It is an English abbreviation of the term “International Commercial Terms“, meaning “international sales conditions” (C.I.V. in French). The purpose of the incoterms is to provide a set of international rules for the interpretation of the most commonly used trade terms for foreign exchanges.
They result from a codification of the commercial transaction terms, set up by the International Chamber of Commerce. Each term is coded by three letters, associated to the place of delivery to which it applies.