Incoterms 2020 - Information & Overview

Rail freight, Truck freight, Container transport, Pallet transport, Sea freight, Air freight

Freightfinders provides the latest information on the Incoterms 2020, which the ICC published in September 2019. These international trade rules have been adapted to the latest trade practices and presented more simply to facilitate trade agreements. However, the ICC Incoterms 2010 are still valid as long as both parties, i.e. buyers and sellers, agree to this. The contract should also explicitly specify in writing, which version of the Incoterms is being applied. More information on ICC Incoterms 2010 can be found here.

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Content Overview: 

New Incoterms in 2020 – what has been changed?

The International Commercial Terms 2020, or Incoterms 2020 for short, have brought some innovations. Clauses have been deleted and added, as well as their content. In general, the eleven clauses of the ICC Incoterms 2020 are more precisely formulated in contrast to the ICC Incoterms 2010, so that their handling has been simplified. The division into four groups remains. Get more detailed information on what has changed in the following sections.

Extension of the Incoterms D-clauses to all means of transport

A major change in the Incoterms 2020 is the deletion of the DAT (Delivered at Terminal) clause. This ICC Incoterms 2010 clause was replaced with DAP Incoterms 2020, which stands for "Delivered at Place". This means an extension from a limited location, the terminal, to any named location. The same applies to the clause DPU, which additionally includes the fact that the goods have already been unloaded.

CIP-clause: change of insurance coverage

In the case of the CIP clause, the insurance cover has changed. In the 2010 Incoterms, as in the case of the Incoterm CIF, only a minimum level of protection was required. From now on, an ICC-A (Institute Cargo Clauses: All Risk) is required, which protects against all kinds of damages.

Additional option for Incoterms 2020-clause FCA

In the ICC Incoterms 2020, the option of issuing a Bill of Lading has now been, which confirms the arrival of the goods at the container terminal. This is often essential for the buyer and his credit processing. However, this is not a change per se since it was already possible to add such an agreement in the contract. This has now only been "officially" defined in the ICC Incoterms 2020, as this document is increasingly needed in practice.

Self-organized transport possible thanks to new amendments to the ICC Incoterms

In the ICC Incoterms 2020, it is possible to designs transport contracts with self-organized transports. The buyer or seller can now also use his own means of transport for sending the freight instead of hiring a third party. These changes apply in the 2020 Incoterms FCA, DPA, DPU, and DDP.

More detailed requirements and obligations for sea freight

The innovation in the sea freight-related ICC Incoterms 2020 is probably rather smaller and affects both buyers and sellers. From now on, data related to the clearance inwards and outwards or security must be provided. However, this development was to be expected in the increased globalization and digitalization of trade.

Incoterms overview: Division in groups

The Incoterms 2020 are devided into four groups:

  • E-clauses: EXW
  • F-clauses: FCA, FAS und FOB
  • C-clauses: CFR, CIF, CPT und CIP
  • D-clauses: DDP, DPU und DAP

In general, it can be said that in this order the duties of the buyer decrease, while those of the seller increase.

Brief information on the individual ICC Incoterms 2020

Here, you will find a list with the current Incoterms 2020 and a short explanation of each. For the actual contracts, we kindly ask you to abide by the exact wording of the clauses by the ICC at

EXW Incoterms 2020 – Ex Works

This clause means that the goods are deemed to have been delivered by the seller as soon as they are at the previously designated place of delivery. This is usually a warehouse or the seller's premises. The goods do not have to be cleared or loaded onto a means of transport.

FCA Incoterms 2020 – Free Carrier

This 2020 Incoterm means that goods must be handed over to the carrier or a third person at the seller’s or another designated location. The place of delivery should be as precise as possible with the ICC Incoterm FCA, as the buyer assumes the risk from then on.

CPT Incoterms 2020 – Carriage and Insurance Paid to

With this clause, the seller must conclude the contract of carriage and bear the freight costs up to the designated place of delivery. In addition, since 2020, the seller has to cover insurance (ICC-A) with the Incoterm CPT. This provides complete protection for the buyer during transport.

DAP Incoterms 2020 – Delivered at Place

The goods shall be deemed to have been delivered as soon as the seller has provided the cargo ready for unloading at the place of delivery. The seller also bears the risk during transport to the predetermined location with the ICC Incoterm DAP.

DPU Incoterms 2020 – Delivered at Place Unloaded

This clause goes a little further by requiring that the goods have already been made available unloaded. The seller therefore bears the risk here up to unloading of the cargo.

DDP Incoterms 2020 – Delivered Duty Paid

Here, the seller not only supplies the goods ready for unloading at the designated destination, but also frees them up for importation. The Incoterm DDP says also that the risk and costs of transport, customs formalities and charges for entry and exit are covered by the seller.

FAS Incoterms 2020 – Free Alongside Ship

This clause means that the goods are delivered along the ship in the designated port. As soon as the goods are deemed to have been delivered, the buyer bears the costs and risks with the Incoterm FAS.

FOB Incoterms 2020 – Free on Board

The goods must be delivered by the seller to the port and on board the ship, designated by the buyer. From this point on, the buyer bears the costs and the risks are also transferred.

CFR Incoterms 2020 – Cost and Freight

This clause extends the previous clause by also stating that the seller must conclude a contract of carriage and bear the costs of transport to the port of destination.

CIF Incoterms 2020 – Cost, Insurance and Freight

Here, too, the goods shall be deemed to have been delivered as soon as they are on board the ship. The seller must also conclude the contract of carriage and bear the costs of transport. Transport insurance with a minimum coverage is also the seller's obligation at with Incoterm CIF.

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