In some cases the preamble recommends the use or non-use of a particular term. This is particularly important with respect to the choice between FCA and FOB. Regrettably, merchants continue to use FOB when it is totally out of place thereby causing the seller to incur risks subsequent to the handing over of the goods to the carrier named by the buyer. FOB is only appropriate to use where the goods are intended to be delivered «across the ship's rail» or, in any event, to the ship and not where the goods are handed over to the carrier for subsequent entry into the ship, for example stowed in containers or loaded on lorries or wagons in so-called roll on - roll off traffic. Thus, a strong warning has been made in the preamble of FOB that the term should not be used when the parties do not intend delivery across the ship's rail.
It happens that the parties by mistake use terms intended for carriage of goods by sea also when another mode of transport is contemplated. This may put the seller in the unfortunate position that he cannot fulfil his obligation to tender the proper document to the buyer (for example a bill of lading, sea waybill or the electronic equivalent). The chart printed at paragraph 17 above makes clear which trade term in Incoterms 2000 it is appropriate to use for which mode of transport. Also, it is indicated in the preamble of each term whether it can be used for all modes of transport or only for carriage of goods by sea.