ICC Incoterms® are relevant for everyone dealing with sales contracts and the movement of goods including UK goods importers and exporters, logistics companies, trade financiers, insurers, shippers, freight forwarders, law firms, consultants and advisers.
The Incoterms ® rules are created and published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are revised from time to time. The most recent revision is Incoterms 2020 which came into force on 1st January 2020. The definitive publication on Incoterms® 2020 rules is the ICC publication number 723, which is available from bookshops.
Incoterms® rules are not mandatory but rather, guidelines agreed to by parties to a contract.
Each Incoterms® rule specifies:
- the obligations of each party (e.g. who is responsible for services such as transport; import and export clearance etc)
- the point in the journey where risk transfers from the seller to the buyer
So by agreeing on an Incoterms® rule and incorporating it into the sales contract, the buyer and seller can achieve a precise understanding of what each party is obliged to do, and where responsibility lies in event of loss, damage, or other mishaps.