Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU)

What is
Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU)

In the constantly evolving landscape of international trade and freight forwarding, understanding the nuances of shipping terms is crucial for supply chain professionals. One such evolution is the transition from Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) to Delivered at Place (DAP). This shift reflects the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) efforts to standardize and clarify the responsibilities of sellers and buyers under the Incoterms® rules. 

Understanding DDU 

Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) was a term under the Incoterms 2000 that required the seller to deliver the goods to a specified destination without the obligation to pay the duties of importation. In a DDU arrangement, the seller was responsible for all costs and risks associated with delivering the goods to the designated location, excluding any duty or tax incurred in the country of importation. The buyer was responsible for clearing the goods through customs and paying any import duties and taxes. 

The Transition to DAP 

With the introduction of Incoterms 2010, DDU was replaced by Delivered at Place (DAP). This term applies to all modes of transport and requires the seller to deliver the goods to a named destination, ready for unloading at the buyer's disposal. Under DAP, the seller assumes all risks and costs associated with transporting the goods to the specified location, excluding duties, taxes, and other official charges payable upon importation, as well as the costs and risks of carrying out customs formalities. 

Key Features of DAP 

  • Applicability Across Modes of Transport: DAP can be used regardless of the mode of transportation, including ocean and air freight, making it a versatile term for global trade. 
  • Seller’s Responsibilities: The seller is responsible for arranging carriage and delivering the goods to the agreed-upon destination. This includes all costs and risks up to the point of delivery. 
  • Buyer’s Responsibilities: The buyer assumes responsibility for import clearance, duties, taxes, and any other costs associated with the importation of the goods. The buyer is also responsible for unloading the goods from the arriving conveyance. 

Seller Responsibilities vs. Responsibilities Under DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid) 

Seller Responsibilities

  • Ensures delivery of goods and provides necessary documentation for the buyer to legally acquire them.  
  • Manages all export-related paperwork for shipping the goods.  
  • Risk shifts to the buyer once the goods reach the destination country.
  • Covers costs related to delivery, including loading, labor, and transport to the destination country.

Buyer Responsibilities

  • Completes payment for the goods received.
  • Handles all import-related paperwork upon the goods' arrival.  
  • Risk of loss or damage shifts to the buyer as soon as the goods are placed alongside the ship.  
  • Covers import duties and taxes, customs fees, unloading charges, and transportation to their warehouses.

Strategic Considerations for Freight Forwarding 

Freight forwarders and supply chain professionals must understand the implications of DAP to effectively negotiate contracts and manage logistics operations. This includes assessing risks, managing transportation contracts, and ensuring compliance with international trade regulations. 


The transition from DDU to DAP represents the ICC's ongoing effort to refine and standardize international trade terms. For freight forwarders, shippers, and supply chain professionals, staying informed about these terms is essential for efficient and compliant international trade operations. Understanding DAP and its implications on freight responsibilities, risks, and costs is critical for navigating the complexities of global shipping and freight forwarding. 

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