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Transporting goods for overseas trade

Transporting goods for overseas trade

If you’re doing business abroad, you’ll have a whole new set of challenges to deal with, not least of which will concern issues of transportation of goods. How can you make sure that you protect your business interests in the course of getting your products from A to B? Will you do this on your own or rely on a partner organisation (e.g. an agent or distributor) with knowledge of the local conditions to help you reach your targets?

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has hundreds of thousands of member companies in over 180 countries. It is responsible for setting voluntary rules of international business. It publishes updated International Commercial Terms (Incoterms rules), a series of pre-defined commercial terms that are widely used in international commercial transactions or procurement processes. They are updated on a regular basis and essentially consist of the 11 terms listed below. They are primarily designed to clearly communicate the tasks, costs, and risks associated with the transportation and delivery of goods. The current version was published in 2020. Use of Incoterms can help ensure that your products get from A to B without complications. 

EXW - Ex Works
FCA - Free Carrier
CPT Carriage Paid To
CIP - Carriage And Insurance Paid To
DPU - Delivered At Place Unloaded 
DAP - Delivered At Place
DDP - Delivered Duty Paid
FAS - Free Alongside Ship
FOB - Free On Board
CFR - Cost and Freight
CIF - Cost, Insurance and Freight

For more information about Incoterms, and to obtain a copy of them, see the ICC's website here

If you decide to appoint a third party who is familiar with the local territory to act on your behalf as an agent or distributor, they can  use their knowledge of languages, customs and regulations not only to market and sell your products and services but also to advise and help with transportation.

If you’re doing business abroad, Terms and Conditions of Export can help the legal relationship between buyer and seller and should include the Incoterm rules. 

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