Chapter

CÔTE D’IVOIRE

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2000
Share
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details
Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: June 1, 1996.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Côte d’Ivoire is the CFA franc.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tenderThe CFA franc is pegged to the euro, the intervention currency, at the fixed rate of CFAF 100 per €0.8385. Exchange rates for other currencies are derived from the rate for the currency concerned in the Paris exchange market and the fixed rate between the euro and the CFA franc. The BCEAO levies no commission on transfers to or from all countries outside the WAEMU.
Exchange taxBanks levy a proportional commission of 2.5%o and a freely fixed commission on transfers to all non-WAEMU countries. The proceeds of the proportional commission are repaid in full to the Treasury. Transfers between WAEMU member countries are subject to a commission freely fixed by the banks.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketEffective February 1, 1999, residents were authorized to contract forward exchange cover to settle payments related to imports and exports of goods and services. Forward exchange cover for eligible imports must not extend beyond one month for certain specified goods and three months for goods designated essential commodities, with renewal of cover only once. Forward cover against exchange rate risk is permitted with prior authorization from the Directorate of the Treasury of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) only for payments for imports of goods and only for the currency stipulated in the commercial contract.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsBecause Côte d’Ivoire is linked to the French Treasury through an operations Account, settlements with France, Monaco, and other operations Account countries (WAEMU and CAEMC members and the Comoros) are made in French francs or the currency of any other operations Account country. The BCEAO, of which Côte d’Ivoire is a member, is authorized to collect, either directly or through the banks, other financial institutions, or the Post office Administration, any information necessary for compiling the balance of payments statistics. It also has powers from the MEF to monitor the banks’ external positions.
Payment arrangements
Clearing agreementsCurrent payments with The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone are usually made through the WAMA.
Administration of controlExchange control is administered by the Directorate of the Treasury in the MEF. Effective February 1, 1999, the amount of transfers authorized without supporting documentation was raised to CFAF 300,000 from CFAF 100,000.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payment arrears
OfficialYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of gold from or to any other country require prior authorization from the MEF.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyThe exportation of CFA franc banknotes by travelers is not prohibited. However, repurchasing by the BCEAO of exported banknotes remains suspended. In addition, the sending of BCEAO banknotes between authorized intermediaries and their correspondent banks located outside the WAEMU zone is strictly prohibited.
Foreign currencyThe reexportation of foreign banknotes by nonresident travelers is allowed up to the equivalent of CFAF 250,000; the reexportation of foreign banknotes above this ceiling requires documentation demonstrating either the importation of the foreign banknotes or their purchase against other means of payment registered in the name of the traveler or through the use of nonresident deposits at local banks.
On imports
Foreign currencyResidents and nonresidents may bring in any amount of foreign banknotes and coins (except gold coins) of countries outside the Operations Account area. Residents bringing in foreign banknotes and foreign currency traveler’s checks must declare them to customs upon entry and sell any amount exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 25,000 to an authorized intermediary bank within eight days.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedEffective February 1, 1999, residents are allowed to open foreign exchange accounts with local banks or with banks abroad after obtaining authorization from the MEF, with the approval of the BCEAO.
Held domesticallyResidents may maintain foreign exchange accounts at local financial institutions, subject to prior authorization from the MEF.
Held abroadThe maintenance of bank accounts abroad is not explicitly prohibited by the legislation in force; however, the legislation does prohibit all transfers aimed at the constitution of assets abroad by a resident except where authorized by the MEF.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedEffective February 1, 1999, authorization is issued by the BCEAO.
Domestic currency accountsBecause the BCEAO has suspended the repurchase of banknotes circulating outside the territories of the WAEMU zone, nonresident accounts may not be credited or debited with BCEAO banknotes. These accounts may not be overdrawn without the prior authorization of the MEF. Transfers of funds between nonresident accounts are not restricted.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Domiciliation requirementsAll imports exceeding CFAF 500,000 are subject to this requirement. Effective February 1, 1999, this limit was raised to CFAF 5 million.
Preshipment inspectionInspection for quality and price is required for imports exceeding CFAF 3 million; imports valued between CFAF 1.5 million and CFAF 3 million may be subject to random inspection.
Letters of creditLCs are required for goods imported from outside the EU, Operations Account countries, and ACP countries.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Positive listImports are classified into three categories: (1) goods requiring prior authorization or the approval of ministries; (2) goods subject to quantitative or other restrictions requiring licenses issued by the Directorate of External Trade Promotions; and (3) freely importable goods.
Open general licensesImport licenses for a shortlist of controlled products are issued by the Directorate of External Trade Promotions in the Ministry of Commerce.
Other non tariff measuresYes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsOn January 1, 2000, the WAEMU introduced a CET with four rates (zero, 5%, 10%, and 20%) for all member countries except Guinea-Bissau. A statistical tax of 2.6% is levied on the c.i.f. value of all imports. Imports from members of the WAEMU and the ECOWAS are exempt from these surcharges.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from exports, including those to countries in the Operations Account area, must be received within 120 days of the arrival of the goods at their destination. Effective February 1, 1999, proceeds from exports to WAEMU countries are no longer required to be repatriated.
Surrender requirementsForeign exchange derived from exports must be surrendered to authorized intermediary banks within 30 days of the payment due date. The authorized intermediary banks shall then surrender the foreign exchange to the BCEAO by transfer through the bank of issue.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsExports require a customs declaration. Exports of cocoa and coffee are subject to a specific unitary export tax and can be effected only by exporters authorized by the Price Stabilization Fund.
Letters of creditYes.
DomiciliationAll exports valued at more than CFAF 1 million, regardless of their destination, must be domiciled with an authorized bank. Effective February 1, 1999, exports to WAEMU countries need not be domiciled.
Export licensesExports of lumber are subject to quantitative quotas allocated through an auction.
Export taxes
