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ICC’s Incoterms® rules are the world’s essential terms of trade for the sale of goods. Whether you are filing a purchase order, packaging and labelling a shipment for freight transport, or preparing a certificate of origin at a port, the Incoterms® rules are there to guide you. The Incoterms® rules provide specific guidance to individuals participating in the import and export of global trade on a daily basis. Incoterms® is a registered trademark of ICC to protect the intellectual property rights contained in this resource. The Incoterms® Rules (International Commercial Terms) are a set of international Rules defining specific trade terms in foreign commerce. They state the responsibilities of buyers and sellers, especially for cross-border transactions, and provide the parties with an internationally consistent interpretation of their obligations, thus helping to avoid misunderstandings and litigation.
Who publishes the Incoterms® rules
Since its founding in 1919, ICC has been committed to the facilitation of international trade. Different practices and legal interpretations between traders around the world necessitated a common set of rules and guidelines. As a response, ICC published the first Incoterms® rules in 1936. ICC has been maintaining and developing them ever since. As ICC celebrates its Centenary in 2019, the world business organization is pleased to announce the preparation and publication of Incoterms® 2020. This newest edition of the Incoterms® rules will help prepare business for the next century of global trade.
Why use Incoterms® rules in international trade?
Although other clauses for global trade exist around the world, such as the Harmonised Tariff Schedule of the United States, Incoterms® rules are global in their reach. Similarly, Incoterms® rules do not include trade terms codified for national purposes, such as the “less than truckload shipping” (LTL) rule of the United States. Unlike national trade policies, Incoterms® rules are universal, providing clarity and predictability to business.