Export and import financing consists of an extension of the loan function to relations with foreign countries .
The bank carries out these operations when the foreign importer requests a deferral of payment and the national exporter is required to cash in as quickly as he is entitled, or when the national importer has to pay cash but does not have the necessary funds.
For Italy as for all industrialized states, support for exports is fundamental; it may not be a priority in some countries that produce raw materials or essential resources in quasi-monopolistic conditions.
In Italy, the strengthening of exports in the loan and insurance aspects has been implemented with the law 24/5/77 n. 227, or Ossola law, which has set up effective facilitation schemes, supplemented by the law 27/7/78 n. 393.
Exporters often grant a supply loan to the counterparty; therefore they frequently resort to bank financing to disinvest their loan or to obtain advances on it; more rarely, the exporter requests that the bank guarantee a smooth execution of the contract with a surety.