EXW – Ex Works (named place)
The seller makes the goods available at their premises. This term places the maximum obligation on the buyer and minimum obligations on the seller. The Ex Works term is often used when making an initial quotation for the sale of goods without any costs included. EXW means that a buyer incurs the risks for bringing the goods to their final destination. Either the seller does not load the goods on collecting vehicles and does not clear them for export, or if the seller does load the goods, he does so at buyer’s risk and cost. If parties wish seller to be responsible for the loading of the goods on departure and to bear the risk and all costs of such loading, this must be made clear by adding explicit wording to this effect in the contract of sale.
The buyer arranges the pickup of the freight from the supplier’s designated ship site, owns the in-transit freight, and is responsible for clearing the goods through Customs. The buyer is also responsible for completing all the export documentation.
These documentary requirements may cause two principal issues. Firstly, the stipulation for the buyer to complete the export declaration can be an issue in certain jurisdictions (not least the European Union) where the customs regulations require the declarant to be either an individual or corporation resident within the jurisdiction. Secondly, most jurisdictions require companies to provide proof of export for tax purposes. In an Ex Works shipment, the buyer is under no obligation to provide such proof, or indeed to even export the goods. It is therefore of utmost importance that these matters are discussed with the buyer before the contract is agreed. It may well be that another Incoterm, such as FCA seller’s premises, may be more suitable.