• Introduction

    Incoterms® are standard international trade definitions used every day in countless numbers of contracts. ICC model contracts facilitate trade especially for smaller companies that may lack access to adequate legal advice on issues relating to the writing of contracts. However, they do not apply to the stand-alone Standard Forms of Contract for green coffee shipments of the European Coffee Federation and the Green Coffee Association of New York.

    Nevertheless, there are exporters who prefer to apply at least some of the definitions used by Incoterms® to their green coffee shipments (for which they of course require the buyer’s agreement) whereas the ECF/GCA Standard Forms of Contracts do not cater for the export of manufactured goods such as roasted and packaged coffee. It is therefore appropriate to provide at least an introduction to Incoterms®.

    The Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce was established in 1919. Since then it has expanded to become a world business organization with thousands of member companies and associations in around 120 countries that represent every major industrial and service sector. Today’s ICC is also the main business partner to the United Nations and its affiliated agencies in matters of international trade.

    It publishes various sets of internationally recognised rules and standards of which the most well known to the coffee trade probably are Incoterms® themselves and UCP 600 or the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits that is discussed in the previous section (04.06 – UCP 600).

    For more on the ICC visit http://www.iccwbo.org.
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