What are the differences between FOB and FCA as per Incoterms 2010?

FCA( Free Carrier) is a very flexible trade term, which should be preferred instead of EXW (Ex Works) and FOB (Free on Board) incoterms in most situations, because the usage of Ex Works and Free on Board is not suitable for large scale of situations.

For example, frequently exporters and importers use Ex Works trade term, where the exporter handles and pays for the export custom duties. 

But according to Incoterms 2010 rules, importer must arrange the export custom operations under Ex Works trade term, where such clearance is applicable.

In these situations foreign trade parties should use FCA instead of EXW.



Likewise, repeatedly international trade professionals use FOB with land or air shipments, but according to ICC guidelines FOB can only be used with sea mode of transportation.

In order to prevent such misuses, today I would like to explain the differences between FOB and FCA incoterms. On next pages I am planning to explain the differences between EXW and FCA incoterms.

What are the differences between FOB and FCA as per Incoterms 2010 rules?

Differences between FCA and FOB can be grouped under two main categories: allowed mode of transport and delivery place of the goods.
  • FOB can only be used with port to port sea transportation. 
  • On the other hand FCA can be used with any mode of transport (sea, land, air, rail and multimodal transportation). 
  • Under FCA (Free Carrier) trade term, exporter delivers the goods to the carrier or another person nominated by the importer at the seller’s premises or another named place. 
  • Under FOB (Free on Board) trade term, exporter delivers the goods on board the vessel nominated by the importer at the named port of shipment or procures the goods already so delivered.
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