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Shipping Guidance for Cargo Financed by the Ex-Im Bank

This page lists high-level shipping guidance for cargo subject to Ex-Im cargo preference laws, per PR-17. Along side Civilian Agencies Cargoes (considered any non-Agricultural cargo or cargo governed by the Military Cargo Preference Act), MARAD enforces the Ex-Im requirement that 100 percent of certain cargoes generated by Ex-Im Bank loans and loan guarantees are required to be carried on U.S.-flag vessels. Additionally, cargo generated under Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees are to be shipped exclusively on U.S.-flag vessels provided the guarantee amount is over $20 million or the term of the guarantee is over 7 years.

See MARAD's Ex-Im Bank Shipping Guidance document for additional information.

MARAD Determinations for Ex-Im Bank

MARAD enforces compliance of Ex-Im Cargo Preference laws under PR-17, but also administers determination guidelines used during the Ex-Im Bank financing evaluation process:

General Arrangement. (Country) – U.S.-flag requirements may be adjusted by up to 50% of the total volume of cargo financed under a specific credit to be carried on vessels of the cargo purchaser’s nation.

Compensatory Commitment. In cases where a shipper has shipped some portion of the cargo on non U.S -flag vessels before seeking Ex-Im Bank financing, under certain circumstances, the shipper may commit to ship an equivalent amount of future cargo using U.S.-flag vessels.

Certification of Vessel Non-availability. After investigation, MARAD certifies that a U.S.-flag vessel is not available “in sufficient tonnage capacity, on necessary schedules, or at reasonable rates.”

Reachback Determination. Where a shipper has shipped some portion of the cargo on non-U.S – flag vessels within one year before the date of the Ex-Im Bank application, up to 10 percent of the value of the total cargo to be financed may be eligible for Ex-Im bank financing – but at a lower rate.

For additional information on Ex-Im bank requirements, visit the official Ex-Im Bank website.


Vessels or carriers moving with any level of Ex-Im bank financing are required to provide a monthly report of their movements and cargoes using EXIM ‘Form F’ (MA-518).

More on the Ex-Im Bank

The Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies of all sizes to turn export opportunities into real sales that help cultivate U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy. With more than 77 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $456 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide. On average, 85% of Ex-Im Bank transactions directly benefit U.S. small businesses, and no transaaction is too large or too small.

More importantly, the Ex-Im bank does not compete with private sector lenders. Instead, it levels the playing field for U.S. exporters by providing a host of export financing products that fill in trade financing gaps or match the fincancing options foreign governments offer their exporters.


For information on Ex-Im shipping requirements not covered above or in the guidance document, contact the Office of Cargo and Commercial Sealift.

Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2020