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 quay or wharf at the destination port. In 2010, delivered ex quay was replaced with delivered at terminal (DAT). As of 2020, delivered at place unloaded (DPU) unseated DAT.

A replacement of the term "delivered ex quay" (DEQ), "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 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.

Key Takeaways

  • Delivered ex quay (DEQ) was a contractual obligation whereby the seller was required to deliver goods to the wharf at the destination port.
  • Under DEQ, the seller bore all risks and costs until delivery.
  • Delivered ex quay items were denoted as either duty paid or unpaid.
  • Under the DES contractual obligation, the seller makes the goods available aboard a ship at the destination port.

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. In contrast to DEQ, DAT was available to all transport modes and other terminals (not just quays or wharves). DPU broadens the definition of location. For example, it can include the buyer's premises.

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), which have both been replaced with DPU. With a DES specification, the seller makes the goods available aboard 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.