Choosing the right Incoterms for importing from Asia: Key aspects and tips

Choosing the Right Incoterms for Importing from Asia: Key Aspects and Tips

Choosing the appropriate Incoterms for import is a crucial step that affects the terms of delivery of goods and the allocation of responsibilities between the exporter and importer. Especially in the case of importing from Asia, where geographical distance and cultural differences can pose a challenge, selecting the right Incoterms is extremely important. In this article, we will discuss the key aspects and provide tips for choosing the appropriate Incoterms for importing from Asia.

1. Understanding Incoterms:

The first step is to understand Incoterms and their meanings. Incoterms are international trade rules developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which define the rights and obligations of the exporter and importer in international transactions. Understanding different Incoterms such as EXW, FOB, CIF, DAP, etc., is crucial for making the right choice.

2. Analysis of Goods Specifics and Transport Process:

Another important aspect is analyzing the specifics of the goods to be imported and the transport process. Is the goods perishable? Does it require special packaging? What are the requirements for maritime, air, or land transportation? Analyzing these factors will help determine which Incoterms term best suits the specific import from Asia.

3. Risk and Costs:

When choosing the appropriate Incoterms term, both the risk and costs associated with transportation and goods insurance should be considered. Some Incoterms terms transfer greater risk to the buyer, while others burden the seller with higher costs. It is important to understand which risks and costs are acceptable to your company and adjust the choice of Incoterms term accordingly.

4. Relationships with Suppliers:

Another significant factor is the relationship with suppliers from Asia. If you have trusted suppliers who are reliable and well-versed in their products and export processes, you may consider more advanced Incoterms terms that require greater collaboration and trust. However, if you are just starting cooperation with a new supplier, it is better to start with simpler terms that provide greater control and limit risk.

5. Agreements and Documentation:

When importing from Asia, it is also essential to prepare agreements and documentation correctly, covering the selected Incoterms terms. Documentation, such as commercial invoice, bill of lading, or insurance, must clearly reflect the chosen terms of delivery of goods. Proper documentation is crucial for safeguarding interests and avoiding misunderstandings during import.

6. Consultation with Experts:

In case of doubts or more complicated transactions, it is always worth consulting with experts in international trade or lawyers specializing in Incoterms. With professional support, you will have confidence that the chosen Incoterms term meets your needs and minimizes risk.


Choosing the right Incoterms term for importing from Asia is a key element of effectively conducting international transactions. Understanding Incoterms terms, analyzing goods specifics and the transport process, considering risk and costs, relationships with suppliers, proper documentation, and consultation with experts are crucial factors to consider when making decisions. The right choice of Incoterms term will help you minimize risk, control costs, and ensure a smooth import process from Asia.