Incoterms – International Shipping Terms

Incoterms are a set of terms used to legally define responsibilities of cost and encumbrance of goods. The terms are used in International trade to help traders in different countries understand who is responsible for what costs and actions. The terms simplify discussion of trade by reducing the risk of language barriers or semantics that could create confusion concerning cost onus. The Incoterms are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and are protected by copyright.

There are 11 Incoterms and the ICC website provides preambles to each term along with some basic information. The preambles do not define the obligations but provide a simple description. The full published texts are required for definition of the 11 Incoterms, available from ICC Publishing.