What is Ex Works (EXW) Shipping Incoterm?

Part of the Comprehensive Incoterms Guide


EXW In Plain English

For EXW (Ex Works) shipping, the buyer arranges the full shipment, from the supplier’s warehouse to the cargo’s ultimate destination.

Where Is The Named Place For Handing Over Responsibility From The Seller To The Buyer?

The buyer is liable and responsible for almost every step. The seller is only responsible for the Bill of Lading or Air Waybill, and ensuring that the goods are available for pickup at the named place, usually their factory, at a time agreed with the forwarder.

What Does The ICC Say?

Recommended for containerized freight.

Is This A Good Choice?

This is probably not a convenient arrangement, as the buyer is usually in a much poorer position than the seller for arranging tasks in the export country. Those tasks include loading the truck; arranging for specialized equipment for loading if required; documentation (the seller is only obliged to help get an export license, Certificate of Origin etc. – and is not even obliged to provide packing lists or fumigation certificates); and managing export clearance. Consider FCA instead.

EXW Tips And Tricks

  • If the seller is going to help load, make sure to include this elsewhere in the sales contract.
  • This shouldn’t be a problem if importing from China, but when selecting a forwarder, check that they are able to arrange export customs clearance.
  • The buyer isn’t actually obliged to arrange a contract of carriage. This means that the buyer may sell the goods on to a customer, who will then arrange collection.
  • Exporters should hand over a courier receipt or FCR to the buyer’s forwarder, rather than handing over the Air Waybill or Bill of Lading.
  • Exporters won’t have direct evidence of export, should they otherwise be able to claim a rebate from domestic sales tax.

Other Incoterms