Free Carrier (FCA)

Free Carrier terms mean the seller will deliver the goods, already cleared for export, to a named place or named carrier specified by the buyer. The named place of delivery is critical to note because it identifies exactly where the seller’s obligation ends and where the buyer’s responsibility begins. The named place or point of departure is usually the seller’s premises, but it can also be a named cargo terminal or tendered to a carrier – all at the seller’s expense. Origin loading and terminal handling charges are for the responsibility of the buyer.

Consider the following hypothetical shipment to demonstrate the responsibilities for the buyer and the seller under FCA.

The buyer is a marble tile distributor and purchases slabs of marble that fit in a 20’ sea container from ABC Quarry Company in Bergamo, Italy. Terms of sale are FCA La Spezia, Italy. The seller must load marble into the container, clear its contents for export and make it available at the named place of La Spezia.

The buyer must assume all risk and responsibility for the goods from the time they are delivered either to a warehouse or a carrier at La Spezia up to the time they are delivered to the buyer’s door. The buyer pays origin terminal charges, loading onto vessel and all costs of transportation from that point forward, as well as insurance and Customs formalities at import.

Note: If this cargo was to move as air cargo, the FCA terms could read “FCA Milan” wherein the seller would make the goods available in the same manner described for the sea container. The buyer would pay for the air carrier terminal charges, loading onto the aircraft plus all other costs to transport and clear goods to the buyer’s door.

Free Carrier puts more responsibility on the seller compared to Ex Works.

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