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F.O.B. (Free on Board) The responsibility is the Shipper’s to clear the goods for export and to deliver the goods over the threshold of the vessel. The Buyer assumes all costs and risks from that point. (This term is not appropriate for containerized cargo or for cargo carried aboard a roll on/roll off ro-ro vessel to which FCA should be used).

FAS (Free Along Side Ship) The responsibility to deliver is the Shipper’s to the point that goods are delivered along side the ocean vessel, either at the quay (A wharf or reinforced bank where ships are loaded or unloaded) or on a lighter (A large flat-bottomed barge, especially one used to deliver or unload goods to or from a cargo ship or transport goods over short distances) or directly onto the cargo ship, at the designated port of shipment. The Buyer assumes all costs and responsibilities for the shipment at that point and must clear the goods for export. (This term is only used for transportation by water).

FCA (Free Carrier) The sellers responsibility to deliver is achieved by the seller delivering the goods, cleared for export, to the buyer’s carrier. There are very typical issues that are usually addressed when using this term. As an example, if no location is designated by the buyer, the seller can reasonably assume the responsibility to name the place where the carrier will take the goods into his custody. As stated in our white paper on Domestic Freight Terms and Terms of Sale/Purchase, it is important to avoid, “silence speaking”. In international passage of title and freight terms a great deal more exposure can be incurred. As an example, should the buyer request the seller’s assistance in connection with securing a carrier contract it is commercially acceptable that, when the seller’s assistance is requested in securing the contract with the carrier, the seller would be acting at the risk and expense of the buyer. If no precise point at the designated delivery location is mentioned, the Shipper may choose the place at the Buyer’s location where the Carrier will take over responsibility of the goods. (This term can refer to any mode of transport, including intermodal). Although the word, “carrier” is well know and understood by all of us, FCA does allow for the imposition of a non-carrier to become a carrier in the following instance. Should the buyer nominate a party other than the carrier to receive the goods, the seller is deemed to have satisfied his obligation of delivery to the carrier.

FCL Full Container Load.

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Regulatory agency responsible for rates and practices of ocean carriers shipping to and from the United States.

FEU 40 foot equivalent unit.

Flat Bed A type of truck with no side panels on to which cargo is usually strapped, chained or otherwise attached.

Forwarder’s Instruction Document issued by the appointed forwarder that goods have been received without exception for export.

Free Trade Zone A port designated by the government of a country for duty-free entry of any non-prohibited goods.

Freight Forwarder A firm that represents shippers by arranging transport and completing documentation required for international shipping. Some freight forwarders also act as cargo consolidators.

Freight Payable at Destination When the ocean freight of a shipment is paid at the time of delivery at the foreign port.

Full Set Off B/L’s Usually means the issuance of the three original’s and three copies of the ocean Bill of Lading. This term is generally accepted by banks and shippers.

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