Tue 25 Oct, 2005 11:18 am
I have a question about importing by ocean freight from China.

Under the incoterm CIF is the seller responsible for all costs to get the container to the named port; on board the ship, or past the rail(unloaded)?

The question pertains to the DDC, destination delivery charge. Under the CIF terms is the seller responsible for the unloading charges at the named port of delivery?

I have read literally hundreds of pages on the web over the last few days and many sites disagree. I have looked at the ICC site as well and it is not entirely clear whether the shipment must be unloaded from the vessel or simply delivered on board to the named port, unloading not paid for.

There is also some mention in the preable on the ICC site of additional costs related to shipping being the responsibility of the buyer once the container has been loaded past the rail on the vessel at the port of shipment. Does this include the BAF(fuel adjustment fee) and any transfer costs between shipping lines if necessary?

My customs broker and the shipping line disagree on who should pay these costs and the information online is confusing. I sure could use some help from someone who is clear on the EXACT moment when the responsibility for costs transfers from the seller to the buyer.

Bottom line, who should pay the following under CIF, seller or buyer:
-Transfer between steamship lines after loading on vessel in port of shipment
-Bunker adjustment fee(fuel)
-Unloading from ship at named port of destination

Thank you in advance for any help, Dave
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Tue 25 Oct, 2005 11:32 pm
Hi Dave,

I am a sales in a logistic forwarder in Ningbo,China.
Below is my reply under CIF term:
Bunker adjustment fee(fuel) should paid by seller.

Loading fee at the loading port should paid by seller.
Unloading from ship at named port of destination
charge should paid by buyer

If any unclear, pls do not hesitate to sent mail to me: [email protected]

Thank you
Danny wo
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Wed 26 Oct, 2005 09:43 am
Hi Danny,

Thank you for your reply. Here is my confusion. Checking the ICC website for Incoterms I see this:

CIF/cost, insurance and freight (...named port of destination).

"This term can be used for only for sea and inland waterway transport. If the parties do not intend to deliver the goods across the ship's rail, the CIP term should be used."

CIP states that the seller is responsible for insurance and costs of carriage to named port of destination. So I am assuming that the "ship's rail" stated in CIF must be the unloading at destination since that appears to be the only difference.

Also, our B/L states "CY-CY". If it is yard to yard shouldn't that cover unloading fees as well or is it just wishful thinking on my part?

Unfortunately there are conflicting terms and some that are not quite specific enough. CIF must be specified in the Incoterms 2000 and I was hoping someone would cut and paste the appropriate section so that I don't have to purchase the entire book.

Sorry I am still a bit confused, Dave
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Mon 14 Nov, 2005 06:12 pm
Hi Dave,
In our experience, If you havent already specified, you will be paying. Shippers have a real knack of passing on the costs given 0.5% of a chance. My advice is to stand your ground. I agree that the buyer should only pay the unloading
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Wed 16 Nov, 2005 05:21 pm
Thank you to Danny and Frank for the help so far. No one has been able to tell me the specific wording for this issue under CIF from the Incoterms 2000, which is divided into Buyer/Seller responsibilities. I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy a copy or go to the Library and copy the appropriate page.

My customs broker will not directly answer this question and tells me that legally they cannot "advise" me on the subject. The steamship line is hired by the seller and is understandably hesitant to give me information on the shipping charges which I might use later to argue costs with the seller.

I will try a different approach. What type of business or person should I look for whose job is to give advice on the best way to ship goods by ocean freight. Or is it just a matter of going to the School of HardKnocks.
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Wed 18 Jan, 2006 12:09 am
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