We buy under CPT UK Airport and have recently had a problem with a damaged shipment. The goods were badly damaged during loading or unloading, a forklift truck appears to have run over one of the boxes and crashed into another. Our supplier is being very unhelpful saying it is our problem and demanding their money. We are trying to establish where the damage took place: what difference would it make to our claim on the seller if the damage was done at the airport of loading or unloading?

Not a lot, I’m afraid. Carriage Paid To (CPT) is a term from the often misunderstood “C” Group of Incoterms which include Costs + Freight (CFR) and Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) for conventional sea freight and Carriage and Insurance Paid to (CIP) and like CPT for any type of transport. Group C terms stipulate that the risk of loss or damage passes to the buyer once the goods are in the hands of the first carrier in the seller’s country. The first carrier is not the airline but the freight company collecting from your seller’s premises or the freight company accepting delivery of the goods at the airport. Unless you can prove that the damage occurred before the goods were accepted by the freight company the risk is yours. For the seller to have the risk the term should have been DAP UK Airport. Alternatively, you could have asked the seller to specifically insure the transit risk in your name by buying the goods under CIP.


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