Chapter

Summary Features of Exchange Arrangements and Regulatory Frameworks for Current and Capital Transactions in Member Countries1

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2003
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Total number of member countries with this featureAfghanistan, I.S. ofAlbaniaAlgeriaAngolaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanThe BahamasBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBhutanBoliviaBosnia and Herzegovina
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII158"
Article XIV26
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender41
Currency board arrangement7
Conventional pegged arrangement42+++++
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bands5
Crawling peg5
Crawling band5+
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate46
Independently floating36
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates11
Multiple exchange rates3
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements64
Payments arrears65
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers98
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements101
Surrender requirements79
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities128
Money market instruments107
Collective investment securities99
Derivatives and other instruments83
Commercial credits104
Financial credits112
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities92
Direct investment149
Liquidation of direct investment57
Real estate transactions137
Personal capital transactions97
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other credit institutions160
Institutional investors91
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
BotswanaBrazilBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChadChileChina, People’s Rep. ofColombiaComorosCongo, Dem. Rep. ofCongo, Republic ofCosta RicaCôte d’IvoireCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFijiFinland
+
FranceGabonGambia, TheGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGreeceGrenadaGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHondurasHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, I.R. ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapan
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII
Article XIV
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no
separate legal tender
Currency board arrangement
Conventional pegged arrangement
Pegged exchange rate within
horizontal bands
Crawling peg
Crawling band
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate
Independently floating
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates
Multiple exchange rates
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements
Payments arrears
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements
Surrender requirements
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities
Money market instruments
Collective investment securities
Derivatives and other instruments
Commercial credits
Financial credits
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
Direct investment
Liquidation of direct investment
Real estate transactions
Personal capital movements
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other
credit institutions
Institutional investors
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
JordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyz RepublicLao People’s Dem. Rep.LatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLithuaniaLuxembourgMacedonia, fmr. Yugoslav Rep.MadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall Islands, Rep. of theMauritaniaMauritiusMexicoMicronesia, Fed. States ofMoldovaMongoliaMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNepalNetherlands
++++
New ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPolandPortugalQatarRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSt. Kitts and NevisSt. LuciaSt. Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSão Tomé and Príncipe
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII
Article XIV
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender
Currency board arrangement
Conventional pegged arrangement
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bands
Crawling peg
Crawling band*
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate
Independently floating
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates
Multiple exchange rates
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements
Payments arrears
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements
Surrender requirements
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities
Money market instruments
Collective investment securities
Derivatives and other instruments
Commercial credits
Financial credits
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
Direct investment
Liquidation of direct investment
Real estate transactions
Personal capital movements
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other credit institutions
Institutional investors
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
Saudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovak RepublicSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguay
+
UzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Rep. Bolivariana deVietnamYemen, Republic ofZambiaZimbabweMemorandum: NonmembersArubaHong Kong SARNetherlands Antilles
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII
Article XIV
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender
Currency board arrangement
Conventional pegged arrangement
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bands
Crawling peg
Crawling band
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate
Independently floating
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates
Multiple exchange rates
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements
Payments arrears
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements
Surrender requirements
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities
Money market instruments
Collective investment securities
Derivatives and other instruments
Commercial credits
Financial credits
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
Direct investment
Liquidation of direct investment
Real estate transactions
Personal capital movements
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other credit institutions
Institutional investors
Key and Footnotes

Islamic State of Afghanistan

(Position as of March 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article XIVYes.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of the Islamic State of Afghanistan is the Afghani. On September 4, 2002, new currency notes were issued replacing old currency at a conversion rate of 1 to 1,000.
