Incoterms, promulgated by the International Chamber of Commerce, is an acronym for “International commercial terms,” and provide a standard set of definitions for trade terms (also known as delivery terms and terms of sale) for use in international trade. The eleven terms (as of Incoterms 2010, effective January, 2011) are: EXW, FCA, FAS, FOB, CPT, CFR, CIF, CIP, DAT, DAP and DDP.
Incoterms facilitate international commerce by promoting common and precise understanding between a seller and buyer of their respective operational obligations, costs and passage of risk of cargo loss or damage under various specified delivery arrangements. Citing a particular Incoterm in a sales contract will also aid transportation intermediaries, banks, and service providers involved in shipping or financing the goods better performing their functions. Incoterms are also designed to reduce the likelihood of disputes between a seller and buyer over their respective responsibilities and costs.