- International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
- Published Date:
- January 1996
© 1996 International Monetary Fund
Editors: Gail Berre
Design and composition: IMF Graphics Section
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
International Monetary Fund.
Annual report on exchange arrangements and exchange restrictions.
Continues: International Monetary Fund. Annual report on exchange restrictions, 1950—1978
1. Foreign exchange—Law and legislation—Periodicals. 2. Foreign exchange—Control—Periodicals. I. Title.
K4440.A13 I57 [date] 341.7’51 79-644506
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Letter of Transmittal to Members and Governors of the Fund
I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of the International Monetary Fund’s Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 1996, which has been prepared in accordance with the provisions of Article XIV, Section 3 of the Articles of Agreement.
On behalf of the Executive Board, I should like to express our appreciation of the cooperation of the countries in the preparation of the Report.
Chairman of the Executive Board
and Managing Director
Afghanistan, Islamic State of*
Iran, Islamic Republic of
*The IMF has not received from the authorities of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia the information required for a description of the exchange and trade system as of December 31, 1995.
Note: The term “country,” as used in this publication, does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice; the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained and provided internationally on a separate and independent basis..
The Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions has been published annually by the IMF since 1950. It draws on information available to the IMF from a number of sources, including that provided in the course of official visits to member countries, and it has been prepared in close consultation with national authorities.
The project is coordinated in the Exchange Regime and Market Operations Division of the Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department. It draws on the specialized contributions of staff of that Department (for specific countries), with assistance from staff members of the IMF’s seven Area Departments, together with staff of other Departments. The report was edited and its production coordinated by Gail Berre of the External Relations Department. Design and composition were done by the IMF Graphics Section.
The Report provides a detailed description of the exchange and trade systems of individual member countries, including the nonmetropolitan territory of Hong Kong, for which the United Kingdom has accepted the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, and Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles, for which the Kingdom of the Netherlands has accepted the IMF’s Articles of Agreement.
In general, the description relates to the exchange and trade systems as of the end of 1995, but in appropriate cases reference is made to significant developments that took place in early 1996.
A standardized approach has been followed, under which the description of each system is broken down into similar headings, and the coverage for each country includes a final section that lists chronologically the more significant changes during 1995 and in early 1996.
The description of the exchange and trade system is not necessarily confined to those aspects involving exchange restrictions or exchange controls. As in previous Reports, questions of definition and jurisdiction have not been raised, and an attempt has been made to describe exchange and trade systems in their entirety, except for the tariff structure and, in most cases, direct taxes on imports and exports. Thus, the coverage extends to such features as import licensing, advance import deposit requirements, import surcharges, travel taxes, export licensing, and export incentive schemes. Similarly, the section Changes During 1995 (and 1996) includes references to certain developments that may have a direct impact on international transactions, such as major revisions of import tariffs or developments in regional cooperation, but are not necessarily reflected in the body of the country descriptions.
The description given in the section Exchange Arrangement is in line with the notification of exchange arrangements that member countries have furnished to the IMF under Article IV, Section 2(a). The structure of exchange markets is described, and the official exchange rate is given. The rates quoted are those effective on December 31, 1995, unless stated otherwise.
Under Administration of Control, some indication is given of the authorities responsible for policy and administration of the controls and of the extent to which their powers are delegated for working purposes.
The section on Prescription of Currency describes the requirements affecting the selection of the currency and method of settlement for transactions with other countries. When a country has concluded payments agreements with other countries, the terms of these agreements often lead to prescription of the currency for specified categories of payments to and from the countries concerned. The countries with which bilateral payments agreements are in force are listed either in the text or in a footnote.
Under Resident/Nonresident Accounts, and, in some instances, External Accounts or Foreign Currency Accounts, a description is given of the manner in which the country treats accounts, if any, maintained in its currency by account holders who are residents or not regarded as residents of that country, and the facilities and limitations attached to such accounts. When there is more than one type of resident/nonresident account, the nature and operation of the various types are also described.
In the section on Imports and Import Payments, import-licensing requirements are described briefly, and details are given of other requirements imposed on payments for imports and of any advance deposit requirements. The term “open general license” indicates arrangements whereby certain imports or other international transactions are exempt from the restrictive application of licensing requirements, in contrast to an “individual license,” which may be given either freely or restrictively according to administrative decisions.
Under Payments for Invisibles, the procedures for permitting payments abroad for current transactions in invisibles are described briefly, together with any limitations on the exportation of foreign and domestic banknotes. For some countries that do not impose limitations on payments for invisibles, this section is combined with the section on Proceeds from Invisibles (see below).
Export-licensing requirements and procedures are described under Exports and Export Proceeds, with an outline of the requirements that may be imposed on the handling of proceeds from exports. The expression “exchange receipts must be surrendered” indicates that the recipient is required by the regulations to sell any foreign exchange proceeds in return for local currency, sometimes at a specified exchange rate, to the central bank, commercial banks, or exchange dealers authorized for this purpose. In some countries, there is a requirement that such exchange or part thereof be sold in a free market.
Under Proceeds from Invisibles, any regulations governing exchange derived from transactions in invisibles are given, and any limitations on the importation of foreign and domestic banknotes are described.
In the section on Capital, the special arrangements or limitations attached to international capital movements are described. When regulations on foreign capital also cover the income thereon, they are usually dealt with in this section rather than in the sections on Payments for Invisibles and Proceeds from Invisibles.
The section on Gold gives a summary of the principal regulations that govern the holding, negotiation, importation, and exportation of gold coins and gold in other forms.