1. Use local experts
Assistance in building networks, obtaining market analyses and navigating prospective markets is easily available.
Marketing, business and technology advisers at Innovation Norway’s offices have the expertise, experience and valuable local contacts they need to help you to realise international market opportunities.
If you need “on the ground” help in selling export financing to your international customers, Export Credit Norway’s representatives in Brazil, Singapore and the USA stand ready to provide local support.
2. Familiarise yourself with the competitive advantages of export financing
The battle for foreign contracts is tough. Often, you will be competing with suppliers from nations with lower cost levels than Norway, and access to capital is frequently a challenge. Together, we can offer your customers not only your specific capital goods and services, but also favourable financing which enables them to award you the contract.
Could your business benefit from export financing? Take a look at our film explaining export financing in two minutes (in Norwegian).
3. Check the import rules in your target markets
Exporting goods and services can be a minefield if you are unfamiliar with the applicable rules. Many countries have their own regulations on import restrictions, sale contracts, product requirements, customs and excise duties, customs clearance, export documentation, transportation requirements, etc.
Make sure that you are familiar with rules and restrictions before bidding for contracts. Innovation Norway has an excellent library of information on import rules and country information covering some 194 different nations (in Norwegian).
4. Check customs rates in your target markets
Winning an export contract is a great triumph, but watching your profit evaporate due to overlooked customs and excise duties is extremely frustrating.
Check the customs rates before bidding for a project. Innovation Norway maintains a comprehensive database (in Norwegian) of applicable customs and excise duties, general and special documentation requirements, import licence requirements for specified goods, current quotas and other import rules.
5. Credit check your customer
There is no point in investing time and money in customers who lack the funds to meet their financial obligations. Do a credit check, and supplement it with references. Various companies, inlcluding GIEK Kreditforsikring, provide credit reports evaluating a company’s risk profile, payment ability, financial data, ownership structure and links with third parties.
6. Check your currency risk
Export contracts and the taking up of loans may present companies with interest and currency risk. Fortunately, banks have developed financial instruments to help businesses manage these risks.
Surveys show that currency hedging is common among large Norwegian companies, but that smaller undertakings are more cautious. This is unnecessary. All enterprises engaged in international trade and receiving or making payments in foreign currencies have at least some currency exposure. It is therefore vital that all businesses identify their currency exposure and its potential impact. Developing a strategy to address such exposure is also important. Talk to your bank about this.
7. Check country risk
Although many countries are virtually risk-free export destinations, others present challenges. Advisers from Export Credit Norway and GIEK can assist with risk evaluations examining legal and regulatory frameworks, environment and social conditions and corruption.
A country assessment focuses on the overall payment risk associated with a given country. The assessment covers economic and political factors which may affect a country’s ability and willingness to respect international payment obligations, such as currency shortages, war, civil war, expropriation, payment stoppages, transfer barriers and trade restrictions (import or export bans). The assessment also examines other factors which affect a country’s ability to pay, particularly its economic development in a broader sense.
GIEK and the OECD have cooperated on the development of an econometric model used to assess around 140 countries. GIEK’s risk assessments are available on their website.
8. Check whether you can use the simplified export financing application procedure
Once you have identified a potential project, checked the import rules and customs rates, and concluded that you want to offer the potential customer financing in addition to your goods or services, you should check whether the project qualifies for the simplified application procedure.
GIEK and Export Credit Norway have introduced a simplified application for all exporters wishing to conclude export contracts valued at less than NOK 100 million – one joint application form, one joint offer. Securing your export contract has become easier. We call this “robust financing made simpler”.
9. Apply for financing before you sign a contract
Export financing is only available if you apply before the contract is signed.
To help exporters understand the export financing process, Export Credit Norway has prepared a simple overview presenting six steps to export financing.
Export Credit Norway’s advisers will guide you safely through the various steps, and hopefully to a lucrative export contract for your business.
10. Learn more about exports
Register for one of our courses, conferences or seminars to learn even more about financing, guarantees, insurance and advisory services relating to export contracts. We will publish information about the events on our website and Facebook page.