Incoterms 2010 Case Study

March 2012 | Sponsored | Knowledge Base

Understanding INCOTERMS 2010

March 15, 2012 | J. Anthony Hardenburgh

Tags:Ocean, Supply Chain Management, Insurance

An Inbound Logistics article in October 2003, "Understanding Incoterms," does an excellent job of explaining the concept of Incoterms, why they are necessary and how they work. We'd like to bring this article up-to-date with a discussion of the changes to Incoterms that began in January 2011.

To recap, Incoterms are an internationally accepted set of standard commercial terms used between buyers and sellers. The terms determine who pays the cost of each transportation segment, who is responsible for loading and unloading of goods, and who bears the risk of loss at any given point during an international shipment.

Managed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Incoterms are amended every 10 years. Recent changes saw the deletion of four existing terms and their replacement with two new terms. This brought the total number of Incoterms from 13 to 11.

Understanding the Changes to Incoterms

Formerly, categories of Incoterms reflected the stages of shipment—departure, carriage (paid and unpaid) and arrival. With the 2010 revisions, the ICC recognized that the evolution in trade, supply chain management and cross-border security warranted changes to the rules and the way they are organized.

The rules are now divided into two categories that better reflect the usage of Incoterms for multiple modes of transit—one set for any mode of transportation, the other specifically for water. The first set can certainly be used for ocean, but also applies more broadly to road, rail and air. The second set refers to ports, so is exclusively for water transport, and it eliminates the confusion around the use of FOB by making it clear that the term is only for water shipments.

Deliveries by any mode of transport (sea, road, air, rail)

  • Ex Works (EXW)
  • Free Carrier (FCA)
  • Carriage Paid To (CPT)
  • Carriage and Insurance Paid to (CIP)
  • Delivered at Terminal (DAT)
  • Delivered at Place (DAP)
  • Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)

Deliveries by sea and inland waterways transport

  • Free Alongside Ship (FAS)
  • Free on Board (FOB)
  • Cost and Freight (CFR)
  • Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)

The 2010 Incoterms make more general use of the terms "terminal" and "place," acknowledging that these locations are relevant across modes. The rules that were added—Delivered at Terminal (DAT) and Delivered at Place (DAP)—made four of the previous rules superfluous. Those were DAF (Delivered at Frontier), DES (Delivered Ex Ship), DEQ (Delivered at Quay) and DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid).

An objective of the ICC for Incoterms 2010 was to foster uniformity and certainty in global business transactions, thereby reducing the potential for costly disputes. The Incoterms changed to state that export and import formalities only have to be complied with where necessary, reflecting their usage in places where these formalities have been reduced by trade agreements or trading blocs. Many countries, such as the US, are also adopting Incoterms for domestic transport, and the 2010 rules flexibly support that application.

Aside from additions and deletions to the Incoterms themselves, there were other changes in their usage.

Electronic communication— Incoterms 2010 allows for "electronic record or procedure" where this is agreed or customary. This is a progression from previous Incoterms, which only allowed for the use of Electronic Data Information. The change facilitates the adoption of new electronic procedures and supports those already in use.

Security clearance— Buyer and seller must cooperate more closely, since Incoterms 2010 allocates their obligations to supply information needed to obtain export and import clearance. This increased degree of cooperation required is a result of growing concern over security and chain-of-custody for shipped goods.

Terminal handling charges— Incoterms 2010 reduces the potential for buyers to be charged twice for terminal handling charges. Pass-through of the cost of carriage of goods to an agreed destination, which previously resulted in buyers being charged twice, disappears with amendments to CIP, CPT, CFR, CIF, DAT, DAP and CCP Incoterms.

String sales— String sales, or the multiple sale of goods during transit, is clarified in Incoterms 2010. Specifically, FCA, CPT, CIP, FAS, FOB, CFR and CIF Incoterms are amended to provide that the seller in the middle of a string sale has an obligation to "procure goods shipped" and not to "ship" the goods. The seller's obligation to contract for the carriage of goods has been amended to allow the seller to procure a contract of carriage.

Remember that Incoterms are not implied in the buying and selling of goods. They must be specified, along with designation of location. If you wish to still use the 2000 version, you must explicitly state that, otherwise the 2010 rules apply by default.

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This course represents 6 hours of online instruction and training in Incoterms® 2010. Its aim is to ensure a firm foundation in the use and application of the Incoterms® 2010 rules.

The course content was written by Professor Jan Ramberg, author of the ICC Guide to Incoterms® 2010, Vincent O’ Brien, international trade specialist and Gary Collyer, Technical Adviser to the ICC Banking Commission.

Professor Jan Ramberg,
Jan Ramberg, Author of the ICC Guide to Incoterms® 2010
Vincent O’ Brien,
International Trade Specialist
Gary Collyer,
Technical Adviser to the ICC Banking Commission




Course Contents

The training is divided into 3 Modules:

Incoterms® Rules Module

A comprehensive overview of the use of the Incoterms® 2010 rules and the obligations of the seller and buyer.

Case Studies Module

Interactive case studies that allow trainees to apply their understanding of Incoterms® rules by simulating work scenarios.

Assessment Module

A series of randomly generated multiple choice questions testing trainees’ understanding of the application of Incoterms® rules.

Each trainee receives access to the course for one year. On completion of the training and assessment each student receives an ICC Certificate of Achievement indicating the score achieved in the course assessment.




What are the key benefits of Incoterms® 2010 Online training?


The course content is written by leading trade experts of the International Chamber of Commerce.


As the training is delivered online all trainees receive the same training – so you can be sure
that your staff, regardless of location, are being trained to a consistent ICC standard.


Whether your company is large or small, our Learning Management System means it is very easy (and quick) for you to get your staff up and running with the training and to keep track of their progress and results




Value for money

With prices starting at EUR 179 per trainee – and discounts for volume orders – Incoterms® 2010 Online Training is a very cost effective way to train your staff.

Each trainee receives access to Incoterms® 2010 Online Training for one year for training and reference purposes – no incidental training costs, such as travel, accommodation,scheduling, printed materials, venue, time off work, etc.

If you have any questions, please email

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Staff Contact:   Andrew Shiles

Senior VP, ATA Carnet and Trade Services
Tel: 212.703.5079

Former FedEx executive and cargo industry veteran Andrew Shiles leads USCIB’s portfolio of trade services, including the “merchandise passports” used by thousands of exporters around the world to get goods through customs quickly and easily. Shiles works to expand U.S. trade interests through promotion of the ATA Carnet program. Shiles comes to USCIB following more than 30 years at FedEx Express, the world’s largest air express cargo company, most recently as global regulatory compliance manager, where he served on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee. His leadership experience in global supply-chain management includes participation in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Simplified Entry Working Group, which redesigned and implemented the current entry-clearance process into the United States.
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