Chapter

Introduction

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 1999
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The report provides a detailed description of the exchange arrangements and exchange restrictions of individual member countries, as well as Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles, for which the Kingdom of the Netherlands has accepted the IMF Articles of Agreement. In general, the description relates to the exchange and trade systems as of the end of 1998, but in appropriate cases, reference is made to significant developments that took place in early 1999.

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, nontariff measures, and in most cases, direct taxes on imports and exports.

Following a standardized approach, 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 1998 and early 1999.

The report is presented in a tabular format that enhances transparency and the uniformity of treatment of the information among countries and includes the coverage on the regulatory framework for capital movements. The information is drawn from a new exchange arrangements and exchange restrictions database established by the IMF. The country tables present an abstract of the relevant information available to the IMF. The organization of the tables is explained in the Compilation Guide (see page 2) that provides an explanation of the entries in this database. The table on Summary Features of Exchange Arrangements and Regulatory Frameworks for Current and Capital Transactions in Member Countries (Appendix I) provides an overview of the characteristics of the exchange and trade systems of IMF member countries, and Appendix II contains a country table matrix providing a listing of the possible entries in this database.

When information in a particular category within a section is not available at the time of publication, the category is displayed with a note to that effect (that is, n.a.). When information is available on all but a particular item or items within a category, these items are not included in the table. In cases where members provided the IMF with the information that a category or an item is not regulated, these are marked by “n.r.”

The following refinements have been made to the tables: (1) The classification system of the exchange rate arrangements has been revised to reflect a new system that has been adopted by the IMF; (2) The categories within the section on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers have been merged, essentially because most of the members have liberalized these payments and transfers and thus do not differentiate between the regulation of individual items; and (3) Transfers of gambling/prize earnings have been moved to capital transactions.

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