The international regulations named INCOTERMS are summoned by the authorities, governments, facilities and business-men all over the world to clarify and regulate terms that are accepted in the International Trade. The Jurisdiction of INCOTERMS are extended on rights and obligations of the contract participants of the Sales-and-Purchase Contract pertaining delivery paragraphs. Each term is represented by the abbreviation of three letters. Hereby the list of INCOTERMS is represented as well as the comments and clarification to them.


The purpose of Incoterms is to provide a set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used trade terms in foreign trade. Thus, the uncertainties of different interpretations of such terms in different countries can be avoided or at least reduced to a considerable degree.
Frequently, parties to a contract are unaware of the different trading practices in their respective countries. This can give rise to misunderstandings, disputes and litigation with all the waste of time and money that this entails. In order to remedy these problems the International Chamber of Commerce first published in 1936 a set of international rules for the interpretation of trade terms. These rules were known as "Incoterms 1936". Amendments and additions were later made in 1953, 1967, 1976, 1980, 1990 and presently in 2000 in order to bring the rules in line with current international trade practices.
It should be stressed that the scope of Incoterms is limited to matters relating to the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract of sale with respect to the delivery of goods sold (in the sense of "tangibles", not including "intangibles" such as computer software).
It appears that two particular misconceptions about Incoterms are very common. First, Incoterms are frequently misunderstood as applying to the contract of carriage rather than to the contract of sale. Second, they are sometimes wrongly assumed to provide for all the duties which parties may wish to include in a contract of sale.
As has always been underlined by ICC, Incoterms deal only with the relation between sellers and buyers under the contract of sale, and, moreover, only do so in some very distinct respects.
While it is essential for exporters and importers to consider the very practical relationship between the various contracts needed to perform an international sales transaction - where not only the contract of sale is required, but also contracts of carriage, insurance and financing - Incoterms relate to only one of these contracts, namely the contract of sale.
Nevertheless, the parties' agreement to use a particular Incoterm would necessarily have implications for the other contracts. To mention a few examples, a seller having agreed to a CFR - or CIF -contract cannot perform such a contract by any other mode of transport than carriage by sea, since under these terms he must present a bill of lading or other maritime document to the buyer which is simply not possible if other modes of transport are used. Furthermore, the document required under a documentary credit would necessarily depend upon the means of transport intended to be used.
Further, they deal with the obligations to clear the goods for export and import, the packing of the goods, the buyer's obligation to take delivery as well as the obligation to provide proof that the respective obligations have been duly fulfilled. Although Incoterms are extremely important for the implementation of the contract of sale, a great number of problems which may occur in such a contract are not dealt with at all, like transfer of ownership and other property rights, breaches of contract and the consequences following from such breaches as well as exemptions from liability in certain situations. It should be stressed that Incoterms are not intended to replace such contract terms that are needed for a complete contract of sale either by the incorporation of standard terms or by individually negotiated terms.
Generally, Incoterms do not deal with the consequences of breach of contract and any exemptions from liability owing to various impediments. These questions must be resolved by other stipulations in the contract of sale and the applicable law.
Incoterms have always been primarily intended for use where goods are sold for delivery across national boundaries: hence, international commercial terms. However, Incoterms are in practice at times also incorporated into contracts for the sale of goods within purely domestic markets. Where Incoterms are so used, the A2 and B2 clauses and any other stipulation of other articles dealing with export and import do, of course, become redundant.


In view of the changes made to Incoterms from time to time, it is important to ensure that where the parties intend to incorporate Incoterms into their contract of sale, an express reference is always made to the current version of Incoterms. This may easily be overlooked when, for example, a reference has been made to an earlier version in standard contract forms or in order forms used by merchants. A failure to refer to the current version may then result in disputes as to whether the parties intended to incorporate that version or an earlier version as a part of their contract. Merchants wishing to use Incoterms 2000 should therefore clearly specify that their contract is governed by "Incoterms 2000"


In 1990, for ease of understanding, the terms were grouped in four basically different categories; namely starting with the term whereby the seller only makes the goods available to the buyer at the seller's own premises (the "E" term Ex works); followed by the second group whereby the seller is called upon to deliver the goods to a carrier appointed by the buyer (the "F" terms FCA, FAS and FOB); continuing with the "C" terms where the seller has to contract for carriage, but without assuming that risk of loss of or damage to the goods or additional costs due to events occurring after shipment and dispatch (CFR, CIF, CPT and CIP) and, finally the "D" terms whereby the seller has to bear all costs and risks needed to bring the goods to the place of destination (DAF, DES, DEQ, DDU and DDP). The following chart sets out this classification of the trade terms.