Other export taxesYes.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments to France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries are permitted freely; those to other countries must be approved. Payments for invisibles related to trade are permitted freely. Effective February 1, 1999, payments and incomes of foreign ships in the WAEMU zone and WAEMU ships abroad are included under current operations.
Investment-related payments
Prior approvalThe transfer abroad of funds necessary for the repayment of a loan is subject to authorization if the loan itself was subject to prior authorization. For payments of depreciation of direct investments, the prior authorization of the MEF is required, as this is not expressly provided for in the legislation.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsThe limits were CFAF 500,000 a trip for tourism and CFAF 75,000 a day up to one month for business travel. Allowances in excess of these limits were subject to authorization from the MEF. Effective February 1, 1999, limits on foreign exchange allowances were eliminated. The threshold of foreign exchange to be surrendered by residents after travel was raised to CFAF 300,000 from CFAF 50,000.
Personal payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testFor payment of medical costs and studies abroad, indicative limits are used.
Credit card use abroadYes.
Other payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsAll proceeds from transactions with non-Operations Account countries must be collected and repatriated in full. Effective February 1, 1999, the time limit for the repatriation and surrender requirement was set at one month after the due date or the date of receipt.
Surrender requirementsAll proceeds from transactions with non-Operations Account countries must be surrendered.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsCapital movements to foreign countries are controlled. Capital may freely enter the member countries of the WAEMU, except with respect to direct investment that is subject to prior declaration and certain loan operations requiring advance authorization. Exempt from authorization, however, are operations in connection with (1) loans backed by a guarantee from the government of Côte d’Ivoire; and (2) foreign shares similar to securities whose issuing, advertising, or offering for sale in Côte d’Ivoire has already been authorized. With the exception of controls relating to foreign securities, these measures do not apply to relations with France, Monaco, member countries of the WAEMU, and the Operations Account countries. Special controls are also maintained over the soliciting of funds for deposit with foreign natural persons and foreign firms and institutions, and over publicity aimed at placing funds abroad or at subscribing to real estate and building operations abroad; these special controls also apply to France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries. Effective February 1, 1999, transfers related to the sale of foreign securities by residents and to proceeds of disinvestments by nonresidents were allowed. Foreign investment in WAEMU countries became unrestricted. Such operations are subject to reporting for statistical purposes. The prior authorization of the RCPSFM is required for the issuance and marketing of securities and capital assets of foreign entities, as well as for publicity and advertising of investments abroad. Any investment by residents abroad requires the prior approval of the MEF. A maximum of 75% of investment abroad may be financed by foreign loans.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThere are no controls, provided that a prior declaration is made in the case of direct investment.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese transactions are subject to the prior authorization of the MEF. Securities that have been authorized in advance may be purchased by a resident only after the latter has obtained prior approval of the MEF. The sale of securities constituting the liquidation of an investment by means of a transfer between a nonresident and a resident may be freely executed, subject to the prescriptions concerning the financial settlement of the operation. Settlement of an operation involving securities by transfer abroad or by crediting a nonresident account requires that an exchange authorization be submitted for the approval of the MEF in conjunction with documents attesting to the validity of the operation.
Purchase abroad by residentsThese purchases and the transfer abroad of funds associated with them require the prior authorization of the MEF.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents are free to sell the securities of resident corporations abroad. If these operations result in the foreign control of establishments resident in Côte d’Ivoire, the foreign investors are required to file a declaration in advance with the MEF. The sale of securities constituting the liquidation of an investment abroad is subject to prior declaration to the MEF. The proceeds in foreign exchange from the sale or liquidation must be surrendered to an authorized intermediary bank.
Bonds or other debt securitiesn.r.
On money market instruments
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese sales are subject to the prior authorization of the MEF (except sales involving the liquidation of an investment, which are restricted).
Purchase abroad by residentsThese purchases are subject to the prior authorization of the MEF.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents may freely sell money market instruments abroad. Sales constituting the liquidation of an investment are subject to prior declaration. The proceeds in foreign exchange from the sale or liquidation must be surrendered to an authorized intermediary bank. The issue of money market instruments abroad by residents is governed by the provisions applicable to loans.
On collective investment securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsEffective February 1, 1999, transfers relating to option purchases were allowed.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsn.r.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsn.r.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsn.r.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial creditsFor the issue of securities constituting a loan, the borrower must request advance authorization from the MEF. However, this authorization is not required for loans contracted by authorized intermediaries or those that comply with specific conditions as to amount and interest rate.
By residents to nonresidentsThese credits may be granted, subject to the following provisions: (1) Debts arising from the exporting of goods must be collected and the corresponding amounts repatriated through the BCEAO within 30 days of the payment due date. The payment due date is the date specified in the commercial contract. It must in any case be no more than 120 days after the shipment of the goods. (2) Debts arising from payment for services must also be collected and surrendered on the exchange market no later than two months after the payment due date. No administrative limit is set for this due date.
To residents from nonresidentsThese credits may be freely granted. Their repayment is generally authorized, subject to the presentation of documents attesting to the validity of the commercial transaction or the provision of the service, as well as the payment due date.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsThe granting of financial credits requires the prior authorization of the MEF. In order to transfer funds abroad to service these facilities, an exchange authorization must be submitted with the required vouchers to the MEF.
To residents from nonresidentsThese facilities may be freely granted, and the funds to service them must be transferred from abroad by an authorized intermediary. However, if these operations are carried out between a direct investment company established in Côte d’Ivoire and its parent company abroad, they are considered to be direct investments and are therefore subject to prior declaration to the MEF.



