The latest version of Incoterms®, Incoterms® 2010, was launched in September 2010 and became effective January 1, 2011. Incoterms® are a set of rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. They are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are widely used in commercial transactions.
The term, Incoterms®, is an abbreviation for International Commercial Terms. They are a set of rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts for domestic and international trade. They are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are widely used in international commercial transactions. The first Incoterms® were issued in 1936. The most recent version of Incoterms®, Incoterms® 2010, were launched in September 2010 and became effective January 1, 2011.
Incoterms® provide a common set of rules to clarify responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. They apportion transportation costs and responsibilities associated with the delivery of goods between buyers (importers) and sellers (exporters) and reflect modern-day transportation practices. Incoterms® significantly reduce misunderstandings among traders and thereby minimize trade disputes and litigation.
Incoterms® 2010 are the updated version of Incoterms®. Incoterms® 2010 have been developed as a result of an extensive review of current shipping practices and trends in an effort to keep up with the rapid expansion of world trade. The key drivers for this update include: a need for improved cargo security, changes to the Uniform Commercial Code in 2004 that resulted in a deletion of U.S. shipment and delivery terms, and new trends in global transportation.
The two main categories of Incoterms® 2010 are now organized by modes of transport. Used in international as well as in domestic contracts for the first time, the new groups aim to simplify the drafting of contracts and help avoid misunderstandings by clearly stipulating the obligations of buyers and sellers.
Group 1. Incoterms® that apply to any mode of transport are:
Group 2. Incoterms® that apply to sea and inland waterway transport only:
For a comprehensive discussion of Incoterms® and their use, watch our free webinar.
According to the International Chamber of Commerce, all contracts made under Incoterms® 2000 remain valid even after 2011. In addition, although the ICC recommends using Incoterms® 2010 from January 2011 onward, parties to a sales contract can agree to use any version of Incoterms® after 2011. It is important, however, to clearly specify the chosen version of Incoterms® being used (i.e. Incoterms® 2010, Incoterms® 2000, or any earlier version).
You can purchase a copy of the new Incoterms® 2010 from the ICC website.
You may also consult INCOTERMS® 2010 Quick Reference Chart.
There are a number of private sector and government organizations that offer workshops, webinars, and seminars related to the new Incoterms®. For webinars and other events related to Incoterms® and many other topics of trade education that are being offered by the U.S. Commercial Service and its partners in support of the President’s National Export Initiative, you may visit our Trade Events Search Database.