Incoterm DAP: Everything You Need To Know

The DAP Incoterm, or “Delivered at Place”, replaces the now outdated Delivery Duty Unpaid Incoterm, or DDU Incoterm was included in Incoterms 2000, the previous edition of Incoterms.

The seller is responsible for delivering the goods, prepared for unloading, to the specified place of destination in accordance with the Delivered At Place (DAP) Incoterms rules.

Any mode of transportation, including several, may be covered by DAP. The exact unloading location at the designated destination should be specified and agreed upon by the buyer and seller. Keep reading and learn all the important points of DAP.

What Is DAP?

DAP mandates that the seller deliver to a location specified by the buyer, typically the buyer’s premises. The buyer is in charge of unloading the vehicle. Any export-related formalities must be completed by the seller, and any import-related formalities must be completed by the buyer. Similar to CPT and CIP, the seller only contracts for carriage when delivery—which is currently taking place at the buyer’s premises—has occurred. The seller is under no duty to the buyer to carry risk insurance. This rule is effective for land-based cargo transportation within the landmass of Europe and Central Asia, but it may present issues once a change in mode of transportation occurs along the way.

How Does Delivered-at-place (DAP) Work?

Whether or not they are in the same country, buyers and sellers frequently run into issues with trade agreements. As a result, there are laws and guidelines in place that specify the obligations of each party to a financial contract. These are referred to as Incoterms, and a delivered-at-place agreement, or DAP agreement, is one of them.

DAP simply means that all risks and expenses associated with delivering goods to a specified location are assumed by the seller. This implies that they are in charge of everything related to packaging, paperwork, export authorization, loading fees, and final delivery. The risk and obligation for unloading the merchandise and obtaining import authorization fall to the buyer in turn.

Any form of transportation, or a combination of different forms of transportation, is subject to a delivered-at-place or DAP agreement. It usually lists the point at which the buyer takes on financial responsibilities, such as “delivered-at-place, Port of Oakland.”

In 2010, the phrase was first used. DAP took the place of delivery duty unpaid (DDU) at that time. Even though DDU is still occasionally heard in casual conversation, DAP is now the recognized term for it in global trade.


DAP Shipping Obligations

Seller’s Obligations

  • Goods, commercial invoice and documentation
  • Export packaging and marking
  • Export licenses and customs formalities
  • Pre-carriage and delivery
  • Loading charges
  • Cost of pre-shipment inspection
  • Main carriage
  • Delivery to named place of destination
  • Proof of delivery

Buyer’s Obligations

  • Payment for goods as specified in sales contract
  • Unloading from arriving means of transportation
  • Import formalities and duties
  • Cost of import clearance pre-shipment inspection
  • Onward carriage and delivery to buyer (depending on named place)

Pros And Cons For The Buyer


Understanding who is responsible for covering any additional costs incurred during the shipping process is a key benefit for the buyer when shipping under DAP Incoterms. After receiving the goods, the buyer assumes all risks and losses related to the cargo, according to the International Commerce Center (ICC). In most cases, they would be given access to the load at the buyer’s warehouse. The seller is liable for any additional fees incurred during the shipping process.

Due to the reduced buyer risk, DAP provides a low liability option and a common agreement for customers who want to transfer all shipping risk to the seller.

DAP can assist buyers in controlling cash flow and inventory, particularly for pricey items that need frequent reorders from vendors. When properly negotiated with sellers, buyers can agree to DAP Incoterms, in which the seller handles the shipping and the buyer only makes a payment when the shipment reaches its destination. A seller may ship goods to a bonded warehouse close to the buyer’s location when products are frequently reordered or specific quantities are guaranteed. The cargo will be sent from the nearby bonded warehouse whenever the buyer is prepared to place another order.

The purchaser will greatly benefit from this. Instead of waiting for the cargo to arrive from the seller’s origin, it enables them to place lower volume orders and have them fulfilled more quickly.


Although this Incoterm clearly states that the buyer is responsible for paying all import duties, taxes, and customs clearance, delays can still occur in real life. The majority of the time, customs clearance occurs prior to the cargo reaching the buyer’s designated location, which necessitates that customs grant the shipment clearance before it is delivered to the buyer. Costs associated with dunnage, detention, or delays will be borne by the buyer.

The total cost will be significantly higher than if a buyer were to rely on their China 3rd party logistics or China freight forwarder because, as with all Incoterms, the seller assumes both the risk and responsibility for shipping the cargo.

