Unless you’re a customs or logistics professional, you may not have focused on the Incoterms changes announced by the International Chamber of Commerce in early 2020. This post provides a handy reference to the revised terms.
Incoterms (short for “international commercial terms”) are pre-defined commercial terms designed to designate the actions, costs, and risks borne by each party in an agreement for the sale and international delivery of goods.
The 2020 version changes the name of one of the old terms: DAT (Delivered at Terminal) is now known as DAP (Delivered at Place). Incoterms 2020 also makes a couple other changes.
Although the changes from Incoterms 2010 (the most recent prior publication) are not monumental, we’ve found it useful to create a graphic for our internal use in comparing the responsibilities of the parties under each incoterm. This has always been a surprisingly hard task, since the official Incoterms site doesn’t lay the responsibilities out graphically. There are some very good graphics out there on the sites of various good brokers, logistics companies, lawyers, and consultants. But the one we’ve developed here picks up the responsibilities we are most frequently asked about, and lines them up in the same place.
In the chart below, the terms for ocean transportation are shown in blue. Terms for any mode of transport are shown in black text. Responsibilities reserved to seller are shown in green fill; those for buyer are shown in red fill, and negotiable terms are shown in gray fill.
Since some of the responsibilities are somewhat ambiguous, or in some cases, they are negotiable or may vary due to the circumstances, this chart cannot be considered legal advice. You should seek advice of counsel before electing to use any given Incoterm. For now, let us know if you find the chart helpful, and be sure to tell us if you have a different view of what the parties’ responsibilities are under any term. In future posts here, we’ll discuss some of the common tricks, tips, and pitfalls we’ve encountered.