The International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) has announced the publication of Incoterms 2020. This is the first update to Incoterms since they were last revised in 2010. The new rules become effective from 1 January 2020.


Incoterms detail the obligations of the parties as well as the allocation of risk and cost in a trade contracted on three-letter trade terms (such as CIF and FOB). Incoterms are distinct from the meaning of the same three-letter trade terms at common law, and Incoterms will only apply if they are incorporated into the contract (usually by reference).


The revisions to the rules have been produced by the ICC Drafting Group, which was made up of eight members from Australia, China, EU member states, Turkey, andthe USA. Incoterms 2020 contain six significant changes from Incoterms 2010:


1.The FCA rule now contains an additional element relating to bills of lading. Under this option, the buyer and seller agree that the buyer’s carrier will issue an on-board bill of lading to the seller after loading, which the seller will then tender to the buyer (likely through the banking chain). A problem with the old FCA rule was that it ended before the loading of the goods, which prevented the seller from obtaining an on-board bill of lading. However, bills of lading are generally required by banks under letters of credit and therefore the FCA rule was revised to take account of this market reality.


2.Costs are now consistently listed in A9 (seller’s obligations) and B9 (buyer’s obligations), providing a “one-stop list of costs” for each rule. This new consolidated costs section appears in addition to the allocation of costunder the relevant obligation. For example, in an FOB sale, the costs involved in obtaining the delivery/transport document appear in both A6/B6 and A9/B9.


3.The level of minimum insurance in CIF and CIP terms has diverged. CIF terms continue to require the seller to obtain cargo insurance complying with Clauses (C) of the LMA/IUA Institute Cargo Clauses. However, in CIP trades the level of minimum insurance has been increased to that complying with Clauses (A) of the Institute Cargo Clauses (meaning “allrisks” cover, subject to exclusions).

CIF和CIP术语中的最低保险范围的规定也有所不同。 CIF术语继续要求卖方购买符合LMA/IUA《协会货物保险条款》(C)条款要求的货物保险。但是,在适用CIP术语的贸易中,最低保险范围已经提高到《协会货物保险条款》(A)条款的要求(即“一切险”,不包括除外责任)。

4.Provision has been made for the seller or buyer to employ their own means of transportation rather than employing a third party carrier, as was assumed in the Incoterms 2010. The changes are reflected in the FCA, DAP, DPU and DDP rules.


5.The DAT (Delivered at Terminal) rule has been renamed DPU (Delivered at Place Unloaded). This is to reflect that the destination can be any place and not just a terminal.

DAT(Delivered at Terminal)术语已被重命名为DPU(Delivered at Place Unloaded)。这是为了反映作为目的地的交货地点可以是任何地方而不仅仅是终点。

6.An express allocation of security-related obligations has been added to A4 and A7 of each Incoterm, the costs of which are included in A9/B9. For example, A4 of the FOB Incoterm states “The seller must comply with any transport-related security requirements up to delivery”. These provisions reflect the increasing prevalence of concerns relating to security in international trade.

每个国际贸易术语项下的A4和A7部分都明确规定了与安全有关的义务的分配规则,为履行该义务产生的费用的承担方式也在A9/B9部分载明。例如,FOB 术语项下的A4部分载明“卖方必须遵守任何与运输安全有关的要求,直至交付”。这些规定反映了当前国际贸易领域对安全问题日益增长的关注。

A further change which runs throughout the document is purely cosmetic. The ICC has attempted to make the rules clearer than ever, with introductory and explanatory notes as well as changes in the order and layout of the rules. The motivation behind this change is apparently to encourage users to employ the most appropriate trade term for their particular trade, in particular to discourage the use of maritime terms for non-maritime trade.


Overall, the changes to the terms are more conservative than some predicted, and there are a few notable absences in the list of changes. It had been anticipated by some that the DPP rule would be split into two terms, and that the FAS term would be removed entirely. Others had expected the introduction of a new “Costand Insurance” term (“CNI”). In the event, these changes have not materialised.

总体而言,此次针对国际贸易术语进行的修订,其结果比外界预测的更为保守,并且也依然存在一些值得注意的缺失。分析人士曾预测DPP术语将被拆分为两个不同的术语,而FAS术语则将被完全移除,也有部分评论曾预计在此次修订中“Cost and Insurance”(CNI)将会作为新术语被引入。然而根据公布的正式文本显示,上述修订最终均未落实。

We would be very pleased to discuss these changes and how they may affect your business in more detail.  To arrange such a discussion or for any further information please contact the undersigned, or your usual Ince contact.





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