(general) A comprehensive list or “schedule” of merchandise with applicable rates to be paid or charged for each listed article.
(shipping) A schedule of shipping rates charged, together with governing rules and regulations. A tariff sets forth a contract of carriage for the shipper, the consignee, and the carrier. Individual carriers also publish their own tariffs covering special services. International tariffs containing freight rates of the U.S. international carriers are published by the U.S. flag carriers.
(customs) A schedule of duties or taxes assessed by a government on goods as they enter (or leave) a country. Tariffs may be imposed to protect domestic industries from imported goods and/or to generate revenue. Types include ad valorem, specific, variable, or compound. In the United States, the imposition of tariffs is made on imported goods only.
Tariffs raise the prices of imported goods, thus making them less competitive within the market of the importing country. Tariffs are much less important measures of protection than they used to be.
See ad valorem; specific rate of duty; variable rate of duty; compound rate of duty.