New Incoterms Nearing

Incoterms 2010 Likely to Take Effect in January 2011
[Editor’s Note: The following article originally appeared in a Jan. 20
post in International Trade Law News, a blog by ST&R member Doug
Jacobson, and is reprinted here with permission.]
Frank Reynolds, the U.S. Delegate to the International Chamber of
Commerce’s (ICC) Incoterms committee, has provided International
Trade Law News with an update on the status of the revisions
currently underway to Incoterms 2000, the standardized trade terms
commonly used in international sales contracts.
After receiving a large number of comments from the ICC National
Committees, the Incoterms Drafting Group recently completed a
third draft of the revised version of Incoterms. After comments on
the third draft are submitted by the ICC National Committees, the
Drafting Group will meet in March 2010 to prepare a fourth version
of the draft revisions to Incoterms.
At this time, it remains the ICC’s goal to release the final version of
Incoterms in the fall of 2010 with an effective date of January 1,
2011 (this date is subject to change).
In a change from previous reports, it appears that the new version
of Incoterms will be entitled “Incoterms 2010,” reflecting the release
date rather than the date they come into force (this is the third
name change during this revision). In addition to the information
provided in previous updates, Mr. Reynolds has provided the
following information on items that may be contained in the final
version of Incoterms 2010.
• There will be clear differentiation between the omnimodal terms
and those intended only for marine use.
• Cargo security will be covered to the extent possible with differing
regulatory systems.
• The preambles to each Incoterm will be expanded to better inform
users of its intended use.
• A new term will be included to facilitate use in domestic
transactions and those within Customs Unions where no export or
import clearance obligations exist (as previously noted there are
likely to be fewer than the 13 Incoterms in Incoterms 2000).
According to Mr. Reynolds, the “net result will be a more userfriendly
set of terms reflecting up-to-date trade practice. The
changes are substantial, but the benefits are well worth the effort to
In order to prepare for 2011 implementation of the revised
Incoterms, the United States Council for International Business will
be conducting training programs starting in the fall of 2010.
The ICC introduced the first version of Incoterms, short for
“International Commercial Terms,” in 1936. There are currently 13
Incoterms. Incoterms have been revised six times in order to reflect
international trade developments.
Frank Reynolds is the author of Incoterms for Americans, a useful
publication for U.S. exporters and importers, which will be revised
following the publication of Incoterms 2010.

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