Credendo – Export Credit Agency

About Credendo – Export Credit Agency

Credendo  Export Credit Agency was established in 1939 as ONDD. It is the official Belgian export credit agency.

Backed by the state, its mission is to promote international trade relations, providing medium-term and long-term trade credit insurance cover.

In recent years, Credendo  Export Credit Agency has undergone significant changes, evolving from a traditional export credit insurance agency into an international player that today heads Credendo Group. Its solidity is underlined by its AA rating from Standard & Poor’s and cover capacity of EUR 30 billion.

In addition to traditional export credit insurance, Credendo  Export Credit Agency’s offer includes financial guarantees and direct financing. Its activities mainly focus on non-OECD countries as these markets involve the larger part of clients’ risks.

History

1921 The Ministry of Economic Affairs sets up the Delcredere Commission to guarantee Belgian export transactions.
1935 The Delcredere Commission is separated from the Ministry and becomes the Belgian Export Credit Agency Office national du ducroire | Nationale Delcrederedienst (ONDD, known today as Credendo  Export Credit Agency) (by Royal Decree of 10 January 1935).
1939

Complete reorganisation of Credendo  Export Credit Agency as an autonomous public financial institution with legal personality and guaranteed by the Belgian State (by Law of 31 August 1939).

Cover of political risks.

1949 Cover of import transactions (by Law of 21 April 1949).
1956 Cover is extended to commercial risk.
1958 Credendo  Export Credit Agency mission extended to include the promotion of foreign trade in general (by Law of 31 December 1958).
1962 Credendo  Export Credit Agency obtains the permission to contribute to the funding of the transactions it insures (by Law of 27 July 1962).
1964 Credendo  Export Credit Agency is authorised to insure certain transactions directly on behalf of the State (by Law of 3 June 1964).
1970 Credendo  Export Credit Agency starts to insure Belgian foreign direct investments (by Law of 30 December 1970).
1972 Exchange rate risks relating to export transactions can be insured by Credendo  Export Credit Agency (by Royal Decree of 9 May 1972).
1991 Credendo Export Credit Agency mission extended to include the promotion of international economic relations in the broadest sense (by Law of 17 June 1991).
1996 Creation of an insurance market window: activity without direct Belgian interest, but at market conditions (BoD decision of 15 July 1996).
2004

Creation of private company Credendo  Short-Term Non-EU Risks (formerly known as Credimundi), offering short-term whole turnover cover:

  • 100% shareholding
  • coverage includes domestic transactions (BoD decision of 23 September 2004).

Creation of Credendo  Excess & Surety (formerly known as Trade Credit) offering excess of loss cover:

  • 25% shareholding: extension of product range (excess of loss policies) (BoD decision of 23 November 2004).
2005 Forfaiting product is launched. Credendo Export Credit Agency buys exporters’ accounts receivable due by their foreign buyers, thus providing funding.
2006

Financial guarantee products for bank loans are launched.

50% shareholding in the single risk credit and political risk insurer Credendo Single Risk (formerly known as Garant), Vienna.
Remaining 50% with Ingosstrakh, Moscow (BoD decision of 13 September 2005).

Credendo  Short-Term Non-EU Risks opens a branch in London (UK).

2007

Credendo  Short-Term Non-EU Risks acquires a stake of 33% in Komerčni ύvěrová pojišt'ovna EGAP (Credendo  Short-Term EU Risks, formerly known as KUPEG), subsidiary of EGAP.

2008 Credendo  Short-Term Non-EU Risks opens a branch in Paris (France).
2009

Creation of Credendo  Ingosstrakh Credit Insurance (formerly known as INGO-ONDD), a joint venture with Ingosstrakh, Moscow.

Credendo  Short-Term Non-EU Risks increases shareholding in Credendo Short-Term EU Risks to 66.66%.

Credendo  Short-Term Non-EU Risks opens a branch in Wiesbaden (Germany).

2010

Increase shareholding in Credendo  Ingosstrakh Credit Insurance to 66.67%.

Increase shareholding in Credendo  Single Risk to 83%.

