Ex Works (EXW) Defined, Pros and Cons, Plus More Incoterms


What Is Ex Works (EXW)?

Ex Works (EXW) is a world commerce time period that describes when a vendor makes a product accessible at a delegated location, and the customer of the product should cowl the transport prices. Ex Works (EXW) is among the 11 present Incoterms (Worldwide Business Phrases), a set of standardized worldwide commerce phrases printed by the Worldwide Chamber of Commerce.

Key Takeaways

  • Ex Works (EXW) is a delivery association through which a vendor makes a product accessible at a selected location, however the purchaser has to pay the transport prices.
  • As soon as patrons have their items, they’re answerable for different dangers, corresponding to loading them onto vehicles, transferring them to a ship or aircraft, and assembly customs rules.
  • Ex Works is an Incoterms (Worldwide Business Phrases), one in every of 11 standardized worldwide commerce phrases printed by the Worldwide Chamber of Commerce.

What Is Worldwide Commerce?

Understanding Ex Works (EXW)

Ex Works (EXW) requires a vendor to securely package deal items, label them appropriately, and ship them to a beforehand agreed-upon location, corresponding to the vendor’s nearest port. The vendor should additionally assist the customer get export licenses or different required paperwork, though the customer should pay the precise charges for the paperwork.

As soon as the customer has the products, it’s as much as the customer to cowl any bills and account for any dangers that pertain to the products. Dangers might embody loading the merchandise onto a truck, transferring them to a ship or aircraft, coping with customs officers, unloading them at their vacation spot, and storing or reselling them. Even when the vendor helps the customer by loading the product onto a ship, it is nonetheless as much as the customer to pay if something goes unsuitable through the loading.

With Ex Works, the vendor can load the products on the customer’s designated technique of transport however just isn’t required to take action; all the vendor is required to do is make the product accessible at a specific location whereas the customer pays for transport.

Instance of Ex Works

Ex Works prices are calculated by companies that need to minimize prices by eradicating the so-called vendor’s value-added for delivery. For instance, suppose firm A has priced a pair of printers from firm B at $4,000, with an Ex Works delivery price of $200. To save cash, firm A finds a third-party shipper to ship the printers for $170. So to save lots of the $30 on delivery, they make an Ex Works take care of firm B.

An Ex Works settlement differs from a Free-on-Board (FOB) settlement, through which the vendor covers the price of getting its items to a delivery terminal and pays all of the customs prices to get them on board. In the meantime, the customer nonetheless has to pay to seek out, contract, and pay the delivery firm, in addition to the customs prices incurred when the products attain their nation of vacation spot. As well as, the customer additionally pays the insurance coverage prices.

In follow, Ex Works is typically not useful as a result of customs guidelines of sure jurisdictions. Within the European Union, for instance, a non-resident particular person or company can not end the export declaration paperwork, so the customer may very well be left stranded. In such instances, the free provider (FCA) time period is preferable. Free Provider means the vendor is answerable for delivering items to a selected vacation spot.

Ex Works vs. FOB

Ex Works is the duty on the customer’s half to incur the prices of loading items for transport. Free on Board (FOB) is the time period used to consult with the vendor’s obligation to load items. Usually, FOB transfers possession of products to the customer as soon as they’re loaded on the customer’s transportation technique. Nonetheless, there’s a risk that the vendor would possibly stay answerable for them throughout transport to the ultimate vacation spot—this is determined by the contract and the phrases the customer and vendor have agreed on.

Tasks Beneath Ex Works

Beneath EXW, the customer assumes many of the duties as soon as they accumulate the bought items from the vendor. A number of the duties transferred embody:

  • Loading costs: Any prices for loading items on the pickup level
  • Supply to the port of origin: Prices for transporting items to the port for delivery
  • Customs export charges: Any prices related to duties, tarrifs, and documentation
  • Loading on carriage: Prices for loading items on the delivery technique
  • Carriage costs: Any delivery prices for shifting items between ports
  • Insurance coverage: If wanted or desired
  • Customs import charges: Any prices related to duties, tarrifs, and documentation
  • Terminal costs: There could also be costs on the arrival terminal
  • Vacation spot supply: The prices for delivering items from the arrival port to the ultimate vacation spot
  • Unloading: Price to unload items, corresponding to manpower and tools.

