UK suspends export finance support to Russia and Belarus

  • UK halts all government-backed export financing to Russia and Belarus

  • UK Export Credit Agency retains £3.5bn financial support for trade with Ukraine as part of government’s continued support for close ally

  • DIT Export Helpline hotline resolves over 1,000 UK business queries, helping to keep trade flowing to Ukraine

The British government has announced that it will no longer issue new guarantees, loans and insurance for exports to Russia and Belarus.

The move follows the UK’s decision today to announce a ban on exports to Russia of high-end luxury goods while hitting hundreds of key products with new tariffs that represent a 35% hike compared to current rates.

Harsh economic sanctions have reduced business prospects in both countries, and the move further reflects the economic impact of the rapid and unprecedented escalation of measures taken by the UK and its allies.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) – the UK’s export credit agency – also confirmed today that it will remain open to support trade to Ukraine with £3.5bn of capacity available as part of its continuing and unshakeable covenant. This means UKEF can continue to help UK exporters. and Ukrainian buyers access the financing they need to trade.

Without government export credit support, any private sector financial support to the region is virtually impossible.

In December, the UK increased the amount of financial support given to Ukraine by UKEF – to £3.5bn – and signed a new treaty that will help Ukraine gain access to the supply chain. world-class British procurement to bolster its defense capabilities.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

Our tough economic sanctions are working. We are tightening the screws on Russia to ensure that it feels the real consequences of its illegal military invasion.

At the same time, we are doing everything we can to keep Ukraine open to the world. We have signed an international treaty so UK supplies can reach Ukraine and strengthen their defences, and UK Export Finance – our first class export credit agency is supporting them in this.

The Department for International Trade also today shared figures showing the extent of support for UK businesses by the Department’s Export Support Service (ESS).

ESS is the government’s central service for businesses who have questions about trade with Ukraine, Russia or Belarus, and has operated 24 hours a day as a dedicated UK business hotline since the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine .

The latest figures show that the DIT has resolved more than 1,000 business queries, helping to keep trade flowing to Ukraine, and also supporting businesses that want to stop trading with Russia and Belarus.

Fifty-four export licenses to Russia have been voluntarily given up by British companies.

Many UK companies are also contributing to UK support for Ukraine. The DIT received 33 license applications to export items to support Ukraine (compared to 43 approved in the whole of 2020).

It follows extensive engagement by the department and ministers with leading business figures to offer direct support.

Export Minister Mike Freer said:

We are here to support UK businesses and give them the personalized advice they need to best respond to the unprecedented and complicated situation in Ukraine. It is heartening to see our business community stepping in and supporting Ukraine with this rapid increase in export demands to help citizens obtain the vital goods they depend on during this horrific time.

I advise all companies with questions about operations in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus to contact our Export Helpdesk and get the assistance they need.

About UK Export Finance

UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations. Founded in 1919, it exists to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of private market finance. It provides finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfill and get paid for export contracts.

UKEF manages its financial exposures with reference to a set of country limits, i.e. its risk appetite for the volume of business it is prepared to support in a country. Country limit capacity may decrease as UKEF takes on new business, so please check the website for the most up to date position.

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