International Commercial Terms Document - A

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Acceptance of bill of exchange: Recognition of a legal obligation to pay the amount on a term bill of exchange at a specified future date (maturity date).

Ad valorem: According to value.

Advance Against Documents (AAD): A loan made on the security of the actual documents covering a shipment.

Advance payment: Trading method in which the buyer pays for the goods before they are dispatched. This is used where the buyer is of unknown credit worthiness and is unable to obtain a letter of credit. This is also used as a matter of convenience for small orders.

Advising bank: Bank, usually in the seller's country, whose primary function is to authenticate the letter of credit and advise it to the seller. The advising bank MAY also take on other roles in the transaction. These include:

  • confirming the letter of credit (confirming bank)
  • accepting a term bill of exchange (accepting bank)
  • paying the seller upon presentation of documents (paying or negotiating bank)

Adviory Capacity: Used to indicate that a shipper's agent or agent or reprentative is not empowered to make definitive changes or adjustments without approval of the group or individual represented.

Air way bill: Transport document used in air freight. Serves as a receipt for the goods and evidence of carriage contract. This is not a document of title and so is not needed by the consignee in order to claim the goods from the carrier.

All risks insurance: Insurance covering risks set out in the Institute of London Underwriters Cargo Clauses A. Covers fire, theft, loss at sea, damage during loading, transhipment and discharge but NOT strikes, riots, civil commotion or war piracy.

Alongside: The side of a ship. Goods to be delivered "alongside" are to be placed on the dock or taken next to the ship within reach of the transport ship's tackle so that can be loaded aboard the ship.

Amendment: Variation in the terms or conditions of any document. In the case of Letters of credit, an amendment to a letter of credit is issued by the Issuing bank under the direction of the applicant, and is advised to the Advising bank, following the same route as the original LC.

APEC: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, an organization of countries in Asia and elsewhere dedicated to increasing international trade.

Applicant: Buyer/importer in a letter of credit transaction, who applies to the Issuing Bank for a letter of credit in favor of the seller (beneficiary). Other terms for this are, the accountee or accreditor.

Arbitage: The process of buying foreign exchange, stocks, bonds, and other commoditiies in one market and immediately selling them in another market at hopefully higher prices.

ASEAN: The Association of South East Asian Nations, a regional organization of Southeast Asian countries.

Assignment: A transfer of legal rights under an agreement. In the case of letters of credit, a banking arrangement between the beneficiary of a letter of credit and a third party - usually the supplier of the goods - who requires an assurance of payment. Usually takes the form of a letter or deed of assignment. The beneficiary of the credit is the assignor; part of the proceeds of the credit are irrevocably assigned to the assignee.

Avalisation: Payment undertaking given by a bank in respect of a bill of exchange drawn on a buyer. A way of giving security to the drawer of a term bill. The bill is stamped with wording such as 'Pour aval' and signed by a representative of the bank.