a Customs Agent letter.

Direct: When the agent (Baxter Freight) acts in the customer’s name. If there’s an error, the customer is liable (unless it’s a deliberate error by the agent, in which case there’s joint liability).

Indirect: When the agent (Baxter Freight) acts in their own name, but on behalf of the customer. If there is an error, the customer and agent are jointly liable. Only used for DDP exports (alongside fiscal representative).


  • This is a barcode reference allowing movement containing elements such as transit document number.
  • All imports and exports between the UK and EU are now subject to VAT in the destination country.
  • VAT can be paid upfront OR paid later. If you wish to postpone the payment of VAT, you need to tell us in advance.
  • Before shipping goods to the EU, you’ll need to know the origin of the goods because this determines:
    • what type of certificate of origin is needed
    • if any duty is payable
    • whether any preferences or quotas apply
  • The origin does not mean where the goods are shipped from – it’s where the goods (including any component parts) were made.
  • It’s the exporter’s responsibility.


  • A document that accompanies goods that have not cleared into free circulation, which includes a barcode scanned at each border crossing and is the basis of the track and trace functionality.
  • T-1: the most common transit document. A form that allows the shipment to travel between locations before being customs cleared, like a baton being passed until the final point (this is when the duty is paid and the T-1 is no longer needed).
  • T-2: a form that a shipment may travel with after the goods have been customs cleared in the EU. The shipment will now travel outside of the EU, and this document allows them to be customs cleared in their destination country e.g. UK to Switzerland, clearing in France or Belgium.
  • A certificate of origin provided when there is a free trade agreement between the origin country and the destination country which provides preferential treatments for goods.
  • Replaced the EUR1 with effect from 1 January.
  • A group consisting of 168 trading territories worldwide
  • ‘WTO terms’ does not mean anything, as the WTO do not set terms for trade. They set rules against which trade should be managed.

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