Chapter

GUYANA

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: December 27, 1966.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Guyana is the Guyana dollar.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Independently floatingThe exchange rate of the Guyana dollar is determined freely in the cambio market. The Bank of Guyana (BOG) conducts certain transactions on the basis of the cambio exchange rate by averaging quotations of the three largest dealers on the date the transaction takes place. In accordance with the bilateral agreements with the central banks of the CARICOM, the BOG quotes weekly rates for certain CARICOM currencies.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketThe only arrangement for forward cover against exchange rate risk operates in the official sector in respect of exchange rate guarantees that are provided to certain deposits in dormant accounts. However, no exchange rate guarantee has been given for deposits made after end-March 1989.
Official cover of forward operationsYes.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsNo.
Payment arrangements
Bilateral payment arrangements
OperativeThere are arrangements with all CARICOM central banks.
Regional arrangementsGuyana is a member of the CARICOM.
Administration of controlNo.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payment arrears
OfficialArrears exist with Argentina, China, India, Kuwait, Libya, Russia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro).
PrivateArrears exist on certain dormant accounts holding domestic currency deposits equivalent in value to pending applications for foreign exchange. A program was initiated to settle debts outstanding under the external payment deposits schemes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents other than the monetary authorities, authorized dealers, producers of gold, and authorized industrial users are not allowed to hold or acquire gold in any form except for numismatic purposes and jewelry, at home or abroad, without special permission.
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of gold in any form by, or on behalf of, the monetary authorities, authorized dealers, producers of gold, and industrial users require permits endorsed by the Guyana Gold Board.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On imports
Foreign currencyTravelers entering Guyana with foreign currency in excess of the equivalent of US$10,000 must declare the amount.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyExporters are allowed to maintain and operate foreign exchange accounts. These accounts are approved on merit but are generally granted to bona fide exporters who require imported inputs for production and/or have external loan obligations. These accounts may be credited with all or a portion of retained export proceeds and proceeds of foreign currency loans. They may be debited freely for any payments at the discretion of the account holder.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyThe balances of these accounts may be converted at the prevailing cambio exchange rate.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be opened by commercial banks without the prior approval of the central bank for citizens of Guyana residing permanently abroad, citizens of other countries temporarily residing in Guyana, nonresidents attached to diplomatic missions or international organizations, branches of companies incorporated outside of Guyana, and companies incorporated in Guyana but controlled by nonresidents abroad. These accounts may be maintained in U.S. dollars, pounds sterling, or Canadian dollars and may be credited with noncash instruments of convertible foreign currencies transferred through the banking system. These accounts may also be credited freely with all authorized payments by residents of Guyana to nonresidents; other credits require approval. They may be debited freely for payments for any purpose to residents of any country, for transfers to other external accounts, for withdrawals by the account holder in Guyana, and for transfers to nonresident accounts.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetThe BOG prepares a hard currency receipts and payments statement to monitor projected flows.
Financing requirements for importsImport transactions effected through the cambio exchange market are permitted without restriction. Most imports of consumer goods take place on this basis. Certain payments for official imports effected by commercial banks on behalf of the BOG require the Bank’s prior approval.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsRequirements are related mainly to petroleum products. Documents required include invoices, bills of lading, and certificates of origin.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresThere are no licensing requirements for permissible imports, except for petroleum products and some 20 items affecting national security, public health and safety, and the environment.
Negative listImports of unprocessed meat, poultry, fruit, and processed fruit items are restricted, subject to import-licensing controls, from all non-CARICOM sources.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThe CET of CARICOM is applied to all imports from outside the market. Effective March 26, 1999, tariffs range from 5% to 20%. Intra-CARICOM trade is free of import duties. On January 1, 2000, the fourth phase of the CARICOM CET came into effect.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesLicenses are required for exports of gold and wildlife.
Without quotasGold exports are not subject to quotas.
With quotasThere are quotas for the supply of some commodities to preferential markets and for wildlife exports.
Export taxesThere are levies on exports of rice and sugar. For exports of timber, bauxite, sugar, live birds, and aquarium fish, an export duty is applied.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersNo.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsNo.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsAll types of credit operations are controlled.
Controls on direct investmentNo.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactionsNo.
Controls on personal capital movementsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Yes.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsOpen positions are being monitored.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsOn January 22, 1999, the BOG removed the limit on bid prices in weekly treasury bill auctions.
Changes During 1999
Imports and import paymentsMarch 26. The maximum CET of CARICOM was reduced to 20% from 25%.
Capital transactions
Other controls imposed by securities lawsJanuary 22. The BOG removed the limit on bid prices in weekly treasury bill auctions.
Changes During 2000
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. The fourth phase of the CARICOM CET came into effect.

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