About the Facility Guarantee Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Facility Guarantee Program (FGP) was developed to expand U.S. agricultural commodity exports by making available payment guarantees to facilitate the financing of manufactured goods and U.S. services to improve or establish agriculture-related facilities in emerging markets. By supporting such facilities, the FGP is designed to enhance the sale of U.S. agricultural commodities and products to emerging markets where the demand for such commodities and products may be limited due to inadequate storage, processing, handling, or distribution capabilities.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) administers the FGP on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Under the FGP, CCC guarantees payments due from approved foreign financial institutions to exporters or financial institutions in the United States. However, the financing must be obtained through normal commercial sources. Any follow-on credit arrangements between the foreign financial institution and the importer are negotiated separately and are not covered by the CCC guarantee. CCC will only consider issuing a guarantee if a transaction will primarily benefit U.S. agricultural commodity exports.
FGP covers credit terms of up to 10 years; maximum terms may vary by country. A minimum initial payment of 15 percent of the net contract value must be made by the buyer to the seller prior to the start of the credit. CCC may offer coverage of up to 100 percent of the net contract value less the initial payment. CCC’s coverage may include non-U.S. goods (including certain local costs) if the seller so requests and CCC determines that U.S. goods are not available or their use is not practicable.
The FGP is operated consistent with the requirements of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits (the Arrangement).
Eligible Destination Countries
Emerging markets that are eligible destination countries under the FGP will be listed on the FAS website. CCC’s selection of destination countries will be based on program statutory requirements, risk considerations, and any other factors determined appropriate by CCC.
Sellers must qualify for participation in the FGP before CCC will accept any payment guarantee applications from the Seller. All U.S. and foreign financial institutions must meet established criteria and be approved by CCC. CCC sets limits and advises each foreign financial institution on the maximum amount CCC will guarantee for that institution. Requirements for seller and U.S. and foreign financial institution participation are available in the program regulation and on the FAS website.
Once approved to participate, a seller may seek FGP coverage for transactions. The seller may opt to submit to CCC a letter of interest describing a proposed transaction, to get preliminary feedback on whether the proposed transaction may be eligible for FGP coverage. Once a firm export sale exists, the seller may submit an initial application for a payment guarantee. If the initial application is conditionally approved, the seller must submit the final application along with the full guarantee fee.
All payment guarantee applications must be accompanied by an environmental and social screening document and will be reviewed for potential negative environmental and social impacts. The seller may be required to submit additional information to CCC, including an environmental and social impact assessment. Certain transactions may be subject to environmental and social monitoring and reporting by the seller throughout the life of the payment guarantee. CCC may reject an application for payment guarantee if the transaction entails significant adverse environmental and/or social impacts that cannot be satisfactorily mitigated.
The seller must pay a guarantee fee on the dollar amount guaranteed. Guarantee fees are based on country risk, obligor risk, tenor, percentage of cover, and other factors, and are consistent with the minimum fees prescribed by the Arrangement.
The seller must also pay a nonrefundable fee if the seller opts to submit a letter of interest, and also an initial application fee. The letter of interest (if applicable) and initial application fees will be deducted from the final guarantee fee if CCC issues a payment guarantee to the seller.
The CCC-approved foreign financial institution issues a dollar-denominated, irrevocable letter of credit in favor of the U.S. seller, ordinarily advised or confirmed by the financial institution in the United States agreeing to extend credit to the foreign financial institution. The seller may negotiate an arrangement to be paid as contractual events occur by assigning to an approved U.S. financial institution the right to proceeds that may become payable under the CCC’s guarantee.
Defaults and Claims
If the foreign financial institution fails to make any payment covered by the FGP guarantee, the holder of the payment guarantee must submit a notice of default to CCC within the timeframe required by the program regulations. A claim for default also may be filed within the required timeframe, and CCC will pay claims found to be in good order.
For CCC audit purposes, the U.S. seller must obtain documentation to show that all goods arrived in the destination country, and the seller and the assignee must maintain all transaction documents for five years from the expiration of coverage of the payment guarantee.
For more information, contact: Credit Programs Division, Office of Trade programs, FAS/USDA, Stop 1025, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-1025; tel.: (202) 720-6211; fax: (202) 720-2495.
The FAS website provides information on specific program allocations, eligible countries, fees and other program information and requirements.
General information about FAS programs, resources, and services can be found at: www.fas.usda.gov.