Incoterms as a legal act

Volume 5, Number 3, 2020, P. 303–315


Article (file: pdf, size: 616 KB, downloads: 373)


The article reveals the features of Incoterms as a legal act. The dualistic concept of defining the legal nature of Incoterms is defended. As a methodological basis for the study, the conclusion was made on the need for a differentiated consideration of the relevant publication of the International Chamber of Commerce and trade terms included in it. The problematic issues of the definition of the concept «legal document» in the domestic legal science are considered. Two main approaches have been identified: interpretation as “a document containing legal information” and the definition “a document involved in the process of legal regulation”. It has been specified that a legal act is a kind of a legal document. Signs of a legal document have been clarified. The distinguishing features of a legal act are highlighted: it has an official character, is a form of consolidation of legal (regulatory or individual) prescriptions, is created in the process of legal activity, has legal force, and affects public relations in order to streamline them. The author has provided his own definition of a legal act. The results of the analysis of Incoterms through a set of features common to any legal act are presented: Incoterms as an official legal document, Incoterms as a form of consolidating legal prescriptions, Incoterms as a result of law systematizing practice, the legal force of Incoterms and legal significance of Incoterms. It is noted that Incoterms is a combination of several legal acts adopted at different times and different in content. It is proposed to consider the functions of Incoterms through its characteristics as an act of individual legal regulation, as an act of professional interpretation, as a harmonization act.


International Chamber of Commerce, Incoterms 2020, trade terms, legal act, private law unification act


Aleksandr A. Pakharukov, Cand. Sci. (Jurisprudence), Associate Professor, Head of Jurisprudence Department, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia

For citation:

Pakharukov A.A. (2020) Incoterms as a legal act. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. Vol. 5. No. 3. P. 303–315. (In Russ.)


  1. Alekseev S.S. (1982) General theory of law. Moscow: Yuridicheskaya literatura. Vol. 2. 360 p. (In Russ.)
  2. Baranov V.M. (2017) Legal technique. Moscow: Yurayt Publishing House. Vol. 1. 251 p. (In Russ.)
  3. Belov V.A. (2019) International trade law and WTO. Moscow: Yurayt Publishing House. Vol. 2. 426 p. (In Russ.)
  4. Eliseev I.V. (2002) Civil-legal regulation of the international sale of goods. St. Petersburg: Legal Center Press. 236 p. (In Russ.)
  5. Erpyleva N.Yu. (2004) International private law: textbook. Moscow: Prospect. 560 p. (In Russ.)
  6. Zharova E.Yu. (2006) Program as a legal document. Nizhny Novgorod. 27 p. (In Russ.)
  7. Zelenin A.D., Rybakov S.A. (2004) Some issues of using INCOTERMS in contractual practice. Arbitrazhnyye spory = Arbitration disputes. No. 4. P. 143–150. (In Russ.)
  8. Kanashevsky V.A. (2010) Foreign economic transactions: material and legal and conflict regulation. Moscow: Walters Kluver. 608 p. (In Russ.)
  9. Kargin K.V. (2008) Legal documents. Moscow: Yurist. 191 p. (In Russ.)
  10. Karapetov A.G. (2020) The main provisions of civil law: article-by-article commentary to articles 1–16.1 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. Moscow: M-Logos. 1104 p. (In Russ.)
  11. Kashanina T.V. (2007) Legal technique. Moscow: Eksmo. 512 p. (In Russ.)
  12. Kashanina T.V. (2019) Legal documents. What students are not taught. How to understand and prepare correctly: a textbook. Moscow: Prospect. 448 p. (In Russ.)
  13. Lunts L.A. (2002) Course of private international law. Moscow: Spark. 1007 p. (In Russ.)
  14. Marchenko M.N. (2007) General theory of state and law. Moscow: NORMA. Vol. 2. 816 p. (In Russ.)
  15. Pakharukov A.A. (2020) Incoterms as an act of unofficial codification of trade terms. Kul’tura. Nauka. Obrazovaniye = Culture. Science. Education. No. 2. P. 91–118. (In Russ.)
  16. Protasov V.N. (2014) The theory of state and law. Moscow: Yurayt. 495 p. (In Russ.)
  17. Protasov V.N. (1995) What and how the law regulates. Moscow: Lawyer. 96 p. (In Russ.)
  18. Pyanov N.A. (2009) State regulation of public relations: theory issues: monograph. Irkutsk: Irkutsk State University. 221 p. (In Russ.)
  19. Ramberg J. (2011) ICC Commentary on Incoterms 2010: understanding and practical application. Moscow: Infotropic Media. 352 p. (In Russ.)
  20. Ramberg J. (2001) ICC Guide to Incoterms 2000: ICC Publication. Moscow: Consultbankir. 286 p. (In Russ.)
  21. Rosenberg M.G. (2010) International purchase and sale of goods: commentary on legal regulation and practice of dispute resolution. Moscow: Statut. 448 p. (In Russ.)
  22. Stepin V.S. (2000) Theoretical knowledge. Structure, historical evolution. Moscow: Progress-Tradition. 744 p.
  23. Syrykh V.M. (2013) History and methodology of legal science. Moscow: Norma: INFRA-M. 464 p. (In Russ.)
  24. Tikhomirov Yu.A., Kotelevskaya I.V. (1999) Legal acts. Moscow: Yurinformtsentr. 381 p. (In Russ.)
  25. Tkachenko Yu.G. (1980) Methodological issues of the theory of legal relations. Moscow: Yuridicheskaya literatura. 176 p. (In Russ.)
  26. Fonotova O.V. (2008) Application of Incoterms in international and domestic trade. Moscow: Zertsalo-M. 280 p. (In Russ.)
  27. Cherdantsev A.F. (2012) Logiko-linguistic phenomena in jurisprudence: monograph. Moscow: Norma: INFRA-M. 319 p. (In Russ.)
  28. Schmittoff K.M. (1993) Export: law and practice of international trade. Moscow: Yuridicheskaya literatura. 511 p. (In Russ.)
  29. Shugrina E.S. (2001) Technique of legal writing. Moscow: Delo. 270 p. (In Russ.)