Guidance

Lines of Credit

Find out about our Lines of Credit facility: its benefits, eligibility criteria and how to apply.

UKEF can support a line of credit to provide the overseas buyers of capital goods, services and intangibles exported from the UK with access to finance made available by a UK bank.

Lines of credit can be set up to enable:

  • overseas buyers to purchase capital goods or services from multiple sources, not related to a specific project, via a line of credit made available to a bank or another acceptable borrower/guarantor. This is known as a general-purpose line of credit
  • an overseas entity to purchase a wide range of capital goods or services for a particular project. This is known as a project line of credit

Lines of credit can benefit exporters because they enable multiple contracts to be financed under one finance facility already in place, meaning exporters should be able to gain access to the facility quickly.

A line of credit largely follows the same loan format as a conventional buyer credit, except it can be used for multiple different contracts.

Benefits

The benefits of using our Lines of Credit include:

  • several contracts are financed from one loan without the need to negotiate separate Loan Agreements for each individual contract
  • the lines of credit can cover contract values from £25k upwards
  • the UK exporter is paid cash through the lending bank after shipment of the goods or completion of the services
  • the buyer can pay for the goods/services over several years
  • the buyer knows at the outset what terms are available to him and the cost of the finance
  • the lending bank is protected against non-payment, for whatever reason, of the instalments of principal and interest due under the guaranteed loan

Eligibility Criteria

The transaction must satisfy UKEF’s eligibility criteria, which includes the requirements that:

  • the exporter must be carrying on business in the UK
  • the bank making the loan must be acceptable to us
  • the period for repayment of the loan must be at least 2 years
  • the financing structure is acceptable to the interested parties and full due diligence of all relevant parts of the financing and contract/offtake structure is carried out to UKEF’s satisfaction
  • the terms of any export credit loan meet the requirements of the OECD Arrangement
  • the overseas buyer/project meets UKEF’s minimum risk standards. This includes supplier performance and completion risk, in addition to any risk mitigation such as a guarantor that is offered
  • such support would not contravene the requirements of any sanctions regime applicable to UKEF

All transactions supported by UKEF must satisfy:

The maximum amount that can be made available under the loan is 85% of the contract value. A minimum of 15% of the contract value must be paid directly to the exporter by the buyer before the loan starts to be repaid. Check our country cover indicators to find out what cover is available for the country you want to do business in.

Cost

The UKEF Support Fee payable for our cover is determined on a case by case basis.

Use our premium indicator tool to obtain an indicative premium rate for transactions where UKEF will be supporting a contract with an overseas sovereign buyer as the risk entity.

Contact our customer services team to obtain an indicative premium rate for transactions where UKEF will be supporting a contract with an overseas public (non-sovereign) or private buyer as the risk entity.

Contact customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk or call +44 (0)20 7271 8010.

How to apply

To find out more about a UKEF Line of Credit Facility or to discuss eligibility for our support, contact our customer services team. Email customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk or call +44 (0)20 7271 8010.

Depending on our country cover position, you may also need to submit a sustainable lending form.

More information

Published 14 May 2021