The transfer abroad of the funds necessary to service a loan is subject to authorization if the loan itself required prior authorization. Requests for authorization must be accompanied by all supporting documents necessary to ensure the validity of the operation: authorization to borrow, references from the report prepared in connection with disbursement of the proceeds of the loan, and the like.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsThe granting of these facilities requires the prior authorization of the MEF. In order to transfer funds abroad to service these facilities, an exchange authorization must be submitted with the required vouchers to the MEF.
To residents from nonresidentsThese facilities may be freely granted, and the funds to service them must be transferred from abroad by an authorized intermediary. However, if these operations are carried out between a direct investment company established in Côte d’Ivoire and its parent company abroad, they are considered to be direct investments and are therefore subject to prior declaration to the MEF.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentInvestment abroad (including purchases of real estate) by a resident is subject to prior authorization by the MEF, which must be requested by the party concerned in a letter designating the authorized intermediary that will execute payment. This payment, either by the transferring of funds abroad or by the crediting of a foreign account in euros, may not be made before the end of the time period agreed upon by the parties. Effective February 1, 1999, MEF authorization is no longer needed for investments abroad by residents in the form of securities, if the issue or sale by nonresidents was authorized by the RCPSFM.
Inward direct investmentInvestments are subject to prior declaration to the MEF, which has a period of two months in which to request the suspension of the operation. The transfer of a direct investment by a nonresident to another nonresident is also subject to prior declaration. Special incentives are provided for foreign and domestic investments in certain priority sectors and priority geographical areas. The incentives include exemption from customs duties and tariffs on all imported capital equipment and spare parts for investment projects, provided that no equivalent item is produced in Côte d’Ivoire. In addition, all such investments are exempt for a specified period, depending on the investment sector or area, from corporate profit taxes, patent contributions, and capital assets taxes. In general, the exemption covers 100% of applicable tax up to the fourth-to-last year of the exemption period and is reduced progressively to 75% of the tax in the third-to-last year, 50% in the second-to-last year, and 25% in the last year. Imports of raw materials for which no equivalents are produced locally are not exempt from import duties and taxes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentProceeds may be freely transferred abroad or credited to a foreign account in euros after presentation of the requisite vouchers to the MEF and the Ministry’s approval. Effective February 1, 1999, MEF approval is no longer needed. The liquidation of investments, whether Ivoirien investments abroad or foreign investments in Côte d’Ivoire, must be reported to the Ministry within 20 days of the operation.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsPurchases are subject to prior authorization by the MEF, which must be requested by the party concerned in a letter designating the authorized intermediary that will execute payment. This payment, either by the transferring of funds abroad or by the crediting of a foreign account in euros, may not be made before the end of the time period agreed upon by the parties.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases may be freely made if they are not direct investments in a business, branch, or corporation.
Sale locally by nonresidentsProceeds may be freely transferred abroad or credited to a foreign account in euros after presentation of the requisite vouchers to the MEF and the Ministry’s approval.
Controls on personal capital movements
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsThe granting of a loan by a resident to a nonresident requires the prior authorization of the MEF. Concerned individuals may not carry out such operations as a professional occupation without prior authorization, and they must be registered on the list of financial establishments.
To residents from nonresidentsThe borrower must obtain prior authorization from the MEF, unless the amount of the loan does not exceed CFAF 50 million and the interest rate does not exceed the normal market rate. Loans contracted to finance imports and exports are not subject to prior authorization.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsExcept for inheritances and dowries, for which payments are generally authorized, payments pertaining to other operations require prior authorization of the MEF.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsImmigrants who have obtained resident status must obtain prior authorization from the MEF to settle debts contracted abroad while they were nonresidents.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsOn presentation of documentary evidence of emigration, the parties concerned may, without prior authorization, obtain the transfer of a sum equal to a maximum of CFAF 500,000 a person. Amounts in excess may be transferred on authorization of the MEF.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadAuthorized intermediaries are free to borrow abroad.
Maintenance of accounts abroadBanks and financial institutions are not permitted to hold liquid assets outside the WAEMU, except to cover the requirements of their current operations.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)These operations may be freely executed in the case of commercial credits but are subject to the prior authorization of the MEF in the case of loans, financial credits, or the purchase of securities issued abroad. Effective February 1, 1999, the prior approval of the BCEAO is also needed.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeGeneral regulations apply on lending locally in foreign currency or purchasing locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchange.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Credit controlsYes.
Investment regulationsThe same regulations apply as for foreign investment.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThere are no prudential ratios. Open positions result from special dispensations.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsEffective February 1, 1999, controls are imposed by the Insurance Code of the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets.
Limits (max.) on portfolio invested abroadYes.
Limits (min.) on portfolio invested locallyYes.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionYes.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 1999
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. The CFA franc peg to the French franc was replaced with a peg to the euro.



