Chapter

COMOROS

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2000
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Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: June 1, 1996.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Comoros is the Comorian franc.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Conventional pegged arrangementThe Comorian franc is pegged to the euro at CF 491.96775 per €1. Exchange rates for currencies are officially quoted on the basis of the fixed rate of the Comorian franc for the euro and the Paris exchange market rates for other currencies.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketForward cover against exchange rate risk is authorized by the Central Bank of the Comoros (CBC) and is provided to traders by the only authorized commercial bank for up to three months.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsBecause the Comoros is linked to the French Treasury through an Operations Account, settlements with France, Monaco, and other Operations Account countries (WAEMU and CAEMC members) are made in French francs or the currency of any other Operations Account country. Settlements with all other countries are usually made through correspondent banks in France in any of the currencies of those countries or in euros through foreign accounts in euros.
Payment arrangements
Regional arrangementsComoros is a member of COMESA and the Cross-Border Initiative.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlThe Minister of Finance and Budget has sole authority in exchange control matters but has delegated certain exchange control powers to the CBC and to authorized banks. Exchange control is administered by the CBC. The Ministry of Finance and Budget supervises borrowing and lending abroad, inward direct investment, and all outward investment. With the exception of those transactions relating to gold, the country’s exchange control measures do not apply to (1) France (and its overseas departments and territories) and Monaco; and (2) all other countries whose bank of issue is linked with the French Treasury by an Operations Account (WAEMU and CAEMC members). A statistical report is required to monitor speculative transactions.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payment arrears
OfficialYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeYes.
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of nonmonetary gold require prior authorization. Imports and exports of articles containing gold are subject to declaration, but transfers of personal jewelry within the limit of 500 grams a person are exempt from such declaration.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyUp to CF 500,000 may be exported.
Foreign currencyResidents traveling to France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries may take out the equivalent of CF 500,000 in banknotes and any amount in other means of payment. Residents traveling to countries other than France, Monaco, and the other Operations Account countries may take out any means of payment up to the equivalent of CF 500,000 a person a trip. Any amount in excess of these limits is subject to CBC approval, which is granted if supporting documentation is provided. Nonresident travelers may export the equivalent of CF 500,000 in banknotes and any means of payment issued abroad in their name without providing documentary justification. Other cases are authorized pursuant to the exchange regulations when supporting documents can be produced.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedOpening of these accounts is permitted, but no authorization has been granted.
Held domesticallyThese accounts are permitted, but prior approval is required.
Held abroadThese accounts are permitted, but prior approval is required.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThese accounts are permitted, but prior approval is required.
Domestic currency accountsThese accounts are permitted if applicants meet the criteria for nonresident eligibility.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsYes.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Domiciliation requirementsAll import transactions must be domiciled with the authorized bank if the value is CF 500,000 or more.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Letters of creditYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresThe importation of most goods, except those originating from member countries of the EU, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries, was subject to individual licensing, which was for statistical purposes only. Effective January 31, 2000, this licensing requirement was suspended; however, notification is required for statistical purposes.
Negative listThe importation of certain goods is prohibited from all countries for health or security reasons.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThere are import duty rates of 20%, 30%, and 40% for general merchandise; 150% for tobacco; 180% for spirits; and an administrative fee of 3% for imports exempt from duty.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from exports to foreign countries must be repatriated within 30 days of the expiration of the commercial contract.
Surrender requirementsProceeds must be sold immediately after repatriation to the authorized bank.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsWith a few exceptions, exports to any destination are free of licensing requirements.
Letters of creditYes.
DomiciliationAll export transactions must be domiciled with an authorized bank if the value is CF 500,000 or more.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Export licensesLicenses were issued mainly for statistical purposes. Effective January 31, 2000, this licensing requirement was suspended; however, notification is required for statistical purposes.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesThere are export taxes, but they do not apply to all exports.
Other export taxesCertain taxes apply to specific luxury products in favor of professional organizations.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments for invisibles to France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries are permitted freely. Payments for invisibles related to authorized imports are not restricted. All other payments, except investment-related transfers, are subject to indicative limits or bona fide tests.
Trade-related payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Investment-related paymentsRepatriation of dividends and other earnings from nonresidents’ direct investments is authorized and guaranteed under the Investment Code.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testResidents traveling to countries other than France, Monaco, and the other Operations Account countries may take out any means of payment up to the equivalent of CF 500,000 a person a trip. Any amount in excess of these limits is subject to the prior approval of the CBC, which is granted if supporting documentation is provided.
Personal paymentsThese transactions are authorized upon presentation of the pertinent documentation.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Foreign workers’ wages
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Credit card use abroad
Quantitative limitsThe same limits apply as for tourist and business travel.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from transactions with France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries may be retained. All amounts due from residents of other countries with respect to services and all income earned in those countries from foreign assets must be repatriated within one month of the due date or date of receipt.
Surrender requirementsExport proceeds in foreign currency must be sold to an authorized bank.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsCapital flows between the Comoros and France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries are, in principle, free of exchange control. Capital transfers to all other countries require exchange control approval, but capital receipts from such countries are permitted freely.
On capital market securitiesCBC authorization is required to effect these transactions.
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Bonds or other debt securities
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
On money market instrumentsThere is no local market in these instruments.
On collective investment securitiesThere is no local market in these instruments.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsThere is no local market in these instruments.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsCredits must have a maximum maturity of 90 days.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentControls relate to the approval of the underlying transactions, not to payments or receipts.
Inward direct investmentYes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentn.a.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on personal capital movements
Loans
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsSettlement of debt is permitted upon presentation of supporting documentation.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsYes.
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsYes.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadYes.
Maintenance of accounts abroadYes.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Lending is permitted for economic activities in the Comoros.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeLending does not take place in practice.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeThere is no local market in these securities.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo transactions of this type are carried out.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 1999
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. The Comorian franc peg to the French franc was replaced with a peg to the euro.
Changes During 2000
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 31. The licensing requirements for importing most goods were suspended.
Exports and export proceedsJanuary 31. Export licenses were suspended.

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