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Export credit guarantees: Simplified procedures for Ukraine and 2022 Annual Report
Following a decision by the Interministerial Committee of the Federal Government, a rules-based assessment applies with immediate effect when granting export credit guarantees to Ukraine. This replaces a strict case-by-case assessment and the need for bank securities.
As a result, it is now possible to obtain collective coverage without bank securities, provided that the risk is justifiable. This change in the procedure represents a significant simplification as collective coverage is often used by small and medium-sized enterprises. This contributes to maintaining and reviving trade and investment between Ukraine and Germany, thus contributing to the economic recovery and rebuilding of the country.
Federal Minister Habeck said: "We are intensifying economic relations with Ukraine in three areas. First, we are supporting the country as it secures and upgrades its infrastructure, especially its energy supply. At the same time, we are encouraging German companies to expand trade in goods with Ukraine and are therefore providing them with investment and export credit guarantees. The simplified procedures that have now been adopted will accelerate many deals. Thirdly, we are working with Ukraine and the allies to develop economic prospects for the period after the war. To this end, I visited Ukraine in March, accompanied by a business delegation and met with Ukraine’s President Zelensky.”
Economic relations between Ukraine and Germany are very diverse, for example in trade in agricultural products and in investments by German companies in Ukraine. Direct investments can be secured through Federal Government guarantees. The Federal Government's decision on export credit guarantees for Ukraine now expands the coverage options offered by the German state.
Background to the adjustment of export credit guarantees:
In order to support export-oriented small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), the current special arrangements for collective coverage, according to which coverage was only granted on the condition of bank securities, are being revoked. In future, new collective coverage will also be possible without bank securities, provided that the risk is justifiable.
Individual coverage with the private sector is also possible without bank securities from now on. This applies to both existing and new customers in accordance with their credit assessment. Coverage for transactions with the public sector can be granted after a case-by-case assessment with a guarantee from the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance or the Ukrainian Central Bank.
On 16 June 2023 the National Bank of Ukraine exempted financing covered by export credit guarantees from its restrictions on foreign exchange transactions, so that individual guarantees can now also receive financial credit coverage. Minister Habeck made a case for this during his visit to Ukraine in April.
The procedure for collective coverage for Ukraine will also be changed from individual case assessments to compounded rules-based procedures.
These changes were made by the Interministerial Committee of the Federal Government. The Interministerial Committee is the body of the Federal Government which decides on coverage policy and applications for export credit guarantees for export transactions. In addition to the lead ministry, which is the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the committee includes the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
2022 Annual Report on Export Credit Guarantees
The Federal Government has also presented the 2022 Annual Report on Export Credit Guarantees (in german). Exports in over 170 countries were covered in 2022. Developing and emerging countries accounted for more than 80% of the newly covered volume. Companies focus on these markets because they help to reduce dependencies and make supply chains more resilient. The Federal Government will continue to actively support these markets by providing export credit guarantees.
With a coverage volume of almost €5bn, untied financial loan (UFL) guarantees made a significant contribution to the supply of raw materials and energy security in Germany in 2022. In addition, UFL guarantees support the ecological transformation of the economy, for example by providing guarantees for the purchase of battery cells for the German automotive industry. Untied financial loans are a guarantee by the Federal Government for loans granted by banks that are based in Germany in order to finance raw materials projects. These loans can be secured against economic and political default risks.
Government export credit guarantees also contribute to climate action by supporting exporters in their transformation towards greater climate action and sustainability. The Federation started limiting its coverage options in the area of fossil energies while expanding its coverage options for renewable energies back in 2020.
We are continuously pursuing this path of transformative coverage policy. With the climate strategy for export credit guarantees, introduced in 2023, we will in particular provide support for sustainable businesses, exclude further significantly climate-damaging exports from receiving export credit guarantees, and use our export promotion instruments to map out a path towards CO2 neutrality.