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Glossary of Trade & Shipping Terms - M

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  • m - meter
  • M A R form - The standard of marine insurance policy used in the London market by both Lloyd's and companies
  • M. & D.P. - Minimum and deposit premium
  • M. & W. - Marine and war risks
  • m. pack - Missing package
  • M.A.V.I.S. - Marine Audio-Visual Instruction Systems
  • M.B.D. - Machinery breakdown
  • M.C. - Machinery certificate
  • M.F.C. - Maximum foreseeable loss
  • M.H. - Main Hatch
  • M.H.W.S. - Mean High Water Spring
  • M.I.P. - Marine Insurance Policy
  • M.L.W.S. - Mean Low Water Springs
  • m.m. - Made merchantable
  • M.M. - Mercantile Marine
  • M.M.A. - Merchandise Marks Act
  • M.N.S.C. - Managed Network Steering Committee
  • M.O.H. - Medical Officer of Health
  • M.P.L. - Maximum probable loss
  • M.R. - Mate's receipt
  • M.S. - Motor ship, Machinery survey
  • M.T. - Mean Time
  • M.T.L. - Mean tidal level
  • M/C - Metalling clause (marine insurance), Machinery certificate
  • M/d - Malicious damage
  • M/D - Memorandum of deposit
  • M/s - Months after sight
  • Maastricht Treaty - The Maastricht Treaty (named for the Dutch town in which the treaty was signed) is also known as the Treaty of European Union. The treaty creates a European Union by: (a) commiting the 12 member states of the European Economic Community to both European Monetary Union (EMU) and political union; (b) introducing a single currency (European Currency Unit, ECU); (c) establishing a European System of Central Banks (ESCB); (d) creating a European Central Bank (ECB); and (e) broadening EEC integration by including both a common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and cooperation in justice and home affairs (CJHA). The treaty, negotiated in 1991 and signed in February 1992, entered into force on November 1, 1993.The Maastricht Treaty envisioned EMU being achieved in three stages: - A first stage (encompassing treaty negotiations and lasting through January 1, 1994) concludes with ratification of treaty amendments needed to establish EMU, including participation by all 12 EEC member states in the Exchange Rate Mechanism; - A second stage (January 1, 1994 through no later than January 1, 1999) involves establishment of the European Monetary Institute (EMI) to support development of a single currency (the ecu) and development of the ECB; - A third stage (starting no later than January 1, 1999) involves irrevocable fixing of exchange rates and the debut of the ECB with transfer of powers necessary for administering economic and monetary union. See: European Central Bank European Currency Unit European Monetary Institute European System of Central Banks Exchange Rate Mechanism.
  • Machy - Machinery
  • Maghreb States - The Maghreb states include the three nations of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. The European Community concluded a trade and aid agreement in 1976 with these states. The term Maghreb states sometimes also includes Libya and Mauritania. The five Maghreb states created the Arab Maghreb Union. See: Arab Maghreb Union Comite Permanent Consultatif du Maghreb.
  • main port - Port that handles a significant proportion of a country's seaborne trade. It normally can accommodate many ships and has a wide range of facilities.
  • Mal.d. - Malicious damage
  • manifest - Document containing a full list of a ship's cargo that is extracted from the bill of lading. A copy, known as the outward manifest is kept with the Customs authorities at the port of loading. Another copy, known as the inward manifest is kept at the discharge port.
  • Mano River Union - The MRU advances common policies and cooperation on tariffs and customs regulations, on development projects, and in other economic areas. The Union instituted a common external tariff in 1977. The MRU was established in 1973; headquarters are in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  • Manufactured Imports Promotion Organization - MIPRO is a non-profit organization, established in 1978 by the joint efforts of the Japanese Government and the private sector to promote imports of foreign manufactured products by hosting exhibitions and providing a wide range of market information. MIPRO's activities are broadly classified into three categories: (a) holding imported product trade exhibitions for buyers and the general public; (b) disseminating information regarding imported products and the Japanese market; and (c) promoting sales of foreign products to Japanese consumers to promote recognition of the quality of imported goods.
  • Maquiladora - The maquiladora (or "in-bond" industry) program allows foreign manufacturers to ship components into Mexico duty-free for assembly and subsequent reexport. Industry established under the maquiladora program is Mexico's second largest source of foreign revenue (following oil exports). The maquiladora programs was established in 1965; in December 1989, the Mexican government liberalized the maquiladora program to make this a more attractive and dynamic sector of the economy. As a result, maquiladora operations may import, duty and import license free, products not directly involved in production, but that support production, including computers and other administrative materials and transportation equipment.
