UK Export Finance to offer export insurance in all major markets in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • UK Export Finance (UKEF) can insure UK businesses against the risk of non-payment when selling internationally
  • The department’s export insurance scheme has been extended to major markets, including the US and EU
  • Government-backed insurance for UK exports to these markets will be available immediately

03 April 2020: UK Export Finance has today announced it is expanding the scope of its Export Insurance Policy (EXIP) to cover transactions with the EU, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the USA with immediate effect. Exports from the UK to these markets totalled £499bn last year, accounting for 74% of all international sales from the UK.

UKEF will help companies concerned about the impact of Coronavirus to export with confidence, by offering insurance that can cover up to 95% of the value of an export contract. The insurance will protect against the risk of non-payment should UK exporters’ customers become insolvent or their government actions make fulfilling the contract impossible.

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP said:

“Exports play a crucial role in our economy and it’s right that UK businesses trading internationally are protected during this challenging time.

“That’s why we are offering a guarantee to these businesses that they will get paid, so they can continue to export with confidence and support the UK economy.”

More than 230,000 businesses exported goods and services from the UK last year and over 95% of these were SMEs.

The Coronavirus pandemic is expected to put pressure on the ability of exporters to agree payment terms, while commercial credit insurance may become harder to obtain. By insuring against non-payment with UKEF, UK suppliers will have the confidence to continue trading and can offer more flexible payment terms to overseas buyers.

UKEF extends its cover to include countries that were previously excluded from the scheme after the European Commission relaxed rules this week regarding the provision of short-term export credit insurance.