Exchange rate structure
UnitaryThe Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the central bank, maintains a daily official rate defined in terms of the U.S. dollar and based on the average of the opening quotations of a number of important and reputable money traders operating in a free market in the form of a money bazaar. In principle, the DAB’s buying/selling rates for foreign cash is within a margin of ±1%; in practice, however the DAB’s transactions have been limited to buying, and thus have little impact on the exchange rate movements in the market. A second exchange rate, the official rate, is applied to transactions of the central government (mainly debt-service payments) and certain foreign currency incomes earned in the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateMost convertible currency transactions are effected at the free market exchange rate. The DAB posts rates for dollars, euros, Indian rupees, Pakistan rupees, pounds sterling, and Swiss francs. These rates are calculated using the IMF’s daily SDR rates for these currencies. On the basis of additional information, the exchange rate regime of Afghanistan was reclassified, effective January 1, 2002, to the category managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate from the category independently floating.
Exchange taxn.a.
Exchange subsidyn.a.
Forward exchange marketThere are no arrangements for forward cover against exchange rate risk in operations in the official market or the commercial banking sector.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with countries with which the Islamic State of Afghanistan maintains bilateral payments agreements are made in bilateral accounting dollars, in accordance with the procedures set forth in these agreements. Exchange rates for trade under bilateral payments agreements are specified in each agreement. The proceeds from exports of karakul to all countries must be obtained in convertible currencies. There are no other prescriptions of currency requirements.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyEffective March 21, 2003, the Afghani is designated as the currency to be used for all transactions and settlements of accounts unless the use of another currency is agreed by the parties concerned.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangementsThe Islamic State of Afghanistan maintains bilateral payments agreements with Bulgaria, China, and Russia. Some of these have been inoperative for several years.
Administration of controlForeign exchange transactions are controlled by the government through the DAB. No restrictions apply to transactions in the free exchange market.
International security restrictionsn.a.
Payments arrearsn.a.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on external tradeImports and reexports of gold are permitted, subject to regulations. Exports of gold bullion, silver, and jewelry require permission from the DAB and the Ministry of Finance. Commercial exports of gold and silver jewelry and other articles containing small quantities of gold or silver do not require a license. Customs duties are payable on imports and exports of silver in any form, unless the transaction is made by, or on behalf of, the monetary authorities.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyTravelers may take out up to Af 2,000 in domestic banknotes and Af 50 in coins.
On imports
Domestic currencyTravelers may bring in up to Af 2,000 in domestic banknotes and Af 50 in coins.
Foreign currencyTravelers entering the Islamic State of Afghanistan are required to spend a minimum of the equivalent of $26 a day in foreign exchange. They may bring in any amount of foreign currency but must declare it when entering the country if they intend to take out any unspent amount on departure, subject to the minimum conversion requirement.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedEffective March 21, 2002, DAB approval is required for residents to open and hold foreign exchange accounts domestically or abroad.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedEffective March 21, 2002, DAB approval is required for nonresidents to open and hold foreign exchange accounts.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetAn annual import program drawn up by the Ministry of Commerce covers both public and private sector imports. Adjustments in the public sector import plan are made as circumstances change. There is an indicative import plan for the private sector, drawn up on the basis of proposals submitted by the Chamber of Commerce.
Financing requirements for importsn.a.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Letters of creditPayments through the banking system for imports to countries with which the Islamic State of Afghanistan has payments agreements may usually be made only under LCs. Payments to other countries may be made under LCs, against bills for collection, or against an undertaking by the importer to import goods of at least an equivalent value to the payment made through the banking system. Except for public sector imports under the government budget, all importers are required to lodge minimum import deposits with banks when they open LCs. The deposit ratios, based on the c.i.f. value of imports, are 20% for essential products and range from 30% to 60% for other products.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresAll importers must obtain a license from the Ministry of Commerce to engage in import trade for statistical purposes. A license is issued on the basis of appropriate documents that have been approved by the Chamber of Commerce. For imports of nonessential goods, a 1% fee based on the import value is levied and is payable in dollars. The Chamber of Commerce charges a 2% fee to members and a 2.5% fee to nonmembers. The fee is based on the value of imports.
Positive listMost bilateral agreements specify quantities (and sometimes prices) for the products to be traded.
Negative listThe importation of certain drugs, liquor, arms, and ammunition is prohibited on grounds of public policy or for security reasons; in some instances, however, special permission to import these goods may be granted. The importation of a few textiles and selected nonessential consumer goods is also prohibited.
