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Through changing times

Export Credit Guarantees of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 - 2022

History of the Federal Government’s Export Credit Guarantees

For more than 70 years, the Export Credit Guarantees of the Federal Republic of Germany have supported and assisted German Exporters and the banks that fund their business in their foreign activities. Over the past years and decades, the so-called Hermes Cover has become a central instrument of German foreign trade promotion. Whether during the Asian or the Russian crisis, the debt crisis in Latin America or the financial crisis the Export Credit Guarantees have always been a reliable partner of the German export industry. And they are still alive and kicking. Always geared to the needs and interests of German export industry, they flexibly adapt to the constantly changing political, economic and regulatory changes. At the same time, they remain loyal to their guiding principle: Protect Germany exporters and export finance institutions against bad debt losses for political and commercial reasons. Thus, they make an important contribution to growth, prosperity and employment in Germany.

70 years Export Credit Guarantees – this is 70 years of foreign trade promotion at its best.

Logo: 70 Jahre Exportkreditgarantien, 1949-2019

The 1905s 

  • “Gesetz über die Übernahme von Sicherheitsleistungen und Gewährleistungen im Auslandsgeschäft” (Act on the provision of cover in export business) passed.
  • The Federal Government commissions a private consortium with the management.
  • 9 November: First meeting of the Interministerial Committee (IMA) in Frankfurt-Hoechst
  • The first rescheduling agreement with Argentina leads to the founding of the Paris Club.

Export transactions and financing operations covered under Export Credit Guarantees of the Federal Government 

The projects presented here are representative for export transactions realised during the past 70 years. The focus is on the particular eligibility for support in connection with coverage of the export transactions and financing operations taking into account the following key issues:






The 1960s

  • Integration of the statutory cover limit for Export Credit Guarantees in the annual Budget Law of the Federal Republic.
  • Introduction of cover for buyer credits introduced.
  • First comprehensive reduction of the uninsured percentages.
  • First coinsurance agreement with the Swiss export credit agency ERG, the precursor of today’s SERV.

The 1970s 

  • Introduction of cover for exchange rate risks.
  • Another reduction of the uninsured percentages.
  • Introduction of the 5 per cent alternative for buyer credits with concurrent reduction of the waiting period in the event of a loss.
  • The Statutory Cover Limit exceeds 100 billion German mark.
  • Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits (OECD Consensus) adopted.
  • Securitisation Guarantees, i.e. the possibility to assign claims under buyer credit cover, introduced. Today, this product is experiencing a renaissance.

The 1980s

  • The debt crisis commences. First rescheduling of Poland’s debts in the Paris Club. In 1983, it is followed by Mexico, Brazil and African countries.
  • Revision of the “Guidelines for the Issuance of Export Credit Guarantees”.
  • The risk of protracted default included in medium-term single transaction cover for private-sector buyers (Ausfuhrgarantien).
  • Cover for project finance provided for the first time.
  • The Statutory Cover Limit amounts to 100 billion euros.
  • So-called trust model introduced, i.e. the possibility of providing buyer credit cover in favour of foreign banks via a German trustee. At the same time, “assignment models” and progress payment are introduced.
  • Major reform of the terms of cover through a revision of the General Terms and Conditions for the main products of Export Credit Guarantees: supplier credit, buyer credit and manufacturing risk cover.
  • Important IMC decisions on the cover policy and its practical implementation published in the ECA-Report.

The 1990s

  • Hermes Cover provided in favour of companies in the new federal states in former East Germany.
  • Cover facilities for transactions based on countertrade deals (so-called barter or compensation trade) with CIS countries made available.
  • Existing Soviet debt rescheduled in the Paris Club for the first time.
  • Revision of the OECD Consensus.
  • German premium system providing for a uniform premium to be paid replaced by variable premiums based on five country risk categories.
  • Uninsured percentage for the risk of protracted default reduced.
  • Largest rescheduling in the Paris Club agreed with Russia.
  • The Federal Government ends providing cover for short-term transactions with private-sector buyers in EU countries.
  • Website for the Export Credit Guarantees launched on the Internet.
  • Uniform OECD-wide premium system for political risks (“Knaepen Package”) introduced
  • First reinsurance treaties concluded with the export credit agencies ECGD (United Kingdom), OeKB (Austria) and COFACE (France).
  • Euler Hermes and PwC are named the “World’s Best Export Credit Agency” by the readers of the UK-based Trade Finance Magazine for the first time.
  • On 7 October, the 1188th IMA meeting is the first to be held in the new capital Berlin.
  • 50th anniversary of the Export Credit Guarantees celebrated in November.

The 2000s

  • A Prognos study demonstrates that the Export Credit Guarantees safeguard about 216,000 jobs in Germany.
  • Framework credit cover introduced.
  • Introduction of the OECD Environmental Guidelines (Common Approaches).
  • APG-Online-Service makes reporting of turnover via the Internet possible.
  • Project information published on the Internet.
  • OECD Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Ships adopted.
  • Possibility that the Federal Government assumes a share in the legal cost incurred in the claims management introduced.
  • OECD Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Civilian Aircraft (ASU) adopted.
  • 60th anniversary of the Export Credit Guarantees of the Federal Republic of Germany celebrated on 15 December.
  • Option to reduce the uninsured percentage to 5 per cent against a premium surcharge introduced as part of a package of measures in support of the economy during the financial and economic crisis.

