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FCA (Free Carrier)

Under the INCOTERM FCA (Free Carrier), the seller is responsible for clearing the shipment for export in their country FCA free carrier shipments also mean the seller must deliver the ordered goods to the carrier nominated by the buyer. This could mean handing them over in a suitable state for shipment at the seller’s premises or, if agreed upon, at another named place. The free carrier INCOTERM is applicable to all types of transport, including multimodal shipments. 

Note that, under FCA freight terms, the seller is responsible for loading the goods, not merely making them available for collection. Nevertheless, once the goods are handed over to the carrier, under FCA INCOTERMS, the risk transfers from the seller to the buyer. For this reason, it is often best to have an experienced freight forwarding firm appointed to assist with the onward shipment.

Responsibilities of Buyers and Sellers Under an FCA Shipping Term

Seller’s Responsibilities Under FCA Freight Terms

  • Delivering goods to the carrier at a named place or loading them at their own premises.
  • Packing and marking the goods appropriately.
  • Clearing goods for export.
  • Providing the buyer with proof of delivery.

Buyer’s Responsibilities Under FCA Freight Terms

  • Nominating a suitable carrier and notifying the seller.
  • Arranging for onward transport from the agreed point.
  • Paying for all shipping costs after the goods have been delivered to the carrier.
  • Clearing goods for import, including customs duties, taxes and other charges.

FCA Transport and Containerisation

FCA’s meaning in shipping primarily focuses on ocean-going container vessels, though it is applicable to other transport modes as well, such as road and rail. When dealing with shipments from countries like China to the UK, FCA is commonly used for both Less Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL) shipping. Under a free carrier arrangement for containerised goods, the seller would typically deliver the goods to a shipping company at a specified location, usually a port that’s geared up for containerised transportation, such as Shanghai. 

However,  a container freight station or another agreed-upon place could be under an FCA free carrier arrangement. Under an FCA shipping term, the responsibility for the container being loaded onto a vessel would fall on the buyer so it is usual for importers who want to use a free carrier INCOTERM for their preferred container shipping method to have some experience dealing with the logistics of overseas seaports. If not, using a freight forwarding firm to help you would be advisable.

Get a free UK import quote from Barrington Freight today and experience the difference seamless international shipping can make. Our dedicated team is ready to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring your goods arrive on time and on budget.

What’s the Difference Between FCA, FOB and EX-WORKS?

Like FOB (Free On Board) and EX-WORKS, FCA terms are INCOTERMS, but they each differ significantly in terms of the responsibilities and risks assigned to the buyer and seller. Under FOB, the seller is responsible for delivering the goods onto the vessel chosen by the buyer at the designated port of shipment, with the risk transferring to the buyer once the goods are loaded on board.

On the other hand, a shipment under an FCA shipping term requires the seller to deliver the goods to the carrier nominated by the buyer at a specified location, transferring the risk to the buyer at that point, which may be before the goods are loaded onto the vessel. 

EX-WORKS places the least responsibility on the seller. This approach means the goods are simply made available at the seller’s premises and the buyer assumes all costs and risks involved in transporting the goods from there. In short, each INCOTERM offers different levels of control and risk for the buyer and seller.

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At Barrington Freight, we specialise in making your importing and exporting straightforward. From customs clearance to finding the right commodity codes, our expert team is here to assist. Don’t let the complexities of global trade hold you back. Reach out to Barrington Freight for efficient and reliable shipping solutions.

Practical Examples of FCA in Use

Manufactured Goods

A British manufacturer buys machinery parts from Germany. Under an FCA transport arrangement, the German supplier delivers the parts to a carrier in Berlin, chosen by the British manufacturer. The manufacturer is then responsible for all subsequent transportation and insurance.

Electronics

A UK electronics retailer imports gadgets from South Korea. The Korean seller delivers the goods to the carrier at Seoul airport for free carrier shipping The UK buyer handles all further logistical and insurance arrangements.

Textiles

An importer in the UK buys fabric from India. The Indian seller arranges for the fabric to be collected by the buyer’s chosen carrier from their warehouse in Mumbai. The UK buyer then appoints a freight forwarder to deal with the onward logistical requirements.

FCA and Customs Clearances

The FCA meaning in shipping places responsibility on the seller to handle export clearances. This includes preparing and submitting all the necessary documents to the customs authorities, ensuring that the goods meet all the export regulations and paying any applicable export duties and taxes. Once the goods have been cleared for export and delivered to the carrier, the responsibility for customs clearance shifts to the buyer.

