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Differences between FOB and FAS ( incoterms full guide)

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    Introduction

    In general, the fundamental difference between the FOB and the FAS Incoterms is in the amount of export transfer risk between the buyer and the seller. In the FAS system, defines as ALONGSIDE and in FOB the cargo sets as ONBOARD according to the buyer’s request. But in general, in this article, we want to examine the fundamental differences between FAS and FOB along with incoterms.Welcome to DDPCH, your reliable partner in international logistics. In the world of global commerce, understanding Incoterms, such as Free On Board (FOB) and Free Alongside Ship (FAS), is essential. Our experienced team is here to guide you through these terms, ensuring you make informed shipping decisions. This comprehensive guide will help debunk common misconceptions and provide practical tips on choosing the right Incoterm for your needs. At DDPCH, we simplify global trade and support you in achieving efficient shipping operations. Let us be your guide in the exciting world of international commerce.

    Incoterms are necessary terms that each seller and buyer must know.

    What is Incoterms (FOB and FAS)

    In general, incoterms, also known as international commercial terms, set the basic rules for exporting and importing a product between buyer and seller internationally. Base on Incoterms, transactions regulate and international trade agreements apply. To start an international business, you first need Incoterms contracts to be able to trade.
    Due to the existence of new, porous laws from 1936 and the increase in global transactions, international laws and flexible agreements need to regulate world trade regularly. The ICC launched the Incoterms to regulate global trade and international trade. These rules use as the main reference of trade between buyer and seller in the world.

    What is FAS

    incoterm

    As we explained, FAS and FOB show the risk of transporting the product at the time of shipment. The FAS refers to the risk of transporting the product when the cargo is on board the ship. It now wants to be at the port this time.
    In this case, it is up to the buyer to decide how long the transport risk will be adjusted. For FAS, the buyer must specify exactly which port choose to transport the cargo to the ship.
    Note that all cargo is the responsibility of the seller before reaching the port. Therefore, the faster the cargo ship prepares to transport the product, the better for the seller.

    FAS Advantages

    One of the advantages of FAS is that the seller only has to place the cargo next to the ship to send the cargo to the buyer. Therefore, the seller’s responsibility is less in this case. On the other hand, the buyer is responsible for the cargo ship and can have direct supervision over the purchased product after loading its cargo. In this case, the choice of the transport ship and the type of cargo is the responsibility of the buyer, and in this case, controls from the beginning of shipping to the destination.

    FAS Advantages

    One of the advantages of FAS is that the seller only has to place the cargo next to the ship to send the cargo to the buyer. Therefore, the seller’s responsibility is less in this case. On the other hand, the buyer is responsible for the cargo ship and can have direct supervision over the purchased product after loading its cargo. In this case, the choice of the transport ship and the type of cargo is the responsibility of the buyer, and in this case, controls from the beginning of shipping to the destination.

    FAS Disadvantages

    Disadvantages of this method include lateral damages based on the time of stay in the port. Sometimes it is possible that the seller and the buyer do not plan to load the cargo and the ship arrives at the port later than scheduled. Therefore, the products remain in the port and damages.
    On the other hand, the dock receipt and the sales document not set up due to a lack of coordination with the buyer, and the seller must personally go to set up this document. Therefore, more time takes from the seller and it has more problems and overhead costs.

    What is FOB

    incoterns

    for comparison between FOB and FAS , FOB is the risk of transporting cargo ONBOARD. This means that all cargo liability starts from the time that loads on the ship, and in this case, the port or dock not considers.
    In both cases, the delivery time of the product to the ship was very important for the seller because at this time all the responsibility of the cargo is with the seller.

    FOB Advantages

    This incoterm has many benefits for the buyer. In this way, first of all, the shipping structure and the transport risk of loading and choosing the type of cargo ship and even the method of transportation are the responsibility of the seller, so there is no need for the buyer to involve himself in the challenges of choosing the ship and cargo method.
    In this case, even customs and freight costs calculate in advance, so the buyer can be safe in terms of additional costs. However, in the FOB method, the buyer is also free to choose the shipping company and can choose the process himself.

