Created by the International Chamber of Commerce, Incoterms are a series of three-letter designations that define responsibilities between buyers and sellers around the sale of goods, specifically related to transportation costs and liability. If you’re looking for more information on Incoterms, check out our other articles on this topic:

The Complete Guide to All 11 of the 2010 Incoterms Rules

Incoterms 2020 Rules: Everything You Need to Know

Protect Your Bottom Line by Understanding These 5 Common Incoterms

When you’re negotiating a contract to buy or sell goods, Incoterms® can make it easy—at least in terms of who will pay for what transportation costs. These three-letter designations instantly indicate who will pay for things like freight, insurance, pick-up,  delivery, export duties, and customs fees. 

If you’re considering a contract under the DPU Incoterm, we’ll show you exactly what that means. 

What Does DPU Mean? 

DPU stands for Delivered at Place Unloaded. It shares a number of similarities with its neighbor on the Incoterms chart, DAP. Both terms apply to all forms of transportation. Additionally, like DAP, the seller pays for all the transportation costs associated with getting the goods to a named destination. 

Unlike DAP, under the DPU Incoterm, the seller is also responsible for the unloading of the shipment.  

However, the buyer is still responsible for any import duties, taxes, or customs clearance fees. (If you want an Incoterm that puts those costs on the seller, take a look at DDP—Deliver Duty Paid.) 

No; DPU replaced the 2010 Incoterms rule DAT 

Yes; it was introduced in 2020 

All modes of transportation 

Once the shipment is unloaded at the named place 

What Is the Seller Responsible for Under the DPU Incoterm?
Under an agreement using the DPU Incoterm, the seller pays all the transportation costs associated with moving the specified goods to the destination agreed to in the contract, including the unloading of the goods. That includes packing the goods, paying a carrier to move the shipment, and delivering it unloaded to the named place. 

How is DPU different from DAP?
Although both Incoterms require the seller to pay for all the costs for moving goods to a named place, only DPU requires the seller to pay for the unloading of the goods. Additionally, under DPU, the risk doesn’t transfer from seller to buyer until those goods are unloaded. When using the DAP Incoterm, the risk transfers from seller to buyer when it arrives at the named place. In other words, if the goods are damaged during the unloading, under the DPU Incoterm, the seller will be responsible for making it right. 

How does DPU compare to the 2010 Incoterm DAT?
In 2020, the ICC replaced DAT (Delivered aTerminal) with DPU. Their intention was to offer more flexibility, so that a place could be named as the destination, not just a terminal. Additionally, to differentiate this new Incoterm from DAP and clarify responsibility for the unloading, the Incoterm was given the name Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU). 

What Is the Buyer Responsible for Under the DPU Incoterm?
In a contract using the DPU Incoterm, the buyer is only responsible for any import costs, such as taxes, duties, and customs procedures.  

Incoterms Insights: DPU 

DPU doesn’t come with insurance requirements. If you’re the seller, you’re responsible for the shipment until it’s unloaded at the named place. As a result, you may wish to purchase insurance against loss or damage during transit. 

If you’re the buyer, choose your designated place thoughtfully. With the change from DAT to DPU, you now have the flexibility to choose just about any delivery location, not just a terminal. 

If you’re considering a contract with the DPU Incoterm, talk to one of our expertsWe can answer any questions you might have around using this Incoterm within your agreements—or arrange for any transportation needs. 

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