International Trade Centre

International Trade Centre Outline The ITC is a governmental body operating under the joint auspices of GATT and UNCTAD. It initially came into existence in 1964 as an organization supported by GATT and came under the joint auspices of GATT and UNCTAD in 1968. Its main function is to promote…

Customs Transit

The condition of merchandise that is transiting the customs territory of a nation without having been released from customs jurisdiction. Goods in customs transit are processed under an in transit entry at the time they enter the United States; the in transit, or I.T., entry is effected by filing wi…

International Trade

International Political Economy Trends: International Trade Introduction to International Trade In the 21st century, international trade has grown to 20 percent of the world's total production of goods and services-around $6.5 trillion per year. This volume of trade is almost seven times […]

Certificate of Origin

A document presented to customs authorities at the time of importation to authenticate the national origin of merchandise. The certificate is customarily issued by a recognized chamber of commerce or governmental authority in the country of origin….


Technical expertise that a firm has acquired through its operations and to which it has proprietary rights, whether the knowledge is patented or not. This expertise may consist of blueprints, plans, and manuals, as well as technical assistance….

Market Access

Summary of Market Access The degree of participation in the domestic market that a nation allows to foreign suppliers. Tariffs, quotas, and similar protective devices are devices imposed to limit market access. (Main Author: William J. Miller) Market Access and National Treatment in the […]


Summary of Delivery

The act whereby the owner of a vessel gives operational control over to the charterer.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

In the United States For information about Delivery in the context of international trade, click here Delivery in International Trade Meaning […]

Public International Law

Summary of Public International Law The body of international law that governs the conduct of a nation as a sovereign entity in its relations with other nations. It does not deal with the international activities of private individuals or firms. (Main Author: William J. Miller) […]


Summary of Patent

A grant issued by a governmental authority to an inventor permitting, for a fixed number of years, an exclusive right to the invention. The grant includes the prerogative of preventing others from making, using, or selling the invention covered. Through various […]


Summary of Cartel

An alliance among firms in the same line of business aimed at controlling or dominating their field on an international basis.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

Definition of Cartel In accordance with the work A Dictionary of Law, this is a description of Cartel : […]

Export Subsidy

Summary of Export Subsidy

A direct payment, tax relief, or other incentive provided by a government to encourage export sales. The use of such devices is apt to be regarded as undesirable by the importing nation and may result in the imposition of Countervailing Duties (read this legal term […]


Summary of Flag

The country of registration of a vessel or aircraft. Read the listing of flag abbreviations, by country or by abbreviation.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

Spanish Translation of pavilion and flag This is the legal translation of English to Spanish in relation to […]


Dollars remitted to oil-producing countries in settlement of petroleum purchase accounts. As a practical matter, purchases of petroleum from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are usually settled in U.S. dollars because of the immense volumes of currency required for these …

Trade Credit

Credit granted by nonfinancial firms, usually in the form of short-term deferral of payment of invoices by customers, e.g., account open sales. Also, trade credit represents the purchase of a firm's accounts receivable or trade acceptances….

Collective Farm

A communal farm on which the land and heavy machinery are owned by the state, but the other means of production are owned by the participating farmers. Often the member families cultivate a private plot on the farm in addition to the communal plot. Management of the farm is ostensibly controlled by …


Any unit or instrument generally accepted as having value to effect the purchase of goods or services, or to settle debts. All money enjoys three characteristics: (1) it is a unit of account in which values can be measured; (2) it is a medium of exchange; and (3) it is a store of value (i.e., a […]

Mixed Economy

Summary of Mixed Economy

An economy that possesses the elements of both public and private ownership of the means of production.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

Resources See Also Economy Economic System Legal System Capitalism

Special Drawing Rights

Summary of Special Drawing Rights

An artificial currency unit created by the international monetary Fund (read this and related legal terms for further details), or IMF, to argument international reserves. The expansion of world trade following World War II necessitated an expansion in […]

Quantitative Restriction

A limitation on the quantity of a given commodity that may be imported into a country during a specified period of time. A quantitative restriction is manifested as a Quota ("">read this and related legal terms for further […]


Legal Materials For an introduction to the Israeli legal system see A Guide to Legal Research in Israelby Michal Tamir, Legal Research Guide: Israel and/or the Israeli Law Guide by Ruth Levush. For more information on Israeli legal materials, see Esther Snyder's Israel: A Legal Research […]


Summary of Monopoly The condition in which a given product or service can be obtained only from a single supplier that is free to use its market position to exact excessive prices for the product or service it controls. The Sherman Act of 1890 makes monopolies and attempts to monopolize […]

Basic Needs

Summary of Basic Needs

A code word for official development ASSISTANCE (read this legal term for further details) programs aimed toward the improvement of health care, education, nutrition, and like fundamental services in poorer nations. The basic needs concept has been criticized by some […]

