Import/Export Basics

I.     Course Prefix/Number: GBS 205

       Course Name: Import/Export Basics

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides comprehensive overview of import or export business.  Content includes who and why, import/export marketing strategies, product development and market research, export terms, documentation, procedures, tariff and non-tariff barriers, getting paid or paying for imports or exports, import terms, procedures and U.S. Customs entry regulations, dates and quotas.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will

  1. Identify international regulations regarding transportation of goods between countries and their historical origins.
  2. Demonstrate compliance of U. S. government regulations for both imports and exports.
  3. Evaluate the use of insurance in protecting both the buyer and the seller against loss.
  4. Weigh all methods of payment, letters of credit, drafts and terms--how they are used in negotiation to gain additional sales and how to use them to gain added protection against loss.
  5. Calculate freight rates and how to find hidden ways to reduce freight rates for you or your company.
  6. Differentiate all foreign trade terms, abbreviations and the many documents used in import/export.
  7. Discuss the role of the freight forwarder and how to use forwarders to improve your position.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Part one - The Forwarder's Place in International Transportation and Foreign Trade.

  1. History of foreign freight forwarding.
  2. The political and economic significance of the foreign freight forwarder.
  3. The functional position of the foreign freight forwarder in international commerce.

Part two - Legal Principals Applicable to Foreign Freight Forwarding

  1. Government regulations affecting forwarders and their practices.
  2. Legal status of the foreign freight forwarder.
  3. United States export control.

Part three - Ocean Shipping

  1. Freedom of the seas
  2. Liner and tramp service
  3. The conference system
  4. Ocean freight rates and tariffs
  5. Terminal and port charges
  6. Cargo handling
  7. Documents required by ocean carriers
  8. Documents required by foreign governments
  9. Documents used in foreign freight forwarding

Part four - Marine Insurance

  1. Marine insurance
  2. The forwarder as insurance broker
  3. Types of marine insurance policies and certificates
  4. Basic fundamentals of coverage
  5. Analysis of the insurance policy
  6. Adjustments of claim-requirements and procedures

Part five - Export and Import Banking

  1. Credit and payment terms
  2. Commercial letters of credit
  3. Financing

Part six - Procedures in Handling of Export Shipments

  1. Transportation to seaboard
  2. Part activities
  3. Combination shipments

Part seven - Customs Brokerage

  1. United States tariff policies
  2. The customhouse broker
  3. Import procedures
  4. The foreign trade zone

Part eight - Accessorial Services and Trade Promotion

  1. Warehousing
  2. Air shipping
  3. Information and special services

Part nine - The Business Organization of the Foreign Freight Forwarder

  1. The structural and financial organization
  2. The internal organization

Part ten - Revenue

  1. Revenue

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Instruction techniques include class discussion, films, guest experts, reading assignments, and slide presentations as well as lectures.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading Assignments
  2. Writing Assignments
  3. Homework Assignments

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

“Import and Export:  Practices and Procedures”, Shoemack, 2004

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Progress is measured by short quizzes, classes, class participation, mid-term and final exams supplemented by a short term paper.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance policies will be established by each instructor.
  2. Each instructor will establish policies with respect to make-up exams, incomplete grades, etc.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.