The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the official export credit agency of the United States and assists in financing the exports of U.S. goods and services to international markets.
EXIM assumes risks that commercial lenders are unable or unwilling to accept. Additionally, EXIM provides lenders with the export financing tools to service transactions typically involving higher country or credit risks.
EXIM relies on the distribution resources of commercial lenders. Commercial export financing backed by EXIM guarantees and insurance benefits all parties – lenders benefit, U.S. exporters capitalize on business opportunities, and international buyers can purchase high-quality, “made in the U.S.A.” products and services.
Benefits to Lenders
In today’s global economy, few companies have a customer base that is purely domestic. International customers need financing for their international sales. From pre-export working capital financing to large structured or project financing, EXIM has a product that can support each customer’s unique needs and limit risk.
- Meet customers’ needs for export financing with a variety of export financing products
- Limit country and credit risks
- Increase loan portfolio
- Satisfy bank regulatory requirements
- Sell, transfer and participate EXIM-supported loans to third parties
With EXIM’s trade financing support, lenders can offer more products and services to their customers, increase their profits, and transfer the risk to EXIM.
Selling EXIM: Marketing Materials
- Trade Finance Guide (link is external) (Department of Commerce)
- An Exporter’s Guide to Working Capital Loan Guarantees (link is external)
- Working Capital Guarantee: How it Works Video (link is external)
- An Exporter’s Guide to Export Credit Insurance (link is external)
- Export Credit Insurance: How it Works Video (link is external)
- Working Capital Case Study (link is external)
- Export Credit Insurance Case Study (link is external)
- EXIM Product Selection Guide (link is external)
- see also Pre-Application Information below
- Export U.S. goods and/or services (see content policy)
- Be domiciled in the U.S.; Ownership by foreign nationals or entities is acceptable.
- Have a positive net-worth and an operating history of at least one year.
The Additionality Test – Why is EXIM’s Guarantee Necessary?
EXIM provides guarantees when support from the private sector is unavailable and the export sales supported would not otherwise proceed. The Additionality Test is a set of questions determining the necessity of EXIM’s involvement in the transaction. Below are three questions that should be addressed in the lender’s credit memorandum:
- Why the borrower does not have enough internally generated working capital to support the export sale
- E.g., large contract size, expanding sales volume, seasonal cash flow, slow-turning receivables, high levels of work-in-process and/or inventory, bonding requirements
- Why the funds are not available from “external sources”
- That is, why can’t financing be obtained from other sources such as majority owners or capital markets?
- Why the EXIM guarantee is needed for your institution to provide the funding
- E.g., regulatory or credit policies, issues with the borrower’s creditworthiness, market uncertainty
Goods and services must be exported from the United States: EXIM does not provide support for content shipped from foreign ports.
Export destinations must not be restricted countries: EXIM can support exports to most markets. There are some export destinations, however, that are not eligible for support. EXIM’s Country Limitation Schedule provides an up-to-date listing of approved countries.
Exports must be non-military in nature: EXIM is prohibited from financing exports of defense articles and services. There are exceptions for “dual use” items (that is, items used for both military and commercial or civilian applications).
Allowable Use of Funds
Under the program, funds may be used for the following export-related activities:
- To acquire inventory or purchased finished products for export
- To pay for direct and indirect costs related to export contract
- Examples: labor, overhead, design, engineering
- To support Standby Letters of Credit serving as bid bonds, performance bonds or payment guarantees; to support Warranty Letters of Credit; to support Commercial Letters of Credit benefitting U.S. suppliers.
Advance Rates and Collateral Eligibility
Advance Rates: Clients can borrow against their export-related accounts receivable at advance rates of up to 90%. Advance rates may be lower, depending on the quality of the receivables. Advance rates may be up to 70% for accounts receivable due to a foreign affiliate or subsidiary of the borrower; in such cases, prior EXIM approval is required.
Eligibility: For accounts receivable to be included in the borrowing base, the terms of sale must not exceed 180 days. Receivables may not be more than 60 days past due if on open account or 90 days past due if insured.
Advance Rates: Clients can borrow against their export-related inventory at advance rates of up to 75%, depending on inventory quality. Advance rates may be up to 60% for inventory located outside the U.S.; in such cases, prior EXIM approval is required.
Eligibility: Export-related raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods are eligible for inclusion in the borrowing base. Inventory must be located within the U.S., unless pre-approved by EXIM. Inventory must be valued at the lower of actual cost or market value.