Licenses with quotasThere are no quantitative restrictions on most imports, but tariff rates on most consumer items range from 30% to 50%.
Import taxes and/or tariffsNo.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExport proceeds from bilateral accounts may be retained in bilateral clearing dollar accounts with the DAB. These retained proceeds may either be used directly by the original exporter or sold to other importers. In either case, the retained proceeds are converted at the clearing rate applicable to that particular bilateral arrangement. In the case of exports to countries trading in convertible currencies, export proceeds may be retained abroad for three, six, or twelve months, depending on the country of destination. During the relevant period, the exporter may use these funds to import any goods not included on the list of prohibited goods. Alternatively, at the end of the relevant holding period limit, foreign exchange holdings abroad must be repatriated and held in a foreign currency account with a bank in the Islamic State of Afghanistan or sold at the commercial exchange rate.
Surrender requirementsProceeds from exports of raisins, fresh fruits, animal casings, skins, licorice roots, medicinal herbs, and wool must be surrendered immediately at the commercial exchange rate.
Financing requirementsn.a.
Documentation requirementsn.a.
Export licensesAll exporters must obtain a license from the Ministry of Commerce to engage in export trade for statistical purposes. A license is issued on the basis of appropriate documents that have been approved by the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce levies a 5% fee based on the export value. The exportation of opium and museum pieces is prohibited. Otherwise, control is exercised only over exports to bilateral agreement countries.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersForeign exchange for most private purposes may be acquired in the money bazaar.
Payments for travelThe DAB levies a charge of Af 0.75 per $1. A further charge of 1% on the total value of other convertible currencies is levied for permits for their export by authorized travelers.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsThe limit for tourist travel is $2,000, except for private travel to India, for which the limit is the equivalent of $700. The limit for business travel is $15,000.
Personal paymentsFor medical treatment, the central bank levies a commission of Af 0.75 per $1. No information is available for other types of personal payments other than medical costs.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsNormally, the DAB grants $2,500 for medical treatment.
Foreign workers’ wagesForeign employees working in the Afghan public and private sectors must convert 60% of their foreign currency salaries into Afghanis at the official rate.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsn.a.
Restrictions on use of fundsn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsEffective March 21, 2002, in accordance with the Law on Domestic and Foreign Private Investment, the liquidation of investments in enterprises requires approval from the High Commission and the prior settlement of all accounts.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsn.a.
Controls on credit operationsn.a.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentInvestments require prior approval and are administered by the Investment Committee. The law stipulates that foreign investment in the Islamic State of Afghanistan can take place only through joint ventures, with foreign participation, and that an investment approved by the Investment Committee requires no further license to operate in the Islamic State of Afghanistan. The Foreign and Domestic Private Investment Law includes the following provisions: (1) income tax exemption for four years (six years outside Kabul province), beginning with the date of the first sale of products resulting from the new investment; (2) exemption from import duties on essential imports (mainly for capital goods); (3) exemption from taxes on dividends for four years after the first distribution of dividends, but not more than seven years after the approval of the investment; (4) exemption from personal income and corporate taxes on interest on foreign loans that constitute part of an approved investment; (5) exemption from export duties, provided that the products are not among the prohibited exports; and (6) mandatory procurement by government agencies and departments from enterprises established under the law, as long as the prices are not more than 15% higher than those of foreign suppliers.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentSales of investments in enterprises, as defined by the Domestic and Foreign Investment Law, must be approved by the Afghani High Commission and must be preceded by the settlement of all accounts.
Capital may be repatriated after five years at an annual rate not exceeding 20% of the total registered capital.
Controls on real estate transactionsn.a.
Controls on personal capital transactionsn.a.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsn.a.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.a.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 2002
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. The exchange arrangement of Afghanistan was reclassified to the category managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate from the category independently floating.
September 4. New currency notes were issued replacing old currency at a conversion rate of 1 to 1,000.
Resident accountsMarch 21. DAB approval was required for residents to open and hold foreign exchange accounts.
Nonresident accountsMarch 21. DAB approval was required for nonresidents to open and hold foreign exchange accounts.
