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Brussels, 5 th February 2010

State Aid: Commission approves modifications to Dutch short-term export-credit insurance scheme

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, modifications to a Dutch short-term export credit insurance scheme initially approved on 2 October 2009 (see IP/09/1405 ). The Commission found the modified scheme to be consistent with its Communication on short-term export-credit insurance and with the Temporary Framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (see IP/08/1993 ). In particular, the scope of the cover provided and the premiums charged are suitable to stimulate exports while minimising distortions of competition.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The modified Dutch scheme is well suited to limit the impact of the current financial crisis on exporting firms without unduly distorting competition."

The aim of the Dutch short-term export credit scheme is to support exporters by complementing insurance cover available on the private market. According to The Netherlands, the scheme introduced last October for temporary non-marketable short term export credit insurance was too restrictive to adequately provide Dutch exporters with the necessary coverage for sound short term export credit transactions.

The amendments include a reduction in the level of premiums to be paid by exporters and an expansion of risk categories eligible under the scheme. The compensation for the private insurers who are managing the scheme has also been modified to better reflect the effective costs.

The Commission concluded that the amended scheme complies with the conditions laid down in its Guidance Communication (see IP/08/1993 ). In particular:

  • The amended measure is intended only to provide insurance coverage to exporters confronted with unavailability of cover in the private market as a result of the financial crisis.

  • The premiums charged under the public scheme are set at a level that provides an incentive for exporters to have recourse to private insurers once there is again sufficient cover on the private market.

The Commission has authorised the measure, which was notified under the Temporary state aid Framework, until 31 December 2010.

The decision will be published with reference N 14/2010 in the State Aid Register on DG Competition's website . The latest decisions on state aid published in the Official Journal and on the website are listed in the electronic newsletter State aid Weekly e-News .

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