    FOB Disadvantages

    In general, because all the costs of sending the product in this method pay with the product itself, so the initial cost of buying products in this type of shipping risk or Incoterms gets higher.
    On the other hand, because the carrier and the type of transportation are chosen by the seller, it is also more difficult to determine the final cost for the international transaction and it will probably face higher costs for the buyer.

    FOB and FAS incoterms comparison

    Incoterms define the duties of sellers and buyers.

    There are major differences between FOB and FAS for shipping from china, which we will examine in general below.
    Keep in mind that there are two types of shipping methods for products. Container and without a container. If you want to load the products in containers, the best way is to use FOB. this helps the buyer in this situation so that the products send to the containers from the beginning and then the containers load directly from the terminal to the ship. Therefore, the FAS method is not recommended in this case.

    In the second method for shipping from china, if the container is not available, the type of loading can be done more flexibly than before. For example, determining the type of ship or loading methods can be determined in this case with the FAS by the buyer himself and any situation that the buyer intended.
    In general, in comparing FOB and FAS, several options are considered, including the type of transport. Determine the total freight price. The amount of buyer control over products and responsibilities after the purchase and the type of delivery.

    Comparing Responsibilities and Risk Transfer in FOB and FAS Incoterms

     FOB (Free On Board) FAS (Free Alongside Ship)
    Seller’s Responsibilities Seller is responsible for the costs and risks until the goods pass the ship's rail at the origin port. This includes export customs declaration, transportation to the port, and loading onto the ship. Seller is responsible for the costs and risks until the goods are placed alongside the ship at the named port of shipment. This includes export customs declaration and transportation to the port.
    Buyer’s Responsibilities Buyer assumes responsibility and risk once the goods pass the ship's rail at the origin port. This includes freight charges, insurance, unloading at the destination port, and import customs clearance. Buyer assumes responsibility and risk once the goods are placed alongside the ship. This includes loading the goods onto the ship, freight charges, insurance, unloading at the destination port, and import customs clearance.
    Risk Transfer Point The risk transfers from the seller to the buyer when the goods pass the ship's rail at the origin port. The risk transfers from the seller to the buyer when the goods are placed alongside the ship at the named port of shipment.

    Common Misconceptions About FOB and FAS Incoterms

    SHIPPING

    When dealing with international trade, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of Incoterms like FOB and FAS. Misconceptions and misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes or disputes. Here are some common misconceptions related to FOB and FAS Incoterms.

    Misconceptions about FOB (Free On Board)
    Misconception 1: Many people think that under FOB, the seller is responsible for all costs and risks until the goods reach the destination port. In reality, the seller’s obligations under FOB end when the goods pass the ship’s rail at the origin port. After this point, risk and responsibilities shift to the buyer.

    Misconception 2: Some people mistakenly believe that FOB can be used for all modes of transport. However, FOB is an Incoterm that applies strictly to sea or inland waterway transport.

    Misconceptions about FAS (Free Alongside Ship)
    Misconception 1: A common misconception is that the seller’s responsibilities in FAS end once the goods have left their premises. In reality, the seller is responsible for delivering the goods alongside the ship at the named port of shipment, which includes covering the costs and risks involved in getting the goods to that point.

    Misconception 2: Many people mistakenly believe that under FAS, the seller is responsible for loading the goods onto the vessel. However, under FAS, it’s the buyer who arranges for and pays the cost of loading the goods onboard the ship.

    Understanding the specifics of each Incoterm and debunking these common misconceptions can help ensure smoother transactions, reduce unexpected liabilities, and mitigate potential disputes in international trade.

    Tips for Choosing Between FOB and FAS Incoterms for Shipping from China

    Choosing the right Incoterm when shipping from China can significantly impact the efficiency, cost, and overall success of your international trade transaction. The choice between Free On Board (FOB) and Free Alongside Ship (FAS) Incoterms should depend on several key factors.

    Firstly, consider the type and nature of the goods you’re shipping. If you’re dealing with bulk or oversized items, FAS could be a more suitable option as it allows for the goods to be delivered alongside the vessel, providing practical benefits. However, if your goods are containerized or require intricate loading procedures, FOB might be a better choice as the seller bears the responsibility of loading the goods onto the vessel.

