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International Model Contracts
The Incoterms® rules explain a set of eleven of the most commonly-used three-letter trade terms, e.g. CIF, DAP, etc., reflecting business-to-business practice in contracts for the sale and purchase of goods.
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Standard trade terms for contracts for the sale of goods
The Incoterms® rules have become an essential part of the daily language of trade. They have been incorporated in contracts for the sale of goods worldwide and provide rules and guidance to importers, exporters, lawyers, transporters, insurers and students of international trade.
The Incoterms® rules are standard 'trade terms' used in international and domestic sale contracts to allocate certain costs and risks between the seller and the buyer. The best-known and most widely used of the 11 Incoterms® rules are FOB and CIF (sometimes also spelled f.o.b. or c.i.f.), but several other rules are very common as well... read more »
The Incoterms® rules can be incorporated into contracts by simple reference, e.g. 'FCA 38 cours Albert 1er, Paris, France, Incoterms® 2010'... read more »
The Incoterms® rules are found in international sale contracts and any of the common documents that may evidence such contracts, such as a pro forma invoice or purchase order... read more »
The Incoterms® rules govern certain responsibilities between the seller and the buyer under the contract of sale; they should not be confused with the allocation of responsibilities between the shipper, carrier and consignee under the contract of carriage. One of the most common misunderstandings related to the Incoterms® rules involves confusing the contract of sale with the contract of carriage... read more »
In order to understand the value of the Incoterms® rules, we might ask ourselves: what would happen if a trader forgot to use the Incoterms® rules, or failed to understand the allocation of risks/ obligations thereunder? ... read more »
The ICC Commission on Commercial Law and Practice (CLP) develops ICC model contracts and ICC model clauses which give parties a neutral framework for their contractual relationships.
For example traders may wish to rely on a single contract that is specifically adapted to export instead of exchanging the form documents (the pro forma invoice or purchase order) approach. In such cases, a model contract (such as the ICC Model International Sale Contract) may be useful.
One way to use the model contract is to use it "as is". The trader simply fills in the spaces provided for specifying the contract details: buyer/seller, description of goods, price, payment method, delivery and dispute resolution (among others).
Another option is to use the model contract as a source of inspiration or reference document when drafting the firm's standard forms or general conditions.
Yet another option is to use the model contract as a negotiating tool.
When one party presents a clause that is difficult or objectionable to the other, reference to the more balanced approach in the model contract may help the parties to reach a compromise.
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An international business transaction requires a precise and detailed underlying contract. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming to draft such a contract oneself. The International Chamber of Commerce, the world business organization, has responded to the market's need for a reliable and equitable model with the ICC Model International Sale Contract, which provides a solution in presenting a set of clear and concise standard contractual conditions for the most basic international trade agreement.
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The Incoterms® rules define important responsibilities of buyers and sellers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. They are the authoritative rules for determining how costs and risks are allocated to the parties. Incoterms rules are regularly incorporated into contracts for the sale of goods worldwide and have become part of the daily language of trade.
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