The most appropriate legal definition of a claim, applicable to importers, is “the making of a demand (asserting a claim) for money due, for property, for damages, or for enforcement of a right”. If the demand is not honored, it may result in a lawsuit.
In order to assert a right against a third party (your supplier for instance) a claim must first be filed with them. If they reject your claim, it is lawsuit time if there is no other avenue of recourse that you can pursue.
In this eBook I often use the term “Supplier” that stands for a factory, the factory’s representative office, and a trading company (agent).
This eBook assumes your company to be a small or medium size importer with an established customer base in your home country or a company interested in starting their own importing but lacking the necessary experience to do so.