  • Marine Cargo Insurance - Broadly, insurance covering loss of, or damage to, goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses in excess of those which can be legally recovered from the carrier that are sustained from fire, shipwreck, piracy, and various other causes. Three of the most common types of marine insurance coverage are "free of particular average" (f.p.a.), "with average" (w.a.), and "All Risks Coverage."
  • Market Access - Market access refers to the openness of a national market to foreign products. Market access reflects a government's willingness to permit imports to compete relatively unimpeded with similar domestically produced goods.
  • Market Access - The ability of a domestic industry to penetrate a related market in a foreign country. The extent to which the foreign market is accessible generally depends upon the existence and extent of trade barriers.
  • Market Disruption - Market disruption refers to the situation which is created when a surge of imports in a given product line causes sales of domestically produced goods in a particular country to decline to an extent that the domestic producers and their employees suffer major economic hardship.
  • Market Promotion Program - The Market Promotion Program (MPP) was authorized by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 and is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service. Under the MPP, surplus stocks or funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation are used to partially reimburse agricultural organizations conducting specific foreign market development projects for eligible products in specified countries. Proposals for MPP programs are developed by trade organizations and private firms. Activities financed by the programs vary from commodity to commodity, and include activities such as market research, construction of a three-story wood demonstration building, construction of a model feed mill, and consumer promotion activities. (MPP is broader in scope than the Targeted Export Assistance [TEA] program, repealed by the 1990 Farm Bill, whose purpose was to assist exports of commoditis hurt by unfair foreign trade practices.)
  • Market-Oriented Cooperation Plan - The MOCP, established in 1990, is aimed at improving long-term business relations between Japan's automotive manufacturers and U.S. auto parts suppliers.
  • Market-Oriented Sector-Selective - The MOSS talks were begun in January 1985 as bilateral trade discussions between the U.S. and Japan in an effort to remove many trade barriers at once in a given sector. MOSS talks have focused on five sectors: (a) telecommunications, (b) medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, (c) electronics, (d) forest products, and (e) auto parts. Overall, the talks focus high-level attention on reducing certain market obstacles opening communication channels to resolve follow-up disputes.
  • Marks of Origin - The physical markings on a product that indicate the country of origin where the article was produced. Customs rules require marks of origin of most countries.
  • Matchmaker Events - Matchmaker trade delegations are organized and led by the International Trade Administration to help new-to-export and new-to-market firms meet prescreened prospects who are interested in their products or services in overseas markets. Matchmaker delegations usually target two major country markets and limit trips to a week or less. This approach is designed to permit U.S. firms to interview a maximum number of prospective overseas business partners with a minimum of time away from their home office. The program includes U.S. embassy support, briefings on market requirements and business practices, and interpreter services. Matchmaker events, based on specific product themes and end-users, are scheduled for a limited number of countries each year.
  • MC - Minister Counsellor
  • MCCA - Mercado Com£n Centroamericano
  • MCTL - Militarily Critical Technologies List
  • MDBs - Multilateral Development Banks
  • Mdse. - Merchandise
  • Memoranda of Understanding - See: International Agreements.
  • Mercado Com£n Centroamericano - See: Central American Common Market.
  • Merchandise Trade Balance - See: Balance of Payments.
  • merchant - Term often used in liner bills of lading to describe the shipper, receiver or consignee, bill of lading holder or the agent of any of these.
  • merchant marine - All the ships of a country carrying goods.
  • Mercosur - Mercosur (Spanish; Mercosul in Portuguese; or Southern Common Market) is comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Mercosur is scheduled to enter into force in December 1994 for Argentina and Brazil and to enter into force in December 1995 for Paraguay and Uruguay. Mercosur, modeled similarly to the European Community's Treaty of Rome, will establish a common external tariff and eliminate barriers to trade in services. While in the Southern Cone, Chile has not sought entry to Mercosur, but does have an agreement with Argentina which will provide for some similar benefits.
  • metric ton - 1,000 kilograms.
  • MFA - Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles (Multifibre Arrangement)
  • MFA - Multi-Fiber Arrangement
  • MFN - Most Favored Nation Treatment
  • MHW - Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • MHz - Megahertz
  • MIA - Marine Insurance Act
  • MIF - Multilateral Investment Fund
  • MIGA - Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
  • Military Assistance Program - See: Conventional Arms Transfer.
