The Incoterms® rules or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) relating to international commercial law. They are widely used in International commercial transactions or procurement processes as the use in international sales is encouraged by trade councils, courts and international lawyers. A series of three-letter trade terms related to common contractual sales practices, the Incoterms rules are intended primarily to clearly communicate the tasks, costs, and risks associated with the transportation and delivery of goods. Incoterms inform sales contract defining respective obligations, costs, and risks involved in the delivery of goods from the seller to the buyer. However, it does not constitute contract or govern law. Also it does not define where titles transfer and does not address the price payable, currency or credit items.
The Incoterms® rules are accepted by governments, legal authorities, and practitioners worldwide for the interpretation of most commonly used terms in international trade. They are intended to reduce or remove altogether uncertainties arising from different interpretation of the rules in different countries. As such they are regularly incorporated into sales contracts worldwide.
The first work published by the ICC on international trade terms was issued in 1923, with the first edition known as Incoterms® published in 1936. the Incoterms® rules were amended in 1953, 1967, 1976, 1980, 1990, and 2000, with the eighth version— Incoterms 2010 having been published on January 1, 2011.
The International Chamber of Commerce has announced the publication of Incoterms® 2020; however, Incoterms® 2010 is still in place for companies using them.