Incoterms® 2020 - Changes you need to know

December 19, 2019

Incoterms® 2020

The Incoterms® rules are the regulations that apply to the trade for the sales of goods worldwide, these rules are in place to clarify the responsibilities of the buyer and the seller/shipper in the international shipments of global goods. They are the authoritative rules for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties, they guide individuals and companies participating in the import and export of global trade. These rules are regularly incorporated into contracts and have become part of the daily language of trade.

Launched by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) the new rules will enter into force on January 1st, 2020. As of this date, all sales contracts should refer to the Incoterms® 2020 rules as the latest version of the Incoterms® rules.

Key changes

  • Provides for demonstrated market need concerning bills of lading (BL) with an on-board notation and the Free Carrier (FCA) rule.
  • Aligns different levels of insurance coverage in Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) and Carriage and Insurance Paid to (CIP).
  • Includes arrangements for carriage with own means of transport in Free Carrier (FCA), Delivery at Place (DAP), Delivery at Place Unloaded (DPU), and Delivered Duty Paid (DDP).
  • There is a change in the three-letter name for Delivered at Terminal (DAT) to Deliver at Place Unloaded (DPU).
  • Includes security-related requirements within carriage obligations and costs.

Download Incoterms® 2020 Highlights

'Incoterms® 2020 rules make business work for everyone by facilitating trillions of dollars in global trade annually. Because they help importers and exporters around the world to understand their responsibilities and avoid costly misunderstandings, the rules form the language of international sales transactions, and help build confidence in our valuable global trading system.' ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO

Helpful information

Incoterms® does not constitute a complete contract, but rather become a part of it. For its application, the following formula should be used:

(The chosen Incoterm® rule) followed by (Named port, place or point) Incoterms® 2020

Example: “CIF Amsterdam Incoterms® 2020” or “DAP 1500 Rankin Road, Houston, TX United States Incoterms® 2020“

If there is no year stated in the Incoterms® then the following applies:

  • until December 31st, 2019 the Incoterms® 2010 apply.
  • from January 1st, 2020 the Incoterms® 2020 apply.

If a different year is stated, e. g. Incoterms® 1980, then respective terms apply.


Crane Worldwide Logistics created an Incoterms® 2020 PDF file to help better understand these changes.

Download Incoterms® 2020 Matrix

Eager to learn more? Watch now our webinar about Incoterms® 2020 and learn from Christopher Palmer, Crane Worldwide Logistics' Director of Projects

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