Group E Departure
EXW Ex Works
Group F Main carriage unpaid
FCA Free Carrier (... named place)
FAS Free Alongside Ship (...named port of shipment)
FOB Free On Board (... named port of shipment)
Group C Main carriage paid
CFR Cost and Freight (... named port of destination)
CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight (... named port of destination)
CPT Carriage Paid To (... named place of destination)
CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To (... named place of destination)
Группа D Поставка товара
DAF Поставка до границы (... название места доставки)
DES Поставка с судна (... название порта назначения)
DEQ Поставка с пристани (... название порта назначения)
DDU Поставка без оплаты пошлины (... название места назначения)
DDP Поставка с оплатой пошлины (... название места назначения)


Incoterms focus on the seller's delivery obligation. The precise distribution of functions and costs in connection with the seller's delivery of the goods would normally not cause problems where the parties have a continuing commercial relationship. They would then establish a practice between themselves («course of dealing») which they would follow in subsequent dealings in the same manner as they have done earlier. However, if a new commercial relationship is established or if a contract is made through the medium of brokers - as is common in the sale of commodities -, one would have to apply the stipulations of the contract of sale and. whenever Incoterms 2000 have been incorporated into that contract, apply the division of functions, costs and risks following therefrom
It would, of course, have been desirable if Incoterms could specify in as detailed a manner as possible the duties of the parties in connection with the delivery of the goods. Compared with Incoterms 1990, further efforts have been made in this respect in some specified instances (see for example FCA A4). But it has not been possible to avoid reference to customs of the trade in FAS and FOB A4 («in the manner customary at the port»), the reason being that particularly in commodity trade the exact manner in which the goods are delivered for carriage in FAS and FOB contracts vary in the different sea ports.


The risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as the obligation to bear the costs relating to the goods, passes from the seller to the buyer when the seller has fulfilled his obligation to deliver the goods. Since the buyer should not be given the possibility to delay the passing of the risk and costs, all terms stipulate that the passing of risk and costs may occur even before delivery, if the buyer does not take delivery as agreed or fails to give such instructions (with respect to time for shipment and/or place for delivery) as the seller may require in order to fulfill his obligation to deliver the goods. It is a requirement for such premature passing of risk and costs that the goods have been identified as intended for the buyer or, as is stipulated in the terms, set aside for him (appropriation).
This requirement is particularly important under EXW, since under all other terms the goods would normally have been identified as intended for the buyer when measures have been taken for their shipment or dispatch («F» - and «C»-terms) or their delivery at destination («D»-terms). In exceptional cases, however, the goods may have been sent from the seller in bulk without identification of the quantity for each buyer and, if so, passing of risk and cost does not occur before the goods have been appropriated as aforesaid (cf. also article 69.3 of the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods).


