BAA – British Airports Authority.


BACA – Baltic Air Charter Association.


BAF (Bunker Adjustment Factor) – An adjustment in shipping charges to offset price fluctuations in the cost of bunker fuel. Also known as a Bunker Surcharge (B/S).


Barter – The direct exchange of goods and/or services without the use of money as a medium of exchange and without third party involvement.


B/B (Breakbulk) – (See Breakbulk Cargo)


Belly Cargo – Freight accommodation below the main deck.


BENELUX – An economic union among Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.


Bermuda Agreement – An agreement concluded in 1946 between the U.K. and the U.S.A. designed to regulate future international air traffic. Most governments accept its principles and follow it by limiting traffic rights on international routes to one or two carriers.


Berth – The place beside a pier, quay, or wharf where a vessel can be loaded or discharged.


Berth Liner Service – A regularly scheduled steamship line with regularly published schedules (ports of call) from and to defined trade areas.


Berth or Liner Terms – An expression covering assessment of ocean freight rates generally implying that loading and discharging expenses will be for the ship owner’s account, and usually applying from the end of the ship’s tackle in the port of loading to the end of the ship’s tackle in the port of discharge.


Bilateral Rights – Agreements on traffic rights concluded between two governments.


Bill of Lading – A document issued by a common carrier to a shipper that serves as:

  1. A receipt for the goods delivered to the carrier for shipment.
  2. A definition of the contract of carriage of the goods from the port of shipment to the port of destination listed in the bill of lading.
  3. Evidence of title to the relative goods.

When in order form, a bill of lading is negotiable. (See specific types of Bill of Ladings below)


Bill of Lading, Claused – A bill of lading which has exemptions to the receipt of merchandise in “apparent good order” noted.


Bill of Lading, Clean

  1. A bill of lading which bears no superimposed clause or notation which expressly declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging (Article 18, Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits). A bill of lading that contains a clause declaring defective goods is called a Foul Bill of Lading.
  2. A bill of lading that is silent as to the place of storage, indicating that the goods have been stowed under deck. (See Bill of Lading, Unclean)


Bill of Lading, Forwarder’s – A bill of lading issued by a forwarder to a shipper as a receipt for merchandise that the forwarder will consolidate with cargo obtained from other exporters and ship to his agent at the port of destination. In most cases, the Forwarder’s Bill of Lading has legal standing for banking purposes. Also called House Bill of Lading.


Bill of Lading, Foul – A receipt for goods issued by a carrier bearing a notation that the outward containers or the goods have been damaged.


Bill of Lading, Inland – A bill of lading used in transporting goods overland to the exporter’s international carrier.


Bill of Lading, Ocean – A document defining the terms and conditions of carriage for transport of cargo by sea freight.


Bill of Lading, On Board – A bill of lading acknowledging that the relative goods have been received on board for shipment on a specified vessel.


Bill of Lading, Order – A negotiable bill of lading. There are two types:

  1. A bill drawn to the order of a foreign consignee, enabling him to endorse the bill to a third party.
  2. A bill drawn to the order of the shipper and endorsed by him either “in blank” or to a named consignee. The purpose of the latter bill is to protect the shipper against the buyer’s obtaining the merchandise before he has paid or accepted the relative draft. (See also Endorsement in Blank)


Bill of Lading, Received for Shipment – A bill of lading acknowledging the receipt of goods by a carrier for shipment on a specified vessel. This type of bill of lading is not acceptable under a letter of credit unless it is specially authorized. English law does not regard these bills as a valid tender under CIF contracts because the CIF seller is obligated to ship the goods, and a Received for Shipment Bill of Lading is not considered proof of shipment.


Bill of Lading, Straight – A non-negotiable bill of lading whereby the consignee named in the bill is the owner of the relative goods.


Bill of Lading, Through – A bill of lading that covers transportation by more than one carrier from the point of issue to the final destination (e.g., a bill from New York, via Curaçao, to Pampatar, Venezuela).


Bill of Lading, Through Railway Export – A bill of lading showing the place of receipt by the carrier at an inland point, with transport to the port of exit accomplished using rail/intermodal connections.


Bill of Lading, Unclean – A bill containing reservations as to the good order and condition of the goods or the packaging or both. Examples: “bags torn,” “drums leaking,” “one case damaged,” and “rolls chafed.”


Bill of Sight – A written description of goods given by an importer to a customs officer in the event shipping documents have not arrived in time and the importer wishes to avoid delayed entry charges. When an importer enters goods on a bill of sight, he usually must make a cash deposit covering the estimated amount of duty. When the shipping documents are received and a correct entry is made, the exact amount of duty is levied.


B/L (Bill of Lading) – (See Bill of Lading)


Bloodstock – Pedigreed livestock. Often race horses or cattle for breeding.


Bonded Warehouse – A warehouse authorized by customs authorities for storage of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the goods are removed.


Booking – Arrangements with steamship companies for the acceptance and carriage of freight.


Breakbulk Cargo – Cargo which is shipped as a unit (e.g., palletized cargo, boxed cargo, large machinery, trucks, and pre-slung cargo).


Breakbulk Vessel – A vessel designed to handle palletized, pre-slung, boxed, and unitized cargo. Holds can be at the open bay or between deck type. Between deck means the hold can be converted from multi levels to open bay. This type of vessel is usually self-sustaining.


Breakpoint – The weight at which freight charges change, e.g., 100 kilos.


Broker – A person or firm that establishes a connection between a buyer and a seller. Brokers operate in many fields: insurance, steamship transport, securities, drafts, and other phases of foreign trade. Not only do brokers bring buyers and sellers together, but they help to negotiate and close contracts and agreements between them.


Brussels Nomenclature-Kennedy Round – A standardized system, established in 1950, for classifying commodities for customs purposes. The ECU common external tariff and the tariffs of other major trading nations, except the U.S.A., are based on this nomenclature. The U.S. tariff schedule (TSUS) contains about 5,000 items compared to 2,800 in the Brussels Nomenclature.


B/s – Bags; bales.


B/S (Bunker Surcharge) – (See BAF)


b.t. – Berth terms.


Bulk Cargo – Loose cargo that is loaded directly into a ship’s hold.


Bulk Carrier – There are two types of bulk carriers, the dry-bulk carrier and the liquid-bulk carrier, better known as a tanker. Bulk cargo is a shipment such as oil, grain, or one which is not packaged, bundled, bottled, or otherwise packed and is loaded without counting or marking.


Bulk Solids – Dry cargo shipped in containers, loose and in bulk, without counting or marking.


Bureau of Standards – A bureau of the U.S Department of Commerce that maintains research and testing laboratories, working standards, weights, measurements, and norms by which business and government are guided. The Bureau of Standards furnishes development and consulting services to the government and helps business to establish quality standards in all industries other than food and drugs.