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Introduction to DAP Shipping

DAP shipping refers to the process in which sellers must deliver the sold items to a location previously agreed upon by them and the customer. The seller and buyer must specify the agreed-upon delivery location (for example, the port). The buyer then handles the import paperwork and delivery to the intended destination. The trade could be anywhere.

What Is Delivered-at-place (DAP)?

DAP is a shipping industry term that means “Delivered at Place,” It signifies that the seller is liable for all expenses and hazards connected with delivering products to the last agreed-upon location, which is often the buyer’s facility. DAP applies for ocean transport, air cargo, road transport, and rail transport, with the buyer simply liable for the cargo’s import and unloading.

Buyers must note that DAP shipping does not imply that there will be no extra expenses in addition to the DAP product price. The customer must consider only shipping protection, import duties, customs clearance, and any charges necessary to discharge the goods from containers at the ultimate stop.

DAP has now taken the role of related Incoterms such as Delivered at frontier (DAF), Delivered Ex Ship (DES), and Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU), which were phased out in past decades. 

What Are the Benefits of DAP Shipping?

Understanding who is liable for paying extra charges throughout the transportation process is a crucial benefit for the customer when shipping through DAP Incoterms. According to the International Commerce Center (ICC), the buyer is liable for all risks and losses related to the shipment after the products are delivered. The cargo would usually be made accessible to them at the buyer’s facility. The seller bears any additional charges incurred during the shipment procedure.

Due to this reduced buyer risk, DAP shipping offers a minimum liability choice and a broad agreement for buyers who desire to shift all shipment responsibility to the seller.

DAP may assist purchasers in managing cash flow and inventories, particularly for pricey commodities that need sellers to replenish regularly. Customers can discuss DAP clauses with sellers, in which the seller performs the shipment, and the customer only needs to pay after the cargo arrives. 

When items are reordered regularly or particular quantities are assured, a seller can transport them to a storage facility near the buyer’s location. The shipment will be shipped from the local storage facility when the customer is ready to purchase.

DAP shipping has substantial advantages for the buyer. It enables users to purchase smaller amounts and deliver them more quickly, rather than waiting for freight to travel from the seller’s location.

DAP Shipping

How Delivered-at-place (DAP) Works

Delivered-at-place indicates that the seller assumes all risks and costs associated with delivering items to a predetermined location. The seller is responsible for everything: packing, paperwork, export permission, loading expenses, and final delivery. In turn, the buyer assumes responsibility and risk for the products’ unloading and import clearance.

A DAP agreement applies to any transportation method or a combination of modes. It generally specifies the point at which the buyer assumes financial responsibility.

After being established in 2010, DAP substituted Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU), and even though DDU is informally used even today, DAP is now the official word used in global trade.

How is DAP Different From DDP Shipping?

The Incoterm DDP, which refers to Delivered Duty Paid, is another global trading term. It is similar to DAP in many aspects, except that DDP shipment parameters indicate the seller’s maximal risk and cost allocation from beginning to finish.

Much like with DAP shipping, the seller in a DDP contract undertakes all risks and expenses of the process to deliver products to a specific location in the importing country. However, under a Delivered Duty Paid contract, the seller, not the consumer, absorbs customs clearance expenses.

With DDP shipping, the purchaser is only liable for offloading the products at the ultimate destination.

Advantages of DAP Shipping

DAP shipping gives the buyer far better control over their shipping procedures. Here are some other advantages of DAP:

  • There are fewer legal issues – As a vendor, you may be less informed about shipping issues in a foreign land than your customer. While you should transport the product, DAP shipping permits someone better familiar with their nation’s standards to take charge.
  • Additional visibility to the supply chain – The amount of information you may get as a buyer using a DDP delivery service is restricted. A DAP service enables you to monitor each stage of the cargo’s journey, beginning with its entry into the nation.
  • More power to the buyer – Empowering the buyer enables them to control expenditures and learn about disruptions as they occur. Once they reach the nation’s drop-off point, complete control over the transit of items is typically demanded by overseas buyers trying to maintain a constant inventory.
DAP Shipping

DAP Freight Tips and Tricks

DAP offers reduced risks for buyers as they import goods. The agreements also introduce an element of risk, for instance, customs clearance occurs before the item arrives at the buyer’s selected location, which implies that customs must clear the cargo to pass before it can be given to the buyer. The buyer bears these charges in the case of delays, or detention. 

However, there are ways to lower the risk for both parties in a DAP agreement.

  • Determine delivery dates

Forfeiture occurs when the seller or buyer cannot unload products on time due to one party failing to obtain the necessary clearance. The delivery must take place on the agreed-upon date. The burden resides with the person who failed to deliver timely paperwork, but determining who is to blame is tricky. If buyers cannot clear goods, they pay the risk and costs of products held by customs.

  • Decide on a location

Another typical oversight is the agreed-upon location. Under DAP shipping, most merchants deliver products to the buyer’s location. But not all the time. Sellers and buyers must agree on a destination. Buyers may choose a seaport, an airport, or another location for delivery. 

