What is Delivered at Frontier?

Delivered at Frontier is a term used in international shipping contracts, when a seller is required to deliver a particular good at a border location. When a contract specifies goods to be delivered at frontier, the seller of the good is typically responsible for all risks and expenses associated with the delivery.

The term Delivered at Frontier is used less today than in decades past, as developments in global trade policy have made cross border commerce less complicated. In 2010, the International Chamber of Commerce removed the term delivered at frontier from their glossary of international commercial terms, called Incoterms. In 2011, Incoterms replaced delivery at frontier with the terms DAT (Delivered at Terminal) and DAP (Delivered at Place)

Understanding Delivered at Frontier (DAF)

Delivered at Frontier is a legal term used by companies that engage in international commerce to outline who bears the risks and expenses of transporting goods. The terms used in international shipping contracts differ based on the mode of shipping, and when delivered at frontier was in wide use, it was typically used in situations when goods were being shipped over a border by land, either by rail or truck. It's important to realize that because this is a legal term, its exact definition is much more complicated and differs by country. It is suggested that you contact an international trade lawyer before incorporating any trade term in a contract.

Delivered at Frontier vs. Delivered at Place

The term Delivered at Frontier has been superseded in recent years by the term Delivered at Place (DAP). The terms are roughly comparable, but Delivered at Place is more general and therefore more useful in an age when borders are more porous to commerce. Though legal language such as Delivered at Frontier and Delivered at Place can vary from contract to contract and jurisdiction to jurisdiction, there have been efforts over the years to standardize language across countries and regions to better promote international commerce. 

One organization dedicated to such standardization efforts is the International Chamber of Commerce. Founded in 1919, one of the organization’s first efforts was to commission a survey of the commercial trade terms used by merchants around the globe. This eventually led to the compilation and publication of what is known today as the Incoterms rules. Delivery at Frontier was added to this compendium in 1967, following the third revision of the Incoterms rules, along with the term Delivery at Destination (DDP). It was removed from the list in 2010.