Joint Venture

Summary of Joint Venture

A business enterprise with more than one equity participant; for example, an agreement between a German firm and a U.S. firm to capitalize jointly a new factory in Venezuela. Many countries impose restrictions on joint ventures; these restrictions may take the form […]


Summary of Underdevelopment

A condition in which a nation's per capita real income is significantly below that enjoyed in the industrialized world, and where national income is inadequate to provide the investment capital essential to expand the economy. In addition, most underdeveloped […]

Gold Standard

Summary of Gold Standard

A system under which a nation's currency is freely convertible into gold. The quantity of gold per unit of currency is fixed by law. Most major trading nations, however, abandoned the gold standard because of the constraints it imposes upon liquidity, although […]

Customs Union

Summary of Customs Union

An arrangement among participating countries whereby tariffs are eliminated or virtually eliminated on products moving between members, and a common external tariff (read this and related legal terms for further details) is adopted to provide uniform treatment to […]

International Economic Law

Legal Issues International economic law is more likely to fall under the rubric of public international law, as it deals with international economic relationships between states. See, for example, Petersmann, 'International Economic Theory and International Economic Law: On the Tasks of a […]

Exchange Control

The system by which a government regulates possession of and dealings in foreign exchange. The principal objective of exchange control is to allocate foreign exchange to necessary imports and expenditures. Normally, the finance ministry or central bank is invested with the authority to issue […]

Economic Community of West African States

Economic Community Of West African States Summary of Economic Community Of West African States

An organization of sixteen West African states committed to the elimination of trade barriers among the member states and the promotion of economic development in the region. Formed at Lagos, […]


Used as a noun, a vessel. The term is used in conjunction with vessels under construction or already afloat; a newly launched vessel is said to be a new building….

Intellectual Property

Summary of Intellectual Property Intellectual Property is, according withWilliam J. Miller, a general term covering industrial property such as patents, trademarks, and trade names, as well as literary and artistic property, including copyrights. Consideration of the meaning of the word […]

Economic Integration

Summary of Economic Integration

The process of unifying two or more national economies through conscious coordination of trade, fiscal, and monetary activities. Economic integration is normally preceded by the reduction or abolition of tariffs, quotas, and similar constraints upon trade […]

Economic Union

Summary of Economic Union

Also known as an economic community, an advanced form of economic integration on the part of several states. The economic union incorporates the features of a Common market (read this and related legal terms for further details)—unrestricted free trade among […]


Summary of Oligopoly

Literally, a market in which there are only a few sellers of a given product or service. Under oligopolistic conditions, no one seller can establish market prices, except in concert with the other suppliers; if such concerted action develops, the suppliers are operating […]

Import Substitution

Summary of Import Substitution

The act of eliminating imports of a given product by commencing production locally, often accompanied by controls such as increased duties, quotas, or outright bans to discourage or prevent continued foreign imports. This approach is fairly common on the part […]

Diplomatic Immunity

An immunity from local laws and regulations accorded by host states to accredited foreign diplomats. It is recognized in international law that diplomatic officers are the personal representatives of sovereign states and, as such, are themselves inviolable on the same basis as the states they […]

Industrial Property

Summary of Industrial Property

Intangible property such as patents and trademarks.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

Spanish Translation of industrial property This is the legal translation of English to Spanish in relation to industrial property and / or a definition of this […]

Coup D'etat

Summary of Coup D'etat

The overthrow of an established government by an insurgent group of forces within the government itself. A coup differs from a revolution in that a revolution implies a general uprising of the population, or at least widespread support through the nation for the […]


Summary of Devaluation

The official reduction of the value of a nation's money in relation to a standard (usually gold), special drawing rights, or the U.S. dollar. Inasmuch as all currencies are ultimately valued in terms of some standard, devaluation results in the conscious increase […]

Common Market

Summary of Common Market

A supranational organization of trading nations, created to promote economic collaboration and minimize constraints on the free movement of goods among the member states. Features of a common market include elimination of tariffs on goods moving between member […]

Arab League

Summary of Arab League

An association of independent Arab states formed for the purpose of advancing cooperation among the members in political, economic, and social matters. The league, formed in Cairo in 1945, has a permanent council and secretariat. A principal objective of the league […]

Transfer Pricing

The pricing level at which goods are sold between related entities, subsidiary to parent. Transfer pricing has been an area of considerable interest to customs authorities, inasmuch as such sales are often suspected of being manipulated by the parties deliberately to undervalue the goods for […]

Gold Exchange Standard

A condition in which a nation maintains its reserves in a currency convertible into gold rather than in the metal itself. Since August 15, 1971, the U.S. dollar has not been freely convertible into gold by foreign central banks; it therefore does not qualify as a reserve currency for a nation on a g…

Gross Domestic Product

Summary of Gross Domestic Product

The aggregate value, expressed in monetary terms, of all goods and services produced within a national economy during a given time period, usually one year.

(Main Author: William J. Miller)

Gross Domestic Product (gdp) (in the Human Development […]