Released On 10th Sep 2019

What’s the difference between DAP, DDP and DAT in shipping terms?

We wrote briefly about the Incoterms “DAP”, “DDP” and “DAT” in our popular Glossary of Terms page, but we’ve received so many questions about these different delivery methods that we thought they deserved a dedicated explanation.  

What does DAP stand for in shipping logistics?

In shipping terms, the acronym DAP stands for Delivered at Place.

What is Delivered at Place (DAP)?

This is an international trade term (an Incoterm) that describes a type of arrangement between buyer and seller, in which the seller agrees to pay all the costs of moving sold goods to a specific location. This includes:

  • Packaging
  • Documentation
  • Export approval and legal formalities from the exporting country
  • Loading charges
  • Insurance
  • Ultimate transport and delivery to a named destination 

If any part of these arrangements incurs financial losses for the seller, in a DAP agreement, the seller takes responsibility for these, too.

Any form (or combination of forms) of transportation may apply in a DAP agreement (and also for DDP and DAT). 

The contract usually specifies the point at which the buyer takes on financial responsibility, e.g. “Delivered at Place, Port of XXX”.

What are the responsibilities of the buyer with DAP?

When the goods have reached the specified destination, the buyer takes on the risk and responsibility for the unloading of the goods and clearing them for import. The buyer in a DAP agreement also has responsibility for paying import duties and any other clearance or local taxes.

How is DAP different to DDP?

Loading cargo container at terminalDDP is another international trade term (an Incoterm) which stands for Delivered Duty Paid. It’s quite similar in many ways to DAP except that DDP represents the maximum responsibility in costs and risk assumption from beginning to end for the seller. 

As with DAP, the seller in a DDP agreement assumes all the risks and costs of the operation to deliver the goods to a specified place in the country of importation. However, in a Delivered Duty Paid arrangement, it is the seller, not the buyer, who also bears the costs and taxes of import clearance.

With DDP, the buyer is only responsible for unloading the goods at the final destination.

When should the Incoterm DAP be used instead of DDP?

  • If there are no customs between the country of origin and the country of destination, for example the European Union, there’s no necessity to clear goods for import, and so the Incoterm DAP must be used instead of DDP.
  • When the seller hasn’t the ability to carry out import clearance, or the necessary representatives to do it for them, they must not use Incoterm DDP, they should use DAP instead.  

What is DAT and how is it different to DAP and DDP?

DAT is the third (and comparatively new) Incoterm that is used to indicate different methods of delivery of goods. DAT stands for Delivered at Terminal, and while the risks and costs assumed by the seller are very similar to both DAP and DDP, there are small differences. 

  • With Delivered at Terminal, the responsibility for the imported goods is with the seller until after the goods are unloaded at the terminal (which can be a quay, warehouse, container yard or road, rail or air cargo terminal). 
  • With DAT, it’s the buyer, not the seller, who is responsible for the final leg of the journey and the final unloading of goods.

With a DAT arrangement, the buyer still covers the cost of paying import duty, taxes and any other customs costs.

If you need help to expedite the smooth import of your own goods, please contact Mouse & Bear.

Similar Posts


Recieve all the latest news and updates from Mouse & Bear

Please correct the errors and try again.