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Incoterms

Incoterms

Incoterms are internationally recognized trade terms that define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers in terms of shipping, delivery, and risk transfer during international transactions.

Incoterms, short for International Commercial Terms, are a set of standardized trade terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), defining the responsibilities and obligations of buyers and sellers in international transactions. They provide a common language for parties involved in shipping and transporting goods, helping avoid misunderstandings and disputes.

Significantly, incoterms specify the delivery point of the goods, transfer of risk, and the division of costs between the buyer and the seller.

In ocean shipping, various incoterms are utilized, each representing distinct agreements between the buyer and seller.

Types of Incoterms

  1. EXW (Ex Works)
    • The seller makes the goods available at their premises.
    • The buyer bears all costs and risks from the seller's location to the final destination.
  2. FCA (Free Carrier)
    • The seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, to the carrier nominated by the buyer.
    • The risk transfers to the buyer once the goods are delivered to the carrier.
  3. CPT (Carriage Paid To)
    • The seller pays for the carriage of the goods to the named destination.
    • The risk transfers to the buyer upon delivery to the carrier.
  4. CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To)
    • Similar to CPT, but the seller also provides insurance against the buyer's risk.
    • The risk transfers to the buyer upon delivery to the carrier.
  5. DAP (Delivered at Place)
    • The seller is responsible for the delivery of the goods to the named place, ready for unloading.
    • The buyer bears all risks and costs beyond the point of destination.
  6. DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded)
    • The seller delivers the goods, unloaded, at the named place.
    • The buyer is responsible for unloading and all associated costs and risks.
  7. DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)
    • The seller is responsible for delivering the goods to the named destination, cleared for import.
    • The buyer assumes all costs and risks, including duties and taxes.
  8. FAS (Free Alongside Ship)
    • The seller delivers the goods alongside the vessel at the named port.
    • The buyer is responsible for loading and all subsequent costs and risks.
  9. FOB (Free On Board)
    • The seller is responsible for delivering the goods on board the vessel at the named port.
    • The risk transfers to the buyer once the goods are on board.
  10. CFR (Cost and Freight)
    • The seller pays for the carriage of the goods to the named port.
    • The risk transfers to the buyer upon delivery to the carrier.
  11. CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight)
    • Similar to CFR, but the seller also provides insurance against the buyer's risk.
    • The risk transfers to the buyer upon delivery to the carrier.

Here's a table for understanding the transfer of responsibilities between buyers and sellers under each incoterm:

Incoterm Responsibility Stops for Seller Responsibility Starts for Buyer
EXW (Ex Works) Making goods available at seller's premises Upon collection of goods from seller's premises
FCA (Free Carrier) Delivery of goods to the carrier by the seller After goods are delivered to the nominated carrier
CPT (Carriage Paid To) Paying for carriage to the named destination Upon delivery of goods to the carrier
CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To) Paying for carriage and providing insurance Upon delivery to the carrier
DAP (Delivered at Place) Delivery of goods to the named place by the seller Upon delivery to the named place
DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded) Delivery of goods, unloaded, at the named place After unloading at the named place
DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) Paying for all costs, risks, duties, and taxes Upon delivery to the named destination, cleared for import
FAS (Free Alongside Ship) Delivery of goods alongside the vessel by the seller After goods are delivered alongside the vessel
FOB (Free On Board) Delivery of goods on board the vessel by the seller Once goods are on board the vessel
CFR (Cost and Freight) Paying for carriage of goods to the named port Upon delivery of goods to the named port
CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) Paying for carriage and providing insurance Upon delivery to the carrier

These incoterms help streamline international trade transactions by clearly defining the responsibilities and liabilities of both buyers and sellers at various stages of the shipping process.

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