9.1 "E" - term is the term in which the seller's obligation is at its minimum: the seller has to do no more than place the goods at the disposal of the buyer at the agreed place - usually at the seller's own premises. On the other hand, as a matter of practical reality, the seller would frequently assist the buyer in loading the goods on the latter's collecting vehicle. Although EXW would better reflect this if the seller's obligations were to be extended so as to include loading, it was thought desirable to retain the traditional principle of the seller's minimum obligation under EXW so that it could be used for cases where the seller does not wish to assume any obligation whatsoever with respect to the loading of the goods. If the buyer wants the seller to do more, this should be made clear in the contract of sale.
9.2 "F" - terms require the seller to deliver the goods for carriage as instructed by the buyer. The point at which the parties intend delivery to occur in the FCA term has caused difficulty because of the wide variety of circumstances which may surround contracts covered by this term. Thus, the goods may be loaded on a collecting vehicle sent by the buyer to pick them up at the seller's premises; alternatively, the goods may need to be unloaded from a vehicle sent by the seller to deliver the goods at a terminal named by the buyer. Incoterms 2000 take account of these alternatives by stipulating that, when the place named in the contract as the place of delivery is the seller's premises, delivery is complete when the goods are loaded on the buyer's collecting vehicle and, in other cases, delivery is complete when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer not unloaded from the seller's vehicle. The variations mentioned for different modes of transport in FCA A4 of Incoterms 1990 are not repeated in Incoterms 2000.
The delivery point under FOB, which is the same under CFR and CIF, has been left unchanged in Incoterms 2000 in spite of a considerable debate. Although the notion under FOB to deliver the goods «across the ship's rail» nowadays may seem inappropriate in many cases, it is nevertheless understood by merchants and applied in a manner which takes account of the goods and the available loading facilities. It was felt that a change of the FOB-point would create unnecessary confusion, particularly with respect to sale of commodities carried by sea typically under charter parties.
Unfortunately, the word «FOB» is used by some merchants merely to indicate any point of delivery-such as «FOB factory», «FOB plant», «FOB Ex seller's works» or other inland points -thereby neglecting what the abbreviation means: Free On Board. It remains the case that such use of «FOB» tends to create confusion and should be avoided.
There is an important change of FAS relating to the obligation to clear the goods for export, since it appears to be the most common practice to put this duty on the seller rather than on the buyer. In order to ensure that this change is duly noted it has been marked with capital letters in the preamble of FAS.
9.3 "C" - The «C»-terms require the seller to contract for carriage on usual terms at his own expense. Therefore, a point up to which he would have to pay transport costs must necessarily be indicated after the respective «C»-term. Under the CIF and CIP terms the seller also has to take out insurance and bear the insurance cost. Since the point for the division of costs is fixed at a point in the country of destination, the «C»-terms are frequently mistakenly believed to be arrival contracts, in which the seller would bear all risks and costs until the goods have actually arrived at the agreed point. However, it must be stressed that the «C»-terms are of the same nature as the «F»-terms in that the seller fulfils the contract in the country of shipment or dispatch. Thus, the contracts of sale under the «C»-terms, like the contracts under the «F»-terms, fall within the category of shipment contracts.
It is in the nature of shipment contracts that, while the seller is bound to pay the normal transport cost for the carriage of the goods by a usual route and in a customary manner to the agreed place, the risk of loss of or damage to the goods, as well as additional costs resulting from events occurring after the goods having been appropriately delivered for carriage, fall upon the buyer. Hence, the «C»-terms are distinguishable from all other terms in that they contain two «critical» points, one indicating the point to which the seller is bound to arrange and bear the costs of a contract of carriage and another one for the allocation of risk. For this reason, the greatest caution must be observed when adding obligations of the seller to the «C»-terms which seek to extend the seller's responsibility beyond the aforementioned «critical» point for the allocation of risk. It is of the very essence of the «C»-terms that the seller is relieved of any further risk and cost after he has duly fulfilled his contract by contracting for carriage and handing over the goods to the carrier and by providing for insurance under the CIF- and CIP-terms.
The essential nature of the "C"-terms as shipment contracts is also illustrated by the common use of documentary credits as the preferred mode of payment used in such terms. Where it is agreed by the parties to the sale contract that the seller will be paid by presenting the agreed shipping documents to a bank under a documentary credit, it would be quite contrary to the central purpose of the documentary credit for the seller to bear further risks and costs after the moment when payment had been made under documentary credits or otherwise upon shipment and dispatch of the goods. Of course, the seller would have to bear the cost of the contract of carriage irrespective of whether freight is pre-paid upon shipment or is payable at destination (freight collect); however, additional costs which may result from events occurring subsequent to shipment and dispatch are necessarily for the account of the buyer.
If the seller has to provide a contract of carriage which involves payment of duties, taxes and other charges, such costs will, of course, fall upon the seller to the extent that they are for his account under that contract. This is now explicitly set forth in the A6 clause of all "C"-terms.
If it is customary to procure several contracts of carriage involving transshipment of the goods at intermediate places in order to reach the agreed destination, the seller would have to pay all these costs, including any costs incurred when the goods are transshipped from one means of conveyance to the other. If, however, the carrier exercised his rights under a transshipment -or similar clause - in order to avoid unexpected hindrances (such as ice, congestion, labour disturbances, government orders, war or warlike operations) then any additional cost resulting therefrom would be for the account of the buyer, since the seller's obligation is limited to procuring the usual contract of carriage.
It happens quite often that the parties to the contract of sale wish to clarify the extent to which the seller should procure a contract of carriage including the costs of discharge. Since such costs are normally covered by the freight when the goods are carried by regular shipping lines, the contract of sale will frequently stipulate that the goods are to be so carried or at least that they are to be carried under «liner terms». In other cases, the word «landed» is added after CFR or CIF. However, it is advisable not to use abbreviations added to the «C»-terms unless, in the relevant trade, the meaning of the abbreviations is clearly understood and accepted by the contracting parties or under any applicable law or custom of the trade.
In particular, the seller should not - and indeed could not, without changing the very nature of the «C»-terms - undertake any obligation with respect to the arrival of the goods at destination, since the risk of any delay during the carriage is borne by the buyer. Thus, any obligation with respect to time must necessarily refer to the place of shipment or dispatch, for example, «shipment (dispatch) not later than...». An agreement for example, «CFR Hamburg not later than...» is really a misnomer and thus open to different possible interpretations. The parties could be taken to have meant either that the goods must actually arrive at Hamburg at the specified date, in which case the contract is not a shipment contract but an arrival contract or, alternatively, that the seller must ship the goods at such a time that they would normally arrive at Hamburg before the specified date unless the carriage would have been delayed because of unforeseen events.
