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FAS Incoterm (Free Alongside Ship) - Use and Meaning

3 min read
Ocean FCL
Ocean LCL
Air Freight


What is the FAS Incoterm (Free Alongside Ship)

The FAS Incoterm or “Free Alongside Ship” is an Incoterm that is exclusive to ocean freight shipping.

Under FAS, the seller must deliver the goods alongside the ship at the port dock and is responsible for all costs and risks until the goods have been placed at the dock. From this point on, the buyer takes over the risks and becomes responsible for the costs and risks of shipping.

When shipping under FAS, the seller is responsible for customs handling fees at origin. This represents a change from the previous version of Incoterms, Incoterms 2000, in which the buyer was the party responsible for completing customs clearance obligations at origin.

Seller’s obligations under the FAS Incoterm

  • Delivery of goods and documents required
  • Packaging and wrapping
  • Inland transport in the country of origin
  • Customs handling fees at origin

Buyer’s obligations under the FAS Incoterm

  • Payment of goods
  • Origin charges
  • International freight
  • Destination charges
  • Customs handling fees at destination
  • Inland transport at the destination country
  • Payment of duties and taxes

FAS insurance

Insurance is not a stipulated requirement under FAS. However, it is common practice for both buyer and seller to acquire coverage to insure the portions of the cargo’s journey they are each responsible for.

As a buyer or seller shipping with the FAS Incoterm, you may also choose to take responsibility for getting cargo insurance for the entire shipping process from start to end. Whatever you decide, make sure to indicate insurance terms in your sales contract.

If you’re still unclear over whether you should choose FAS, we highly recommend downloading our free ebook on how to choose the best Incoterm a read.

FAS unsuited for containerized cargo

As “Free Alongside Ship”, its name alone is a clear indication that the FAS Incoterm is not suited for containerized cargo.

Goods being transported under FAS are placed directly next to shipping vessels prior to loading. This makes it better suited for non-containerized cargo such as bulk cargo, liquids, chemicals, and commodities including grains, soybeans, etc. as they are loaded directly onto the shipping vessels.

This is unlike containerized cargo, which is delivered to a container yard or terminal prior to loading. If shipping containerized cargo, consider the FCA Incoterm instead.

If you are still unsure if the FAS Incoterm is the right choice for your shipment, you may get in touch with our team of experts.

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