Support for SME UK exporters announced

This week the Government announced a new scheme providing export finance support for SMEs.

In a bid to boost post-Covid recovery, UK Export Finance (UKEF) launched the general export facility (GEF) in partnership with five of the UK’s largest commercial banks.

The facility enables UKEF to provide a partial guarantee to lenders of up to 80% of the credit risk on facilities worth up to £25m, with UKEF’s support no longer tied to individual export contracts.

Support will cover a range of trade finance products, including trade loans, bonds, CapEx and invoice financing.

In order to qualify for GEF as a UK exporter, a business must:

  • Self-certify that in any of its last three financial years at least 20% of annual turnover has been made up of UK export sales

or

  • That in each of it’s last three financial years at least 5% of its annual turnover has come from UK export sales

Additionally, the exporter must be able to declare they:

  • have premises and employees in the UK
  • pay UK or Isle of Man/Channel Islands National Insurance Contributions or Corporation Tax
  • manufacture goods, deliver services or produce intangibles from the UK, which would (if required) qualify for a UK Chambers of Commerce Certificate of Origin

And/or:

  • they do not solely engage in the supply of goods that have been manufactured outside of the UK, or services where the person contracted to perform the services ordinarily carries on business outside the UK

It’s hoped that the support will allow UK exporters more flexibility, greater certainty, and improved accessibility to support. This will no doubt be welcomed as the sector recovers from Covid-19, and particularly at a time when many will be feeling extra vulnerability as Brexit negotiations continue.

More about how the scheme works from gov.uk