Capital transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsMarch 21. In accordance with the Law on Domestic and Foreign Private Investment, the liquidation of investments in enterprises required approval from the High Commission and prior settlement of all accounts.
Changes During 2003
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMarch 21. The Afghani was designated as the currency to be used for all transactions and settlements of accounts unless the use of another currency is agreed by the parties concerned.

Albania

(Position as of December 31, 2002)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article XIVYes.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Albania is the Albanian lek.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Independently floatingThe exchange rate of the lek is determined on the basis of supply and demand for foreign exchange, and the Bank of Albania (BOA) occasionally intervenes in the exchange market only to smooth excessive fluctuations of the exchange rate. The BOA calculates and announces the daily average exchange rates for the dollar and 10 other major currencies and the prices of gold and silver. No margins are set between buying and selling rates for the official exchange rate, but commercial banks charge commissions ranging from 0.2% to 2%, depending on the amount, for cashing traveler’s checks. Government transactions are conducted at market rates.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsPayment for all merchandise trade is made in convertible currencies. All transactions under bilateral payment agreements were suspended in 1992, and the settlement of clearing accounts is awaiting the outcome of negotiations. All contracts denominated and payable in foreign currencies are valid.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangementsYes.
Clearing agreementsAlbania maintains bilateral clearing agreements in nonconvertible currencies with Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation, and Vietnam. Albania also maintains bilateral clearing agreements in convertible currencies with Bulgaria, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Greece, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Romania, Turkey, Vietnam, and Serbia and Montenegro.
Administration of controlThe BOA is vested with the powers to administer exchange controls. The BOA is the only authority that has the right to (1) license, authorize, regulate, supervise, and revoke the licenses of foreign exchange market operations, as well as second-tier banks; (2) define the limits of their activities; and (3) regulate and supervise foreign exchange operations and international payments in order to prevent any participant from dominating the market and undermining the value of the lek through speculation.

In accordance with anti-money laundering legislation, banks are required to maintain records of all cash transactions in excess of lek 2 million (approximately $14,000) and on all other transactions in excess of lek 70 million (approximately $500,000), and to report these to the authority responsible for the prevention of money laundering.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrears
OfficialAlbania has arrears on debts owed to China, Greece, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and with a number of official and commercial creditors. Official payments arrears to the Russian Federation are subject to a Paris Club Agreement, for which a bilateral rescheduling agreement was reached; this became effective in March 2002. A bilateral rescheduling agreement with China also was reached and came into force in September 2002. Albania has arrears on debts owed to private parties.
PrivateYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)n.r.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyNatural and juridical persons are allowed to take out up to lek 100,000 a person in banknotes and coins. The BOA may authorize larger amounts.
Foreign currencyForeign natural persons may take abroad in cash or traveler’s checks foreign exchange in an amount equal to the amount declared when entering the country. Albanian natural or juridical persons are not allowed to export amounts larger than $20,000 or its equivalent.
On imports
Domestic currencyNatural and juridical persons are allowed to import up to lek 100,000 in domestic banknotes and coins. The BOA may authorize larger amounts.
Foreign currencyNatural and juridical persons are allowed to import foreign currency and traveler’s checks up to $10,000 or its equivalent in any other currency.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadResidents—natural or juridical persons—may open and maintain foreign currency–denominated accounts with banks and financial institutions abroad only with the prior approval of the BOA, which may control and monitor transactions affecting such accounts.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadn.a.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyYes.
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 importsFor imports equal to or larger than $20,000 or its equivalent, the following documents must be submitted: (1) an application for carrying out the transaction as well as a declaration specifying in detail the nature of the transaction; (2) a contract and an invoice (or a pro forma invoice) issued by the natural or juridical person supplying the goods; and (3) a declaration that the underlying document has not been used to support previous transactions, which is to be issued by the natural or juridical person wishing to carry out the transaction with the bank.
Letters of creditLCs, bank guarantees, or cash against documents should be used for the payment of imports equal to or in excess of $200,000 or its equivalent.
Import licenses used as exchange licensesYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Positive listYes.
Open general licensesYes.