2011 Credendo  Single Risk obtains its first-ever rating from A.M. Best (A-).
2012

Increase shareholding in Credendo Excess & Surety to 55.1%

Credendo  Single Risk obtains its first-ever rating from Fitch (A-).

Credendo  Short-Term EU Risks opens a branch in Bratislava (Slovakia).

2013

Credendo  Export Credit Agency launches a new product: Export Funding Guarantee.

Increase shareholding in Credendo  Single Risk to 96%.

Credendo  Short-Term Non-EU Risks opens a branch in Milan (Italy)

Consolidation as Credendo Group, more powerfully articulating the shared values, approach and strength of its companies.

2014

The Board of Directors of Credendo  Export Credit Agency is reduced from 20 to 12 members.

Increase shareholding in Credendo  Excess & Surety to 100%.

Credendo  Export Credit Agency extends its Export Funding Guarantee for use in ‘covered bonds’ financing programmes.

2015 Credendo  Short-Term EU Risks opens a branch in Warsaw (Poland).
2016

Credendo Group adopts ‘Get ready’ strategic plan 2016-2018.

Credendo  Export Credit Agency sets-up a dedicated SME’s desk.

Credendo  Export Credit Agency launches a new product: the buyer Credit.

Credendo – Export Credit Agency becomes sole shareholder in Credendo – Short-Term EU Risks.

Governance

Board of Directors

Vincent REUTER

Chairman

Michel DELBAERE

Vice-Chairman (1)

Ludivine HALBRECQ

Member, representative of the Minister of Finance

Pieter-Jan VAN STEENKISTE

Substitute member

Thierry DENUIT

Member, representative of the Minister for Foreign Affairs

Xavier DE CUYPER

Substitute member

Henk MAHIEU

Member, representative of the Minister for Economy

Ivan VAN den BERGH

Substitute member

Els HAELTERMAN

Member, representative of the Minister for Development Cooperation

Yves DRICOT

Substitute member

Claire TILLEKAERTS

Member, representative of the Flemish regional government

Thomas FIERS

Substitute member

Georges STIENLET

Member, representative of the Flemish regional government

Annemarie VAN de WALLE

Substitute member

Jean-Jacques WESTHOF

Member, representative of the Walloon regional government

Jean-Jacques GABRIEL

Substitute member

Pascale DELCOMMINETTE

Member, representative of the Walloon regional government

Francis MULLERS

Substitute member

Katrien VAN KRIEKINGE

Member, representative of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region

Frederic CONVENT

Substitute member

Frédéric LONCOUR

Member, representative of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region

Christopher KASHALE ILUNGA

Substitute member

(1) Resigning

Management

Dirk Terweduwe, Chief Executive Officer, in charge of:

  • Compliance
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Internal Audit
  • Reinsurance
  • Risk Management
  • Office of Strategy Management

Frank Vanwingh, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, in charge of:

  • Information Technologies
  • Legal and Claims
  • Products
  • Underwriting & Account Management

Nabil Jijakli, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, in charge of:

  • Business Development
  • Communication, CSR
  • Facility Management
  • Sales
  • Procurement

Rating

In a report published on 19 July 2019 Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘AA’ long-term issuer credit rating and the ‘A-1+’ short-term issuer credit rating on Credendo  Export Credit Agency. The outlook is stable.

The ratings mirror those Standard & Poor’s gave the Kingdom of Belgium.

In December 2007, Credendo  Export Credit Agency was assigned its first-ever rating by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s. Credendo  Export Credit Agency was given the second-best long-term rating: AA+, and the best short-term rating: A-1+.

Agreements

Credendo  Export Credit Agency can establish any relationship with foreign partners or international institutions to help attain its purpose. Given the increasing internationalisation of business, Credendo  Export Credit Agency, along with a string of foreign counterparts, has introduced mechanisms to facilitate partnerships between Belgian and foreign firms for transactions on third markets. These are essentially foreign incorporation, joint insurance, reinsurance, parallel insurance and general co-operation framework agreements.

