UK Export Finance has 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 US 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 says it will help companies concerned about the impact of COVID-19 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.
“Exports play a crucial role in our economy and it’s right that UK businesses trading internationally are protected during this challenging time,” said UK Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP. “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 COVID-19 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 extended its cover to include countries that were previously excluded from the scheme after the European Commission relaxed rules regarding the provision of short-term export credit insurance.
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