The 2010s

  • Introduction of the Buyer Credit Guarantees “express” (FKD-express), which provides cover for buyer credits within four bank working days.
  • General Terms and Conditions of Cover for transactions with private-sector buyers and public-sector buyers unified. The German terms “Garantie” and “Bürgschaft” are replaced by the uniform term “Deckung”.
  • Minimum premium rates for commercial risks involved in transactions with credit periods of more than two years introduced within the framework of the OECD premium system.
  • Revised version of the Recommendation on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (“Common Approaches”) adopted; the social impact assessment is explicitly included in its title (Environmental and Social Due Diligence).
  • New wording of the OECD Consensus becomes effective. The main new element is the Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Renewable Energy, climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, and Water Projects which includes climate protection.
  • The OECD Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Rail Infrastructure with longer credit periods for officially supported export finance takes effect.
  • The Federal Government broadens the availability of cover for selected sub-Saharan countries to make also medium and long-term transactions with public buyers possible.
  • Dr. Hans Janus, long-standing member of the board of management of Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft responsible for the state export credit guarantees, retires in December.
  • As of 01 January, Ms Edna Schöne succeeds Dr. Janus as member of the company’s board of management.
  • Image in motion: Explanatory film about the Export Credit Guarantees.
  • A study of the ifo Institute shows that the Export Credit Guarantees safeguarded and/or newly created about 200,000 jobs in Germany in 2012. To these about 100.000 jobs abroad have to be added.
  • The Chinese state export credit agency Sinosure and Euler Hermes Aktiengesellschaft sign a bilateral reinsurance treaty. It is the first agreement of this type with a state export credit agency of a non-OECD country.
  • New “49 PLUS” system for foreign deliveries differentiates only between export transactions with foreign content amounting to up to 49 per cent and exceeding 49 per cent in connection with single transaction cover. This makes applying for an Export Credit Guarantee easier.
  • The Federal Government adopts the strategy paper “Neue Impulse für den internationalen Wettbewerb um strategische Großprojekte – Chance für Deutschland verbessern” (New impetus for international competition for large-scale strategic projects – improving the opportunities for Germany).
  • First reinsurance framework agreement with a multilateral Islamic Institution, the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), signed.
  • The Federal Government adopts the National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP) to implement the corresponding guiding principles of the United Nations on a national level.
  • Hermes goes digital: The myAGA customer portal offers exporters and banks the possibility of submitting applications for cover and managing them online.
  • The Export Credit guarantees open their own YouTube channel and inform interested parties on LinkedIn.
  • An information and liaison office for the Export Credit Guarantees opened in Dubai as a pilot project.
  • The new Covered Bond Guarantee as supplementary cover complementing Buyer Credit Guarantees facilitates refinancing for banks via their own “Pfandbriefgeschäft” (covered bond business).
  • The Federal Government facilitates exports to Africa and adopts measures to support SMEs.
  • Digital Supplier Credit Guarantee Hermes Cover click&cover export introduced for standardised business of SMEs. Applications for buyer credit cover or manufacturing risk cover can solely be submitted online.
  • Bilateral reinsurance framework agreement between the Russian export credit agency EXIAR and Euler Hermes signed.
  • Introduction of the digital product Hermes Cover click&cover BANK for standardised small-ticket finance (up to 5 million euros).
  • Digital interface provides a direct link from the customer portal myAGA to the IT systems of financing partners.
  • Euler Hermes, OeKB (Austria) and SERV (Switzerland) decide to intensify their cooperation in the area of state export credit guarantees to support exporters from the German-speaking “D-A-CH” region and SMEs in international competition.
  • The Federal Government establishes competence centres with financing experts at the German foreign Chambers of Industry and Commerce at Dubai, Singapore and Nairobi.
  • The IMC marks the 70th anniversary of the Export Credit Guarantees.

The 2020s

  • Coronavirus crisis
    • The Federal Government adopts a package of measures to support the German export industry during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g. facilitating financing and refinancing and to improve their liquidity during the Corona crisis.
    • The Federal Government, France, Finland, Italy and Norway agree on a temporary debt moratorium for ECA-financed cruise ships.
    • Based on an EU Commission’s decision, the Federal Government extends cover facilities to include so-called marketable risks.
  • Introduction of Shopping-Line-Cover as special form of a Buyer Credit Guarantee intended to facilitate access for German exporters to solvent foreign buyers’ procurement programmes.
  • As part of the climate strategy for the Export Credit Guarantees, the Special Renewable Energies Initiative expands cover facilities for renewable energies transactions. At the same time, cover for certain climate-damaging transactions is restricted.
  • As part of the modernisation of the OECD Consensus, the limit on cover for local costs raised to 40 per cent of the export order value in the case of buyers from OECD high income countries and 50 per cent for all other buyers.
  • Debt moratorium for ECA-financed cruise ships and EU exemption for marketable risks end as planned on 31 March.
  • The temporary measures in support of the German export industry during the coronavirus crisis end on 30 June 2022.