Licenses with quotasAutomatic licensing restrictions are applied on fuel products to support the implementation of domestic technical standards.
Other nontariff measuresThe import of the following products is prohibited: (1) dangerous waste, such as toxic corrosives, residual waste from explosives, and radioactive materials; (2) military poisons, chemical weapons, and other strong poisons; (3) narcotics and psychotropic substances; and (4) animal products from countries infected with livestock diseases.
Import taxes and/or tariffsExcise taxes on domestic and imported goods are unified. There are four customs tariff rates, which are applied to the c.i.f. value: zero, 2%, 10%, and 15%.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsAll private and public companies or individuals operating in the export sector are required to repatriate their foreign exchange receipts.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesExport bans apply on copper and articles made thereof; works of art; arms and ammunitions, as well as parts and accessories therefor; and explosives and pyrotechnic products.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersSupporting documents are required for transactions exceeding $20,000 or its equivalent.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsPurchases of these instruments abroad by residents require prior approval of the BOA. Trade in these instruments locally or abroad is subject to the control of the Albanian Securities Commission.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Bonds or other debt securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
On money market instruments
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
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 instrumentsTransactions in these instruments are subject to the control of the Albanian Securities Commission, but these are not yet regulated.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsn.r.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsCommercial banks may not, without the prior approval of the BOA, extend credit to nonresidents, except to banks and other financial institutions.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsCommercial banks may not, without the prior approval of the BOA, extend credit to nonresidents, except to banks and other financial institutions.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentOutward direct investments are subject to the prior approval of the BOA.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsPurchases are subject to the prior approval of the BOA.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThe controls relate only to the purchase of land.
Controls on personal capital transactions
LoansPrior BOA approval is required.
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Commercial banks may not, without the prior approval of the BOA, extend credit to nonresidents, except to banks and other financial institutions.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Credit controlsYes.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThe limit is 20% of the bank’s capital for a single currency and 30% for all currencies.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.r.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.r.
Changes During 2002
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMarch 31. Bilateral rescheduling agreements with the Russian Federation came into force.
September 30. Bilateral rescheduling agreements with China came into force.

Algeria

(Position as of January 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: September 15, 1997.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Algeria is the Algerian dinar.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateThe external value of the dinar is determined in the interbank foreign exchange market. No margin limits are imposed on the buying and selling exchange rates in the interbank foreign exchange market. However, a margin of DA 0.015 has been established between the buying and selling rates of the Bank of Algeria (BOA) for the dinar against the dollar.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketAuthorized banks may provide forward cover to residents, but this has not taken place.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with countries with which no payment agreements are in force are made in convertible currencies. Payments under foreign supply contracts may be made in either the currency in use at the headquarters of the supplier or that of the country of origin of the merchandise, except that transactions with Morocco may be effected in dollars through special clearing accounts maintained at the central banks of each country.
Payments arrangements
Clearing agreementsSpecified commercial settlements with Morocco and Tunisia are made through a Moroccan dirham account at the Bank of Morocco and a Tunisian dinar account at the Bank of Tunisia.
Administration of controlThe BOA has general jurisdiction over exchange controls. Authority for a number of exchange control procedures has been delegated to commercial banks and the Postal Administration.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents may purchase, hold, and sell gold coins in Algeria for numismatic purposes. Unworked gold for industrial and professional use is distributed by the Agence nationale pour la distribution et la transformation de l’or et des autres métaux précieux (AGENOR); this agency is also authorized to purchase gold in Algeria and to hold, process, and distribute any other precious metals.
Controls on external tradeAGENOR is authorized to import and export any precious metals, including gold. Gold used by dentists and goldsmiths is imported by AGENOR. Gold and other precious metals are included on the list of items importable by concessionaires.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyResident travelers may take out up to DA 200 a person.
Foreign currencyForeign nonresident travelers may reexport any foreign currency they declared upon entry. Resident travelers may export foreign currency withdrawn from their foreign currency accounts up to the equivalent of €7,622.45 a trip for an unlimited number of trips a year.
On imports
Domestic currencyResident travelers may reimport up to DA 200 a person. Nonresidents are not permitted to bring in Algerian dinar banknotes.
