International Business

What Does Free Carrier (FCA) Mean in Shipping

Nowadays, there are so many commercial terms used mostly in international business. But, how many of them are we well conversant with? One of the popular commercial terms is Free Carrier or simply FCA. What does Free Carrier mean or what is the essence of this Incoterm? No problem. Today, I am explaining the basic idea on this key commercial term for your easy understanding.

Free Carrier or FCA means that the seller delivers the goods, cleared for export, to the carrier nominated by the buyer at the named place. It should be noted that the chosen place of delivery has an impact on the obligations of loading, and unloading the goods at that place. If delivery occurs at the seller’s premises, the seller is responsible for loading. If delivery occurs at any other place the seller is not responsible for unloading. (Incoterms 2017)

This term corresponds to FOB under sea transport. The seller fulfills his obligation to deliver when he has handed over the goods, cleared for export, into the charge of the carrier named by the buyer at the named place or point. If the named place is the seller’s premises, delivery is completed when the goods have been loaded on the means of transport provided by the carrier. If any other place is mentioned, the seller carries the goods there and places the goods at the disposal of the carrier without unloading, from the seller’s means of transport. If no precise point is indicated by the buyer, the seller may choose within the place or range stipulated where the carrier shall take the goods into his charge.

‘Carrier’ means any person who, in a contract of carriage, undertakes to perform or to procure the performance of carriage by rail, road, sea, air, inland waterway or by a combination of such modes. If the buyer instructs the seller to deliver the cargo to a person, e.g., a freight forwarder who is not a carrier, the seller is deemed to have fulfilled his obligation to deliver the goods when they are in custody of that person,

Except for the mode of transport and place of delivery, the respective positions of seller and buyer are similar to that under FOB contract.

Documents required under Free Carrier or FCA are:

(a A transport document,

(b) Invoice, and

(c) Other documents as required by the buyer.

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