Trade Finance

By building trust, transparency and predictability, companies are supported all the way along the supply chain. No matter how and where trade takes place, Nordea supports the full process, from exploring new markets and finding counterparties to offering a variety of payment and financing opportunities.

Know the risks and secure your trade

International trade is often more risky than domestic trade. Some risks can arise due to the larger distances between trading partners, while others might be associated with cultural differences or variations in political and economic environments. National and international regulations can further complicate matters.

As the leading trade finance bank in the Nordic region, we know how to help you succeed in international trade. At Nordea, we believe in working closely with our customers, getting to understand their business and helping them minimise their exposure to risks. Our comprehensive portfolio of trade finance products, combined with our unrivalled knowledge of global trade, helps you trade internationally with confidence.

Trading partners potentially face many different types of risk. We typically consider these risks in three broad categories:

  • Commercial risk: Nordea can work with you to identify how reliable your trading partners are and to evaluate the possible risks of insolvency or unwillingness to pay. We can also advise on payment methods that can mitigate some of these risks. We have a range of financial trade instruments that can help you manage risks in importing and exporting.
  • Political risk: Because we operate in the major financial centers across the world, we diligently track political and economic circumstances. If import or export regulations change, we’ll keep you informed.
  • Currency risk:  Exchange rates can fluctuate significantly over time. That in turn can affect the value of your foreign trades. Nordea offers a range of foreign exchange tools that can reduce your exposure to currency fluctuations.

How guarantees, FX agreements and collections can help manage risks in a typical international transaction.

The complexities of knowing who your trade partners are and whether they might be covered by sanctions are growing rapidly as are the size of the fines for breaching trade sanctions.

Global restrictions

Keeping pace with restrictions on where or whom you can trade with can be tough. And the volume of regulation governing trade finance is growing, as governments clamp down on money laundering, terrorism and organised crime.

Financial sanctions change quickly often as political tensions flare. Meanwhile, the number of individuals and companies covered by government trading restrictions can run into the thousands.

And the penalties for breaching international sanctions can be severe some firms have been fined hundreds of millions of dollars by US regulators.

At Nordea, we have detailed processes for capturing potential violations of sanctions, using complex matching algorithms to ensure that transactions and customers are not included on official sanction lists (OFAC, EU, UN). We have dedicated task groups and constantly train. We can even check whether potential trade partners are affiliated with companies subject to sanctions.

Our prudent approach helps you grow your business globally while managing the risks associated with international trade.

For guidance on the types of sanctions that may affect international trade, please see the information below. This list is not exhaustive information, and Nordea cannot accept any liability for the completeness or accuracy of the information.

For comprehensive updated information we refer to the information provided by the UN Security Council, EU and US (links quoted below).

Sanctions - which countries / Commodities

Although the sanction lists are specific in terms of persons, companies and commodities they are primarily focused against certain countries. See for example the list of OFAC Sanctions programs: For detailed information on sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, EU and US, please see below. Note also that there may exist local sanctions.

Sanctions against certain persons and companies

Shipping lines

Nordea will not be able to handle a transaction that indicates that the goods have been shipped with one of the above mentioned shipping lines (as well as others that may be subject to sanctions) or in a container owned by any of them.

The owner of a sea container can be located via the container prefix. See for example:


Both are free of charge to use, but do require sign up.

Other persons / Companies / Commodities

Information regarding sanctioned persons, companies, commodities and countries are available at:




If you have questions in this respect you are welcome to contact your local Nordea Trade Finance department.

Trade finance platform


The Trade Finance Global platform offers a secure, user-friendly, single point of entry for all of your global trade finance needs.

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Get in touch

For more information about how we can support your business, reach out to your Nordea adviser.

Need support? Here are some quick links to take you to the right support and resource section.