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Award in Finance of International Trade

This Level 4 award educates trade finance professionals about how financial tools and instruments operate in an international trade context, enhancing the support they provide to traders


4 months

The Level 4 Award in Finance of International Trade provides students with an understanding of the keys to profitability in their business, and the most appropriate sources of finance to maximise such profits.

Students are required to evaluate and attempt to reduce the various risks that are common to all international trade, including exchange risk and country and buyer credit risk and to choose and operate the most appropriate methods of payment.

The course comprises a single module from our Level 4 Diploma in International Trade and is in three sections, each on a different aspect of international trade finance.

The maximum study period for this qualification is 2 years.

Learning outcomes

By the time you have finished this qualification you will be able to:

1. Understand the impact of a payment process on the finances of a company trading internationally

2. Understand the range of options currently available to finance international trade

3. Understand the main financial risks attached to trading internationally

This section addresses the financing requirements for businesses trading internationally:

  • The financial needs of importers and exporters
  • Managing the working capital cycle in international trade – supply side, stock side and sales side
  • Sources of finance, incorporating short, medium and long term trade finance
  • Interpreting business accounts – financial and management accounting applicable to importing and exporting businesses; balance sheet management, profit and loss accounts, cash flow forecasts
  • Factors influencing profitability of a business trading in international markets
  • Managing a business overseas

This section addresses the financial and commercial risks which arise in international trade:

  • Contract Risk - reviewing how contracts are formed and how businesses should detail commercial terms of sale
  • Payment Risk - how businesses manage and mitigate against payment risk through products and services such as credit referencing and export credit insurance
  • Currency Risk - how currency risk arises and the methods by which importers and exporters manage currency risk, services available from banks and financial service providers
  • Managing Performance Risk (Quality Assurance) through effective business processes
  • Trade Documentation – commercial, customs and transport documentation used in international trade and how businesses utilise documentation to manage the physical and financial supply chain
  • Trade Compliance Risk, regulatory and compliance requirements covering sanctions compliance, anti-money laundering, ‘know your customer’, bribery and corruption, export licenses
  • Transport and Logistics Risk – where risk and control passes in the trade journey, with specific reference to Incoterms and Cargo Insurance

This section details the methods of payment applicable in international trade

  • The Payment Risk Ladder from the different perspective of importers and exporters
  • Open Account Trading – how open account trading operates, and managing demands for credit terms
  • Letters of Credit – the role of Letters of Credit from an importer and exporter perspective, how they operate in a practical environment and how businesses can mitigate against discrepancies
  • Documentary (Bank) Collections – the operation and role of Documentary Collections from an importer and exporter perspective
  • Payment in Advance, when advanced payment should apply in an international trade transaction
  • Perspectives on Trade Finance
  • Bonds and Guarantees – the different types of bonds and guarantee that operate in international trade from a performance and financial perspective
  • Standby Letters of Credit
  • Countertrade
  • Short, Medium and Long Term Trade Financing tools
  • Government support for Trade Finance – UK Export Finance and the role of Export Credit Agencies
  • Overseas (Institutional) Support for Trade Finance

All study is delivered through Supported Distance Learning, with access to tutor support via video call and messaging. Find out more here.

Course fees:

Registration fee: £118.00 (one year's student membership)

Course fee: £550.00

Assessment fee: £130.00

To apply for the Level 4 Award in Finance of International Trade, please use the 'Apply now' button or send an email requesting an application form to 

To discuss our qualifications:
Call +44 (0)1733 404400


Why choose a Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade qualification?

Why choose a Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade qualification? Our career-boosting qualifications equip students with the professional and academic skills to succeed in international business.