    Secondly, the division of responsibilities and risk is another crucial consideration. In FOB, the risk transfers to the buyer once the goods are loaded on board the ship, while in FAS, the risk transfers when the goods are placed alongside the ship at the port of shipment. If as a buyer, you prefer to have more control over the loading process and are equipped to manage the associated risks, FAS could be the right choice. On the other hand, if you prefer the seller to handle the loading process, FOB would be more suitable.

    Remember, it’s vital to thoroughly understand the terms and implications of each Incoterm before making your decision, and always consider seeking professional advice if needed.

    sea shipping

    Real-World Examples: FOB and FAS Incoterms in Practice

    To understand the practical application of FOB and FAS Incoterms, consider the following example.

    A toy manufacturer in China is selling a bulk order of toys to a retailer in the United States. They agree on FOB terms. The seller’s responsibilities under FOB include getting the toys to the port, cleared for export, and loaded onto the ship. The point at which the toys are loaded onto the ship at the port in China is when the risk and responsibility transfer from the seller to the buyer. The buyer then takes on the responsibility for the cost and risk associated with transporting the toys from the port in China to the retail stores in the United States.

    This example provide practical illustrations of how FOB and FAS Incoterms play out in real-world international trade scenarios, highlighting their roles in delineating responsibilities and managing risk transfer.

    Future Trends: The Evolving Role of FOB and FAS in International Trade

    The landscape of international trade is rapidly changing, and with it, the roles of Incoterms like FOB and FAS are also evolving. Technology, particularly digitalization and automation, is poised to reshape these terms’ application. For instance, blockchain could streamline the documentation process, and smart contracts could automate the verification of responsibility shifts in FOB and FAS transactions, reducing disputes and enhancing efficiency.

    On another front, sustainability considerations and changes in global trade policies could significantly influence the choice between FOB and FAS. For example, if a shipping method under FAS exhibits a lower carbon footprint, businesses might lean towards it to meet sustainability commitments. Likewise, geopolitical shifts leading to changes in trade regulations may affect the prevalence of FOB and FAS. As we navigate the future of international trade, adaptability will be key to leveraging these evolving trends.

    Our services

    DDPCH is one of the leading services in the transportation industry from China and we provide you with the services of Incoterms in a completely professional way. In this regard, you can use our DDP services to send products and determine sales internationally from China. Also, the services provided by us are of high quality, security and safety. for more information please contact us from the website contact section.

    Understanding the nuances of Incoterms such as FOB and FAS is crucial for successful international trade. These terms provide a clear framework for the responsibilities of buyers and sellers, thereby reducing potential disputes and promoting efficient transactions. By analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of FOB and FAS, businesses can make informed decisions about their shipping methods, balancing cost, control, and risk. As international trade continues to evolve, staying up-to-date with changes in Incoterms and their applications will remain paramount for businesses seeking to navigate the complex world of global commerce successfully.

    FAQ

    FOB stands for Free On Board. It means that the seller delivers the goods on board the vessel nominated by the buyer at the named port of shipment or procures the goods already so delivered.

    The main difference between FOB and FAS lies in the point at which risk transfers from the seller to the buyer. In FOB, risk transfers when the goods are loaded onto the ship. In FAS, risk transfers when the goods are placed alongside the ship.

    The primary advantage of FAS is that the seller only needs to get the goods alongside the ship, reducing the seller’s responsibility compared to FOB.

    No, FOB and FAS are typically used for sea and inland waterway transport.

    Incoterms need to be updated regularly to adapt to changes in international trade practices and regulations.

    The main disadvantage of FOB is the higher initial cost for the buyer as all the costs of sending the product are included in the product’s price.

    Under FOB, freight costs are usually included in the price of the goods. In contrast, under FAS, the buyer typically arranges and pays for the main carriage.

    Under FOB, the buyer’s responsibilities include arranging for transport, paying freight charges, and handling customs clearance at the destination.

    The choice between FOB or FAS usually depends on the agreement between the buyer and the seller. They will decide based on factors like the type of goods, shipping costs, and risk tolerance.

    FAS could be a better choice than FOB when the buyer wants more control over the shipping process, or when the goods are bulky or difficult to handle, making loading costs high and unpredictable.

    Yes, buyers and sellers can agree to modify certain aspects of the Incoterms to fit their specific needs. However, any changes should be clearly stated in the contract to avoid misunderstandings.

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