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UPS Supply Chain Solutions®

Free Carrier (FCA)

What is Free Carrier (FCA)?

An Incoterms® rule, applicable to any form or forms of transport (air, ocean, ground, or multimodal), under which the seller has two possibilities for delivery of the goods:

  1. If the named place of delivery is the seller’s place of business, the seller is responsible for loading the goods onto the arriving transport arranged by the buyer.
  2. If the named place of delivery is another location, the seller must transport the goods to that location and put the goods at the disposal of the carrier “ready for unloading” from seller’s transport vehicle . In this case, a “carrier” can mean a transport firm or a freight forwarder nominated by the buyer.

The seller is responsible for any export clearance formalities and costs, and the risk of loss or damage transfers to the buyer when delivery has been completed under (1) or (2) above, depending on the agreed named place of delivery.

Where buyer and seller are considering using EXW for a sale involving export, they may do better to use FCA option (1), since the FCA seller is responsible for export clearance of the goods as well as the loading of the goods onto the buyer’s collecting vehicle.


When an Incoterms® rule is included in a contract of sale, it creates legal obligations for the buyer and seller, which can have costly implications. Therefore, it is important that traders read and understand the precise wording of the Incoterms® rules carefully and choose the rule to include in their sale contract thoughtfully. For additional information and resources on the Incoterms® rules, and to purchase the full text of the Incoterms® 2020 rules, visit the ICC website.

Related Terms

Consignee Consignor Free On Board (FOB) Incoterms Less-Than-Container Load

Related FAQs

Why are Incoterms rules necessary?

How many Incoterms rules are there?

What do Incoterms rules cover?

What don't Incoterms rules cover?

What can I do right now to help my business with Incoterms rules?

How do Incoterms rules affect my shipment?

How can I protect myself from risk using Incoterms rules?

Are Incoterms rules a complete contract of sale?

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