In the world of international trade, understanding the terms and conditions associated with the purchase and transportation of goods is crucial to the success of any transaction. One of the fundamental concepts that importers and exporters must understand is Incoterms, a set of rules that defines the responsibilities of buyers and sellers in the transportation of goods.

Among these terms, one of the most used is the Incoterm CFR or “Cost and Freight”. This article will delve into what the CFR Incoterm is, the responsibilities of each party, its advantages and legal aspects that you should take into account. This way, you can make more informed decisions and ensure efficient logistics management for your business.

Below, we will explore each of these areas so that you have a complete understanding of the CFR Incoterm and can determine if it is the right choice for your next business transaction.


What is the CFR Incoterm

CFR is the abbreviation for “Cost and Freight”. This is one of the many Incoterms that establish the rules and guidelines for the international transportation of goods. The CFR Incoterm applies exclusively to the transport of goods by sea or inland waterway.

Under this term, the seller is responsible for covering all costs associated with delivery of the goods to the port of destination specified by the buyer. This includes the price of the goods, transportation costs and costs associated with loading the goods on the ship.

However, it is crucial to understand that, once the goods cross the ship’s rail at the port of origin, the risk is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

In summary, the CFR Incoterm states that the seller bears the costs until the goods are loaded on the ship, but the buyer bears the risk and other costs thereafter. The CRF Incoterm is commonly used when the buyer has more control and access to shipping than the seller or when seeking to simplify transactions by having a single point of transfer of liability.

Let us proceed with the responsibilities of each party under this Incoterm to better understand how it works.


Responsibilities of each party in the CFR Incoterm

A clear understanding of each party’s responsibilities is crucial to a successful CFR transaction. The following is a breakdown of both the buyer’s and seller’s obligations when using the CFR Incoterm.



Once the goods have crossed the ship’s rail at the port of origin, the risk is transferred to the buyer. Thereafter, the purchaser is responsible for:

Unloading costs: To cover the costs associated with the unloading of the goods at the port of destination.

Transport Insurance: Although it is not mandatory, it is recommended that the buyer purchase transport insurance to protect the goods during their journey.

Import Duties and Other Charges: Buyer must assume all duties, taxes and other charges associated with the importation of the goods into the destination country.

Inland Transportation: Arrange and cover transportation costs from the port of destination to the final place of delivery, unless otherwise agreed.

Documentation: Obtain and provide any necessary import documentation, including required permits and licenses.



Under the CFR term, the seller has several important responsibilities, including:

Preparation of Goods: Ensure that goods are properly packaged, marked and ready for transport.

Costs Until Port of Shipment: Cover all costs until the goods are loaded on the ship, including transportation to the port and loading costs.

Ocean Freight: Pay the cost of ocean freight to ship the goods to the specified port of destination.

Export Documentation: Prepare and provide the buyer with the necessary export documentation, such as commercial invoice, packing list and bill of lading.

Notification: Inform the buyer once the goods have been shipped and provide relevant details for tracking the goods.


It is vital for both parties to understand these responsibilities to avoid misunderstandings and potential legal disputes. Next, we will explore the benefits that the CFR Incoterm offers to buyers and sellers.


Infographic about Incoterms


Benefits of CFR Incoterm

The use of the CFR Incoterm offers a number of advantages for both the buyer and the seller, making the commercial transaction smoother and more efficient. Next, we will examine the specific benefits for each party.


For the Buyer

Simplicity in Logistics Management: Since the risk is transferred at the port of origin, the buyer only has to worry about logistics from the port of destination, which simplifies coordination.

Greater Control at Destination: By assuming responsibility at the port of destination, the buyer has more control over the import costs and processes, including customs clearance and inland transportation.

Insurance flexibility: The buyer has the freedom to decide whether or not to purchase transport insurance, which allows him to evaluate the risk and the associated cost.

Cost transparency: The buyer knows in advance all costs up to the port of destination, which facilitates financial planning.


For the Seller

Ease of Export: The seller is only responsible for the goods until they are loaded on the ship, eliminating the need to coordinate or pay for transportation beyond the port of origin.

Control of Freight Providers: Since the seller is the one who chooses the means of transport to the port of destination, he has more control over the costs and the choice of a reliable freight service provider.

Transaction Speed: By having limited and clear responsibilities, the seller can execute the transaction faster and more efficiently.

Better Cash Flow: By covering only the costs up to the port of origin, the seller can have a better cash flow forecast.


In summary, the CFR Incoterm can offer a beneficial balance of responsibilities and advantages for both parties. Next, we will discuss the legal aspects that must be taken into account when operating under this Incoterm.


Legal issues to be considered in the CFR Incoterm

When opting for the CFR Incoterm, it is crucial to be aware of certain legal aspects that may influence the transaction. Some of these aspects are detailed below:

Purchase and Sale Contract: Before proceeding, both parties must agree in writing to use the CFR Incoterm, clearly specifying the port of destination.

Customs documentation: Both the buyer and seller must ensure that they comply with all documentary requirements for export and import respectively, including declarations, licenses and permits.

Insurance of the Goods: Although the CFR Incoterm does not oblige the seller to take out insurance, it is highly recommended that the buyer consider doing so from the point where the risk is transferred to him.

Force Majeure Clauses: It is advisable to include clauses covering unforeseen events such as natural disasters or political conflicts that may affect the performance of the contract.

Arbitration and Dispute Resolution: It is advisable to define in advance what methods will be used to resolve potential disputes, including jurisdiction and applicable laws.


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When choosing the CFR Incoterm is the best choice

Determining whether the CFR Incoterm is the most appropriate for your transaction depends on several factors. Here are some circumstances in which it may be the best option:

Buyer Experience: If the buyer is familiar with the import process and has a good handle on the logistics from the destination port, CFR can be a smart choice.

Cost Control: If both parties wish to have transparency and predictability of costs up to a specific point, the CFR provides this framework.

Simplified Supply Chain: If the seller has export experience, but prefers not to handle logistics beyond the port of origin, CFR can relieve the seller of additional responsibilities.

Stable conditions: In stable markets and logistics routes, where there is little risk of delays or problems, CFR can be an effective option.


Choosing the right Incoterm is a key aspect in international trade. Every term has its pros and cons, and CFR is no exception. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the needs, responsibilities and risks before making a decision. In the next section, we will introduce you to how Across Logistics can be your trusted logistics partner in this process.


Across Logistics, your trusted logistics partner

Navigating the complexities of international trade can be a challenging task. From understanding shipping terms to managing logistics and documentation, each step requires a meticulous approach and specialized knowledge.

This is where Across Logistics your trusted logistics partner to facilitate smooth transactions under any Incoterm, including CFR.


Experts in CFR and Other Incoterms

At Across Logistics, we have experts who have a deep understanding of the different Incoterms and can help you choose the right one for your business. Our team will provide you with expert guidance on the effective use of the CFR Incoterm or any other, ensuring that you understand all the associated responsibilities and benefits.


Personalized Service

We are proud to offer customized logistics solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of your operation. We offer different services such as transportation, customs management, warehousing and distribution…


Global Partner Network

Thanks to our extensive network of logistics partners and transportation service providers, we can guarantee that your goods will arrive safely and efficiently at the port of destination. This network allows us to provide competitive rates and optimal transit times.


Compliance and Security

We take compliance with all regulations and legal requirements very seriously, ensuring that your transaction goes smoothly and without legal complications.


By choosing Across Logistics as your logistics partner, you are not only choosing efficiency and reliability; you are also choosing the peace of mind of knowing that every aspect of your logistics operation is in expert hands. Let us be the key to unlocking simpler, safer and more profitable international trade for your business.