“INCOTERMS”, the official regulations of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris, for the interpretation of commercial clauses facilitate the realization of international trade.

The broad experience of the ICC Committee for international trade practice, whose members come from all parts of the world, makes sure that the INCOTERMS meet the requirements of the economy all around the world.

The first INCOTERMS were published by the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, in 1936, They have then been revised for the sixth time on 1 st of January 2000 and are now recommended for practice as the “INCOTERMS 2000” which replaced the “INCOTERMS 1990”. due to an considerably increased utilization of electronic transmission ways, changes in the transportation technologies as well as clear language regulations which resulted from a worldwide use of containers for air freight and especially sea freight.

The INCOTERMS are a basic reference for international supplier contracts and are agreed daily in new contractual agreements between buyer and seller. The reason for the high acceptance of the INCOTERMS worldwide is the easy way how the conditions and rules of the technical performance of transportation are regulated by referring to one of the 13 INCOTERM clauses. They clearly regulate the transition of cost and transportation risks from seller to buyer without having to include extensive regulations in the sales contract.

You should notice, however, that the INCOTERMS can only regulate some particular issues of a bill of sale. They do not replace the contract under any circumstances, neither the additionally necessary transportation, insurance and finance contracts. They exclusively regulate the delivery of moveable goods and cannot be applied to non-physical goods such as computer software.

Many problems arising from such a contract are not regulated by the INCOTERMS at all. They are for example: transfer of property and other property rights, breaches of contract and their consequences as well as the exclusion of liability under certain circumstances. Such issues must be solved by special agreements in the contract and applicable laws. It must be emphasized that the INCOTERMS are not meant to replace such contract clauses which are necessary for the completion of a bill of sale by adding either preset clauses or individually agreed.

Group E Departure
EXW EX Works (… named place)
Group F Main carriage not paid by seller
FCA Free Carrier (… named place)
FAS Free Alongside Ship (… named port of shipment)
FOB Free On Board (…named port of shipment)
Group C Main carriage paid by seller
CFR Cost and FReight (… named port of destination)
CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight (… named port of destination)
CPT Carriage Paid To (…named place of destination)
CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid to (…named place of destination)
Group D Arrival
DAF Delivered At Frontier (… named place)
DES Delivered Ex Ship (…named port of destination)
DEQ Delivered Ex Quay (…named port of destination)
DDU Delivered Duty unpaid (…named place of destination)
DDP Delivered Duty Paid (…named place of destination)


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