It happens in commodity trades that goods are bought while they are at sea and that, in such cases, the word «afloat» is added after the trade term. Since the risk of loss of or damage to the goods would then, under the CFR- and CIF-terms, have passed from the seller to the buyer, difficulties of interpretation might arise. One possibility would be to maintain the ordinary meaning of the CFR- and CIF-terms with respect to the allocation of risk between seller and buyer, namely that risk passes on shipment: this would mean that the buyer might have to assume the consequences of events having already occurred at the time when the contract of sale enters into force. The other possibility would be to let the passing of the risk coincide with the time when the contract of sale is concluded. The former possibility might well be practical, since it is usually impossible to ascertain the condition of the goods while they are being carried. For this reason the 1980 United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods article 68 stipulates that «if the circumstances so indicate, the risk is assumed by the buyer from the time the goods were handed over to the carrier who issued the documents embodying the contract of carriage». There is, however, an exception to this rule when «the seller knew or ought to have known that the goods had been lost or damaged and did not disclose this to the buyer». Thus, the interpretation of a CFR- or CIF-term with the addition of the word «afloat» will depend upon the law applicable to the contract of sale. The parties are advised to ascertain the applicable law and any solution which might follow therefrom. In case of doubt, the parties are advised to clarify the matter in their contract.
In practice, the parties frequently continue to use the traditional expression C&F (or N and F, C+F). Nevertheless, in most cases it would appear that they regard these expressions as equivalent to CFR. In order to avoid difficulties of interpreting their contract the parties should use the correct Incoterm which is CFR, the only world-wide-accepted standard abbreviation for the term «Cost and Freight (... named port of destination)».
CFR and CIF in A8 of Incoterms 1990 obliged the seller to provide a copy of the charter-party whenever his transport document (usually the bill of lading) contained a reference to the charter-party, for example, by the frequent notation «all other terms and conditions as per charter-party». Although, of course, a contracting party should always be able to ascertain all terms of his contract - preferably at the time of the conclusion of the contract - it appears that the practice to provide the charter-party as aforesaid has created problems particularly in connection with documentary credit transactions. The obligation of the seller under CFR and CIF to provide a copy of the charter-party together with other transport documents has been deleted in Incoterms 2000.
Although the A8 clauses of Incoterms seek to ensure that the seller provides the buyer with «proof of delivery», it should be stressed that the seller fulfils that requirement when he provides the «usual» proof. Under CPT and CIP it would be the «usual transport document» and under CFR and CIF a bill of lading or a sea waybill. The transport documents must be «clean», meaning that they must not contain clauses or notations expressly declaring a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging. If such clauses or notations appear in the document, it is regarded as «unclean» and would then not be accepted by banks in documentary credit transactions. However, it should be noted that a transport document even without such clauses or notations would usually not provide the buyer with incontrovertible proof as against the carrier that the goods were shipped in conformity with the stipulations of the contract of sale. Usually, the carrier would, in standardized text on the front page of the transport document, refuse to accept responsibility for information with respect to the goods by indicating that the particulars inserted in the transport document constitute the shipper's declarations and therefore that the information is only «said to be» as inserted in the document. Under most applicable laws and principles, the carrier must at least use reasonable means of checking the correctness of the information and his failure to do so may make him liable to the consignee. However, in container trade, the carrier's means of checking the contents in the container would not exist unless he himself was responsible for stowing the container.
There are only two terms which deal with insurance, namely CIF and CIP. Under these terms the seller is obliged to procure insurance for the benefit of the buyer. In other cases it is for the parties themselves to decide whether and to what extent they want to cover themselves by insurance. Since the seller takes out insurance for the benefit of the buyer, he would not know the buyer's precise requirements. Under the Institute Cargo Clauses drafted by the Institute of London Underwriters, insurance is available in «minimum cover» under Clause C, «medium cover» under Clause A and «most extended cover» under Clause A. Since in the sale of commodities under the CIF term the buyer may wish to sell the goods in transit to a subsequent buyer who in turn may wish to resell the goods again, it is impossible to know the insurance cover suitable to such subsequent buyers and, therefore, the minimum cover under CIF has traditionally been chosen with the possibility for the buyer to require the seller to take out additional insurance. Minimum cover is however unsuitable for sale of manufactured goods where the risk of theft, pilferage or improper handling or custody of the goods would require more than the cover available under Clause C. Since CIP, as distinguished from CIF, would normally not be used for the sale of commodities, it would have been feasible to adopt the most extended cover under CIP rather than the minimum cover under CIF. But to vary the seller's insurance obligation under CIF and CIP would lead to confusion and both terms therefore limit the seller's insurance obligation to the minimum cover. It is particularly important for the CIP-buyer to observe this: should additional cover be required, he should agree with the seller that the latter could take out additional insurance or, alternatively, arrange for extended insurance cover himself. There are also particular instances where the buyer may wish to obtain even more protection than is available under Institute Clause A, for example insurance against war, riots, civil commotion, strikes or other labour disturbances. If he wishes the seller to arrange such insurance he must instruct him accordingly in which case the seller would have to provide such insurance if procurable.
9.4 The «D»-terms are different in nature from the «C»-terms, since the seller according to the «D»-terms is responsible for the arrival of the goods at the agreed place or point of destination at the border or within the country of import. The seller must bear all risks and costs in bringing the goods thereto. Hence, the «D»-terms signify arrival contracts, while the «C»-terms evidence departure (shipment) contracts. Under the «D»-terms except DDP the seller does not have to deliver the goods cleared for import in the country of destination.
Traditionally, the seller had the obligation to clear the goods for import under DEQ, since the goods had to be landed on the quay and thus were brought into the country of import. But owing to changes in customs clearance procedures in most countries, it is now more appropriate that the party domiciled in the country concerned undertakes the clearance and pays the duties and other charges. Thus, a change in DEQ has been made for the same reason as the change in FAS previously mentioned. As in FAS, in DEQ the change has been marked with capital letters in the preamble. It appears that in many countries trade terms not included in Incoterms are used particularly in railway traffic («franco border», «franco-frontiere», «Frei Grenze»). However, under such terms it is normally not intended that the seller should assume the risk of loss of or damage to goods during the transport up to the border. It would be preferable in these circumstances to use CPT indicating the border. If, on the other hand, the parties intend that the seller should bear the risk during the transport DAF indicating the border would be appropriate.
The DDU term was added in the 1990 version of Incoterms. The term fulfils an important function whenever the seller is prepared to deliver the goods in the country of destination without clearing the goods for import and paying the duty. In countries where import clearance may be difficult and time consuming, it may be risky for the seller to undertake an obligation to deliver the goods beyond the customs clearance point. Although, according to DDU B5 and B6, the buyer would have to bear the additional risks and costs which might follow from his failure to fulfill his obligations to clear the goods for import, the seller is advised not to use the DDU term in countries where difficulties might be expected in clearing the goods for import.


