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Different types of INCO Terms

Updated: Mar 14

As international trade involves dealing with international customers it is always beneficial to set standard terms that are understood across the world. These standardised terms avoids any confusion between parties speaking different languages and living in a different country. One such standardisation is INCO terms, which essentially defines who will pay what during international trade.

Suman Exports blog on Incoterms 2020

The International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) developed and published Incoterms in 2009. Incoterms are internationally recognised acronyms used to define the precise nature of a seller-buyer relationship in any business transaction. When a transaction involves the transportation of products, these statements are an effective way of explaining the precise tasks given to each side. Incoterms, for example, define who is responsible for covering the expense of each leg of the international voyage, who is in charge of the shipment at each leg of the route, and who is responsible for ensuring the products are insured. Incoterms also specify which documents are necessary for the transaction.



Suman Exports Blog on Incoterms 2020
COSTS TO BUYER ALLOCATION (INCO TERMS 2020)



What are the types of incoterms?

There are currently 11 different incoterms. E, F, C, and D are the four groupings that each type belongs to. The delivery location and who is responsible for funding the cost of each leg of the route establish these groups. The groups are then divided into subcategories, each of which refers to a different scenario. Buyers and sellers should carefully research each incoterm before deciding which set of terms is best for them and their shipment.



EXW - Incoterms Group E (Ex Works)


The customer bears the brunt of the liability in Ex Works. The buyer loads and clears the products for export at the seller's facilities or another designated place.


Group F of the Incoterms


The seller is responsible for delivering the items to the buyer's pre-arranged mode of transportation in this group. Following that, the customer assumes full responsibility for all costs and hazards. In the F category of incoterms, there are a few sub-groups, including:


  • Ex Works is akin to Free Carrier (FCA). The seller can deliver the items to the carrier, a designated person on the seller's premises, or another specified location. Any hazards must be properly indicated at the point where they are passed on to the consumer.

  • Free Alongside Ship (FAS): When a supplier delivers products alongside a vessel designated by the customer, it is referred to as FAS. Once the products are alongside the vessel, the buyer assumes accountability.

  • Free on Board (FOB): When a seller delivers items to a buyer-designated vessel, the term "free on board" is used. Once the commodities are on board the vessel, the buyer assumes accountability. For waterway shipments, both FAS and FOB are incoterms.



Group C of the Incoterms


The vendor is responsible for all costs to the destination port in this category. The risks are transferred to the customer once the products are loaded onto the conveyance. Incoterms in Group C include:


  • CFR stands for Cost and Freight and is equivalent to FOB. The difference is that the seller is responsible for all fees and freight associated with delivering products to their intended location.

  • CIF stands for Cost, Insurance, and Freight and is comparable to CFR. The seller, on the other hand, arranges for insurance coverage against the buyer's risk of loss or damage. Both of these words refer to shipments that go by water.

  • Carriage Paid To (CPT): In this scenario, the seller is responsible for arranging for the items to be transported to a certain location, but not for insuring them.

  • CIP stands for Carriage and Insurance Paid To and is similar to CPT in that the seller is also liable for insuring the goods.



Group D of the Incoterms


These terms refer to a product's final destination:

  • DAT stands for "Delivered at Terminal" and refers to when the vendor delivers the items to a specific location after they have been unloaded. The seller is fully responsible for the products until they arrive at the specified destination.

  • DAP (Delivered at Place): DAP occurs when the vendor delivers the products to the designated location, ready for unloading. The seller is fully responsible for the products until they arrive at the specified destination.

  • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid): This term refers to when the seller assumes full responsibility for all expenses and risks associated with delivering goods to the buyer's specified location. This comprises clearing products for export and import, paying any applicable duties, and completing customs paperwork.



Which of the incoterms should you use?


The incoterms Free Carrier (FCA) and Delivered at Place (DAP) are popular since they can be used for local and international shipments, as well as any mode of transportation. The seller is in charge of export customs, whereas the buyer is in charge of import customs. Using Ex Works (EXW), on the other hand, places entire duty on the buyer, raising the chance that the buyer will be unable to fulfil all of these commitments.


To help you pick which incoterm to utilise, you can perform a cost-benefit analysis. This could help you figure out if there are any tax or other financial advantages to the transaction. It's also a good idea to double-check that there are no legal difficulties that could prevent a cargo from reaching its destination. If your goods are prohibited, for example, there may be country-specific restrictions. It's critical that you have all of the proper papers, such as licences or permits.



What will happen to incoterms?


The existing set of incoterms will be replaced in January 2020, as they are over ten years old. The extent to which the terms will be abolished or amended, as well as whether any new incoterms will be inserted, is the subject of much discussion. Some incoterms, such as DDP and FCA, have been proposed to be divided into independent terms. The revised publication should also make the incoterms more understandable, lowering the possibility of misunderstanding.

For more information about Incoterms 2020 checkout the official website of ICC. Click Here.