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New Incoterms set to come into force

4 October 2010
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has published the new edition of Incoterms, to come into effect on 1 January 2011.

What are Incoterms?

The Incoterms provide an internationally recognised standard of accepted definitions and rules of interpretation for use primarily in international contracts for the sale of goods.

How have the Incoterms been updated?

The Incoterms have undergone two significant amendments, firstly, to take into account up to the minute trade practices and developments in global trade since the last update of the Incoterms in 2000, including:

  • Changes in cargo security (an issue at the forefront of the transportation agenda for many countries following 9/11)
  • The reduction of the number of rules from 13 to 11 and the implementation of two new rules: Delivered at Terminal (DAT) and Delivered at Place (DAP). Both rules are to apply to all modes of transport
  • Increased use of electronic communications in business transactions

The new incoterms are also aimed at being more user friendly, in particular with the use of guidance notes at the start of each rule, providing users with more information and directing them to the correct rule.

What do the changes mean?

The new Incoterms are designed to keep abreast of developments in commercial trade and to accommodate these changes. This update, combined with the Incoterms historical strength as a globally accepted standard for international commercial terms, means the Incoterms will remain as the standard terms of choice for international contracts for the sale of goods. As such, its key for trade lawyers and commercial contract negotiators to be familiar with and understand the revised incoterms 2010 - and use them properly.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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