Glossary of Terms

A short List of Frequently Used Terminology in Our Industry

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As of 2023, there are 11 official Incoterms. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) develops and publishes the Incoterms, which are recognized worldwide as the standard for international trade contracts. The latest Incoterms list was released in 2019 and came into effect in January 2020, and while the 2010 Incoterms remain valid, buyers and sellers can only use them if both parties agree. The 11 Incoterms are divided into two types: those applicable to any mode of transport (EXW, FCA, CPT, CIP, DAP, DPU, and DDP) and those for maritime and inland waterway transport (FAS, FOB, CFR, and CIF).


Ex Works (EXW) is an international commercial term that is commonly used in international trade to describe a shipping agreement between a buyer and seller. It is one of the 11 International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) that define the respective obligations of buyers and sellers in the international trade of goods.

Under EXW terms, the seller is responsible for making the goods available for collection at their premises or another agreed-upon location. The buyer is responsible for arranging and paying for all transportation costs from the seller’s location to the final destination, as well as handling any necessary customs clearance procedures.

EXW is a useful shipping agreement when the buyer wants complete control over the shipment, such as when they have their preferred carrier and want to handle the shipping process themselves. However, it places a significant burden on the buyer, as they are responsible for arranging the shipment and ensuring its safe delivery, which may be difficult or impractical in some cases.


CA stands for “Free Carrier” and is a trade term used in international commerce to describe the location at which the seller must deliver goods to the buyer. FCA specifies that the seller is responsible for delivering the goods to a specific place, typically a named airport, terminal, or other location and that the buyer assumes all subsequent risks and costs associated with transporting the goods to their final destination [1].

Under FCA, the seller must ensure that the goods are properly packaged and labeled and made available for pickup by the buyer’s carrier. The buyer is responsible for arranging for transportation and for any costs associated with loading the goods onto the carrier, as well as any risks associated with transporting the goods from the specified location to their final destination. The buyer must also handle any customs documentation and obtain any necessary licenses or permits required to transport the goods [2].

It is important to note that FCA is one of 11 International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to provide a uniform set of rules for international trade. Each Incoterm defines the responsibilities and obligations of the buyer and seller with regard to the delivery of goods, as well as the transfer of risk and payment for those goods. As such, FCA is one of several options available to buyers and sellers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the specific circumstances of the transaction [1].

FCA can also have other meanings in different contexts, such as the False Claims Act (FCA), a US federal law that allows private individuals to sue companies on behalf of the government for fraudulent billing or other misconduct [3]. In the United Kingdom, FCA can refer to the Financial Conduct Authority, the regulator of the financial services industry in the UK [4]. FCA can also stand for Formal Concept Analysis, a method used in information science to derive a hierarchy of concepts or ontology from a collection of objects and their properties [6].


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