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It is easy to think international trade is all about convoluted acronyms that describe trade agreements that take a long time to negotiate. A sampling of the ones you have probably heard about recently include CPTPP, CETA and CUSMA.

Indeed, the trade world is not short of acronyms, but there is another crucial one for businesses to know called Incoterms®, which stands for International Commercial Terms.

Updated every 10 years, Incoterms® are developed by the International Chamber of Commerce to act as a common set of rules between exporters and importers in the course of international trade in goods. The reason they are used by buyers and sellers is that they provide a mutual understanding of who bears the costs and responsibilities at various stages of international trade transactions. Not using the appropriate Incoterms®, or at least the one you thought you were using, greatly affects a company’s bottom line. For this reason, we have paired with Forum for International Trade Training to help Canadian businesses get up to speed on these new rules with a series of training sessions.

Read this month’s 5 Minutes for Business to learn more about how your business can navigate this acronym-saturated, but crucial, world.

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