You are here: Home » SME » SME News
Business Standard

Incoterms CPT, CIP terms oblige seller to contract for carriage, say expert

'The cost for contract for carriage must be borne by the seller, who must ensure that it is on usual terms and usual route as customary for the type of cargo'

T N C Rajagopalan 


I refer to your clarification (Chatroom, Business Standard, November 5, 2019) on certain aspects of FCA/CIP/CPT in Incoterms. My understanding is that in case of CPT/CIP terms, the carrier need not be nominated by the buyer. Is this correct? Who is required to contract for carriage?

You are right. The Incoterms CPT/CIP terms cast no obligation on the buyer to nominate the carrier. It is a matter to be agreed between the buyer and seller. The obligation to contract for the carriage from the agreed point of delivery to the named place of destination, or, if agreed, any point at that place, is on the seller. The cost for contract for carriage must be borne by the seller, who must ensure that it is on usual terms and usual route as customary for the type of cargo. He must also ensure that any transport-related security requirements are met. To that extent, the earlier clarification must be read with this explanation. In any case, it must be noted that the risk passes upon delivery of the cargo to the carriers within theagreed date.

In case of DPU Incoterms 2020, whose obligation is it to unload the goods at the place of delivery?

DPU is the abbreviation for “Delivery at Place Unloaded”. It means the seller must deliver the goods and transfer the risk to the buyer when the goods, once unloaded from the arriving means of transport, are placed at the disposal of the buyer at the named place of destination or at the agreed point at the destination, if any such point is agreed. So, the obligation to unload the cargo is on the seller.

Under FOB Incoterms, who should bear the container booking charges and BL charges?

First, please note that for containerised cargo, the appropriate Incoterms is FCA and not FOB, as containers are usually handed over by the seller to the carrier at a container yard or terminal and not on board a vessel. Anyway, in an FOB contract, the seller must bear all costs till the goods are delivered by placing them on board the vessel (nominated by the buyer, unless agreed otherwise). So, the container booking charges incurred prior to such delivery will be to the account of the seller. If the agreed proof of delivery is a bill of lading, the seller must bear the costs for procuring the same.

In the new Rule 36 (4) of the CGST Rules, 2017, we are allowed to take 20 per cent of the eligible credit even if the seller has not uploaded his invoices. What is meant by “eligible credit”? It is not defined.

Basically, it means the credits for invoices that have been uploaded by the seller and that you find in auto-populated GSTR-2A. But, there are many other finer points. The CBIC has clarified most of them, with examples, through its circular no. 123/42/2019-GST dated November 11, 2019. I suggest you go through it for greater clarity.

Business Standard invites readers’ queries related to excise, VAT and exim policy.

You can write to us at

First Published: Mon, November 18 2019. 23:38 IST