Commentary on the Incoterms® 2020 Rules

A comprehensive 96 page guide on Incoterms® 2020, to be used in conjunction with The International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) new book, INCOTERMS® 2020.

Written by Bob Ronai CDCS, a member of the ICC’s Incoterms® 2020 Drafting Group, in partnership with Trade Finance Global (TFG). This 94 page guide provides an article by article commentary on Incoterms® 2020.

  • Introduction and layout of the rules
  • A2 / B2: DELIVERY
  • A4 / B4: CARRIAGE
  • A5 / B5: INSURANCE
  • A10 / B10: NOTICES
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of each rule and whether they work with LCs
  • Rules for Any Mode or Modes of Transport
  • Rules for Sea and Inland Waterway Transport
  • Conclusions

All proceeds from this book are split between the Author, and funding the TFG Student Accelerate Scholarship

Overview and Commentary of Incoterms® 2020

A comprehensive overview and commentary of Incoterms® 2020, which was released on 10 September 2019. This 94 page e-book is designed to provide an Article by Article overview of the Incoterms® rules as well as commentary, in plain simple English. The book is written and authored by Bob Ronai CDCS, a member of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Incoterms® 2020 Drafting Group, in partnership with Trade Finance Global (TFG), a Media Alliance Partner of the Incoterms® 2020 UK Launch, forwarded by Deepesh Patel, Editorial Director of Trade Finance Talks.

  • 94 page e-Book
  • Written by a Member of the ICC Incoterms® 2020 Drafting Group
  • Introduction to why Incoterms® 2020 Rules were written and the process
  • Article-by-article explanation of the rules
  • Any mode and sea / inland transport rules
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each Incoterms® Rule and how they might work with a Letter of Credit
  • Conclusions and top tips for using Incoterms® 2020 Rules

As with Incoterms® 2010, the new publication splits the eleven rules into two groups, the seven “Rules for any mode or modes of transport” and the four “Rules for sea or inland waterway transport.” The any mode/s rules are shown first as in reality the great majority of readers will be, or should be, using these rather than the maritime rules. The book emphasises more strongly than before that the maritime rules should not be used for container shipments even though these are carried by sea, and it is hoped with the anticipated increase in readership that this incorrect usage will fade out.

The any mode/s rules include the two contentious ones, EXW and DDP, in which the mode of transport used actually is irrelevant but which in these days of heightened border security are very difficult to use in international trade. The EXW rule describes the minimum the seller must do, but the DDP rule falls a tiny bit short of the maximum the seller could actually do in still omitting any responsibility to unload the goods at the destination point. Yet the new DPU rule does include this responsibility.

Preview: Commentary on the Incoterms® 2020 Rules

We’ve showcased 18 pages from the book. Note: some pages are intentionally omitted as this is a preview.


Incoterms® Rules – Do’s and Dont’s

It is very important at the outset to explain what the Incoterms® 2020 rules do and do not do. They deal with matters only between the seller and the buyer, ie:

  • obligations,
  • risk and
  • costs.

They are not a substitute for a contract of sale between these two parties, they are rules for the interpretation of eleven three-letter abbreviations used in these contracts and reflect business-to-business practice.

The International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) new book, INCOTERMS® 2020, was released on 10 September 2019. This commentary should be read in conjunction with the INCOTERMS® 2020 book, it does not substitute for it.



  • EXW EX WORKS (insert named place of delivery)
  • FCA FREE CARRIER (insert named place of delivery)
  • CPT CARRIAGE PAID TO (insert named place of destination)
  • CIP CARRIAGE AND INSURANCE PAID TO (insert named place of destination)
  • DAP DELIVERED AT PLACE (insert named place of destination)
  • DPU DELIVERED AT PLACE UNLOADED (insert named place of destination)
  • DDP DELIVERED DUTY PAID (insert named place of destination)


  • FAS FREE ALONGSIDE SHIP (insert named port of loading)
  • FOB FREE ON BOARD (insert named port of loading)
  • CFR COST AND FREIGHT (insert named port of destination)
  • CIF COST INSURANCE AND FREIGHT (insert named port of destination)



Meet the Authors

Bob Ronai CDCS

Bob’s background in exporting and importing stretches over more than 50 years, initially in international banking then in the world of international commerce.

In 1989 he started his own business as an independent consultant and educator assisting exporters and importers in the “back office” side of their businesses. In all, he has directly controlled and co-ordinated many tens of thousands of shipments of a very wide variety of products coming and going all round the world.

Bob now has the honour of being the first Australian and only the second non-lawyer to be invited by the ICC to be a member of their Incoterms® Drafting Group to draft the new Incoterms® 2020. This was as a result of his being a member of the ICC’s committee which drafted the new publication “ICC Guide to Transport and the Incoterms® 2010 Rules”. He was previously a member of ICC Australia’s Incoterms® Committee contributing to the drafting of Incoterms® 2010 and was then Australia’s representative to the three days of Incoterms® 2010 Release Conference and Masterclass workshop in Paris October 2010. In May 2015 he gave a presentation on Incoterms® 2010 to the ICC’s first-ever conference in Yangon, Myanmar, and in October 2015 was invited to give a similar presentation to ICC Hong Kong.

Deepesh Patel

Deepesh Patel is Director of Partnerships & Marketing at Trade Finance Global (TFG). In this role, Deepesh leads efforts in developing TFG’s brand, relationships and strategic direction in key markets, including the UK, US, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong. This includes TFG’s fintech platform and blockchain projects. Deepesh regularly chairs and speaks at international industry events including at the World Trade Organization Public Forum, The Telegraph’s Future of Trade & Export, BCR Consortia, TXF Geneva, Excred Commodities, as well as FCI and ITFA’s Annual Conference.

He is a regular contributor to specialist trade journals and is Editor of the publication ‘Trade Finance Talks’. In addition to his work at TFG, he is a strategic advisor for WOA, a board member of ITFA’s Emerging Leaders Committee, and sits on the Fintech Working Group of the Standardised Trust.

Prior to TFG, Deepesh worked at Travelex where he was responsible for the cards business and the Travelex Money app in Europe, NAM, UK and Brazil.

Deepesh has a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Sciences from Durham University and is a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Deepesh is a co-opted Local Authority Governor of the Wyvern Federation, which has responsibility for 5 primary schools in South London.

Any excerpts quoted from the Incoterms® 2020 rules are the copyright of the International Chamber of Commerce. Source: ICC website. The full text of the 2020 edition of the Incoterms® rules is available at The word “Incoterms” is a registered trademark of the International Chamber of Commerce.

From Bob Ronai:

At the very outset please understand that this e-book does not include the actual Incoterms® 2020 rules themselves. This Commentary does not replace the Incoterms® 2020 book, rather it is hoped that it encourages you to buy that book which is available from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) or their various National Committees as publication 723. I absolutely recommend that you have that publication, whether as a hard copy or the soft copy, in front of you. This e-book is not a publication of the ICC, it is purely my commentary on the rules while explaining important matters in plain language so that you have a better understanding of the rules.


About the Author

Trade Finance Global (TFG) assists companies with raising debt finance. While we can access many traditional forms of finance, we specialise in alternative finance and complex funding solutions related to international trade. We help companies to raise finance in ways that is sometimes out of reach for mainstream lenders.

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