  • Military Critical Technologies List - The MTCL is a document listing technologies that the U.S. Defense Department considers to have current or future utility in military systems. The MCTL describes arrays of design and manufacturing know-how; keystone manufacturing, inspection, and test equipment; and goods accompanied by sophisticated operation, application, and maintenance know-how. Military justification for each entry is included in a classified version of the list.
  • Min. B/L - Minimum Bill of Landing
  • MIN./DEP. - Minimum and deposit premium
  • Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade - The People's Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, MOFERT, was established in March 1982 by combining former separate ministries. MOFERT implements national trade policies through administrative actions, drafting laws and issuing foreign trade regulations. MOFERT does not engage in foreign trade transactions but facilitates the foreign trading corporations (FTCs) which do.
  • Ministry of Health and Welfare - Under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, MHW is Japan's agency responsible for regulating medical products. The Ministry also is charged with determining Japanese healthcare expenditures.
  • Ministry of International Trade and Industry - MITI occupies a central position in Japan's "economic bureaucracy" and is regarded as one of the three most powerful and prestigious ministries of the central government (along with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). In formulating and implementing Japan's trade and industrial policies, MITI is responsible for funding most of Japan's export promotion programs (although operation of these programs is left to JETRO). The Ministry also supervises the export financing programs of Japan's Export-Import Bank, operates several types of export insurance programs, supports research organizations, and facilitates various types of overseas technical and cooperation training programs. Lately, MITI has assumed a role in encouraging imports of foreign products into Japan.
  • Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications - MPT is Japan's telecommunications regulatory agency. The Ministry is authorized to adjust supply and demand among service providers to ensure that there is not excessive competition in a given market. To do so, MPT issues "administrative guidance" to the industry and recommends "unification" when there appears to be excessive competition in a given market.
  • MIPR - Manufactured Imports Promotion Organization
  • Missile Technology Control Regime - The purpose of the MTCR is to limit the proliferation of missiles "capable of delivering nuclear weapons," to increase regional stability, and to convey publicly the firm resolve of the partners to address this issue. In April 1987, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. agreed to establish the MTCR. The regime expanded to include 23 countries, with the addition of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Swizterland. The MTCR does not have permanent organizations but convenes regular meetings to exchange information and coordinate member country stands. Under the MTCR, each member administers missile-related export controls independently. After the MTCR agrees that certain goods and technologies should be controlled for missile proliferation reasons, each member must implement the controls in its own domestic legislation. There is no international entity that oversees the implementation and enforcement of MTCR controls. Items and technology agreed by the MTCR partners to be controlled are listed in the MTCR Annex. The Annex is divided into two groups: Category I (consisting of complete rocket and unmanned air vehicle systems and subsystems) and Category II (encompassing components, equipment, technology, materials used in missile design, development, production or use).
  • MITI - Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Investment
  • MITI - Ministry of International Trade and Industry
  • mixed cargo - More than one product carried on board a ship.
  • Mixed Credit - Mixed credit refers to the practice of combining concessional and market-rate export credit as an export promotion mechanism.
  • MKR - Matchmaker Program
  • mobile crane - General purpose crane capable of moving around a port. Some types are capable of lifting very heavy loads.
  • MOCP - Market-Oriented Cooperation Plan
  • MOFERT - China's Ministry of Foreign Economy Relations and Trade
  • MOFERT - Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade
  • Mort. - Mortality
  • MOSS - Market-Oriented, Sector-Selective
  • Most Favored Nation Treatment - A commitment that a country will extend to another country the lowest tariff rates it applies to any other country. All contracting parties undertake to apply such treatment to one another under Article I of GATT. When a country agrees to cut tariffs on a particular product imported from one country, the tariff reduction automatically applies to imports of this product from any other country eligible for most-favored nation treatment. This principle of nondiscriminatory treatment of imports appeared in numerous bilateral trade agreements prior to establishment of GATT. A country is under no obligation to extend MFN treatment to another country unless both are bilateral contracting parties of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or MFN treatment is specified in a bilateral agreement.