On the other side, the buyer is responsible for all import clearance processes. These can be challenging, especially for those inexperienced in international trade. Import clearance work involves more than just paying import duties and taxes because it also requires compliance with various import regulations, not to mention the accurate submission of required documentation to customs authorities. Missteps in this process can lead to delays, additional costs or even fines.

This is where the role of a customs clearance agent becomes invaluable under FCA.INCOTERMS. An experienced agent should guide importers through the complexities of import clearance, ensuring that all documentation is correctly prepared and submitted and compliance with regulations is maintained. Ideally, they will also advise on duty rates, taxes and any exemptions or reliefs that may be applicable.

Choosing FCA Transport: Considerations for British Importers

Control and Flexibility

The free carrier INCOTERM (FCA) offers British importers control from the point of delivery to the carrier. This is beneficial when importers have preferred carriers or need flexibility in shipping arrangements.

Cost Implications

With FCA freight terms, the buyer can bring down their shipping costs, as they – or their freight forwarding company – can negotiate directly with carriers.

Logistics Arrangements

Importers who have established logistics arrangements or shipping expertise may find FCA transport advantageous, as it allows them to leverage their existing capabilities without needing to be experts in exportation control in the country of origin.

FCA, INCOTERMS and Further Guidance

Under FCA terms, INCOTERMS for shipments of international goods should be clear-cut with a distinct set of responsibilities for both the supplier and the buyer. Understanding the responsibilities, risks and implications of FCA freight terms is essential for effective supply chain management and cost control. As with any international trade decision, choosing the right INCOTERM requires careful consideration of specific business needs and trade dynamics. This is something our operations team can help with, so feel free to talk to us about your next international shipment.

Streamline your global journey. Let Barrington Freight’s seamless combination of freight forwarding and customs clearance take the stress out of international trade. Get your free quote and relax, knowing your goods are in expert hands.

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For advice and information on shipping time from China to the UK, call 01268 525444 or email us today.

Sophie Benge
Sophie Benge
2024-02-06
Joshua at Barrington Freight is friendly and patient. Their service hassle-free and affordable compared to other freight forwarders.
Alex Burton
Alex Burton
2024-02-04
Fantastic service from Barrington Freight. It was our first time exporting goods from the UK and it was very reassuring to have them manage the shipment. The process was made easy and hassle free and Simon was always quick to respond to any queries. I would highly recommend.
Mat Wilkinson
Mat Wilkinson
2024-01-22
these guys are excellent. Incredibly helpful, flexible and friendly- i cant recommend them highly enough- genuinely a brilliant team.
Top Tips
Top Tips
2023-11-14
The guys at Barrington are brilliant! I've used them for my shipments for around 12 years now and they never let you down. Always happy to help with anything!
David Darrock
David Darrock
2023-11-10
Barrington Freight are extremely helpful and professional, promptly answering any questions or queries. Communication from them has been great and they have taken the difficulty out of importing freight.
Scott Glazebrook
Scott Glazebrook
2023-11-01
Our business is the supply of high end luxury furniture and as such we rely on Barrington Freight to provide a 5* delivery service which they have done time and time again. Reliable, friendly and efficient sums up this great approachable freight forwarding business.
Krishan Dhillon
Krishan Dhillon
2023-11-01
10/10, dealt with everything start to finish. Customer service was friendly and helpful
Sharmane Barrett
Sharmane Barrett
2023-10-20
We had a last minute request and Lee was fantastic in helping us to arrange transportation and facilitate delivery from Europe, very quickly with no hiccups. I would highly recommend.
Simon Edgecombe
Simon Edgecombe
2023-10-16
HAVING USED MANY SHIPPERS TO IMPORT OUR GOODS FROM THE USA (NONE OUTSTANDING) I DECIDED THIS TIME TO HAVE A SEARCH AROUND TO SEE IF I COULD FIND A BETTER OPTION. I FOUND BARRINGTON FREIGHT AFTER EMAILING MANY OTHERS, SOME OF THEM (UPS,DHL,FEDEX) SIMPLY TOOK SO LONG TO CONTACT ME, THAT IT BECAME STUPID, SIMON AT BARRINGTON CAME BACK TO ME VIRTUALLY STRAIGHT AWAY WITH A VERY GOOD PRICE, ALSO GOOD SHIPPING TIMES. NOW A SERVICE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE RESULTS, AND THEY WERE AS GOOD AS THEIR WORD. HAPPY TO HAVE FOUND THEM AND SIMON AT BARRINGTON FREIGHT WILL BE THE FIRST PERSON WE GO TO NEXT TIME, WELL DONE!!
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Barrington Freight Ltd,
Bowden House,
Luckyn Lane, Basildon,
Essex SS14 3AX
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