Burnard International

INCO Terms

Incoterms, or "international commercial terms," are terms of trade. They are commonly used to ease domestic and international trade by helping traders to understand one another.

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Click here for the Inco Terms responsibility matrix

Incoterms, or "international commercial terms," are terms of trade. They are commonly used to ease domestic and international trade by helping traders to understand one another.

Here is a simple explanation of the most commonly used terms:

EXW – Ex Works

Buyer will pay all freight charges from the seller door to the door at destination. The seller needs to ensure the freight is ready for shipping and provide all the correct documents i.e. commercial invoice and packing declaration. The buyer will have full control of the freight.

FOB – Free on Board

Seller will arrange through their freight forwarder the movement of the goods up to the origin port. The goods will then be the buyer’s responsibility. Their nominated forwarder will take control from here. Freight and destination costs will be charged to the buyer.

CFR – Cost & Freight

Costs from the seller’s door to the destination port will be paid by the seller. Given the seller is responsible for transportation, they also nominate the forwarder. The buyer will take care of the destination charges.

CIF – Cost, Insurance & Freight

Similar to CFR but the maritime insurance cost will be paid by the seller. Insurance cover will up to the destination port only.

DAT – Delivery at Terminal

All charges up to the nominated terminal will be paid for by the shipper. Delivery, Customs Clearance and Customs import charges will be paid for by the buyer. The seller will arrange freight to the terminal through their freight forwarder, the buyer can have their own customs and delivery agent takeover from the terminal.

DAP – Delivery at Place

All charges as well as delivery to the buyer facilities will be arranged by the seller. Customs clearance cost can be arranged by either the seller or the buyer depending on the agreement at the time of the freight booking. Import Duty and Taxes will be paid by the buyer at destination.

DDP – Delivered Duty Paid

The seller will arrange and pay for all freight charges to the buyer’s door including customs clearance, duty and taxes at destination. The seller has full control of the shipment.

Choosing the right terms

Each option has its own benefits and risks for both the buyer and the seller.

Benefits

  • Freight Control – Working on tight time frames or stock control it is essential to know where your freight is the majority time
    • Buyer – EXW, FOB, CFR/CIF Seller – DAT, DAP, DDP
  • Cost Control – Knowing the cost of the freight will help you work out the true cost of your products
    • Buyer – EXW, FOB, CFR/CIF Seller – DAT, DAP, DDP

Risks

  • Lack of visibility – Stock control
    • Buyer – DAT, DAP, DDP Seller –EXW, FOB, CFR/CIF
  • Unexpected costs – Not having the ability you nominate your forwarder can incur additional costs that you haven’t taken into account, resulting in loss of profit
    • Buyer – CFR/CIF, DAT Seller – FOB

INCO Terms get updated periodically.

For further information on INCO Terms contact your local Burnard International representative.