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  • Items proposed for consideration at the next meeting of Dispute Settlement Body February 28, 2020
    The WTO Secretariat has circulated a meeting notice and list of items proposed for the next meeting, on 28 February 2020, of the Dispute Settlement Body, which consists of all WTO members and oversees legal disputes among them. The meeting notice is circulated in the form of a document officially called an “airgram”.
  • US donates USD 600,000 to further developing countries’ trading capacities February 25, 2020
    The United States contributed USD 600,000 (CHF 590,000) in 2019 to help developing and least-developed countries (LCDs) participate effectively in global trade negotiations. This donation will finance training workshops for officials from WTO member governments to help them deepen their understanding of multilateral trade rules and strengthen their negotiating capacity.
  • Lithuania donates EUR 50,000 to enhance developing countries’ trading capacity February 24, 2020
    Lithuania is contributing EUR 50,000 (CHF 53,000) to help developing and least-developed countries take an active part in global trade negotiations. The contribution was acknowledged by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo at a meeting with Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevičius, on 24 February 2020.
  • Third anniversary of Trade Facilitation Agreement sees increasing implementation rate February 22, 2020
    Three years since the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) entered into force on 22 February 2017, WTO members have continued to make steady progress in its implementation. Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, on the occasion of the TFA’s third anniversary, welcomed members’ efforts to ensure traders can reap the full benefits of the Agreement.

Free on Board FOB


Maritime and Inland Waterway transport only

With  the Free on Board (FOB) Incoterms, Seller’s responsibility is engaged until goods are on board of the vessel in the specified port of shipment.

The seller must bear the pre-carriage costs and Terminal-handling costs (depending on the liner terms) of the shipping company.

In addition, the Seller is liable for export custom clearance formalities (might include export licence for instance).

In much the same way, the Buyer is liable for import customs clearance formalities (import licence, taxes and duties, VAT)

However any pre-shipment inspection required by law in the seller’s country, is at the seller’s expense.

Eventually, the buyer will be liable for main and post carriage transport costs as well as for terminal-handling charges (depending on the liner terms of the shipping company).

Usual Documents required:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Documents as agreed in the contract
  • Proof of delivery (forwarder’s certificate of receipt)
  • Clean Bill of lading with the mention “Freight Payable at” (at named place) or “freight Collect” (at port of destination)

Upon request, the Seller may assist the Buyer for obtaining any documents needed for arranging the transport and the import clearance.

Note that the related costs engendered by such assistance are at the expense of the buyer.

When should I use the Free on Board (FOB) Incoterms rule?

Basically the Free on Board (FOB) Incoterms is recommended when the seller trades produces and raw materials (such as commodities for instance) and where he has an easy access to bulk cargo (dry or liquid).

However, for containerised goods usually handed over to the carrier before the loading aboard the vessel or at a Terminal, FOB is not fit for purpose and FCA should be considered instead.