The Federal Government attaches great importance to the vision of global, sustainable development. Therefore, apart from the economic effects of an export transaction in Germany (e.g. the creation or preservation of jobs or the support of small and medium-sized enterprises), environmental aspects in their wider sense, i.e. ecological, social and developmental effects an export transaction may have in the buyer country (hereinafter referred to as environmental aspects), constitute an important aspect to be assessed and evaluated when export credit cover is requested for an export transaction, in order to determine whether it is eligible for support. Any environmental risks identified in the course of this assessment and evaluation procedure may have repercussions not only on a project's eligibility for support but also on the justifiability of the risk involved in it, which is determined in the course of the credit risk assessment, and thus have a major influence on the decision whether export credit cover is granted or not.
The assessment procedure is governed by the OECD's revised "Recommendation on Common Approaches on Environment and Officially Supported Export Credits and Social Due Diligence" (Common Approaches, 300 KB), which came into force on 28 June 2012.
The procedures and processes within the Common Approaches reflect the international developments with regard to the environmental review of projects by Export Credit Agencies.
This report analyses the framework of the OECD Common Approaches and its effects on the competitiveness of German companies.
Scope of application of the Common Approaches
The scrutiny process is applied in the case of all projects and supplies of capital goods and services destined for projects
- with a repayment term of two years or longer
- and a German portion of more than 10 million SDR. The Federal Government quotes an equivalent in EUR, which is valid for a longer period of time and is currently fixed at EUR 15 million.
Transactions with a value below the above-mentioned threshold will be reviewed more closely with regard to their environmental effects only if they obviously involve specific environmental risks. This holds particularly true for projects in especially sensitive areas which deserve protection.
Transactions outside the scope of the Common Approaches
Supplies of capital goods at short terms of payment are not covered by the rules and regulations of the Common Approaches. Transactions with a value higher than the above-mentioned threshold will be screened to identify and evaluate any serious environmental effects. If following the screening a full-scale review is considered necessary, the subsequent assessment proceedings will depend on the potential environmental effects of the transaction and/or the business sector in question and especially allow for the influence the German exporter can exert on the entire project.
Environmental categories and cover
In accordance with the potential effects the project in question may have on the environment the applications are classified as Category A, B or C. Category A includes all projects which are likely to have the most significant environmental effects, while the transactions classified as Category C are expected to have little or negligible effects. Please note that not the isolated German supplies are categorized and assessed but the project for which the supplies are intended.
Export transactions which are classified as environmental Category A or B have to be reported pursuant to the Common Approaches of the OECD.
In 2007 six Category A projects having a total order value of EUR 387 million and 24 Category B projects having a total order value of EUR 1.65 billion were covered.
Environmentally relevant projects in respect of which a final commitment was made in 2007 (tabular overview)
|Category A||Number||Volume in million EUR|
|Metal and mining||4||158,8|
|Metal and mining||6||806,9|
|Oil, Gas and petrochemicals||6||281,7|