free on board

adverb or adjective

Definition of free on board

: without charge for delivery to and placing on board a carrier at a specified point

First Known Use of free on board

1668, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for free on board

The first known use of free on board was in 1668

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More Definitions for free on board

free on board

adverb or adjective

Financial Definition of free on board

What It Is

Free on board (FOB) is a contractual term that refers to the requirement that the seller deliver goods at the seller's cost via a specific route to a destination designated by the buyer.

How It Works

To understand how FOB terms work, let's look at an example.

Assume that you're a jelly dealer and you purchase 10,000 jars of jelly from Company XYZ. Company XYZ manufactures the jars of jelly in Japan and you sell them in your store in California. If your purchase contract says "FOB, San Francisco, ABC warehouse," this means Company XYZ will pay the loading and shipping costs to get the 10,000 jars of jelly from its Japanese factory to the ABC warehouse in San Francisco. The jelly becomes your property in San Francisco, meaning that if the jars are lost, destroyed, or stolen on the way to San Francisco, Company XYZ is liable because it still owns the goods while they're in transit. Likewise, if they are lost, destroyed, or stolen after they reach the ABC warehouse, you are liable.

Why It Matters

FOB terms indicate when the risk of loss shifts from the seller to the buyer. They are very important to participants in international transactions and particularly for contracts involving delicate items or items that are vulnerable to theft.

Our example illustrates the concept of FOB Destination, which is the standard and most common FOB term. But some contracts use FOB Origin, whereby the buyer becomes the owner at the time and place the product originates (in the Japanese factory, in our example). Buyers may prefer FOB Origin terms if they feel they can get a better deal on shipping than the seller can. It is important to note that the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) generally assumes a transaction's terms are FOB Origin if a purchase contract has no specific FOB language in it. This makes the buyer responsible for freight and damaged goods.

Source: Investing Answers

free on board

adverb or adjective

Legal Definition of free on board

: without charge for delivery to and placing on board a carrier at a specified point

More from Merriam-Webster on free on board

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with free on board

Britannica English: Translation of free on board for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about free on board

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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