International regulation and co-operation
International export credit co-operation between nations is carried out in the OECD and the EU. The OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits is the most important international agreement regulating export credit operations. The EU rules strive to create a level playing field for all exporters in the EU countries.
The Berne Union is the international professional association of export credit agencies, which provides a forum for extensive exchange of information and promotes sound principles of export credit and investment guarantee activities.
Arrangement on Export Credits
The major Western industrialised nations adhere to the Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits when they provide officially supported export credits. Finnvera plc is an official Export Credit Agency, ECA, and thus all credits guaranteed by Finnvera must adhere to rules, laid down in the OECD Arrangement on Export Credits.
The EU has carried into effect the rules of the OECD Arrangement on Export Credits as a decision binding on all EU Member states.
You can print the Arrangement on Export Credits, premium rules and information on OECD's country classification from OECD's web pages.
In its export credit guarantee operations, Finnvera is committed to complying with the OECD Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits. Read more about Finnvera's anti-bribery policy.
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
We ask that guarantee holders pay attention to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises regarding such issues as respecting human rights, sustainable development, the principles of responsible supply chain management and openness, employment and respect for workers’ right to join trade unions.
While these recommendations were drawn up for multinational companies, their principles of good business practice are suitable for companies of all sizes.
- In Finland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment as well as the Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility promote the use of these recommendations and serve as the National Contact Point.
- OECD National Contact Points (NCPs) are found in all countries.
Agreement on environmental and social responsibility
The countries participating in the OECD Export Credit Agreement have in the so-called Common Approaches agreement agreed on the common approaches to export credit guarantee activities and due diligence on environmental and social issues.
More information in Finnvera's Environmental and social risk management policy for financing operations and OECD Common Approaches.
Sustainable lending to the poorest countries
The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund IMF have set the goal of preventing the poorest countries from building up excessive debt in the future following the debt relief and forgiveness schemes of recent years.
For more information on Finnvera's possibilities of taking risks related to the poorest countries, contact our Regional Directors. For their contact information, see Finnvera’s country classification map for each country.
- For more information on the Principles and Guidelines to Promote Sustainable Lending Practices and a list of the poorest countries, see the OECD website.
The European Union Directive aimed at harmonising medium/long-term guarantee activities strives to provide equal guarantee terms throughout the EU and thus equal competition possibilities for export products, where the related finance terms do not constitute a competitive edge. The Directive encompasses rules for guarantee conditions, guarantee premiums, country policy and notification procedures. As to guarantee premiums and country policy, the Directive observes the OECD's Premium Agreement.
An EU communication based on the EU competition rules concerning short-term (risk period less than 2 years) export credit guarantee activities denies official export credit agencies from cover marketable risks, which are risks that private insurance companies are willing to cover.
Consequently, in a normal market situation Finnvera cannot grant guarantees with a short-term risk period of less than 2 years (manufacturing period + repayment period) for exports to many Western industrial countries or EU countries. Exceptions to this restriction have been made, however, for example due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The EU regulation on transactions with a risk period of less than two years in so-called market risk countries only applies to traditional credit insurance covering buyer risks but not to insuring bank risks. This means that Finnvera may consider granting a guarantee to these countries following the risk sharing principle.
Finnvera is a member of the Berne Union (International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers). Berne Union is the international association for export credit and investment insurance worldwide, with over 50 members from over 40 countries.
BU aims at developing export credit and investment insurance activities mainly based on extensive professional exchange of information among its members.
The BU members have committed to guiding principles reflecting their way to conduct their business and pursue the purpose of the BU.
Co-operation between guarantee agencies becomes significant in situations where export companies have production operations in more than one country and when an export project includes deliveries from exporters in different countries.
Finnvera has concluded co-operation agreements with various guarantee agencies. These agreements form the basis for co-operation in individual projects, but they are not a necessary condition for co-operation - Finnvera may be involved in mutual projects although such a bilateral agreement does not exist.
The simplest method for involvement in projects including exports from many countries is to include the foreign deliveries in the guarantee issued by Finnvera.
Joint guarantee and reinsurance arrangements
Joint guarantee and reinsurance arrangements are practical in large-scale projects or projects involving risky markets. In a joint guarantee, each agency covers its own national share according to their guarantee terms, and co-operation takes place mainly in the form of exchanging information.
In a reinsurance arrangement, the principal insurer is the guarantee agency in the country from where the largest share of exported share is supplied. The main insurer creates a guarantee contract for the project as a whole, and then draws up a reinsurance contract with the guarantee agency in the subcontractor's country. The subcontractor's guarantee agency usually accepts the guarantee terms of the main insurer to a large extent.