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21 Pages

INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL TRADE TERMS —INCOTERMS 1990

OVERVIEW

The law in many jurisdictions recognises standardised usages in contracts for the sale of goods in international dealings: ‘CIF’ and ‘FOB’ are among the best known of these usages. The usages, and the distinctive types of sale transaction they represent, were in a number of cases evolved by the practices of merchants, following which they were adopted and formalised in various municipal legal systems such as in case law (in the common law jurisdictions) or in legislation (eg the US Uniform Commercial Code). These usages represent a shorthand way of incorporating, in a sales contract, a precise regime covering aspects of contractual obligations and performance. They focus particularly on the delivery of the goods, and collateral matters such as the issues of when risk passes, which party is responsible for the carriage and its costs, which party is responsible for insuring the goods and the costs of this, etc. They do not provide a general contracts law regime-this must still be sought for in the applicable law of contract.