Once the products are delivered, the buyer assumes all risks of loss or damage. Buyers are responsible for the costs of goods held in port if they fail to inform vendors on where to ship items or forget to submit relevant customs documentation.

  • Clear the goods for import

Customs will detain items in a storage facility or terminal until the buyer submits the necessary paperwork. It is critical to complete customs paperwork before the items arrive. Incorrect documentation causes delays in clearing and incurs detention and shipping delays charges, which buyers must cover.

  • Choose who will insure the items

Goods insurance is a worry. Despite sellers bearing the risk of damage or loss until fulfillment, DAP shipping does not require sellers to insure goods. Furthermore, the agreements do not require buyers to insure their purchases. It is common practice to secure every cargo; thus, deciding whether the seller or the buyer will take responsibility before entering into a DAP contract.

When Should “Delivered, Duty Paid” Be Used instead of “Delivery at Place”?

DDP agreements are used instead of DAP if there is no need to clear products for importation between the place of origin and the target country, such as the European Union.

What Are the Buyer and Seller Responsibilities With DAP Agreements?

Sellers Responsibilities:

  • Export packaging: Export packaging is the process of preparing cargo for export.
  • Loading charges: Any fees for loading the merchandise onto the vehicle at the seller’s facility.
  • Port/location delivery: The fees for trucking or delivery related to conveying the cargo to the port or point of export
  • Customs duty, taxes, and clearance: All expenditures and obligations related to the cargo’s exportation
  • Handling fees at the origin terminal: These charges, sometimes known as OTHC, are the seller’s responsibility.
  • Carriage loading: The seller is responsible for all costs associated with loading the consignment onto the carriage.
  • Charges for freight: The expense of transporting the shipment to the buyer’s location 
  • Terminal handling fees at the destination These charges, sometimes known as DTHC, are also the seller’s responsibility.
  • Destination delivery: The seller is liable for the latest travel to transport the load to the ultimate destination after the goods arrive at the buyer’s delivery point.

Buyers Responsibilities

  • Unloading at the final destination: The buyer is liable for all costs related to offloading the goods after it reaches via truck at its last stop, which is often a storage facility.
  • Customs clearance, import duty, and taxes: All import expenses related to shipping are the buyer’s responsibility. The buyer is liable for the examination costs if a customs inspection is necessary.

When to Use a DAP Agreement?

DAP shipping provides a variety of alternatives that act as an essential benefit to both the seller and the buyer. As a result, whenever a seller is willing to agree, it constitutes a workable clause.

For novice importers, DAP shipment can reduce their risks and responsibilities, but they will pay a high price. If a seller provides DAP clauses and you are a novice importer, evaluate the costs with Free On Board (FOB), and cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) agreements.

If your suppliers are open to considering the choices, DAP shipping can be a realistic option for more seasoned importers seeking a way to boost cash flow. The following are some instances where a seller and a buyer could arrange a DAP agreement:

  • DAP could imply that the buyer has to pay for the shipment once the products reach their destination if the stated place is the buyer’s storehouse. 
  • The customer might acquire the goods from the supplier if the seller agrees to deliver more inventory to a nearby bonded warehouse. The only expenditures the customer would be responsible for are the import duties and unloading fees.
  • When buyers accept a DAP transaction, they must notify their sellers. The buyer should clearly state the point of arrival, and a timetable should be decided to assure that the seller attempts to avoid delays. Before the shipment leaves the vendor, it is a good idea to set up a pre-shipment quality inspection so the buyer can discover any issues before it is late.
  • The seller and buyer should also discuss the responsibility for any corrugate, custody, or storage expenses resulting from unanticipated risks during export and import processes between sellers and buyers.


When used appropriately, DAP shipping is one of the most helpful phrases in international trade, providing significant benefits to sellers and buyers.

It is critical that both sides consent regarding who will compensate for any additional fees that may arise.

With the expected expansion in cross-border trade, many analysts predict that DAP will become increasingly popular in the following years.


Who pays for shipping under DAP?

Following DAP rules, the seller will cover all transportation costs, including any terminal costs up to the designated target destination. The buyer is required under DAP rules to cover the cost of any necessary offloading at the ultimate goal.

Who pays import duty, seller or buyer?

According to DAP, the buyer is in charge of the import customs procedures. The seller would hold all the customs requirements against him. Therefore, the buyer must acknowledge the documentation evidence offered by the seller. As mentioned, the buyer must unload the commodities at the delivery point.

Under the DAP clause, the recipient, who can either be the importer or exporter based on the final location specification, incurs the costs, levies, and charges like freight charges, shipping fees, and so on.

Does DAP include clearance?

DAP includes customs clearance, with the supplier performing the export customs checks and the buyer performing the import customs checks.

What are the rights of the buyer and seller in DAP shipping?

To clear the products for export, the seller must execute all relevant legal processes in the country of export at his own expense and risk.

After the products arrive in the destination country, the buyer must complete customs procedures in the import at their own expense and responsibility, including any customs taxes and charges.

Does DAP include unloading?

DAP shipping includes goods unloading at the delivery port of destination, which is the buyer’s responsibility.

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