  • Most Favored Nation Treatment (MFN) - When one country accords another most-favored-nation status, it agrees to extend that country the same trade concessions it grants to any other MFN recipients. For example, in the tariff area, goods from a country accorded MFN status by the U.S. would be assessed the lower column 1 duties in the U.S. tariff schedule. This concept may apply to non-tariff measures as well. GATT members have agreed to accord each other MFN status. Preferential treatment accorded to developing countries, customs unions, and free trade areas all represent allowable exceptions to the MFN concept.
  • MOU - Memorandum of Understanding
  • MPA - Major Projects Agreement
  • MPP - Market Promotion Program
  • MPT - Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
  • MRA - Mutual Recognition Agreement
  • MRU - Mano River Union
  • MSA - Multilateral Steel Agreement
  • mst. - Measurement
  • MT - Multilateral Trade Organization
  • MTAG - Missile Technology Analysis Group
  • MTCR - Missile Technology Control Regime
  • MTEC - Missile Technology Export Control Group
  • MTN - Multilateral Trade Negotiations
  • MTO - Multimodal transport operator
  • Multi-Fiber Arrangement - The MFA is an international umbrella compact, authorized by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), that allows contracting parties to negotiate bilaterally quantitative restrictions on textile imports (which normally would be considered contrary to GATT provisions) to the extent the importing country considers them necessary to prevent market disruption. The Uruguay Round Agreement on Textiles and Clothing contains an agreed schedule for the gradual phase-out of quotas established pursuant to the MFA over a ten-year transition period, after which textile and clothing trade will be fully integrated into the GATT and subject to the same disciplines as other sectors. See: Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.
  • Multilateral Agreement - An international compact in which three or more parties participate.
  • Multilateral Development Banks - There are five MDBs. See: African Development Bank Asian Development Bank European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Inter-American Development Bank World Bank.
  • Multilateral Investment Fund - The MIF provides program and project grants to advance investment reform and technical assistance for privatization movements in Latin America and the Caribbean and to encourage domestic and foreign investment in the area. The Fund, an outgrowth of the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, is administered by the Inter-American Development Bank. MIF was established in January 1993. See: Enterprise for the Americas Initiative.
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency - MIGA was established in April 1988 as a part of the World Bank Group. MIGA encourages equity investment and other direct investment flows to developing countries through the mitigation of noncommercial investment barriers. The agency offers investors guarantees against non-commercial risks; advises developing member governments on the design and implementation of policies, programs, and procedures related to foreign investments; and sponsors a dialogue between the international business community and host governments on investment issues. MIGA provides coverage for equity interests, other forms of direct investment, industrial cooperation such as management and service contracts, licensing and franchising agreements, turnkey contracts, and arrangements concerning transfer of technology and know-how in which the investor assumes a stake in the performance of the venture. See: World Bank.
  • Multilateral Steel Agreement - Attainment of an MSA was an achievement intended as part of the Steel Trade Liberalization Program and resulting the Bilateral Consensus Agreements. The MSA would have addressed the underlying causes of unfair trade in steel by eliminating tariffs, nontariff measures such as quotas, and most subsidies in the steel sector, and established a dispute-settlement mechanism. The United States and 34 other countries participated in negotiations for an MSA under the general auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. MSA negotiations were suspended in March 1992, coincident with the expiration of the steel voluntary restraint agreements.
  • Multilateral Trade Negotiations - A term describing the eight multilateral rounds of negotiations held under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade since 1947. See: Rounds.
  • Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN) - Eight rounds of multilateral trade negotiations have been held under GATT auspices since 1947. Each negotiation has had the goal of reducing or eliminating tariffs among signatory countries. The Tokyo and Uruguay Rounds have focused on non-tariff measures as well.
  • Multinational Corporation - A multinational corporation is a business which owns or controls product or service facilities outside the country in which it is based.
  • Mutual Recognition Agreements - MRAs are negotiated on a sectoral basis (such as: telecommunciations, medicial devices, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, processed foods) and allow countries to accept each other's final test results, although quality assurances may be required. Under MRAs, the entire testing and certification process may occur outside the importing country. Under MRA's with the European Community, a U.S. firm would obtain product certification on an EC-wide basis, enabling the firms to market its products throughout the Community. Based on private-law contractual negotiations, subcontracting permits a notified body of the EC to delegate some of its testing responsibilities to a third-country testing lab or quality assessment body. However, the notified body retains ultimate responsibility for final decisions relating to EC certification. Formal discussions between representatives of the U.S. Government and the European Economic Community on entering MRSs began in October 1992.
 
 
 
 
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