Article | Last updated: 2016-07-11 | Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries
The Norwegian system for officially supported export credits consists of export loans from Export Credit Norway and export guarantees from the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (Garantiinstituttet for eksportkreditt (GIEK)).
The Norwegian system for officially supported export credits consists of Export Credit Norway and the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (Garantiinstituttet for eksportkreditt (GIEK)). GIEK and Export Credit Norway will often, but not always, be involved in the same contracts. Export Credit Norway provides loans to buyers of exported goods and services from Norway. GIEK offers guarantees for loans offered by Export Credit Norway or other commercial banks or investors. GIEK and Export Credit Norway are separate organizations that make decisions independently. The officially supported export credits system should be a supplement to the private financial market and not crowd out the private financial institutions.
Here is an example of export credits: Export Credit Norway offers a loan to a buyer of a Norwegian good or service. Export Credit Norway cannot take the risk of the borrower defaulting, and has to get a guarantee from GIEK and/or another bank or financial institution with a sufficient credit rating. In the same way that Export Credit Norway can use private banks as guarantors, GIEK may offer guarantees for loans provided by private banks.
GIEK and Export Credit Norway can only offer long-term financing. Many products are exported without the need for a loan. These kinds of products are often bought on credit. In these kinds of transactions, the exporter may want an insurance against the buyer not repaying. These short term insurances can be bought on commercial terms from GIEK Kredittforsikring AS (GK) – a state-owned limited liability company – or from other commercial credit insurance companies. For more information see: www.giekkreditt.no.
Before Export Credit Norway was established in 2012, Eksportfinans ASA managed export loans on behalf of the Norwegian State. New loansare no longer issued by Eksportfinans, but the company continues to manage its existing portfolio of loans from the agreement with the Norwegian State.
The OECD-agreement "Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits" (Arrangement) is one body of rules that set the framework for GIEK’s and Export Credit Norway’s activities. The Arrangement is a so-called Gentlemen's Agreement between Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. The Arrangement regulates the terms and conditions of officially supported export credits (e.g. minimum interest rates, minimum premium and maximum repayment terms). The agreement has existed since 1978, with Norway being a Participant from the beginning. The purpose of the “Arrangement” is to encourage competition among exporters based on the quality and price of the offered goods and services. Given that many countries provide similar export credits systems, this contributes to avoiding competition based on which country offers the most favourable export credits terms and conditions.
The agreement consists of one main framework, and six sector understandings that cover export credits in the area of ships; nuclear power plants, civil aircraft, renewable energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and water projects; rail infrastructure, and coal-fired electricity generation projects. There are also recommendations on how to handle environmental and social issues, as well as issues related to human rights and bribery, among other elements.
Norway also participates in the International Working Group on Export Credits (“IWG”). This is an arena for members of the Arrangement (OECD Participants) and non-OECD participants to work together on a possible new set of disciplines on export credits.
External web pages:
- The Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK)
- Export Credit Norway
- The Export Credit Act
- The Export Credit regulations
- The OECD's Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits with sector understandings and recommendations