One of the simplest and most basic shipment arrangements places the minimum responsibility on the seller with greater responsibility on the buyer.
In an EX-Works transaction, goods are basically made available for pickup at the shipper/seller's factory or warehouse and "delivery" is accomplished when the merchandise is released to the consignee's freight forwarder.
The buyer is responsible for making arrangements with their forwarded for insurance, export clearance and handling all other paperwork.
FCA (Free Carrier)
In this type of transaction, the seller is responsible for arranging transportation, but he is acting at the risk and the expense of the buyer.
Where in FOB the freight forwarder or carrier is the choice of the buyer, in FCA the seller chooses and works with the freight forwarder or the carrier.
"Delivery" is accomplished at a predetermined port or destination point and the buyer is responsible for Insurance.
FAS (Free Alongside Ship)
In these transactions, the buyer bears all the transportation costs and the risk of loss of goods.
FAS requires the shipper/seller to clear goods for export, which is a reversal from past practices.
Companies selling on these terms will ordinarily use their freight forwarder to clear the goods for export.
"Delivery" is accomplished when the goods are turned over to the Buyers Forwarder for insurance and transportation.
FOB (Free on Board)
One of the most commonly used and misused terms, FOB means that the shipper/seller uses his freight forwarder to move the merchandise to the port or designated point of origin.
Though frequently used to describe inland movement of cargo, FOB specifically refers to ocean or inland waterway transportation of goods.
CFR (Cost and Freight)
This term formerly known as CNF (C&F) defines two distinct and separate responsibilities-one is dealing with the actual cost of merchandise "C" and the other "F" refers to the freight charges to a predetermined destination point.
It is the shipper/seller's responsibility to get goods from their door to the port of destination.
"Delivery" is accomplished at this time.
It is the buyer's responsibility to cover insurance from the port of origin or port of shipment to buyer's door.
Given that the shipper is responsible for transportation, the shipper also chooses the forwarder.
CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight)
This arrangement similar to CFR, but instead of the buyer insuring the goods for the maritime phase of the voyage, the shipper/seller will insure the merchandise.
In this arrangement, the seller usually chooses the forwarder.
"Delivery" as above, is accomplished at the port of destination.
CPT (Carriage Paid To)
In CPT transactions the shipper/seller has the same obligations found with CIF, with the addition that the seller has to buy cargo insurance, naming the buyer as the insured while the goods are in transit.
CIP (Carriage and Insurance Paid To)
This term is primarily used for multimodal transport. Because it relies on the carrier's insurance, the shipper/seller is only required to purchase minimum coverage.
When this particular agreement is in force, Freight Forwarders often act in effect, as carriers.
The buyer's insurance is effective when the goods are turned over to the Forwarder.
DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)
DDP terms tend to be used in intermodal or courier-type shipments. Whereby, the shipper/seller is responsible for dealing with all the tasks involved in moving goods from the manufacturing plant to the buyer/consignee's door.
It is the shipper/seller's responsibility to insure the goods and absorb all costs and risks including the payment of duty and fees.
DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid)
DDU term tends to be used in intermodal or courier-type shipments. Whereby, the shipper/seller is responsible for dealing with all the tasks involved in moving goods from the manufacturing plant to the buyer/consignee's door.
It is the shipper/seller's responsibility to insure the goods.
It is the buyer/consignee's responsibilty to pay duty and tax.
DAP (Delivered At Place)
Seller delivers the goods when they are placed at the disposal of the buyer on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination.
Parties are advised to specify as clearly as possible the point within the agreed place of destination, because risks transfer at this point from seller to buyer.
If the seller is responsible for clearing the goods, paying duties etc., consideration should be given to using the DDP term.
DAT (Delivered At Terminal)
Seller delivers when the goods, once unloaded from the arriving means of transport, are placed at the disposal of the buyer at a named terminal at the named port or place of destination.
"Terminal" includes quay, warehouse, container yard or road, rail or air terminal.
Both parties should agree the terminal and if possible a point within the terminal at which point the risks will transfer from the seller to the buyer of the goods.
If it is intended that the seller is to bear all the costs and responsibilities from the terminal to another point, DAP or DDP may apply.