There are well-known drawbacks for the seller, and DAP may be viewed as a risk by some vendors, particularly when shipping under these conditions to new customers. The possibility that the buyer will decline to pay import duties is one of the biggest risks a seller must consider, and as a result, the seller runs the substantial risk of losing their cargo. The risks are well understood by the sellers, who will either reduce the risks by charging higher deposits or shipping costs to justify the shipping process.

When To Use DDP?

The DAP agreement offers a variety of options, which is one of its most important features and can be extremely advantageous to both the buyer and seller. As a result, whenever a seller is willing to enter into an agreement, it constitutes a workable Incoterm.

For newer importers, DAP can reduce their liabilities and risks, but they will pay a high price for the privilege. If you are a novice importer and a seller offers DAP Incoterms, be sure to compare the prices with FOB and CIF Incoterms.

If your sellers are open to considering the options, DAP might be an option for more seasoned importers looking for a way to increase cash flow. Some scenarios a buyer and seller could negotiate a DAP agreement are the following:

  • DAP may indicate that the buyer need only pay for the cargo once the goods are delivered to their location if the named place is the buyer’s warehouse. By doing this, the buyer would avoid tying up capital in inventory while the goods were being shipped and would pay for the goods the day they were received.
  • The customer could purchase the goods from the seller at any time if the seller agreed to deliver more inventory to a nearby warehouse, which is typically a bonded warehouse. Only import fees and unloading expenses would be the responsibility of the buyer.
  • DAP can suggest a clever solution that might reduce the freight costs if the buyer is purchasing goods imported into several nations. For instance, the cargo could be sent to a port near each country, like Seattle, Washington, if goods were to be purchased in China and shipped to the US and Canada. The purchaser would ask that a bond warehouse be used as the named location. Once the cargo has arrived, it will be unconsolidated, with part of the shipment being imported into the United States and the other portion being transshipped to Canada.

    Even though this situation is particular, it shows how DAP can give customers innovative options for managing their logistics with their sellers.

Any time a buyer accepts a DAP trade, they have to get in touch with their sellers. To ensure that the seller makes an effort to avoid delays, the point of destination should be clearly defined and a timeline must be agreed upon. Before the cargo leaves the seller, it is a good idea to arrange a pre-shipment China quality inspection so the buyer can discover any issues before it is too late.

Buyers and sellers should also agree on who will pay any dunnage, detention, or storage fees that result from unanticipated risks during the exporting and importing process.


Two Incoterms that are used in international trade are DAP and DDP. Under the terms of a DAP, or delivered-at-place, agreement, the buyer and seller split some of the shipping costs. Upon loading, the seller ships the buyer’s purchases. They are responsible for covering any losses that may occur while traveling as well as the cost of transportation. The buyer takes over once the goods are delivered to their final location. This implies that they are in charge of paying any applicable taxes, duties, or fees as well as for unloading the cargo.

DDP, or delivered duty paid, operates a little differently. In accordance with this regulation, the seller is in charge of all transportation-related risks, costs, and obligations. This covers the price of shipping, insurance, import and export duties, as well as any other costs that were agreed upon with the buyer.

The Bottom Line

Trade on a global scale can be extremely challenging and difficult. Because of this, the International Chamber of Commerce created Incoterms, a set of regulations that are routinely updated. This list serves as guidance for buyers and sellers regarding their obligations and rights in relation to financial contracts. One such phrase is delivery-at-place.

Once the shipment has reached the designated destination, the buyer is responsible for paying import duties as well as any other applicable taxes, including clearance and local taxes. Up until the goods arrive at their destination, the bulk of the preparation and cost of shipping is the seller’s responsibility. When they arrive, the buyer assumes control.


What is the difference between DAP and CIF?

In a CIF transaction, the seller is responsible for paying the freight costs and shipping insurance. However, the buyer is responsible for paying destination charges (DTHC), local delivery, unloading, import duty, taxes, and customs clearance. Only the unloading fees, import duties, taxes, and customs clearance are covered by the buyer under DAP; the seller is in charge of all other expenses.

Who pays DAP freight?

The seller covers all freight costs in accordance with the DAP Incoterm contract. Upon the shipment’s arrival at the requested location, the buyer is only liable for the costs associated with the importation of the cargo and unloading of the shipment.

Related Posts