Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

DAP (Delivered at Place)

Delivered-at-Place (DAP) is an Incoterm used to describe a deal in which a seller agrees to pay all costs and suffer any potential losses of moving goods sold to a specific location. In delivered-at-place agreements, the buyer is responsible for paying import duties and any applicable taxes, including clearance and local taxes, once the shipment has arrived at the specified destination. The seller takes on all the risks and costs of delivering goods to an agreed-upon location. This means the seller is responsible for everything, including packaging, documentation, export approval, loading charges, and ultimate delivery.

Understanding DAP (Delivered at Place) in Shipping Terms

Definition of DAP

DAP (Delivered at Place) is an Incoterm used in international trade to specify the responsibilities of buyers and sellers regarding the delivery of goods. According to DAP, the seller is responsible for delivering the goods to a specified destination, typically the buyer’s premises or another named place. The term defines the point at which risk and responsibility for the goods transfer from the seller to the buyer.

Key Responsibilities Under DAP

1. Seller's Responsibilities:

Packaging and Documentation: The seller is responsible for properly packaging the goods and providing all necessary documentation, including invoices, shipping documents, and export licenses.
Transportation: The seller must arrange and pay for all transportation costs to the agreed-upon destination. This includes any pre-carriage, main carriage, and on-carriage needed to deliver the goods.
Export Clearance: The seller is responsible for clearing the goods for export, including handling all necessary export formalities and paying any associated export duties or taxes.
Delivery: The seller must deliver the goods to the named place at the buyer’s disposal. This means unloading the goods is the buyer’s responsibility.

2. Buyer's Responsibilities:

Unloading: The buyer is responsible for unloading the goods from the arriving vehicle at the named place.
Import Clearance: The buyer must handle all import formalities, including customs clearance, and pay any import duties, taxes, and other charges.
Insurance: While not obligatory, the buyer typically arranges insurance for the goods once the risk has transferred from the seller at the named place.

Risk and Cost Transfer

In DAP, the risk and cost transfer from the seller to the buyer when the goods are made available for unloading at the named destination. This implies that any risk of loss or damage to the goods during transit is borne by the seller until the goods reach the destination point specified by the buyer. Once the goods are at the named place, the buyer assumes all risks and costs associated with unloading and further transportation, if needed.

Practical Applications of DAP

1. E-commerce: In international e-commerce transactions, DAP terms are often used to simplify the buying process for customers. The seller takes care of all shipping arrangements, and the buyer only needs to handle import duties and unloading.
2. Industrial Equipment: For heavy machinery and industrial equipment, DAP is commonly used because the seller can ensure the equipment reaches the buyer’s site safely, while the buyer takes responsibility for final placement and installation.
3. Consumer Goods: In the delivery of consumer goods, using DAP terms can improve customer satisfaction as the seller manages most of the logistical process.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages for the Seller

Control over the transportation process, ensuring proper handling of goods.
Ability to negotiate better freight rates and secure reliable carriers.

Advantages for the Buyer:

Reduced complexity in arranging international shipping.
Predictable costs for the main transportation segment.

Disadvantages for the Seller:

Increased responsibility and costs associated with transportation to the named place.
Potentially higher risks until delivery is completed.

Disadvantages for the Buyer:

Responsibility for unloading and import clearance.
Need to arrange for local transportation from the named place if not the final destination.


DAP (Delivered at Place) is a versatile Incoterm that outlines clear responsibilities for both buyers and sellers in international trade. By specifying that the seller delivers the goods to a named place, DAP simplifies the shipping process for buyers, allowing them to focus on import clearance and final delivery. Understanding the implications of DAP can help businesses manage risks, control costs, and ensure smooth transactions in global trade.