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Incoterms: Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)

An in-depth guide to the incoterm; Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF)...

What is Cost, Insurance and Freight? (CIF)

Cost, Insurance and Freight is one of the 11 official rulings of incoterms 2010 and is not to be confused with its sibling incoterm; Cost and Freight (CFR). This term places obligation on the seller to deliver the goods on to the vessel at the origin port of shipment. Until his point, the seller will be responsible for any costs associated with loss or damage to the goods.


What Transport Mode Can CIF Be Used With?

Cost, Insurance and Freight is restricted to transport via sea or inland waterway. This terms should  not be used for air freight movements.


How Does Cost, Insurance and Freight Work?

In this ruling, the seller arranges and pays for the transport up until the specified port at destination. The seller also arranges and pays for marine insurance for the goods up to arrival at this port. This may sound very similar to the another incoterm; Carried and Insurance Paid (CIP), however, with CIP, the seller is responsible for the delivery of goods to an agreed location in the country of the purchaser.


CIF Overview

  • The seller arranges, pays for transport and delivers goods cleared for export.
  • The seller arranges and pays for insurance for the products. It is likely that only minimal cover will be in place. A buyer using CIF terms should review the insurance terms in advance.
  • Cost and Insurance Freight cannot be used for air freight movements.


If you have any questions regarding the use of “Cost, Insurance and Freight” or any other incoterm, please feel free to contact our team on 0113 250 1155 or email us at:

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