The Incoterms (INternational COmmercial TERMS) are the rules used by international commercial actors to facilitate their exchanges. These rules constitute an international standard and allow, as soon as a commercial transaction is entered into, to provide for the respective obligations and liability of the seller and the buyer, as well the mechanisms for the transfer of risks concerning the marchandise and the distribution of the various costs. However, the Incoterms remain a tool and not an obligation.

The Incoterms are revised every ten years and are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC“). Thus, Incoterms 2020 have been available since September 2019 and will enter into force on 1 January 2020.

The 11 new Incoterms starting 1 January 2020 are:

  • EXW: Ex Work
  • FCA: Free Carrier Alongside + connaissement maritime à bord
  • FAS: Free Alongside Ship
  • FOB: Free On Board
  • CFR: Cost and Freight
  • CIF: Cost Insurance & Freight
  • CPT: Carriage Paid To
  • CIP: Carriage and Insurance Paid To
  • DPU: Delivery at Place Unloaded
  • DAP: Delivery at Place
  • DPP: Delivered Duty Paid

According to the ICC’s General Secretary John W.H. Denton AO, the aim of the 2020 version is to “Further reduce costly misunderstandings for business and enable even greater confidence in global transactions”. Indeed, there are sometimes incorrect interpretations of an Incoterm.

Our lawyers specialized in Maritime Law are available to provide you with assistance and advice on Incoterms 2020.

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