chapter  3
International Trade and Shipping Documents
ByFilippo Lorenzon
Pages 23

This chapter gives a brief overview of the basic concepts of international commercial sales on shipment terms in order to provide the commercial background to understand shipping law as a whole better. International trade law is a specialist area of commercial law dealing with the sale of goods for commercial purposes. Contracts for the international sale of goods may be further divided into three main groups depending on the mode and place of delivery of the consignment sold: E terms (or ex works contracts), D terms (destination/arrival or delivered contracts) and shipment terms. In current commercial practice, sale contracts are concluded by exchanges of short e-mails, faxes or telexes, confirmation notes focusing mainly on the description of the goods to be sold and the main delivery and payment terms. The real purpose of the entire commercial shipping industry and its regulatory and contractual framework is to make international trade possible, safe and efficient.