Glossary of Terms



Provision that allows, when determining the origin of a good, for the consideration of imported inputs as originating provided that they come from another country that participates in the free trade zone.

Ad Valorem Tariff

A tariff rate charged as percentage of the price.

Applied Tariff/ Applied Rates

Duties that are actually charged on imports. These can be below the bound rates.


Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which comprises of 10 Member States. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Back-to-Back Certificate of Origin


A document that can be issued when a shipment passes through the “intermediate AKFTA Party” before it reaches to its final destination or the importing country. The purpose of back-to-back CO is to ensure that when goods arrive in the importing country they still meet the origin criteria documented on the CO issued by the Issuing Body/Authority in the original exporting party.

Change in Tariff Classification (CTC)

Criteria used in the determination of origin that stipulates the change in the tariff nomenclature that an imported input must undergo when incorporated into a final good so that the final good may acquire originating status. The change in tariff classification can be at Chapter level (first two digits of the tariff nomenclature), Heading level (first four digits of the tariff nomenclature), or Sub-heading level (first six digits of the tariff nomenclature).

Change in Tariff Heading (CTH)

Refers to the processing and manufacturing operations of non-originating materials carried out in the area of one side and resulting in a product of a different four-digit tariff heading under the ‘Product Description and Harmonized System Codes’.

Cost in freight (CIF)

Refers to the value of the good imported and include the cost of freight and insurance up to the port or place of entry into the country of importation.


Getting around commitments such as: avoiding quotas and other restrictions by altering the country of origin of a product; measures taken by exporters to evade anti-dumping or countervailing duties.

De minimis

Minimal amounts of domestic support that are allowed even though they distort trade — up to 5% of the value of production for developed countries, 10% for developing.


Dispute Settlement Body —a body formed by parties to the free trade agreement to settle trade disputes.


Free on board; indicates the price for goods including delivery at the seller’s expense to a specified point.

Free Trade Area 

Free trade area is a type bloc where a designated group of countries have agreed to eliminate tariffs, quotas and preferences.


The General Agreement on Trade in Services, contained in Annex 1B to the WTO Agreement.


The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which has  been  superseded as  an international organisation by the WTO.

Harmonised System

An international nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization, which is arranged in six-digit codes allowing all participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis. Beyond the six-digit level, countries are free to introduce national distinctions for tariffs and many other purposes.

HS 6-digit

The World Customs Organization’s Harmonised System (HS) uses code numbers to define products. A code with a low number of digits defines broad categories of products; additional digits indicate sub-divisions into more detailed definitions. Six-digit codes are the most detailed definitions that are used as standard. Countries can add more digits for their own coding to subdivide the definitions further according to their own needs. Products defined at the most detailed level are “tariff lines”.

Intellectual property Rights (IPR)

Ownership of ideas, including literary and artistic works (protected by copyright), inventions (protected by patents), signs for distinguishing goods of an enterprise (protected by trademarks) and other elements of industrial property.


Most-favored-nation treatment.

MFN Tariff

Normal non-discriminatory tariff charged on imports (excludes preferential tariffs under free trade agreements and other schemes or tariffs charged inside quotas).


Non-tariff barriers, such as quotas,  import  licensing  systems,  sanitary regulations, prohibitions, etc.

National Treatment

The principle of giving others the same treatment as one’s own nationals.

Non-Originating Good

A good or material that does not qualify as originating according to the established Origin Regime.


In a negotiation, a country’s proposal for its own further liberalization, usually an offer to improve access to its markets.

Originating Good

A good that, by virtue of fulfilling the requirements of the Origin Regime is considered originating in the country in which its production process has been carried out, regardless of whether imported inputs were used in its production.


An independent body is established by the Dispute Settlement Body, consisting of three experts, to examine and issue recommendations on a particular dispute in the light of provisions.

Preferential Tariff

A tariff rate extended to partner countries who have signed Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with each other. This means that customs duties for selected imported goods that originate from the FTA partner countries are lower or totally eliminated.

Price Undertaking

Undertaking by an exporter to raise the export price of the product to avoid the possibility of an anti-dumping duty.

Regional Value Content (RVC)

Refers to the total value of raw materials, component parts, labor costs and product development costs exclusively incurred in one side being greater than or equal to an agreed percentage of the FOB value of the exporting goods, and that the final manufacturing or processing operations should be completed in the area of that side.

Rules of Origin

Laws, regulations and administrative procedures, which determine a product’s country of origin. A decision by a customs authority on origin can determine whether a shipment falls within a quota limitation, qualifies for a tariff preference or is affected by an anti-dumping duty.


Customs duties on merchandise imports. Levied either on an ad valorem basis (percentage of value) or on a specific basis (e.g. $7 per 100 kgs.). Tariffs give price advantage to similar locally-produced goods and raise revenues for the government.

Tariff Line

A product as defined in lists of tariff rates. Products can be sub-divided, the level of detail reflected in the number of digits in the Harmonized System (HS) code use to identify the product.

Tariff Rate Quota

A trade policy tool used to protect a domestically produced commodity or product from competitive imports. A tariff rate quota (TRQ) combines two policy instruments that nations historically have used to restrict such imports: quotas and tariffs

Trade Facilitation

Processes that eliminate obstacles to the movement of goods across borders (e.g. simplification of customs procedures).

Transaction Value

Customs value of an imported good computed on the basis of the price actually paid or payable for it at the time it was exported.


The value of non-originating materials that are acquired and used by the producer in the production of the good; VNM does not include the value of a material that is self-produced.

Wholly Obtained

A good that contains no imported inputs and that has been wholly produced or obtained within a country participating in a free trade area.