Why are sureties and guarantees important for international trade?

The domestic market soon becomes too small for many Belgian entrepreneurs. When that happens, it is worth looking beyond national borders. However, those who trade internationally discover that new opportunities also come with new challenges. Entering distant export markets and securing contracts requires strong financial and credit management. Sureties and guarantees are instrumental in creating trust between international trading partners. In addition, the intervention of a solvent third party guarantees that the company’s obligations will be met. For large-scale projects, these guarantees are the order of the day and often even legally required. Sureties and guarantees are also crucial for transport and logistics.


We asked a few questions to Barbara Van Riel [BVR], Surety & Guarantee Commercial Director at Euler Hermes in Belgium:

[BVR] "First, this concerns companies with an import or export activity. These companies can be from different sectors, but sureties and guarantees are mainly required in the logistics sector and by capital goods producers. Depending on the sector, the needs of our customers differ. In the logistics sector, for example, these are often guarantees related to customs and excise duties, but also guarantees for waste cross-border transportation and transport licenses. In the capital goods industry, you often see performance guarantees, advance payment guarantees and maintenance guarantees. Whatever you are looking for to do international business safely, we have the right solution."
[BVR] "Thanks to an international presence in more than 50 countries and 5 continents, Euler Hermes can provide guarantees via its own local entities in most of cases. We have also concluded an agreement with more than 800 financial institutions that allows issuing guarantees in countries where Euler Hermes is not present. We offer a wide range of solutions to companies active on the international scene - almost anywhere in the world."
[BVR] "The last-minute trade agreement between the UK and the EU on Christmas 2020 avoided a catastrophic 'no-deal' scenario. Businesses avoided a dramatic increase in customs and excise obligations in the UK and in Belgium. Thanks to this trade agreement, import and export tariffs will remain unchanged for the time being. However, the consequences remain major due to the implementation of customs formalities and controls. It is now necessary to request licences and certificates, which also require the delivery of guarantees in favour of customs and excise. Companies that already have comprehensive guarantees for transit in place and doing business with the UK will have to adapt their existing guarantees by the end of June. The geographical validity of the guarantee must be adjusted. Our experts from Euler Hermes will help you."

[BVR] "There are many advantages. In this time of Covid-19, a company needs more than ever a solid cash management.

  • Credit lines with banks are crucial and are increasingly used. By placing your bank guarantees with an insurer such as Euler Hermes, you do not exhaust your lines of credit with banks and you guarantee optimal management of your cash flow. In addition, you are no longer dependent on your bank in times of crisis.
  • Other advantages are our specialized Surety & Guarantee Managers who offer you a tailor-made solution for each of your guarantees. We issue guarantees without material collateral, only based on a solid financial profile of your company. Euler Hermes is part of Allianz and has an excellent AA rating from Standard & Poor's.
  • Finally, in the last years, Euler Hermes invested heavily in digital solutions to request, manage and deliver guarantees. We can issue your digitally signed guarantee within 5 minutes. In addition to guarantees, we also offer sureties for better protection against abusive claims."