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PR(01)24: EFTA Surveillance Authority amends guidelines on state aid to short-term export credit insurance

18.9.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted amendments of its State aid guidelines on Short-term export-credit insurance corresponding to similar amendments made by the EC Commission. 

The purpose of the Guidelines on Short-term export-credit insurance is to remove distortion of competition due to State aid in the sector of export-credit insurance, where there is competition between public or publicly supported export-credit insurers and private export-credit insurers. In particular, the sector directly concerned by such competition, and therefore by the guidelines, is that of export-credit insurance relating to short-term export-credit risks on trade within the EEA and with certain countries outside the EEA (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and USA). 

These risks, where the risk period is less than two years, are defined in the guidelines as “marketable risks”. Marketable risks are those risks, which can be covered by export-credit insurers without the support of the State. Consequently, any such risks, which are not “marketable” may be publicly supported.

In the currently applicable Guidelines on Short-term export-credit insurance, adopted by the Authority on 4 March 1998, marketable risks were limited to commercial risks. The Authority’s decision of today amends the definition of marketable risk to also include political risk arising in the Contracting Parties to the EEA Agreement and in the other countries referred to.

This broadened definition of marketable risk will apply from 1 May 2002. Furthermore, the Authority has decided to extend the duration of the guidelines until 31 December 2004.

The decision includes a proposal to the EFTA States that their granting of State aid to public or publicly supported export-credit insurers should be in brought in line with the new definition of marketable risks by 1 May 2002.

For further information please contact Mr. Frode Kristiansen, tel. (+32) 2 286 18 53. 

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