If you’re a fast-growing small to medium-sized exporter, one of the most difficult obstacles you’re likely to face is financing your international sales contracts. In particular, you may find that you don’t have enough working capital to deliver on new export contracts, especially large, one-off contracts. For example, you might be short of funds to hire more staff, buy raw materials, manufacture your product for export or deliver your goods or services to the buyer.
However, you may not have the assets – often in the form of real estate – that your bank requires you to provide as security for working capital finance. Your bank may also be reluctant to provide finance for an export contract if it considers that the payment terms of the contract are too risky.
If your bank can’t assist, EFIC may be able to help you obtain working capital finance from your bank with an export working capital guarantee (EWCG). An EWCG is a guarantee from EFIC to your bank which provides security for your bank to lend you the additional working capital you need. It’s a flexible guarantee which can support a single export contract or many export contracts with different buyers.
What are the benefits?
- Gives you access to working capital to deliver on large export contracts and keep growing your export business
- Available for pre- or post-shipment working capital finance, or both
- Can support a single export contract or multiple export contracts with different buyers.
How does an export working capital guarantee work?
The diagram shows typical arrangements for a single export contract. An export working capital guarantee may also be available for multiple export contracts with different buyers.
- You enter into an export contract with your overseas buyer.
- You apply to your participating bank for working capital to finance the export contract.
- Your bank may recommend that you apply to EFIC for an export working capital guarantee (EWCG).
- If EFIC approves the application, you enter into a Recourse Deed with EFIC. Under the Recourse Deed, you indemnify EFIC for any payments it makes to the bank under the EWCG.
- EFIC enters into an export working capital guarantee with your bank.
- When you need to draw down funds, you and your bank issue a Guarantee Notice to EFIC. EFIC accepts the Guarantee Notice, activating the guarantee, and the bank provides working capital finance to you.
- The buyer’s payments under the export contract are made into a Special Account controlled by the bank. When the final export contract payment is made, the working capital facility is repaid and the export working capital guarantee is released.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions will be negotiated during the application process. The following guidelines indicate typical requirements.
You should be an Australian exporter producing goods or services for export which have substantial Australian content and involve a net benefit flowing directly or indirectly from overseas to a person carrying on a business in Australia.
You should also have:
- an existing relationship with a participating bank
- a signed export contract, purchase order or letter of intent with an overseas buyer.
Generally, an EWCG will have a minimum value of $500,000.
For a single export contract, the EWCG remains in force until the overseas buyer has made their final payment.
If an EWCG covers more than one export contract, the term of the guarantee is generally up to 12 months.
Fees & charges
Fees and charges vary depending on a number of factors, including EFIC’s risk assessment, term and security.
The security required will be determined by EFIC based on our credit and performance risk assessment.
EFIC usually requires personal guarantees from company directors and may require additional security.