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Incoterms FAS: Free Alongside Ship

Named Place Requirement: Port of Shipment

Applies to:Sea and inland waterway only 

Seller pays all expenses until freight is on the vessel, then buyer takes over.

In the Incoterms rules for FAS (short for “Free Alongside Ship”), the seller clears goods for export and places them alongside the vessel at the named port of departure. The named port of departure location can be a loading dock or a barge, but not a container terminal.
The buyer is responsible for loading the freight onto the vessel, as well as handling local carriage, discharge, import formalities and duties and onward carriage to the final destination.
FAS only applies to ocean or inland waterway transport. It is popular with bulk cargo, such as oil or grain.
For containerized shipments delivered only to a terminal, use FCA instead.

Free Alongside Ship Incoterm Obligations

Seller’s Obligations

  • Goods, commercial invoice and documentation
  • Export packaging and marking
  • Export licenses and customs formalities
  • Pre-carriage to terminal
  • Delivery alongside vessel at port of shipment
  • Proof of delivery
  • Cost of pre-shipment inspection

Buyer’s Obligations

  • Pay the price of the goods as provided in the sales contract
  • Loading charges
  • Main carriage
  • Discharge and onward carriage
  • Import formalities and duties
  • Cost of pre-shipment inspection (for import clearance)

The FAS (Free Alongside Ship) rule goes back to the days of sailing ships, and requires the seller to place the goods alongside the vessel nominated by the buyer. FAS is rarely used these days but still might be appropriate typically in shipments of heavy machinery which is brought to the wharf or barged up to the alongside the vessel, in both cases to be loaded on board by the buyer or its vessel’s equipment. The goods are not delivered until the vessel is available in the port of shipment for the goods to be next to it. The seller must carry out export formalities and the buyer must carry out import formalities. The buyer contracts for carriage therefore the shipper on the bill of lading should be the buyer not the seller. The seller will most likely require at least a mate’s receipt or some other form of evidence of export such as a copy of the bill of lading for their VAT/GST purposes.

Get FAS guidance from  a TS-Trade Specialist

Any excerpts quoted from the Incoterms® 2020 rules are the copyright of the International Chamber of

Commerce. Source: ICC website. The full text of the 2020 edition of the Incoterms rules is available at
https://2go. iccwbo.org/. The word “Incoterms” is a registered trademark of the International Chamber of Commerce.