If, in other words, parties or even subcontractors from several different countries are involved in a project, Credendo  Export Credit Agency can work in conjunction with other credit insurers, institutions or banks at home or abroad to be able to offer a solution.

Internationally, Credendo  Export Credit Agency is active in several credit insurance working groups:

  • within the European Union;
  • within the OECD. The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. OECD countries have an agreement regarding the use of officially supported export credits with a repayment term of over two years. The framework prevents unfair competition based on financial terms of export credits;
  • within the Berne Union (International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers), of which Credendo  Export Credit Agency is a member. The mission of the Berne Union is to actively facilitate cross-border trade by supporting international acceptance of sound principles in export credits and foreign investments and by providing a forum for professional exchanges among its members.

In addition, Credendo Export Credit Agency takes part in the Paris Club talks on debt rescheduling. The Paris Club is an informal group of official creditors whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.

Corporate social responsability

Corporate sustainability is very important for Credendo. We conduct our business in a manner that is socially responsible and forward-looking, taking into consideration our impact on the environment, on society, on the economy, on our stakeholders and on our people. We pay attention both to the impact of our own activity (direct impact) and to the impact of the transactions we support (indirect impact), and these considerations are also reflected in our governance. We go further than the legally required obligations in order to act sustainably as a corporation. Discover more about Credendo’s corporate sustainability at this link.

Credendo – Export Credit Agency, working under the guarantee of the Belgian State, ensures that its activities are financially sustainable. The premiums collected from its insured companies shall be risk-based and shall be appropriate to cover long-term operating costs and losses. This commitment complies with the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (see the OECD website), and has been integrated into Council Directive 98/29/EC. Credendo – Export Credit Agency does not receive credits from the Belgian State budget.

Credendo – Export Credit Agency promotes responsible and sustainable business practices related to the environment, human rights, combating corruption and promoting sustainable lending to lower income countries.

Credendo will only take an insurance application into consideration if:

  • the application is compliant with applicable national and international sanction regulations;
  • the applicant (exporter or investor) conforms to the environmental and social national legislation;
  • the project and transactions are compliant with local laws and regulations;
  • Credendo receives all information requested to assess the environmental and social risks and impacts;
  • Credendo considers that the environmental and social impacts are acceptable.

There will be no indemnity paid by Credendo if the insured does not comply with national and international legislation and regulations. Any projects covered by Credendo must obtain the related environmental permits approved by the appropriate authorities.

Credendo – Export Credit Agency promotes responsibility and sustainability both internally and in the transactions we cover. Credendo – Export Credit Agency promotes the environmental and social performance of its clients through projects that help to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially the following:

  • SDG 3: Good health and well-being
  • SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation
  • SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • SDG 13: Climate action

Credendo – Export Credit Agency supports projects and exporters’ involvement in renewable energy, climate protection and water projects by offering special terms on the basis of OECD agreements. These may include credit periods of up to 18 years with flexible repayment terms to provide feasible project financing.

Credendo – Export Credit Agency supports projects in developing and emerging countries when they are economically feasible and compatible with development policy goals.

Credendo covers many projects that contribute directly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals: projects related to hospitals and public health infrastructure, drinking water, wastewater treatment, waste reduction and prevention, energy efficiency, renewable energy, electricity, information and communication technology, development of economic activities including sustainable tourism, road development and public transport, and climate change. For example, in Kenya, Credendo covered the supply and installation of wind turbines; in Zambia and Cameroon we supported drinking water supply projects; in Benin we covered dredging works aimed at coastal protection for the shoreline in Cotonou to address the impacts of climate change; and in South Africa and Chile we covered equipment for solar power towers.      

Credendo – Export Credit Agency expects companies to operate as environmentally and socially responsible partners. We are in constant dialogue with the largest export companies in Belgium on how to promote sustainable and responsible business practices, and there is an ongoing evaluation process for the environmental and social management systems and management capacity of our clients.

For this reason, Credendo – Export Credit Agency assesses the environmental and social impacts of all transactions for which applications of cover are received. It also verifies that no human rights violations are implied. Credendo – Export Credit Agency takes into account the interests of both civil society and the export community, with commercial confidentiality, quick decisions and a level playing field for competitors being the primary concerns.



