Q & A on responsible exports

The most common probing questions EKN gets concern what we require, how we follow up and about exports to countries with an autocratic rule.

What requirements does EKN set?

EKN requires companies to assume responsibility for the environmental consequences, human rights and working conditions in the transactions EKN guarantees. The applicant for a guarantee must certify that there is no corruption involved in the transaction.

How is compliance measured?

 In transactions with a risk of a negative impact, EKN requests information about the purchasing company and the environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA) for new projects. If necessary, EKN contacts local interest groups, and gathers data from external sources and experts. For larger projects, EKN makes a site visit to ensure that the project's environmental and social impacts are consistent with the information obtained. EKN may, as a condition of the guarantee require reporting over the course of the transaction.

Why does EKN work with CSR?

It is part of our mission. EKN is part of the Swedish government and assumes responsibility for Sweden's goals and values. Social and environmental risks are critical to any transaction. The transactions EKN guarantee must be sustainable. EKN works with companies to ensure responsible exports.

How does EKN combat corruption?

Companies must certify that there is no corruption involved in the transaction. The EKN guarantee may be rendered void if there is any corruption. EKN also makes its own checks.

What is confidential at EKN?

According to the principle of public access to official records, EKN must submit information and be transparent. According to the confidentiality legislation, EKN must classify information as confidential whose disclosure could undermine the guarantee holder.

Does EKN insure exports to countries with dictatorial regimes?

Sweden imports from and exports to most countries of the world. Global trade is important for development and change. There are only a few countries in the world where the international community has chosen to impose trade sanctions.

EKN sets requirements for responsible exports to all countries. In some countries and industries, environmental and social risks are higher and require a more thorough examination.

Does EKN insure exports to poor, indebted countries?

In poor countries with a severe debt situation, EKN does not guarantee transactions that violate the recipient country's poverty reduction strategy or hinders the country's development. The policy covers the provision of guarantees that increases the direct or indirect indebtedness of the state.

1. Does EKN assess risks of human rights violations associated with defence materiel exports? 
For defence materiel exports requiring an export licence from the Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP), EKN does not assess whether the transaction is in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In such transactions, ISP has a specific assignment from the Swedish government to assess the suitability of the defence materiel export in consideration of factors such as human rights in the buyer country. However, EKN still carries out a standard anti-corruption risk assessment, as this is not done by ISP. In transactions with military buyers or companies with military contracts and where an export licence from ISP is not required, EKN conducts a standard assessment of the suitability of the transaction in relation to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 

Does EKN assess risks of human rights violations associated with defence materiel exports? 

For defence materiel exports requiring an export licence from the Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP), EKN does not assess whether the transaction is in alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In such transactions, ISP has a specific assignment from the Swedish government to assess the suitability of the defence materiel export in consideration of factors such as human rights in the buyer country. However, EKN still carries out a standard anti-corruption risk assessment, as this is not done by ISP. In transactions with military buyers or companies with military contracts and where an export licence from ISP is not required, EKN conducts a standard assessment of the suitability of the transaction in relation to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 


http://www.ekn.se/