"Ex works" means that the seller delivers when he places the goods at disposal of the buyer at the seller’s premises of another named place (i.e. works, factory, warehouse, etc.) not cleared for export and not loaded on any collecting vehicle.
This term thus represents the minimum obligation for the seller, and the buyer has to bear all cost and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller’s premises.
However, if the parties wish the seller to be responsible for the loading of the goods on departure and bear the risks and all the costs of such loading, this should be made clear by adding explicit wording to this effect in the contract of sale. This term should not be used when the buyer cannot carry out the export formalities directly or indirectly. In such circumstances, the FCA term should be used, provided the seller agrees that the will load at his cost and risk.
(ICC publication 560 – copies of the full version are available from ICC Publishing)