Environmental and Social risk assessment framework

  • The basis of the impact analysis is inspired by the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (The “Common Approaches”). This recommendation calls for environment-related requirements for export deals, in order for them to qualify for export credit support from the OECD countries’ Export Credit Agencies (ECAs). It requires these agencies to review projects for their potential environmental impact and to benchmark them against international standards, such as those of the World Bank Group.
  • Credendo – Export Credit Agency has taken an active role in negotiations on the OECD Common Approaches. Based on the first text, which was approved in 2000, we drew up an environmental policy that came into effect on 1 January 2002. The text was revised for the last time in 2016, and the internal procedure was adapted accordingly.
  • Credendo – Export Credit Agency regularly exchanges information with other OECD members to promote a global level playing field for officially supported export credits.
  • Environmental impacts refer to the project-related impacts on the environment as a result of the construction and operation of the project. Social impacts refer to the project-related impacts on the local communities directly affected by the project, and on the people involved in the construction and operation of the project. These social impacts encompass the relevant adverse project-related human rights impacts.
  • According to the OECD Common Approaches, only projects, goods and services that are directly linked to export projects with a credit period of two years or more are governed by these environmental rules. Credendo – Export Credit Agency has decided to extend the area of application for these rules and applies them to project-related cash transactions and investments as well.
  • Exporters are encouraged to abide by the social standards mentioned in the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, containing recommendations mainly about equal treatment, human rights, child labour and also the fight against bribery.

Environmental and Social due diligence process

  • In our environmental and social (E&S) due diligence process, we refer to national and international norms and standards to assess and address the risks and impacts on the environment and for the local population. There is a specific focus on climate change and biodiversity for the environmental aspects, and on the working conditions, the impacts on health and safety, resettlement, indigenous peoples, vulnerable groups and cultural heritage for human rights aspects.
  • Credendo – Export Credit Agency uses the Performance Standards (PS) of the International Financial Corporation (IFC) to assess the risks and impacts related to the environment and human rights, and to ensure that the project for which the insured is applying is performed according to higher international standards:

- Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts (PS1)
- Labour and Working Conditions (PS2)
- Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention (PS3)
- Community Health, Safety and Security (PS4)
- Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement (PS5)
- Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources (PS6)
- Indigenous Peoples (PS7)
- Cultural Heritage (PS8).

Screening and Classification

Apart from transactions related to defence, all applications submitted to Credendo – Export Credit Agency that are related to a sensitive sector (forestry, energy, chemicals, mining, infrastructure, manufacturing, construction and food production) are classified:

  • Category A: a project is classified as category A if it has the potential to have significant adverse environmental impacts. Category A, in principle, includes projects in sensitive sectors or located in or near sensitive areas;
  • Category B: a project is classified as category B if its potential environmental impacts are less adverse than those of category A projects. Typically, these impacts are site-specific, and few, if any, are irreversible;
  • Category C: a project is classified as category C if it is likely to have minimal or no adverse environmental impacts;
  • Category N: a transaction is classified as category N if it does not relate to a ‘project’ (an identified location) or to a sensitive sector.

Review

  • Credendo – Export Credit Agency reviews not only the potential impacts of the projects, but also the measures that can be taken to prevent, minimise, mitigate or remedy adverse impacts and/or to improve environmental and social performance of the projects through an environmental and social impact assessment report (ESIA) and management and action plans. We also use specific questionnaires that must be filled in by the exporters and information databases focusing on environmental and social risks.

Decision

  • If Credendo has received the information requested and if the environmental and social impacts are acceptable, the application will be taken into consideration. In some cases, conditions can be added to the insurance policy contract on how to prevent, mitigate and manage the impacts. Subsequently, a monitoring process is put in place to check that the conditions are met by the insured (through the delivery of monitoring reports).

Transactions under review

  • If a transaction is placed under category A, the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and project details will be made available to the general public at least 30 days prior to the day that the offer of cover or the insurance policy is issued.
  • Exceptions can be made if the ESIA contains confidential information.

