‘Crucial’ for shippers to fully understand Incoterms 2020

The latest international commercial terms – known as Incoterms 2020 – have been released by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are set to come into effect by January 1 next year. Hence, the onus is on all shippers to ensure that they fully understand the rules and their implications in the event of a dispute.

So says Pat Corbin, the chairperson of ICC South Africa, who launched the first Incoterms 2020 course, presented by accredited training provider Global Maritime Legal Solutions (GMLS), in Johannesburg this week.

Corbin explained that Incoterms comprised a series of global sales terms which were widely used in international commercial transactions.

Incoterms trainer Mark Goodger of GMLS added: “The terms are accepted by governments, legal authorities and supply chain practitioners worldwide and need to be incorporated into all contracts of sale. This is why having a comprehensive understanding of these terms is crucial.

“Incoterms that govern delivery and acceptance of delivery are often used as the rule of law in a dispute between supply chain parties,” he pointed out.

In his foreword to the Incoterms 2020 edition, ICC secretary-general John Benton writes that as the volume and complexity of global trade increases, so does the possibility of misunderstandings, and subsequent costly disputes.

The Durban and Cape Town chambers of commerce are also set to roll out training on Incoterms 2020 this year.

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