Language is one of the most complex and important tools of International Trade. As in any complex and sophisticated business, small changes in wording can have a major impact on all aspects of a business agreement. Word definitions often differ from industry to industry. This is especially true of global trade. Where such fundamental phrases as "delivery" can have a far different meaning in the business than in the rest of the world.
For business terminology to be effective, phrases must mean the same thing throughout the industry. That is why the International Chamber of Commerce created "INCOTERMS" in 1936. INCOTERMS are designed to create a bridge between different members of the industry by acting as a uniform language they can use. Each INCOTERM refers to a type of agreement for the purchase and shipping of goods internationally.
There are 13 different terms, each of which helps users deal with different situations involving the movement of goods. For example, the term FCA is often used with shipments involving Ro/Ro or container transport; DDU assists with situations found in intermodal or courier service-based shipments.
EXW Ex Works (named place of delivery) - Often used when making an initial quotation for the sale of goods without any costs included, EXW means that the seller makes the goods available at their premises or at another named place (works, factory, warehouse etc). The seller does not need to load the goods on any collecting vehicle, nor does it need to clear the goods for export.
FCA- Free Carrier(named place of delivery) - FCA can have two different meanings, each with varying levels of risk and cost for the buyer and seller. FCA (a) is used when the seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, at a named place which is their own premises. FCA (b) is used when the seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, at a named place which is not their premises. In both instances, the goods can be delivered to a carrier nominated by the buyer, or to another party nominated by the buyer.
CPT-Carriage Paid To (named place of destination) -Under CPT the seller pays for the carriage of goods up to the named place of destination.
CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid to (named place of destination) - Similar to CPT with the exception that the seller is required to obtain minimum insurance for the goods while in transit. .
DAP Delivered at Place (named place of destination) -The seller is deemed to have delivered when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport and ready for unloading at the named place of destination. Under DAP terms, the seller needs to manage all risks involved in bringing the goods in.
DPU Delivered at Place Unloaded (named place of destination) - This Incoterm requires that the seller delivers the goods, unloaded, at the named place. The seller covers all the costs of transport (export fees, carriage, unloading from main carrier at destination port and destination port charges) and assumes all risk until arrival at the destination place.
FAS- Free Alongside Ship (named port of shipment)
The seller delivers when the goods are placed alongside the vessel (e.g., on a quay or a barge) nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are alongside the ship, and the buyer takes on responsibility for all costs from that moment onwards.
FOB Free on Board
The seller delivers the goods on board the vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment or procures the goods already so delivered. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel, and the buyer takes on responsibility for all costs from that moment onwards.
CFR – Cost and Freight
The seller delivers the goods on board the vessel. The risk of loss of or damage to the goods passes when the goods are on board the vessel. The seller must contract for and pay the costs and freight necessary to bring the goods to the named port of destination.
CIF – Cost, Insurance and Freight
The same as CFR with the addition that the seller must also obtain minimum insurance cover against the buyer’s risk of loss of or damage to the goods during the carriage
- The Incoterms® FCA (Free Carrier) now provides the additional option to make an on-board notation on the Bill of Lading prior loading of the goods on a vessel.
- The costs now appear centralized in A9/B9 of each Incoterms® rule.
- CIP now requires at least an insurance with the minimum cover of the Institute Cargo Clause (A) (All risk, subject to itemized exclusions).
- CIF requires at least an insurance with the minimum cover of the Institute Cargo Clause (C) (Number of listed risks, subject to itemized exclusions).
- The Incoterms® rules Free Carrier (FCA), Delivered at Place (DAP), Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU) and Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) now take into account that the goods may be carried without any third-party carrier being engaged, namely by using its own means of transportation.
- The rule Delivered at Terminal (DAT) has been changed to Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU) to clarify that the place of destination could be any place and not only a “terminal”.
- The Incoterms® 2020 now explicitly shifts the responsibility of security-related requirements and ancillary costs to the seller.
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