Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Australian exporters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis will now have access to business-saving loans between $250,000 and $50 million under a new $500 million capital facility to be administered by Export Finance Australia.

The new COVID-19 Export Capital Facility will target loans to established and previously profitable exporters who, due to COVID-19, are unable to gain finance from commercial sources.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the COVID-19 Export Capital Facility would help trade-exposed businesses, including those from regional Australia and businesses in the tourism and education sectors, to get through this crisis and get to the other side.
“These are tough times for many trade-exposed businesses who have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Rising export costs, disruptions to supply-chains and loss of markets are some of the factors that are making it difficult for exporters to access vital commercial finance.
“We are currently in a difficult credit environment and these loans will provide a lifeline to Australian exporters to help them maintain their operations.
“This critical financial assistance will help exporters to get back on their feet through helping to re-establish markets, or provide working capital support or help exporters purchase new equipment to expand their operations.
“Helping our export sector to get access to business-saving finance is crucial to reducing job losses through this crisis and a critical part of the ultimate economic recovery.
“These business-saving loans are in addition to the significant steps our Government has already taken to support exporters and jobs across the sector to get through these incredibly tough times.”

The COVID-19 Export Capital Facility complements other initiatives to sustain exporters, and position them to rebound quickly, including the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme that will support up to $40 billion of lending to SMEs (including sole traders and not-for-profits).

Under this scheme, the Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SME up to $250,000.

Who is eligible for support?

Australian businesses who are exporters or operating in an export supply chain who:
  • Have been trading for at least two years
  • Have had profitable operations in either of the two financial years prior to markets being impacted by COVID-19
  • Are unable to secure finance from the private market because of COVID-19
  • Have an annual turnover of at least $250,000

What can the Facility be used for?

The Facility can assist with:
  • Working capital support – to finance against supplier invoices or international purchase orders
  • Capital investment – to purchase new equipment and expand your export operations
  • International expansion – to establish or grow your business operations overseas
  • Online growth – to invest in eCommerce and grow your sales to international customers

How long will I have to repay?

  • Up to two years for loans and three years for guarantees and bonds.

How much finance can I receive?

  • Eligible applicants can access between $250,000 and $50 million.

What is the interest rate?

A competitive, commercial interest rate depending on the risk profile of your business and debt servicing capacity.
Deferrals of principal and interest repayments may also be available, depending on your circumstances.

What information will I need to supply?

Eligible applicants will need to provide:
  • Historical financial statements demonstrating profitable operations prior to COVID-19
  • A business plan (or similar evidence) describing your strategy to export or contribute to an export supply chain
  • A financial forecast demonstrating an ability to meet repayments which could include repayment sources other than cashflow (e.g. refinancing)
You will also need to supply information to comply with our policies in relation to:
  • Anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing
  • Environmental and social risks
  • Relevant international obligations

How long will it take to receive finance?

For loans and guarantees under $5 million, the expected turnaround time is 10 business days from receiving all relevant information.
This extends to 15 business days for loans and guarantees above $5 million.
More complex applications may take longer to assess.

In addition to the COVID-19 Export Capital Facility, Export Finance Australia will also provide assistance to its existing customers through access to credit and financial relief.

For more information on Export Finance Australia, including how to apply for finance, visit: or download the fact sheet.