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.
UKEF will help companies concerned about the impact of coronavirus to export 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 customers become insolvent or the contract cannot be fulfilled because of their government’s actions.
Exports from the UK to these markets totalled £499bn last year, accounting for 74% of all international sales from the UK.
More than 230,000 businesses exported goods and services from the UK last year and over 95% of these were SMEs.
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, 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.
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.”