It has begun. A press release from the U.S. Council For International Business (“USCIB”), the U.S. “arm” of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”), announced today day-long seminars, to be held everywhere from Pittsburgh to Omaha, on the “much anticipated” revisions to Incoterms that will become effective on January 1, 2011. Much anticipated, I think, mostly by the USCIB and the ICC for the most excellent revenue opportunity the revised Incoterms will provide to both organizations in seminar fees and sales of the new edition of Incoterms.
The press release claims that the changes are “sweeping” but provides little substantive detail about these changes. Who, after all, will buy the cow if the milk is given away? I’ve heard that the new edition will eliminate some of the distinctions between marine-only terms (like FOB and
FCA FAS) and the other terms, but not much else. Readers are welcome to share in the comments section what they’ve heard.
Forgive me for being skeptical but I recall the sweeping changes between Incoterms 1990 and Incoterms 2000 which mostly consisted of changing the export clearance obligation under FAS from the buyer to the seller and the import clearance obligation under DEQ from the seller to the buyer. And for that the ICC wanted to get people to buy brand new copies of Incoterms. Now comes USCIB hoping to convince people to pay to shut themselves up in dank hotel conference rooms with weak coffee and stale sandwiches for a day-long seminar on the “sweeping” and “much anticipated” changes.
For those who want to learn about these changes from the comfort of their own ergonomic office chairs with the tasty beverages and snacks of their choice, this blog promises to post on the important new changes once the new edition of Incoterms is released. In all fairness, however, for those who don’t have much familiarity with Incoterms of any vintage, these seminars will present a good opportunity to learn about the usage and meaning of these increasingly important shipping terms.