Chapter

GREECE

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: July 22, 1992.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Greece is the Greek drachma.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bandsThe exchange rate for the drachma is determined in the domestic and foreign interbank markets, as well as in daily fixing sessions in which the Bank of Greece (BOG) and authorized commercial banks participate. Greece is a member of the ERM of the EMS, and was admitted to the ERM II on January 1, 1999.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with all countries may be made in any convertible foreign currency or through nonresident deposit accounts in drachmas.
Payment arrangementsNo.
Administration of controlThere are no exchange controls. Resident credit institutions are authorized to carry out all the necessary formalities for the settlement of all transactions with nonresidents and are obliged to provide to the BOG all the information necessary to compile the balance of payments. Until August 5, 1999, natural and juridical persons were required to inform the BOG, for statistical purposes, of transactions with nonresidents of sums greater than €2,000 if a domestic banking institution was not involved.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsYes.
Payment arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents may freely purchase new gold sovereigns from the BOG through licensed stockbrokers at a price set by the BOG. These gold coins may be resold only to the BOG or to the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE). Holders of gold coins acquired in the free market that existed before December 22, 1965, may sell them without any formality to the BOG or to an authorized bank at the official price.



Effective March 2, 2000, natural and juridical persons, residents, and nonresidents may freely purchase and sell gold coins and/or bars that are not used for commercial and industrial purposes. This gold may be purchased by and sold to the BOG and/or any other credit institution operating in Greece authorized to carry out transactions in foreign exchange.
Controls on external tradeUntil March 1, 2000, gold bars or coins brought in by travelers and declared upon entry were allowed to be reexported after approval by the BOG. Effective March 2, 2000, residents and nonresidents are required to declare upon entering and/or leaving Greece amounts of gold exceeding the equivalent of €2,000 and €10,000, respectively, or submit a copy of the document certifying that the relevant latter transaction was carried out by a domestic credit institution.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exportsResidents and nonresidents leaving Greece should declare amounts of banknotes and personal checks in domestic and/or foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of €2,000. For amounts up to the equivalent of €10,000, they must also provide in the declaration the purpose of the export of banknotes and additionally: (1) if they are residents of Greece, their fiscal number; (2) if they are residents of other EU member countries, the number of their identification and/or passport number; and (3) if they are residents of other non-EU member countries, their passport number. If the amount exceeds the equivalent of €10,000, residents must also provide a copy of their tax certificate.
Domestic currencyYes.
Foreign currencyYes.
On importsResidents and nonresidents entering Greece should declare imported banknotes and personal checks in domestic and foreign currency if the total amount exceeds the equivalent of € 10,000.
Domestic currencyYes.
Foreign currencyYes.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyResidents are permitted to convert drachma deposits held with resident credit institutions into foreign currency deposits.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
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 importsNo.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresImport licenses are required for some specific products from certain low-cost countries under EU surveillance. Special regulations govern imports of certain items such as medicines, narcotics, and motion picture films.
Licenses with quotasYes.
Other nontariff measuresYes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsNo.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfers
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testEffective August 5, 1999, the limit was raised to the equivalent of €10,000 (previously €2,000) a trip a person in domestic or foreign currency without presenting any supporting documentation.
Personal payments
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testEffective August 5, 1999, the limit was raised to the equivalent of €10,000 (previously €2,000) for studies abroad in foreign or domestic currency; additional amounts are permitted upon presentation of the relevant documentation.
Foreign workers’ wages
Prior approvalRemittances of earnings by foreign workers are permitted, with the provision of the relevant documentation.
Credit card use abroad
Indicative iimits/bona fide testThe limit on withdrawal in foreign banknotes is the equivalent of €1,000 a month.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsExisting legislation on inward direct investment and establishment imposes certain control on the purchase of shares and other securities of a participatory nature in the broadcasting and maritime sectors.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentInvestments in border regions by non-EU residents require approval for reasons of national security. There are also controls on the acquisition of mining rights and participation in new or existing enterprises if these are engaged in radio and television broadcasting or maritime and air transport.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactionsNo.
Controls on personal capital movements
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsTransfers are permitted with the provision of the relevant documentation.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsNo.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsOver-the-counter transactions of equities listed on the ASE are not allowed.
Changes During 1999
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. Greece was admitted to the ERM II.
Arrangements for payments and receiptsAugust 5. The requirement of informing the BOG of transactions above €2,000 carried out between residents and nonresidents was eliminated.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersAugust 5. The limits for personal travel and payments abroad were raised to the equivalent of €10,000 from €2,000.
Changes During 2000
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMarch 2. Natural and juridical persons, residents, and nonresidents were allowed to freely purchase and sell gold coins and/or bars that are not used for commercial and industrial purposes. This gold may be purchased by and sold to the BOG and/or any other credit institution operating in Greece authorized to carry out transactions in foreign exchange. Residents and nonresidents were required to declare upon entering and/or leaving Greece amounts of gold exceeding the equivalent of €2,000 and €10,000, respectively.

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