Major Boost for Small Business Exporters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 31, 2006
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. companies competing in the global marketplace now have a faster, easier way to obtain multi-buyer export credit insurance from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) with the launch of Ex-Im Online on June 1, 2006.
The new interactive web-based service enables exporters, as well as brokers and financial institutions, to go online to apply for insurance, monitor the status of applications, receive and accept quotes, report shipments, obtain buyer approvals and request policy amendments.
Later this year, Ex-Im Online also will include short-term single-buyer and letter of credit insurance, as well as medium-term insurance and medium-term loan guarantee products.
The benefits of this online service are enormous, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President (Acting) James H. Lambright. Overall, it will enable Ex-Im Bank to serve more small businesses and help us work more effectively with our partners, including lenders, brokers, and City-State Partners.
It also will reduce paper work, lower costs to customers, and improve the quality and timeliness of servicing applications. Finally, it will free up more staff time for in-depth one-on-one assistance to small business customers who are new to Ex-Im Bank financing products, Lambright said.
Results obtained during Ex-Im Online's pilot testing indicate that the average time required to process routine transactions will be reduced by more than one half.
Ex-Im Bank's small business and environmental insurance policies are among the multi-buyer insurance products now available through the new online service.
Small businesses that are new to exporting and wish to learn more about Ex-Im Bank's online services can contact Ex-Im Bank trade finance advisors who specialize in multi-buyer insurance by calling 800-565-3946, and pressing 2 to reach the nearest regional office. They also can go to www.exim.gov and learn about the new service on-line.
Help is also available from insurance brokers, most of whom have specialized expertise and can offer a variety of services. A list of brokers who are registered in Ex-Im Online also can be found on the Bank's web site.
Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 72nd year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2005 Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $14 billion in transactions supporting almost $17.9 billion in U.S. exports.More than $2.6 billion of the authorizations, or 2,617 transactions, directly supported U.S. small businesses as primary exporters.