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what is FOB
Date: 2010-05-28    Source:
FOB is an initialism which pertains to the shipping of goods. Depending on specific usage, it may stand for Free On Board or Freight On Board, with similar but distinct implications. FOB specifies which party (buyer or seller) pays for which shipment and loading costs, and/or where responsibility for the goods is transferred. The last distinction is important for determining liability for goods lost or damaged in transit from the seller to the buyer.
Free on board means that the seller delivers when the goods pass the ship's rail at the named port of shipment. This means that the buyer has to bear all costs and risks of loss of or damage to the goods from that point. The FOB term requires the seller to clear the goods for export. Buyer is to responsible for all the costs occurred after the cargo is LOADED on board.
The meaning and usage of "FOB" can vary significantly. International shipments typically use "FOB" as defined by the Incoterm standards. Domestic shipments within the US or Canada often use a different meaning, specific to North America, which is inconsistent with the Incoterm standards.