As appears from the expressions «the seller must» and «the buyer must» Incoterms are only concerned with the obligations which the parties owe to each other. The words «no obligation» have therefore been inserted whenever one party does not owe an obligation to the other party. Thus, if for instance according to A3 of the respective term the seller has to arrange and pay for the contract of carriage we find the words «no obligation» under the heading «contract of carriage» in B3 a) setting forth the buyer's position. Again, where neither party owes the other an obligation, the words «no obligation» will appear with respect to both parties, for example, with respect to insurance.
In either case, it is important to point out that even though one party may be under "no obligation" towards the other to perform a certain task, this does not mean that it is not in his interest to perform that task. Thus, for example, just because a CFR buyer owes his seller no duty to make a contract of insurance under B4, it is clearly in his interest to make such a contract, the seller being under no such obligation to procure insurance cover under A4.


In practice, it frequently happens that the parties themselves by adding words to an Incoterm seek further precision than the term could offer. It should be underlined that Incoterms give no guidance whatsoever for such additions. Thus, if the parties cannot rely on a well-established custom of the trade for the interpretation of such additions they may encounter serious problems when no consistent understanding of the additions could be proven.
If for instance the common expressions «FOB stowed» or «EXW loaded» are used, it is impossible to establish a world-wide understanding to the effect that the seller's obligations are extended not only with respect to the cost of actually loading the goods in the ship or on the vehicle respectively but also include the risk of fortuitous loss of or damage to the goods in the process of stowage and loading. For these reasons, the parties are strongly advised to clarify whether they only mean that the function or the cost of the stowage and loading operations should fall upon the seller or whether he should also bear the risk until the stowage and loading has actually been completed. These are questions to which Incoterms do not provide an answer: consequently, if the contract too fails expressly to describe the parties' intentions, the parties may be put to much unnecessary trouble and cost.
EXW - Добавляется обязанность продавца погрузить товар на транспортное средство покупателя
CIF/CIP - Покупатель нуждается в дополнительном страховании
DEQ - Добавляется обязанность продавца оплатить расходы после разгрузки
In some cases sellers and buyers refer to commercial practice in liner and charter party trade. In these circumstances, it is necessary to clearly distinguish between the obligations of the parties under the contract of carriage and their obligations to each other under the contract of sale. Unfortunately, there are no authoritative definitions of expressions such as «liner terms» and «terminal handling charges» (THC). Distribution of costs under such terms may differ in different places and change from time to time. The parties are recommended to clarify in the contract of sale how such costs should be distributed between themselves.
Expressions frequently used in charter-parties, such as «FOB stowed», «FOB stowed and trimmed», are sometimes used in contracts of sale in order to clarify to what extent the seller under FOB has to perform stowage and trimming of the goods onboard the ship. Where such words are added, it is necessary to clarify in the contract of sale whether the added obligations only relate to costs or to both costs and risks.
As has been said, every effort has been made to ensure that Incoterms reflect the most common commercial practice. However in some cases - particularly where Incoterms 2000 differ from Incoterms 1990 - the parties may wish the trade terms to operate differently. They are reminded of such options in the preamble of the terms signaled by the word «However».


