Terms Used In Export Shipping: Export Acronyms

What Are The Most Common Export Acronyms Used In Shipping?

There are many important export acronyms to know in the international trade world. International trade has many moving parts, and one of the biggest points of confusion that companies experience is when it comes to the numerous and complex world of export shipping terms.

If you want to have a leg-up in the business world then you need to have a strong handle on the various international trade terms. The world of international trade and compliance has a huge number of acronyms, and it is ever-changing.

Some of the most important exporting terms and other export acronyms to know in the international trade world are in the following list of export terms.

TermAbbreviationDefinition
Arms Export Control ActAECAThe Arms Export Control Act is the basic U.S. law providing the authority and general rules for the conduct of foreign military sales and commercial sales of defense articles, defense services, and training.
Automated Export SystemAESThe Automated Export System is the central point through which export shipment data required by multiple agencies is filed electronically to CBP, using the efficiencies of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
Bureau of Industry and Security (EAR)BISThe Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) advances U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system, and by promoting continued U.S. leadership in strategic technologies. BIS is responsible for administration and enforcement of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
Chemical and Biological WeaponsCBWChemical and biological weapons are indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction. Chemical weapons are inanimate poisonous substances that incapacitate, injure, or kill through their toxic effects on the skin, eyes, lungs, blood, nerves, or other organs. Biological weapons are infectious or toxic agents (such as bacteria, rickettsia, and viruses) that are derived from natural sources and can cause disease or death.
Commodity Classification Automated Tracking SystemCCATSThe Commodity Classification Automated Tracking System is the classification system administered by the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in which a requestor can obtain the export control classification number for products classified under the Commerce Control List (CCL).
Commerce Control List (EAR)CCLThe Commerce Control List (CCL) is a list of items under the export control jurisdiction of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The CCL is contained in Supplement No. 1 to Part 774 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), 15 C.F.R., 774.1.
Commodity JurisdictionCJA commodity jurisdiction (CJ) request is used to determine whether an item or service is subject to the export licensing authority of the Department of Commerce (DOC) or the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).
Destination Control Statement (EAR) or Direct Commercial Sales (ITAR)DCSThe Destination Control Statement is a legal statement required on your export invoice by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). A Direct Commercial Sale is a sale of defense articles or defense services made under a Department of State issued license by U.S. industry directly to a foreign buyer, and which is not administered by DoD through FMS procedures.
Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (ITAR)DDTCThe Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) is charged with controlling the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by the United States Munitions List (USML).
Defense Export Control and Compliance System (ITAR)DECCSThe Defense Export Control and Compliance System (DECCS) is the central online platform for conducting business with DDTC. It is DDTC's cloud-based modernization replacement of the DTrade and EFS system used for registration and filing licenses.
Department of CommerceDOCThe Department of Commerce (DOC) is a Cabinet-level section of the US government established to oversee U.S. and international commerce by way of promoting, developing and fostering economic, community, and workforce development.
US Department of DefenseDODThe United States Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces.
Department of StateDOSThe United States Department of State, commonly referred to as the State Department, is a federal executive department responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy and international relations.
Denied Persons List (EAR)DPLDenied Persons List means a list of specific persons, or entities, which have violated the Export Administration Act and been denied export privileges by the Department of Commerce.
Department of State Pro Forma (ITAR)DSPThe acronym "DSP" proceeds a number for official documents submitted in accordance with the ITAR such as a DSP-5 or DSP-83. It is the official form used by the Department of State.
Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance (ITAR)DTCCThe Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance is the organization within the U.S. Department of State responsible for enforcing the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). In accordance with 22. U.S.C. 2778-2780 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), DDTC is charged with controlling the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by the United States Munitions List (USML).
Defense Technology Security AdministrationDTSAThe Defense Technology Security Administration serves a vital role in the international transfer of military and commercial (dual-use) goods and technology and in protecting critical information in support of US national security.
Export Administration Act (EAR)EAAThe Export Administration Act is an act to provide authority to regulate exports, to improve the efficiency of export regulation, and to minimize interference with the ability to engage in commerce.
Export Administration RegulationsEARRegulations set forth in parts 730-744, of Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which govern the export of commercial and dual-use items under the U.S. Department of Commerce. They also govern whether a person may export from the US, reexport from a foreign country or transfer from one person to another in a foreign country.
Export Classification Control Number (EAR)ECCNAn Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) is a five-character alphanumeric key used in the Commerce Control List (CCL) to classify U.S. exports and determine whether an export license is needed from the Department of Commerce. An ECCN categorizes a product based on its commodity, software, or technology.
Export Compliance OfficerECOAn Export Compliance Officer maintains trade compliance policies and operational procedures and updates them according to the regulatory changes brought about by the US government and other procedural changes that apply to export compliance.
