Free Carrier (FCA) – Incoterms® 2020 in detail

The following article describes everything you need to know about the Incoterm “Free Carrier” (FCA). In case of any questions or unclarities, do not hesitate to contact us.

Group F: Basic Transport Unpaid – Free Carrier (FCA)


FCA indicates that the seller’s responsibility ends when the goods are made available at a location specified by the buyer and the goods being unloaded to the carrier’s vehicle. From that moment, the buyer assumes all costs, risks, and responsibilities associated with transporting the goods to their final destination. Find out more on LinkedIn

Within Group F rules, the place of delivery is on the seller’s side of the transport chain, regardless if multiple modes of transport are used or exclusively sea/inland waterway.

Group F rules define the responsibility for the buyer to arrange the carriage of goods beyond the place of delivery to their destination point, unless it has been agreed otherwise between trading parties.

What is FCA?

Free Carrier (FCA) rules can apply to all modes of transport, including air and rail, and can also be used when multiple modes of transport are required. It is an agreement in which the seller is required to deliver the cargo to an agreed-upon port or place.

To define the responsibility of the seller, customs formalities for the export of the goods and payment of export taxes, there are 2 ways in which the seller can deliver the goods:


1. Goods are delivered at a different place than the sellers’ premises (sea/airport warehouses, carrier or other warehousing, railway station etc.)

Within this delivery, the seller needs to place the goods at the disposal of the carrier, or another designated person provided by the buyer. The goods loaded on the sellers means of transport arrive at the specified place and are ready for unloading and at the disposal of the carrier or of another person nominated by the buyer.

All costs related to the delivery of the goods to the specified place by the buyer are paid by the seller. From this point, all costs related to the goods and the risk of loss or damage to the goods are transferred from the seller to the buyer.


2. Goods are delivered at the sellers’ premises

Within this delivery method, the seller must load the goods onto the transport mode specified by the buyer and bear the related costs and risks.

Risk for the Seller

The seller arranges transport and bears the costs to a named port or place, alongside export customs formalities.

Risks for the Buyer

The buyer arranges transport from the named port or place to the delivery point and bears the costs for import customs formalities.

From both parties, either can pay for the insurance.

How ALS can support you with the complexity of international commerce

ALS is an innovative, neutral, and globally active customs broker. We operate as a unified entity, where every member of our team, from your dedicated contacts to our board of directors, is committed to meeting your specified needs.

We are here to guide you through the process of international trade. Whether it’s speaking to one of our sales team, or requiring further guidance with our consultants, we offer everything to help facilitate your complete end to end customs. By law we are not able to provide you with advice on which Incoterm you should use. However, we can provide you with information which you can use to make your decision.

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What are the various Incoterms? Learn more! 

Incoterms – short for international commcerial terms – are being used to clarify rules and terms of the international customs trade.

Learn more in our other articles about incoterms:

  • Ex Works (EXW)
  • Free Carrier (FCA)
  • Carriage Paid To (CPT)
  • Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP)
  • Delivered at Place (DAP)
  • Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU)
  • Delivery at Frontier (DAF)
  • Delivery ex-Ship (DEX)
  • Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)
  • Deliver Duty Unpaid (DDU)
  • Free Alongside Ship (FAS)
  • Free on Board (FOB)
  • Cost and Freight (CFR)
  • Insurance, and Freight (CIF)