International Commercial Terms are commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) , it’s A set of 11 international standard trade terms  Assignment of costs and responsibilities between the buyer and the seller.
Incoterms allows the parties to designate a point at which the costs and risks of transport are precisely divided between the seller and the buyer. Incoterms also allocate responsibility for customs clearance/duties between the parties. Since Incoterms are not law but are contractual standard terms, they do not apply to a given transaction unless the parties specifically incorporate them.

Incoterms only apply to the seller and buyer, one of whom will assume dovetail with the Incoterms in terms of allocation of transport costs and risks, but this will depend on the shipper giving precise directions to the carrier to ship according to the constraints of the given Incoterms. The 11 Incoterms are divided in 11 Term:

It’s the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS code) of the tariff nomenclature is an international standardized system of names and numbers for the classification of commodities. The HS code system is based on a 6-digit nomenclature. Individual countries have extended this to 10 digits for import and 8 for export.

Nearly 200 countries use these HS codes as basis to determine :

  • import duties and Taxes
  • trade statistics (Statistics Netherlands)
  • origin regulations
  • trade agreements
  • monitoring of controlled goods (including arms, waste, protected animal species)
  • risk analyses
  • Customs information systems

Since the HS code is subject to development, it needs to be ensured that the used codes remain up-to-date.

When importing, a normal description of the goods needs to be stated, other than the standard text and in addition to the HS code. This is because Customs wants to be able to physically check the goods on the basis of this description. The HS code given by the supplier often suffices, but there is often uncertainty in the event of e.g. new technologies. Is that new telephone classed as a camera or otherwise? In order to be absolutely certain that the correct HS code is used for import purposes, The HS code system is developed and maintained by the World Customs Organization (WCO), The HS code is also referred to as the goods code, statistics code, statistics number or tariff code. Please feel free to contact our staff for questions or advice.


Commercial Invoice & Packing list:

A Commercial invoice is a bill for the goods from the seller to the buyer. These invoices to determine the true value of goods and other key specifications when assessing customs duties. Commercial invoice lists seller, buyer, shipper, invoice number, date of Invoice, the quantity of packages, Payment Term and Incoterm.

An export Packing list lists seller, buyer, Consignee ,  invoice number, date of Invoice , mode of transport, carrier, and itemizes quantity, description, the type of package, such as a box, crate, drum, or carton, the quantity of packages, total net and gross weight (in kilograms), package marks, and dimensions, if appropriate. Both commercial stationers and freight forwarders carry packing list forms. A packing list may serve as conforming document. It is not a substitute for a commercial invoice. Customs officials may use the export packing list to check the cargo.


Airway Bill

Air freight shipments require airway bills. Airway bills are shipper-specific (i.e., USPS, Fed-Ex, UPS, DHL, Egypt Air, Qatar Airways, etc.).

Bill of Lading

A bill of lading is a contract between the owner of the goods and the carrier (as with domestic shipments). For vessels, there are two types: a straight bill of lading, The customer usually needs an original as proof of ownership to take possession of the goods.


Export Licenses Or Import Licenses 

An export or Import license is a government document that authorizes the export or Import of specific goods in specific quantities to a particular destination. This document may be required for most or all exports and imports to some countries or for other countries .


Certificate of Origin

The Certificate of Origin (CO) is required by some countries for all or only certain products. In many cases, a statement of origin printed on company letterhead will suffice. The exporter should verify whether a CO is required with the buyer and/or an experienced shipper/freight forwarder or the Trade Information Center.

Note: Some countries (i.e., numerous Middle Eastern countries) require that certificate of origin be notarized, certified by local chamber of commerce and legalized by the commercial section of the consulate of the destination country.


The EUR.1 is most importantly recognized as a certificate of origin in the external trade in legal sense, especially within the framework of several bi– and multilateral agreements of the Pan-European preference system (the European Union Association Agreement).

Insurance Certificate

Insurance certificates are used to assure the consignee that insurance will cover the loss of or damage to the cargo during transit. These can be obtained from your freight forwarder or publishing house. Note: an airway bill can serve as an insurance certificate for a shipment by air. Some countries may require certification or notification.

Port Of Loading,

Port Of Discharge,


Number of Packages or Pallets,

Dimensions of Packages or Pallets,

Gross Weight.

Pick up Address (If Cargo will be Shipped based on Ex.Works Term).

Buyer Details,

Seller Details,

Consignee details,

Invoice number,

Date of Invoice,

Mode of transport,


Description of goods,

The type of package, such as a box, crate, drum, or carton,

The quantity of packages,

Total net and gross weight (in kilograms),

Package marks, and dimensions.

It’s a form of Imports finance in foreign currencies for imported goods, According to the Central Bank of Egypt instructions Form 4 should be provided to the Bank as a proof of the Payment the value of the imported goods from the Importer to the supplier including Importer name and Details, the Type of imported goods and Value of Goods.

To settle Bank Form 4 importer should transfer the value of the imported goods under his import License from his Bank.

All Shipping Documents (Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Certificate of Origin) will be provided to the Bank through Applying for Bank Form 4

In Case the Goods will be shipped by Sea, All Shipping Documents (Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Certificate of Origin) will be sent from supplier Bank to Importer Bank.

Form 4 should be settled and Closed during Customs clearance Procedures.

Customs Clearance Asking to Provide Bank Form 4, when the value of goods will be $2000 or more.

A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. In the event that the buyer is unable to make payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to cover the full or remaining amount of the purchase. Due to the nature of international dealings, including factors such as distance, differing laws in each country, and difficulty in knowing each party personally, the use of letters of credit has become a very important aspect of international trade.

Types of Letters of Credit

A commercial letter of credit is a direct payment method in which the issuing bank makes the payments to the beneficiary. In contrast, a standby letter of credit is a secondary payment method in which the bank pays the beneficiary only when the holder cannot.

A revolving letter of credit lets the customer make any number of draws within a certain limit during a specific time period. A traveler’s letter of credit guarantees the issuing banks will honor drafts made at certain foreign banks.

A confirmed letter of credit involves a bank other than the issuing bank guaranteeing the letter of credit. The second bank is the confirming bank, typically the seller’s bank. The confirming bank ensures payment under the letter of credit if the holder and the issuing bank default. The issuing bank in international transactions typically requests this arrangement.

When the goods arrive in EG, Nile will receive the Delivery Order (D/O) from the Airline immediately.

Nile Will Open Custom Certificate (Form 46) to proceed to clear the goods from EG Customs.

EG Customs will start their procedures by Inspection the shipment.

The second step is to evaluate the Commercial Invoice (CI) and determine the Customs Tariff and Taxes Percentages from Checking the HS Codes.

Nile provides any standard information / Shipping Legalized Documents required as importer to support the customs clearance and make their Revision on the Evaluation Stage.

Customs Determine the Required Approvals after finished Evaluation stage

General Organisation for Exports Imports & Control (GOEIC) Add 3-4 days to get the approval.

National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Add 2-3 days to get the approval.

Customs Pricing Committee   Add 2-3 days to get the approval.

Agricultural Approval (In Case Pallets not Fumigated) Add 1 day to get the approval.

If Shipment need National Security, It will need from 15- 30 days.

If Shipment Value is $ 2000 or more Nile Can Apply for Form 4 during Approvals after finished Customs Pricing Committee and   till other Approval finished.

Last Stage Duties and Taxes Calculation and Payment of the Custom Charges.

Nile will arrange delivery of cargo to final shipping destination after Releasing the shipment from EG Customs.

For more information about customs procedures in Egypt, please follow this link:

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