The long-awaited Incoterms 2020 revision has now been released, and will come into force on 1st January 2020.
The rationale that is usually presented for Incoterms revisions is that of aligning the rules with changes in transport and logistics practices – for example containerization, the spread of integrated transport networks, increased concern with maintenance of freight security throughout the logistics process.
The Incoterms 2020 revision therefore comes as a considerable surprise.
Over the last year there have been a number of articles on the internet that suggested substantial changes were on the way – the introduction of a “C” rule where the seller provides freight insurance but not transport; a re-organisation of the “D” rules and so on
However the Incoterms 2020 drafting group have decided to make very few substantive changes to the provisions of the rules themselves. Instead, their efforts have gone into restructuring the Incoterms 2020 book and the welcome inclusion of a good deal of explanatory material.
So what does Incoterms 2020 hold in store for us?
If you have read so far, you may be wondering whether these can really be all the significant changes that Incoterms 2020 has introduced.
Consider this. Many readers will know the LinkedIn Incoterms discussion group, which has more than 19.000 members. When Incoterms 2020 became available – around September 3rd – we were expecting a torrent of new threads and discussions about its impact and the precise meaning of the new provisions.
At the time of writing, the discussion group has been eerily quiet – only a handful of new postings!