International Contract Lawyers Minneapolis | New Incoterms 2010

The International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) has announced that Incoterms 2010 is scheduled to be launched in September and come into effect on January 1, 2011.

Incoterms is the abbreviation for “International Commercial Terms” and were introduced by the ICC back in 1936 to provide people engaging in international trade a common set of trade terms that would be understood across the world. Incoterms are crucial when trading across borders and should be included in all international sale of goods contracts because they help parties avoid misunderstandings by clearly identifying the obligations of the buyer and seller. They stipulate in one short acronym exactly who will pay for the freight, who wears the risk in the goods at which point in time, who pays for insurance and duty.

In order to keep up with the rapid expansion of world trade and globalization, the Incoterms rules are revised about once a decade. Since the last revision in 2000, much has changed in global trade and the current revision will take into account issues such as developments in cargo security and the need to replace paper documents with electronic ones.

Therefore, the new 2010 edition includes 11 terms instead of the 13 in the previous edition. The following terms from Incoterms 2000 have been deleted from the list: DAF, DES, DEQ and DDU. These two new terms have been added to the list: DAT and DAP.

Another significant change has to do with categories of the Incoterms. Incoterms 2000 had four categories, while Incoterms 2010 only has two categories. The first category can be called “Rules for Any Mode of Transport” (also knows as “multimodal” Incoterms) and includes the following terms:

CIP – Carriage and Insurance Paid
CPT – Carriage Paid To
DAP – Delivered At Place
DAT – Delivered At Terminal
DDP – Delivered Duty Paid
EXW – Ex Works
FCA – Free Carrier

The second category is described as “Rules for Sea and Inland Waterway Transport Only” and includes the following terms:

CFR – Cost and Freight
CIF – Cost, Insurance and Freight
FAS – Free Alongside Ship
FOB – Free On Board

All current and potential exporters should be aware that new Incoterms are expected to take effect in 2011. Sherayzen Law Office will continue to update the readers on the progress of the revisions. In the meantime, we recommend that you ensure, and if necessary seek legal advice to ensure, that your commercial trading terms accurately reflect the transaction.

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