As the Coronavirus wreaks havoc around the world, international trade is feeling the strain.
UK Export Finance is the operating name of the Export Credits Guarantee Department, the United Kingdom’s export credit agency and a ministerial department of the UK government. It was awarded the best global export credit agency for 2019. UKEF now has over £4 billion of capacity to support UK firms exporting to China, as well as significant capacity across other markets affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to help cover these risks.
UKEF works with banks and insurance brokers to help companies of all sizes fulfil and get paid for export contracts. It provides guarantees, loans and insurance on behalf of the government that can protect UK exporters facing delayed payments or transit restrictions.
What is available
Under the Direct Lending Facility, UK Export Finance (UKEF) provides loans within an overall limit of £3 billion to overseas buyers, allowing them to finance the purchase of capital goods and/or services from UK exporters.
The loans it provides for each transaction can be made in up to 8 currencies, with a value limit of £200 million (although more flexibility may be offered in limited circumstances).
The funding provided is at a fixed rate of interest, based on the applicable Commercial Interest Reference Rate (CIRR) set by the OECD, or the cost of UK Government funds (National Loans Fund rates) if higher.
The benefits of Direct Lending include:
• You are paid as though you have a cash contract
• the buyer or borrower has time to pay over a number of years and can borrow at a competitive rate of interest
The transaction must satisfy UKEF’s eligibility criteria, which includes the requirement that:
• the contract must demonstrate how it is conducive to supporting or developing exports from the UK
All transactions supported by UKEF must satisfy:
• its foreign content policy
• its anti-bribery and corruption and environmental, social and human rights due diligence processes
The transaction may not be supported if there are sanctions imposed on the country of the overseas buyer or borrower.
There is no fixed lower limit, although for loans below £5 million (or the foreign currency equivalent), UKEF may offer alternative export finance options.
In most cases, as mentioned above, direct loans will not exceed £200 million. However, UKEF may apply a more flexible approach depending on:
• the remaining resources of the facility at the time a high value application is received
• the strategic importance (to the national interest) of the proposed transaction
UKEF does not support exports to the EU/EEA at present, although this may change post-Brexit.
SRC-Time regularly assist clients with their export business structuring and our expert team is available to provide you with advice. We can be contacted on 01273 326 556 or you can drop us an email at email@example.com, alternatively you can speak with an account manager to get any process started.