Sellers in an EXW settlement, in distinction to patrons, have only a few duties. Usually, they’re answerable for packing the products to be loaded and transported and offering a spot for the customer to select them up.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Ex Works


  • Permits patrons to consolidate a number of purchases

  • Capability to anonymize a provider

  • Least costly possibility

  • Permits patrons to buy within the home market


  • Purchaser assumes all threat and prices

  • Want a trusted consultant within the nation items are bought from

  • You would possibly pay greater than meant in case you’re unfamiliar with the method and prices

Benefits Defined

  • Permits patrons to consolidate a number of purchases: Consolidating purchases from varied suppliers helps patrons with the prices after items are loaded at pick-up places. Patrons want fewer containers or transportation strategies to get the products to the port of arrival and supply.
  • Capability to anonymize a provider: Items may be shipped below an incoterm or totally different exporter identify to maintain your provider nameless in case you have competitors that may be watching.
  • Least costly possibility: The prices to the vendor are decrease, so you are not paying for his or her elevated prices by means of markups to cowl bills.
  • Permits patrons to buy within the home market: For those who’re sourcing in a market the place there is not a robust exporting presence, you’ll be able to extra simply discover the products you want within the home market.

Disadvantages Defined

  • Purchaser assumes all threat and prices: You are answerable for all prices, damages incurred throughout transportation, and inheret the chance of loss.
  • Want a trusted consultant within the nation items are bought from: Since you’re buying in a foreign country, you will want a consultant you belief to make sure items are current, delivered as promised, loaded, and shipped.
  • You would possibly pay greater than meant in case you’re unfamiliar with the method and prices: For those who’re unfamiliar with the prices and transportation of EXW, it’s possible you’ll find yourself paying greater than you thought you’ll.


Ex Works, Free on Board, and Free Provider are all a part of the Worldwide Chamber of Commerce’s Incoterms. They are utilized in worldwide commerce contracts to define issues, together with the time and place of supply and cost, when the chance of loss shifts from the vendor to the customer, and the get together answerable for paying the freight and insurance coverage prices. The Incoterms aren’t precise contracts and do not supersede the governing legislation of their jurisdiction. Incoterms may be modified by specific clauses in a commerce contract.

Incoterms had been first established in 1936, and the present model—Incoterms 2020—has 11 phrases. These are sometimes an identical in type to home phrases, such because the American Uniform Business Code, however might have totally different meanings. Moreover, different international locations and jurisdictions that govern import and export might have totally different strategies of calculating duties on delivery primarily based on their Incoterms. Because of this, events to a contract should point out the governing legislation of their phrases.

What Does Is Ex Works Imply In Incoterms?

Ex Works is a time period utilized in delivery preparations the place the vendor is just required to ship items at a predetermined location, and the customer bears duty for delivery prices. Together with these prices, the customer assumes duty for the associated dangers of the products, which can embody something from customs rules to loading and transferring to different ships. Ex Works falls below the Incoterms (Worldwide Business Phrases), a typical framework of 11 phrases designed to make clear varied commerce contracts.

What Is the Distinction Between Ex Works and FOB?

In delivery preparations, the distinction between Free on Board and Ex Works relies on transferring the legal responsibility of products between the customer and vendor. In free-on-board contracts, the vendor takes duty for bringing items to a terminal along with customs prices and loading the products onto the ship. The client, in the meantime, is accountable for delivery prices, insurance coverage, and customs prices on the closing level of arrival. In different phrases, as soon as the products are shipped, the customer assumes legal responsibility and possession of the products, generally known as “FOB origin” or “FOB delivery level.” Against this, in an Ex Works settlement, the vendor is just answerable for delivering items to an agreed-upon location.

What Does Ex Works Imply for Transport?

With an Ex Works settlement, the vendor saves on delivery, customs, and legal responsibility for broken items after being delivered, packaged, and labeled on the delivery terminal. Whereas this can be optimum typically for sellers, it’s not all the time potential as a consequence of customs necessities in sure jurisdictions. Take the European Union, for instance, which restricts non-resident firms from finishing export declaration varieties. On this case, an Ex Works contract can be detrimental to each the vendor and the customer. In distinction, a free provider contract that bears delivery duty on the vendor might provide a extra appropriate different.

The Backside Line

Ex Works is a world buying and selling settlement that spells out the duties of the customer and vendor. Beneath an EXW settlement, the customer accepts all duties and prices of selecting up and transporting items to their desired vacation spot.

Beneath particular circumstances, an EXW settlement is cheaper than the FOB different, however the purchaser should be ready for and know the prices of transporting items to the place they need them. One of the best cases for utilizing an EXW are when the vendor can not export items or when the customer intends to consolidate purchases to scale back prices.