FOB is a shipping term that stands for “free on board.” If a shipment is designated FOB (the seller’s location), then as soon as the shipment of goods leaves the seller’s warehouse, the seller records the sale as complete. The buyer owns the products en route to its warehouse and must pay any delivery charges.
CFR is a legal term used in foreign trade contracts. In a contract specifying that a sale is cost and freight, the seller is required to arrange for the carriage of goods by sea to a port of destination and provide the buyer with the documents necessary to obtain them from the carrier. With a cost and freight sale, the seller is not responsible for procuring marine insurance against the risk of loss or damage to the cargo during transit. Cost and freight is a term used strictly for cargo transported by sea or inland waterways.
EXW, short for “Ex Works,” places most responsibility with the buyer. The seller is expected to have the goods ready for collection at the agreed place of delivery (commonly the seller’s factory, mill, plant or warehouse). The buyer is accountable for all subsequent costs and risk, including all export procedures, starting with loading the goods onto a transport vehicle at the seller’s premises.
Delivered duty paid (DDP) is a delivery agreement whereby the seller assumes all of the responsibility, risk, and costs associated with transporting goods until the buyer receives or transfers them at the destination port.
A telegraphic transfer (TT) is an electronic method of transferring funds used primarily for overseas wire transactions. T/T payment stands for ‘Telegraphic Transfer.’ In other words, an international wire of funds from the buyer’s bank to the seller’s bank.
A letter of credit (LC), also known as a documentary credit or bankers commercial credit, or letter of undertaking (LoU), is a payment mechanism used in international trade to provide an economic guarantee from a creditworthy bank to an exporter of goods. Letters of credit are used extensively in the financing of international trade, when the reliability of contracting parties cannot be readily and easily determined. Its economic effect is to introduce a bank as an underwriter that assumes the counterparty risk of the buyer paying the seller for goods.
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