In the 1990s, NON-governmental ORGANIZATIONs (NGOs) increasingly highlighted the emo for financing and guaranteeing exports in major projects, without conducting environmental assessments or complying with environmental standards. These critical NGOs then formed the ECA-Watch network. OECD countries cooperate on common approaches to the environment and social protection, including human rights, for officially supported export credits. The Common Approach Policy sets requirements for auditing and verifying environmental and social risks in transactions supported by export credit agencies. The main objective of the agreement is to create a framework for the orderly use of officially supported export credits, promoting a level playing field to promote competition among exporters on the basis of the quality and price of exported goods and services, not on the most favourable export credits. Some of the rules set out in the agreement are sectoral and contain in the sectoral annexes of the convention (known as “sector agreements”). There are currently six sectoral agreements covering export credits for ships (I), (II) nuclear power plants, (III) civil aircraft, (IV) renewable energy, climate change and climate change adaptation, as well as water projects, (V) rail infrastructure and (VI) coal-fired power plants. The agreement between the ship sector and the aviation agreements are particularly important because their participants are different from those of the general agreement, which is not the case for other sectoral agreements. The agreement applies to all officially supported export credits with a repayment period of two years or more. However, it does not apply to military equipment or agricultural raw materials. The minimum premium plans to be applied have changed considerably over time.
The first agreement on the export credit premium (Knaepen package) was concluded in June 1997 and incorporated into the agreement in December 1997. In 2004, these rules were amended and adapted to better reflect different export credit products and systems (see TD/PG (2004)10/FINAL). In 2011, participants agreed to expand and revise premium rules (see TAD/PG (2010)10). The agreement limits the financing conditions for officially supported export credits. These include restrictions on the maximum repayment period in force, minimum interest rates and minimum premium rates charged for officially supported export credits.