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free on board (FOB)

One of several standard terms used in contracts of sale to indicate responsibility for damage to goods during shipment. When goods are shipped FOB, the seller's responsibility ends when a carrier takes possession of them, or, with respect to ocean shipments, when the merchandise is placed safely aboard the vessel or when an on board bill of lading has been issued. The buyer is responsible for insuring the goods from that point on. See also Cost, insurance, and freight.

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