Brussels, 6 March 2013
State Aid: Commission approves Finnish short-term export-credit insurance scheme
The European Commission has found a Finnish short-term export-credit insurance scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules. The scheme is limited to insurance cover that is currently not available on the private market and it ensures that adequate rates are charged under the scheme. The Commission authorised the measure until 31 December 2015.
Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy, Joaquín Almunia, said: "The export credit insurance scheme targets areas where the market is currently not offering insurance cover, such as risks for SMEs, while at the same time providing safeguards to limit distortions of competition".
Under the notified scheme, the Finnish state agency Finnvera plc would provide short-term export-credit insurance coverage to companies established in Finland. Cover would be available only for financially sound transactions.
Two categories of risks are covered:
- risk cover for SMEs;
- and single-risk cover with a risk period at least 181 days and less than two years where the risk is associated to a single export transaction not covered under portfolio insurance from private insurers.
The safeguards ensure that the State will cover only transactions for which private cover is not available in the market and that private insurers are not crowded out, should they be willing to provide cover for such risks. In this context the premiums for the cover are adequate and in line with the 2012 Export-credit Communication, as the minimum premium charged by Finnvera fulfils the conditions set out in the Communication. Finland will also make information on the use of the scheme publicly available.
The Commission therefore concluded that the measure complies with the conditions laid down in its Communication on short-term export-credit insurance (see rules here).
The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under case number SA.35701 in the State Aid Register on the Competition DG website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.