Any mode of transport
Group E EXW Ex Works (... named place)
Group F FCA Free Carrier (... named place)
Group C CPT Carriage Paid To (... named place of destination)
CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To (... named place of destination)
Group D DAF Delivered At Frontier (... named place)
DDU Delivered Duty Unpaid (... named place of destination)
DDP Delivered Duty Paid (... named place of destination)
Maritime and inland waterway transport only
Group F FAS Free Alongside Ship (... named port of shipment)
FOB Free On Board (... named port of shipment)
Group C CFR Cost and Freight (... named port of destination)
CIF Cost, Insurance and Freight (... named port of destination)
Group D DES DES Delivered Ex Ship (... named port of destination)
DEQ Delivered Ex Quay (... named port of destination)
Railway transport
Group F FСA Free Carrier (... named place)
Airway transport
Group F FСA Free Carrier (... named place)


In some cases the preamble recommends the use or non-use of a particular term. This is particularly important with respect to the choice between FCA and FOB. Regrettably, merchants continue to use FOB when it is totally out of place thereby causing the seller to incur risks subsequent to the handing over of the goods to the carrier named by the buyer. FOB is only appropriate to use where the goods are intended to be delivered «across the ship's rail» or, in any event, to the ship and not where the goods are handed over to the carrier for subsequent entry into the ship, for example stowed in containers or loaded on lorries or wagons in so-called roll on - roll off traffic. Thus, a strong warning has been made in the preamble of FOB that the term should not be used when the parties do not intend delivery across the ship's rail. It happens that the parties by mistake use terms intended for carriage of goods by sea also when another mode of transport is contemplated. This may put the seller in the unfortunate position that he cannot fulfill his obligation to tender the proper document to the buyer (for example a bill of lading, sea waybill or the electronic equivalent). The chart printed at paragraph 17 above makes clear which trade term in Incoterms 2000 it is appropriate to use for which mode of transport. Also, it is indicated in the preamble of each term whether it can be used for all modes of transport or only for carriage of goods by sea.


Contracting parties who wish to have the possibility of resorting to ICC Arbitration in the event of a dispute with their contracting partner should specifically and clearly agree upon ICC Arbitration in their contract or, in the event that no single contractual document exists, in the exchange of correspondence which constitutes the agreement between them. The fact of incorporating one or more Incoterms in a contract or the related correspondence does NOT by itself constitute an agreement to have resort to ICC Arbitration.
The following standard arbitration clause is recommended by ICC: «All disputes arising out of or in connection with the present contract shall be finally settled under the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce by one or more arbitrators appointed in accordance with the said Rules.»