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Shipping Guidance for Cargo Financed by the EXIM Bank

This page lists high-level shipping guidance for cargo subject to EXIM 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 EXIM requirement that 100 percent of certain cargoes generated by EXIM Bank loans and loan guarantees are required to be carried on U.S.-flag vessels. Additionally, cargo generated under EXIM 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 EXIM Bank Shipping Guidance document for additional information.

MARAD Determinations for EXIM Bank

MARAD enforces compliance of EXIM Cargo Preference laws under PR-17, but also administers determination guidelines used during the EXIM 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 EXIM 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 EXIM Bank application, up to 10 percent of the value of the total cargo to be financed may be eligible for EXIM bank financing – but at a lower rate.

For additional information on EXIM bank requirements, visit the official EXIM Bank website.


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

More on the EXIM Bank

The EXIM 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, EXIM Bank has supported more than $456 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide. On average, 85% of EXIM Bank transactions directly benefit U.S. small businesses, and no transaaction is too large or too small.

More importantly, the EXIM 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 EXIM shipping requirements not covered above or in the guidance document, contact the Office of Cargo and Commercial Sealift.