Export Finance Australia is Australia's export credit agency and has performed its role within various statutory frameworks since 1957. Export Finance Australia was established under the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Act 1991 (EFIC Act) as a statutory corporation wholly owned by the Commonwealth of Australia.
Under the EFIC Act, we have four key functions:
- to facilitate and encourage Australian export trade by providing insurance and financial services and products to persons involved directly or indirectly in export trade
- to engage in, encourage and facilitate overseas infrastructure financing
- to encourage banks and other financial institutions in Australia to finance or assist in financing exports and overseas infrastructure development
- to provide information and advice regarding insurance and financial arrangements to support Australian exports and regarding overseas infrastructure financing.
We are self-funding and operate on a commercial basis, charging customers fees and premiums and earning interest on loans and investments, including the investment of our cash capital, reserves and working capital. The Commonwealth also guarantees our creditors the payment of all monies payable by Export Finance Australia. This guarantee has never been called. Regulations under the EFIC Act set upper limits on our aggregate liabilities under facilities, guarantees and insurance contracts that we may enter into on the Commercial Account, and we operate within these limits.
Our legislation provides for two distinct platforms from which Australian exports can be supported, the Commercial Account (under Part 4 of the EFIC Act) and the National Interest Account (under Part 5 of the EFIC Act).
Under the Commercial Account, Export Finance Australia carries all risks as a corporate Commonwealth entity. We retain all margins and fees, and bear all risks and losses.
National Interest Account
Under the National Interest Account, the Minister can direct Export Finance Australia to support transactions that are in the national interest.
We can also refer transactions to the Minister for consideration. This might be due to the transaction’s size or the tenor of the transaction; or significant exposures to the country of export.
The Commonwealth receives all income on National Interest Account transactions. It also bears all risks and losses.