Export Control ReformECRExport Control Reform is the rebuilding of the two primary export controls lists, State's USML and the Department of Commerce's Commerce Control List (CCL) which primarily controls dual-use items, i.e., commercial items with possible military applications, and some military items of lesser sensitivity.
Export License Status Advisor (DOD)ELISAExport License Status Advisor (ELISA) is a publicly available web application. The industry uses ELISA to view the DoD status of their Dual Use and Munitions export license requests.
Export Management and Compliance ProgramEMCPAn Export Management and Compliance Program (EMCP) is required by the U.S. Government to ensure that companies comply with export control policy for dual-use commodities, software, and technology.
Empowered Official (ITAR)EOEmpowered Official means a U.S. person directly employed by the applicant or a subsidiary in a position having authority for policy or management within the applicant organization who is authorized by a company to process and sign license applications on its behalf. Empowered Officials are held liable for any violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Foreign Corrupt Practices ActFCPAThe Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) is a United States federal law that prohibits U.S. citizens and entities from bribing foreign government officials to benefit their business interests.
Foreign Principal Party in Interest (FTR)FPPIForeign principal party in interest (FPPI) is the party shown on the transportation document to whom final delivery or end-use of the goods will be made. This party may be the ultimate consignee.
General Correspondence (ITAR)GCGeneral correspondence is typically used when referred to in the ITAR or in transactions or activities that do not normally fit into a traditional license, agreement, or exemption approval.
Major Defense Equipment (ITAR)MDEMajor defense equipment means any item of significant military equipment (as defined in section 120.7) on the U.S. Munitions List having a nonrecurring research and development cost of more than $50,000,000 or a total production cost of more than $200,000,000.
Manufacturing License Agreement (ITAR authorization)MLAThe Manufacturing License Agreement is required for defense services, if technical data is given or used to perform the defense services.
Missile Technology Control RegimeMTCRThe Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal, non-treaty association of states that have an established policy or interest in limiting the spread of missiles and missile technology. The United States and other nations in this multilateral control regime have agreed to guidelines for restricting the export of dual-use items that may contribute to the development of missiles.
Non-Disclosure AgreementNDAA Non-Disclosure Agreement is a contract by which one or more parties agree not to disclose confidential information that they have shared with each other as a necessary part of doing business together.
No License Required (EAR)NLRNLR is the designator of a transaction that stands for the "No License Required" authorization. NLR may be used for either EAR99 items, or items on the CCL that do not require a license for the destination in question, provided no General Prohibitions apply.
Office of Export Enforcement (BIS)OEEThe Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security. Export Enforcement (EE) is to protect national security, homeland security, foreign policy, and the economic interests of the United States.
Office of Foreign Assets ControlOFACThe Office of Foreign Asset Control is a federal department that enforces economic and trade sanctions against countries and groups.
Routed Export TransactionRETA routed export transaction occurs when the foreign buyer of the goods contracts with a freight forwarder or other agent to export the merchandise from the United States.
Restricted Party ScreeningRPSRestricted party screening (or denied party screening) refers to the process in which a company checks a potential customer or business partner against one or more of the restricted party lists to ensure they are not doing business with a restricted party.
Return Without Action (EAR/ITAR/OFAC)RWAReturned Without Action is a situation in which an application for an export license is not granted, generally because it is incomplete, or the applicant is eligible for a general license.
Specially Designated National (OFAC)SDNA Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, or an 'SDN', is an individual, entity, or organization deemed detrimental to the security of the United States. An SDN may be involved in criminal activities such as terrorism, narcotics trafficking, or weapons proliferation.
Significant Military Equipment (ITAR)SMESignificant military equipment means defense articles for which special export controls are warranted because of their capacity for substantial military utility or capability.
Technical Assistance Agreement (ITAR authorization)TAATechnical assistance agreement is an agreement (e.g., contract) for the performance of a defense service(s) or the disclosure of technical data, as opposed to an agreement granting a right or license to manufacture defense articles.
Third-Country NationalTCNA third country national (TCN) is an employee who is not a citizen of the home or host countries.
Trade Compliance OfficerTCOTrade compliance officers are responsible for providing valuable expert insights within a company concerning the requirements and obligations of exporting and importing various goods.
Technology Control Plan (ITAR)TCPTechnology Control Plan (TCP) is to prevent unauthorized access by foreign nationals to technology controlled for export under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
Trading with the Enemy Act (OFAC)TWEATrading with the Enemy Acts is a generic name for a class of legislation generally passed during or approaching a war that prohibit not just mercantile activities with foreign nationals, but also acts that might assist the enemy. TWEA is the legal basis for many of the OFAC sanctions.
United States Munitions List (ITAR)USMLThe United States Munitions List is a list of articles, services, and related technology designated as defense and space-related by the United States federal government.
United States Principal Party in Interest (FTR)USPPIA U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) is the person or legal entity in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, from the export transaction.
Voluntary Disclosure (ITAR)VDA Voluntary Disclosure occurs when a company decides to report a wrongdoing or apparent violation before DDTC discovers it by another means. It is a document that precisely describes the violation and what compliance changes will be made to stop it from happening again.
Voluntary Self-Disclosure (OFAC or EAR)VSDVoluntary self-disclosure, or VSD, occurs when a company decides to report a wrongdoing or apparent sanctions violation to OFAC before that violation is discovered by other means.
Weapons of Mass DestructionWMDA weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or any other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to numerous humans or cause great damage to human-made structures, natural structures, or the biosphere.