Bill of Lading


This document is created as an accumulation of the paperwork that is involved in the shipping of a product. It will include a) the full contract between shipper and transporter (including the title for the vehicle), b) the transport contract, and c) the receipt of goods. It is provided in 3 copies to the buyer so they can prove ownership and take possession of the vehicle when it arrives.




The buyer or receiver of the delivery.




The container in which the item is shipped. This often refers to the shipping trailer of a truck. This container may be in any form, including but not limited to flat deck, insulated, refrigerator, and car carrier. Some containers can be stacked for easy shipping. and they are available in several sizes from 20 feet to 40 feet long.


Cost and Freight (C&F)


Under these contract terms, the seller pays the costs to ship and related fees. However, as the shipment is loaded onto the transportation vessel, all damages or other costs become the responsibility of the buyer. (Also see Cost, Insurance and Freight and Free on Board.)


Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF)


Under these contract terms, the seller is responsible for the shipping costs and fees but also must maintain insurance on the shipment that covers any damage or loss until it reaches the buyer. (Also see Cost and Freight and Free on Board.)


Free on Board (FOB)


Under these contract terms, the item ships at the cost of the buyer. The shipper pays all fees and other expenses before shipping, and as it is loaded for transport it becomes the property and responsibility of the buyer. Under FOB, the buyer is responsible for insurance and freight from Japan to the destination, and these are due upon arrival at the destination port. (Also see Cost and Freight and Cost, Insurance, and Freight.)




Estimated Time of Arrival: The estimated time and date the cargo will reach the destination port.




Estimated Time of Departure: The estimated time and date that the shipment will leave the shipping port.


Export Certificate


Issued by the road police office when requested by the shipper, the export certificate provides the background for the vehicle with full specifications and the last owner. This must be obtained before any vehicle can be exported.


Inspection Reports


The inspection report presents a true representation of the state of the vehicle and allows its value to be determined before purchase. All vehicles that are sold through auction are inspected thoroughly by a third party with no vested interest in the vehicle. The inspector is not paid based on the sale of the vehicle but for the inspection itself, regardless of the result, to ensure an unbiased opinion. These reports are available before sale and claims can be made for returns if they are not accurate.




This is a detailed list of goods and services provided, along with any charges or fees and the total due, name of the Consignee, his address/phone number and email address, destination country and port name, terms of shipping.


Import Approval


Some countries will not allow the import of a used vehicle from Japan without permission in advance. This approval is called the Import Approval.




Japan’s Domestic Market. The JDM has specific limitations and restriction for both locally made and internationally made vehicles destined for export. These standards make JDM cars in higher demand than others.


Marine Insurance


Insurance coverage for all goods being shipped by sea. Covered incidents typically include shipwreck, fire, and water damage. However, marine insurance will not offer additional coverage for things covered by the carrier itself.


Mini Dump Truck


Mini dump truck designed for the transportation and dumping of products using a hydraulic lift that tilts the back of the truck. As the back tilts, anything in that area of the truck slides out and is piled behind the vehicle. Most often built with a manual transmission, they are available in 2WD or 4WD. They also have many of the options of other vehicles, including heat and air conditioning.


Mini Flat Body Trucks


A mini truck with a flatbed build. Available in 2WD or 4WD, usually with 550 or 660 cc engines, and a choice of automatic or standard transmission. Extras may include air conditioning.




A Japanese minivan is a vehicle with a larger back area with two regular front doors, two sliding side doors, and a tailgate for easy loading and unloading. Often they seat 4 people comfortably. They are either 2WD or 4WD, with a 660 cc engine, and options including automatic transmission, heat, and air conditioning.


Ocean Freight Cost


Cost of carriage from loading to the destination.


Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)


An OEM part or component is one that has been produced by or for the vehicle’s manufacturer. Parts produced and sold by firms other than the original manufacturer are called “aftermarket”.


Pre-Export Inspection


An inspection required by many countries before import of a vehicle is allowed from Japan. It includes inspection of the body for rust or corrosion, safety standards, odometer readings, and more.


Pro Forma Invoice


A Pro Forma Invoice is created to show what would appear on the invoice if the order were placed.


Proxy Bidding


Auction houses in Japan allow proxy bidding at an auction. It allows you to present your highest bid and the auctioning system will automatically add your bid to the others and continue to increase until your maximum bid has been reached or all others have stopped and you have won the item.


Roll On/Roll Off


When shipping by ocean this shipping method loads each vehicle individually by ramp rather than placing them within a shipping container.


Surrender of Bill of Lading (BL)


This term is used when the shipper has offered a photocopy of the bill of lading and marked it as surrendered, allowing the receiver to retrieve the vehicle with the copy rather than the original bill of lading.


Telegraphic Transfer


A telegraphic transfer transmits money from the buyers’ bank account to the cashier at the bank of the seller for deposit to the seller’s account.


Vehicle Inspection (Shaken)


Shaken is the Japanese mandatory vehicle inspection requirement/program. It is completed every other year and each time involves replacing certain components, confirming the weight of the vehicle, renewing liability insurance and paying taxes on the vehicle. As a vehicle ages and its resale value drops, it becomes more economical for Japanese drivers to buy new, which leaves many quality used vehicles available on the market for export.


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