International Chamber of Commerce Rules for Trade Terms - The Terminological Approach

Vladar Zsuzsa, Constantinovits Milan, Vasa Laszlo
International Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Volume IX, Issue 1, 168-179, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ijeba/665


Purpose: The rules of International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) define the important element of the international sales contract, the so-called parity. The parity means the place, where the cost and risks are handed over from the seller to the buyer. In this paper, we would like to answer to following questions: What are the principles of the terminological system of Incoterms editions following each other? What is the difference between the logic of the creators of terminology and its users? How does change the relationship of users and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in the mirror of terminological changes? Approach/Methodology/Design: We demonstrate and analyze the modifications of Incoterms rules updated in the last 40 years focusing on the development of theory and practice of trade terminology. Terminological theoretical frame is used in this paper. Findings: The Incoterms were based in the first phase on historical principle, in the second phase on logical principle, in the third phase on functional principle. The creators of terminology must build a structure based on strict logic, eliminating the historical perspective, not making a difference between the original old and the artificially created new ones. The users preferred the old ones, building a structure using them to create a terminological structure. The ICC for a long time intended to force its own system in prescriptive method, but from the 2010 edition, it has concluded a compromise accepting the logic of everyday usage based on tradition in the 2020 edition. Practical Implications: The paper gives a short overview of the rules of international trade from a terminological point of view. Originality/Value: The changes of Incoterms have been investigated from legal, risk management, and logistical points of view but there is still now a gap in the research of Incoterms concerning the terminological perspective. Terminological analysis with its new instruments and view can reveal the principles of building the terminology, can mirror the changes of the power shifting.

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