What is Delivered Ex Quay?
In international trade, DEQ or "delivered ex quay" was a contract specification where the seller had to deliver the goods to the wharf at the destination port. The term is now obsolete, and has been replaced with DAT, or "delivered at terminal."
Delivered Ex Quay (DEQ)'s replacement (delivered at terminal) is a wider term, as the "terminal" referred to can be any place, whether on a waterway or a hub for another kind of transportation route.
Understanding the now Defunct Delivered Ex Quay (DEQ)
Delivered ex quay (DEQ) was a legal term as defined by the Incoterms, the International Commercial Terms published by the International Chamber of Commerce. These terms, all with three-letter abbreviations, relate to common contractual practices in international trade and are used as standard items to define certain contract terms. The "D" (delivered") portion of the Incoterms is onerous to the seller as the seller has to bear all risks and costs until the item is duly delivered as specified. Delivered at terminal (DAT) was defined as a legal term by the Incoterms in 2010.
Delivered ex quay denoted items to be delivered at a wharf, and was thus applicable to goods delivered via waterways (whether inland or sea). It could be denoted as either duty paid (where the seller was responsible for all costs such as customs duty and taxes associated with the delivery) or unpaid (where the buyer would assume these costs).
Delivered Ex Quay (DEQ) vs. Delivered Ex Ship (DES)
Delivered ex quay was an alternative to delivered ex ship (DES). With a DES specification, the seller makes the goods available on board a ship at the destination port. DEQ changed the specification so that the goods had to be delivered to the wharf. For DEQ to be applicable, the seller would have to have an import license or otherwise be legally permitted to deliver in the destination country. All legal formalities required for transporting goods to the wharf in the destination country, including all the documentation required for the buyer to take delivery of the goods, had to be completed by the seller. The more onerous terms for a seller of such a contract would be taken on because it would be an incentive for the buyer to contract with that company.