Skip to content

Germany

The German NAP contains a specific sub-section on export credit:

1.3 State support

Export credits, investment guarantees and other instruments for the promotion of external trade [page 23-25]

“The instruments of external-trade promotion in Germany provide assistance for German enterprises in accessing and safeguarding foreign markets. The range of instruments includes the provision of advice by German diplomatic and consular missions, the network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad and the Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) agency. The Federal Government also supports participation in trade fairs abroad, arranges visits by delegations and funds hedging instruments such as export credit guarantees, known as Hermes guarantees, to insure export transactions, federal guarantees for direct investments abroad (DIAs) and untied loan guarantees as insurance for banks against the risk of default.”

The current situation

The processing of export credit guarantees, DIA guarantees and untied loan guarantees is undertaken on behalf of the Federal Government by the mandated companies Euler Hermes and PwC. Respect for human rights is already an element in the assessment of applications. Where there is reason to do so, environmental and social aspects as well as human rights considerations are closely examined.

How closely depends on the potential impact of the project. The minimum requirement for the assumption of a guarantee is compliance with the national standards of the target country. Projects with a considerable impact on human rights are subjected to a more thorough examination.

In the case of projects falling within the scope of the OECD Common Approaches and for investment guarantees with far-reaching environmental, social and human rights implications, compliance with international standards such as those of the World Bank Group, particularly its sectoral Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines, is required in addition. In projects with such implications, compliance with these standards must be checked and confirmed by an independent assessor. The decision to give a guarantee is taken jointly in the competent interdepartmental committees by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Depending on the environmental, social and human rights relevance of a given project, enterprises may have to routinely report on the progress of the project as well as on the human-rights situation. If it receives complaints, the Federal Government may require remedial action.”

Measures

  • “The Federal Government will ensure that human rights, which have hitherto been an element of the environmental and social impact assessment, are given more specific consideration and a higher profile in assessment procedures. It will measure the existing assessment procedures against the requirements set out in chapter III above and make adjustments where necessary. One particular priority will be measures for better identification of risks to human rights as part of the assessment process.
  • Better information and greater transparency will serve to draw corporate attention, as early as during the initiation stage of projects, to the great importance attached to human rights due diligence and to the OECD Guidelines. In particular, the Federal Government will extend its support for the affected enterprises in the form of information material.
  • In addition, it is planned to introduce human rights due diligence reports into the assessment procedures of the insurance instruments for foreign trade in cases where there is a high probability of serious implications for human rights.
  • The National Contact Points for the OECD Guidelines (see subsection 4.2 below) will be upgraded to become the central grievance mechanism for external trade promotion projects.

The detailed procedure for assessing applications for the provision of export credit guarantees, guarantees for direct investments abroad and untied loan guarantees will be further reinforced as regards respect for human rights; this will entail measuring the procedure against the specific requirements set out in the NAP. To this aim, human rights will be treated as a separate point in future project assessments. The aim is to ensure that enterprises which avail themselves of foreign-trade promotion instruments exercise due diligence. In particular, this includes participation in grievance proceedings initiated against them before the German National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.”

Scroll To Top