Click here to consult the history of transactions assessed.
Click here to consult the history of transactions under review during the current year.

Issued policies

  • This section contains transactions in categories A and B where a policy has been issued.

Click here to consult the list of issued policies.
Click here to consult our report on corporate social responsibility.

Implementation of the general anti-bribery and corruption principle

In parallel with the development of the 1997 Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, the OECD has taken several initiatives to promote responsible business conduct. For more information on these initiatives, see http://www.oecd.org/corruption/.

One of these initiatives is the development of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. These guidelines contain far-reaching recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries, and provide voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct in areas such as employment and industrial relations, human rights, the environment, information disclosure, combating bribery, consumer interests, science and technology, competition, and taxation.

Implementing these recommendations can help enterprises to avoid and address adverse impacts related to workers, human rights, the environment, bribery, consumers and corporate governance that may be associated with their operations, supply chains and other business relationships. This is highly encouraged by Credendo.

The OECD has also developed the Recommendation on Bribery and Officially Supported Export Credits (hereafter the “Recommendation”), to help deter bribery in export transactions. Through the adoption of this Recommendation, Credendo – Export Credit Agency has committed to take appropriate measures to support the fight against bribery and corruption. This Recommendation applies to transactions from all types of official export credit support.

In accordance with this Recommendation, the exporter must certify, among other things, in a specific self-declaration form, that neither they nor any natural or legal person acting on their behalf have been engaged or will engage in bribery and that any commissions and fees paid, or agreed to be paid, can be for legitimate purposes only.

The applicant must also state that they, and any other natural or legal person acting on their behalf (such as agents), do not appear on the debarment lists of the major international financial institutions, and comply with the international and national legislation prohibiting bribery.

The applicant must declare that neither they nor any other natural or legal person acting on their behalf within the framework of the transaction (such as agents):

  • are currently involved in criminal proceedings in any court or formally under investigation by public prosecutors for the violation of laws against bribery of any country, and/or
  • have been convicted in the last five years for any violation of laws against bribery of any country, been subject to equivalent measures or been found to have engaged in bribery as part of an arbitral award.

The applicant also acknowledges that they will forfeit their rights under the insurance policy and will be required to pay back any compensation received in the event of a false declaration and any breach of national or international legislation related to bribery by themselves or any other person acting on their behalf in relation to the above-mentioned transaction.

As a general principle, Credendo – Export Credit Agency will decline support for a transaction if it concludes, after having assessed the transaction concerned, that bribery or corruption was involved in the transaction, or if the requested self-declaration was not provided by the exporter or other relevant parties.
If there is a credible allegation or evidence for acts of corruption in the award or execution of the export contract, Credendo – Export Credit Agency will report such information to the judicial authorities.

Discover Credendo's corporate responsibility via this link.

CIRR

The commercial interest reference rates (CIRR) are the minimum interest rates for officially supported export credits under the OECD Arrangement.

These rates are based on the market rates and are updated on the 15th of each month. They are used by Finexpo for interest stabilisation. The interest stabilisation aims at guaranteeing a fixed interest (the CIRR) to a bank extending a loan to an overseas buyer to finance the export of Belgian capital goods and related services.

The Arrangement is a Gentlemen’s Agreement among the majority of the representatives of the OECD countries. It sets forth the most favourable export credit terms and conditions supported by these countries.

Click here to be informed of the updated CIRRs

Documentation

REPORT ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 2015-2017
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Annual report, 2012
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Annual report, 2011
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Annual report, 2010
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Annual report, 2009
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Annual report, 2008
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Report on corporate social responsibility, 2014
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Report on corporate social responsibility, 2012
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Premium calculation tool
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Route Finder
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Office location

Credendo – Export Credit Agency

Credendo  Export Credit Agency is an autonomous public body with legal personality according to the provisions of the law of 31 August 1939

VAT BE 0203 286 759 RPR | RPM Brussels – IBAN BE40 0010 8026 6263 – BIC GEBABEBB

Address

rue Montoyerstraat 3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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