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Aliyah InformationAliyah Shipping Terminology

Aliyah Shipping Terminology

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Last Updated on November 3, 2021

Shipping for Aliyah – Terminology

An A – Z guide of useful international shipping terms

Congratulations on your decision to make Aliyah and come home to Israel! Shipping your prized and most sentimental possessions to Israel, can make you very anxious.  We hope that our possessions will arrive intact and nothing will be missing. By knowing and understanding a little bit about the process you can eliminate a lot of the anxiety. When planning your Aliyah shipment you should have a general knowledge of the common international and local shipping terms.


This refers to the pick-up and destination. There are limits on the allowed distance from the truck to the front door, and how many flights of steps are “free” before “long access” charges are applied


A subcontractor working for another company that may have agents all over the world


A solid wood box custom built to protect the contents during transit

Customs Clearance

The process of submitting the paperwork to Meches (Israel Tax Authority), paying import duties, and receiving permission to remove the goods from the secure port facility or bonded warehouse.

Declaration for Customs

Your declaration to Customs stating the contents of your shipment and its depreciated value

Declared value

The value of the goods you are shipping, after depreciation, as reported to Meches


The rental charge for sea containers, past that which is included in the cost of sea freight (4 days are included)

Direct  service

When your container travels on only one boat


Estimated time of arrival at the port of destination


Estimated time of departure from the port of origin


Full Container Load

Force Majeur

Events that can’t be controlled; wars, strikes, natural disasters etc.

Full pack

Professional packers pack everything. This is the international shipping standard.


Less than Container Load (also Consolidation)


A generic term for an import, regardless of size.

Lift van

A wooden box, roughly 200 cubic feet used for LCL (Consolidated) shipments to secure goods for travel, and to keep one persons goods separate from other cargo in the same container

Loose load

The practice of loading goods into the sea container without first loading them into lift-vans or palletizing them. Standard for FCL Loads

Ma’am – מע”מ

Value Added Tax (VAT in Israel)

Customs Authority – Hebrew: Meches

The customs authority and a term used for import duties of any kind

Oleh Hadash

New immigrant to Israel under the Law of Return


Shrink wrapping goods to a pallet

Partial Pack

Professional packers pack only breakables

Pre-move survey

A professional estimation at your home checking; volume, access and packing needs

Sea Container

The big metal box that gets loaded onto the ship

Shipper / Importer / Exporter

The person doing the Aliyah shipping

Teudat Oleh

Document showing that you’ve made Aliyah – required for clearing your goods tax-free

Teudat Zehut

Israeli Identification card

THC – Terminal Handling Charges

Destination port fees.  Fees paid to the port facilities for services rendered.

Trans Shipment

When your Aliyah shipment container travels on more than one boat.


The size of your shipment. Aliyah Shipping is primarily done by sea, and charges are based on volume.

The Israel Customs Authority – Meches – Contact Information

The Israel Customs Authority is responsible for levying all imports into Israel including those for new immigrants and returning residents and the disabled.  They have offices around the country:

Akko -Tel: 04-9852 920
Ashdod – Tel: 08-8510 637
Eilat – Tel: 08-6383 888
Haifa – Tel: 04-8354 811
Jaffa – Tel: 03-5120 777
Jerusalem – Tel: 02-6545 555
Ben Gurion Airport – Tel: 03-9751 111

Top Shipping Tip

For the most up-to-date information on laws, reforms and rates please consult with your Aliyah organization or shipping agent.

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