EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Export Credit Insurance Organisation Programmes (ECIO)

Phase: Management
  • Access to finance
  • Response to COVID-19
  • Support of companies' growth
  • Support of internationalisation
  • Support of SMEs
Last modified: 17 September, 2020
Native name:

Προγράμματα του Οργανισμού Ασφάλισης Εξαγωγικών Πιστώσεων (ΟΑΕΠ)

English name:

Export Credit Insurance Organisation Programmes (ECIO)


Import/export activities.

The Export Credit Insurance Organisation (ECIO - ΟΑΕΠ) insures, against commercial and political risks of non-payment, the export credits granted by Greek exporters to foreign buyers who buy Greek products, services, or even projects. ECIO also insures, against political risks, the investments undertaken abroad by Greek entrepreneurs.


Main characteristics

The Export Credit Insurance Organisation (ECIO) was established by L.1796/1988, it is an autonomous legal entity in private law, it is a non-profit organisation which is governed by α 7-member board of directors, supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while its state guarantee capital amounts to  €1.47 billion as of June 2020.

The ECIO implements the following range of five insurance programmes:

  1. Short-term export credit insurance schemes: Under these schemes, short-term export credits (up to two years) can be insured against both commercial and political risks. Up to 80% of the value of the export credit can be financed through the 'Exostrefeia' programme, with a revolving credit limit per exporter of €1,000,000.
  2. Medium-to-long-term export credit insurance schemes: Medium-term (2-5 years) or long-term export credits (more than five years) can be insured against commercial and political risks.
  3. Construction works insurance schemes: Construction works by Greek companies abroad are covered in the case of non-payment by public- and private-sector debtors in foreign countries.
  4. Buyer’s credit insurance schemes: In contrast with the other schemes, where ECIO directly insures Greek exporters, under the buyer’s credit insurance scheme, ECIO insures credits provided by banks (whether Greek or foreign, with branches in Greece) to foreign importers so that they can purchase Greek products.
  5. Foreign investment insurance schemes: Foreign investment insurance schemes only cover non-commercial political risks associated with force majeure (wars, civil unrest, natural disasters), political decisions and measures by the host country of the investment (nationalisations, expropriations, withdrawal of licences), with bans on the transfer of foreign exchange and with major changes to the legal status of protection of foreign investments, so that the investment is no longer viable.

Response to COVID-19

Greek exporters can secure the coverage of their invoices at 100% of their value to all customers from the Member States of the EU, and also those from the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland through ECIO. This possibility is provided by the provisional framework for dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic approved by the Commission, which, as part of state aid to affected businesses, includes public short-term export credit insurance for all countries, without each Member State having to prove that the respective country is temporarily 'non-marketable'. Countries in a state of bankruptcy, at war, or affected by force majeure are classified as countries with 'non-marketable risks'.

Therefore, any export to the above countries can have a public guarantee, as long as the exporter submits a relevant request to the 'state insurer' (in the case of Greece, the ECIO) to be included in the short-term insurance schemes. It is noted that ECIO already has a short-term insurance scheme.

Private insurance companies can also provide short-term insurance of export credits guaranteed by the government if decisions are taken to provide state guarantees to private institutions.

Under the interim framework, the measure will be in effect until 31 December 2020; however, the European Commission will assess whether to extend the temporary exemption three months before the end of 2020.

It should be noted that this measure was taken following a public consultation conducted by the European Commission, which points out that the information it has received has shown that there is a rapid decline in private credit insurance capacity for exports in general.

In fact, some state insurance companies have already recorded an increase in the number of applications for credit insurance contracts for exports to countries with 'marketable risks'.


    • National funds

    Involved actors

    National government
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    The programmes are implemented by the Export Credit Insurance Organisation (ECIO).


    As of 2020, ECIO's value amounts to €1.47 billion; this  includes its state guarantee capital.


    According to ECIO's management, the programmes are not only an excellent combination of insurance and financing ensuring export credits, but also a solution to the vast problem of liquidity facing the Greek enterprises.


    According to ECIO's management, the programmes while in operation for several years have not reached the public, resulting in limited disclosure of the organisation's role and work. Additionally, there is still need for attracting new exporters.


    No information available.
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