February 1. Residents were authorized to contract forward exchange cover to settle payments related to imports and exports of goods and services.
Arrangements for payments and receiptsFebruary 1. The amount of transfers authorized without supporting documentation was raised to CFAF 300,000 from CFAF 100,000.
Resident accountsFebruary 1. Residents are allowed to open foreign exchange accounts with local banks or with banks abroad after obtaining authorization from the MEF, with the approval of the BCEAO.
Nonresident accountsFebruary 1. Authorization to open foreign exchange accounts is issued by the BCEAO.
Imports and import paymentsFebruary 1. The limit for imports requiring domiciliation was raised to CFAF 5 million.
Exports and export proceedsFebruary 1. Proceeds from exports to WAEMU countries are no longer to be repatriated.



February 1. Exports to WAEMU countries need not be domiciled.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersFebruary 1. Payments and incomes of foreign ships in the WAEMU zone and WAEMU ships abroad are included under current operations.



February 1. Limits on foreign exchange allowances were eliminated. The threshold of foreign exchange to be surrendered by residents after travel was raised to CFAF 300,000 from CFAF 50,000.
Proceeds from invisible transactions and current transfersFebruary 1. The time limit for the repatriation and surrender requirement was set at one month after the due date of receipt.
Capital transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsFebruary 1. Transfers related to the sale of foreign securities by residents and to proceeds of disinvestments by nonresidents were allowed. Foreign investment in WAEMU countries became unrestricted. Such operations are subject to reporting for statistical purposes. The prior authorization of the RCPSFM is required for the issuance and marketing of securities and capital assets of foreign entities, as well as for publicity and advertising of investments abroad. Any investment by residents abroad requires the prior approval of the MEF.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsFebruary 1. Transfers relating to option purchases were allowed.
Controls on direct investmentFebruary 1. MEF authorization is no longer needed for investments abroad by residents in the form of securities if the issue or sale by nonresidents was authorized by the RCPSFM.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentFebruary 1. MEF approval is no longer needed for nonresidents to transfer the proceeds from the liquidation of direct investments.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsFebruary 1. The prior approval of the BCEAO is also needed to grant loans and financial credits to nonresidents or to purchase securities abroad.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsFebruary 1. Controls are imposed by the Insurance Code of the Inter-African Conference on Insurance Markets.
Changes During 2000
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. The WAEMU introduced a CET with four rates (zero, 5%, 10%, and 20%) for all member countries except Guinea-Bissau.

    Other Resources Citing This Publication