Euler Hermes Deutschland AG
The private companies Euler Hermes Deutschland AG and PricewaterhouseCoopers Aktiengesellschaft Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft have been mandated to manage the official export credit guarantee scheme on behalf of the German government.
Companies applying for officially supported export credit guarantees turn to Euler Hermes and provide the required documentation, which Euler Hermes then evaluates. As with other forms of insurance, the applicant companies have to pay an insurance fee.
Who is involved
Euler Hermes prepares the applications for discussion and approval in an inter-ministerial committee, which consists of the economic ministry (leading ministry), financial and development ministry and the foreign office. The ministries have to make a unanimous decision.
If companies are requesting a credit guarantee in excess of €1 billion, the German parliament’s budget committee must also be informed. Otherwise, the parliament agrees an overall annual budget ceiling for all guarantees, within which the inter-ministerial committee enjoys discretion. Called the statutory cover limit, this budget ceiling was set at €135 billion in 2011, with newly insured projects running at around €30 billion. This equates to about 3% of the total value of German exports.
Euler Hermes insures various industries, most heavily in ships; aircraft; the manufacturing industry; energy; oil and gas production; paper, timber, leather, the textile industry and infrastructure.
In 2001 the government defined guiding principles for Hermes guarantees, including for the first time requirements for ex-post publication of covered businesses, some environmental and social requirements and the exclusion of support for nuclear exports.
When the OECD Common Approaches environmental guidelines came into force, both sets of standards were used in parallel, but in 2009 the new incoming government chose to apply only the OECD Common Approaches, thus abandoning the nuclear exclusion criterion.