Introduction to INCOTERMS-2000

   Incoterms 2000 have been released in September 1999 under ICC publication reference number 560 and have entered into force on 1 January 2000.

   Incoterms 2000 are already used in countless commercial sales contracts. Incoterms are contractual terms, the incorporation of which in sales contracts usefully complements the provisions of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and reduces the risk of misunderstanding that could lead to legal complications.

   The purpose of Incoterms is to provide a set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used trade terms in foreign trade. Thus, the uncertainties of different interpretations of such terms in different countries can be avoided or at least reduced to a considerable degree.

   Frequently, parties to a contract are unaware of the different trading practices in their respective countries. This can give rise to misunderstandings, disputes and litigation, with all the waste of time and money that this entails. In order to remedy these problems, the International Chamber of Commerce first published in 1936 a set of international rules for the interpretation of trade terms. These rules were known as Incoterms 1936. Amendments and additions were later made in 1953, 1967, 1976, 1980, 1990 and presently in 2000 in order to bring the rules in line with current international trade practices.