Foreign currencyThere are no restrictions on the importation of foreign banknotes, but residents and nonresidents must declare them when they enter Algeria.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyThese accounts may be freely credited with book transfers of convertible currencies from abroad using either postal or banking facilities, imported convertible foreign currencies that were declared at the time of the account holder’s entry into the country, and domestic bank-to-bank book transfers between accounts held by individuals. These accounts may be debited freely for book transfers abroad but only through the banking system. They may also be debited for purchases of dinars, for book transfers in dinars, and for purchases of convertible foreign currencies to be physically exported by the account holder. The interest rate payable on deposits in these accounts is fixed quarterly by the BOA.

Economic entities are also allowed to open foreign currency accounts for receiving and making foreign currency transfers, including the retained portion of their export proceeds. They may transfer funds in these accounts to other foreign currency accounts or use them to make payments in Algeria or to make foreign currency payments for goods and services pertaining to their business.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyThese accounts are permitted in limited cases, such as for embassies.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThese accounts may be credited with foreign currency banknotes and other means of payment denominated in foreign currency, as well as other dinar-denominated funds that meet all requirements for transfers abroad. They may be debited without restrictions to make transfers abroad, to export through withdrawals of foreign banknotes, and to make dinar payments in Algeria. These accounts pay interest and may not show a net debit position.
Domestic currency accountsFinal departure accounts may be opened, without prior authorization, in the name of any natural person residing in Algeria who is not of Algerian nationality, and who intends to leave Algeria to return to his or her country of origin. These accounts may be credited with an amount equivalent to the holdings as of October 20, 1963, of the person concerned; with the proceeds from sales of real estate by the account holder, provided that the funds are paid directly by a ministerial officer; with the proceeds of the sale of securities through a bank; and with any other payments up to DA 2,000. These accounts may be debited without prior approval for certain payments in Algeria on behalf of the account holder.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Approval requiredOutward transfers require individual approval from the BOA.
Blocked accountsIndividual suspense accounts may be opened without authorization and may be credited with payments from any country.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsPayments for imports of gold, other precious metals, and precious stones must be made from foreign currency accounts. External borrowing by importers for import financing purposes must be arranged through the authorized intermediary banks.
Advance payment requirementsExcept when otherwise indicated by the BOA, down payments for imports may not exceed 15% of the total value of imports. When a public agency, public enterprise, or ministry incurs expenditures for imports deemed to be urgent or exceptional, the bank may effect payment before exchange and trade control formalities have been completed.
Advance import depositsAlthough not mandatory, domiciled banks may require from the importer, as part of their normal commercial operations, a deposit in dinars up to the full value of the imports.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsImports must be insured by Algerian insurers.
Domiciliation requirementsAll imports are subject to obligatory domiciliation at an authorized intermediary bank, which an importer must establish by submitting a commercial contract or pro forma invoice. Import payments may be made freely but only through the domiciled bank, which effects payments in foreign exchange and debits the importer’s account with corresponding amounts in dinars valued at the official exchange rate.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Letters of creditYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Negative listThere are no legal restrictions against Israel, but there are no imports from Israel in practice. A small number of imports are prohibited for religious or security reasons.
Other nontariff measuresJuridical and natural persons registered under the Commercial Register (including concessionaires and wholesalers) may import goods without prior authorization. However, effective January 1, 2003, only joint stock companies with a minimum capital of DA 10 million owned by resident nationals of Algeria are authorized to import raw materials and manufactured goods for resale. (A transition period of six months is granted to enable economic agents to comply with the new arrangements.) These arrangements do not apply to concessionaries and wholesalers that have received Money and Credit Council approval.
Import taxes and/or tariffsEffective January 1, 2002, imports are subject to tariffs of zero, 5%, 15%, and 30%. On this same date, the temporary additional duty on certain categories of goods that was introduced in July 2001 was reduced to 36% from 48%. It is to be completely phased out by January 2006.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsProceeds must be repatriated within 120 days. Petroleum companies are subject to the same rule, but proceeds may be deposited in a guaranteed account with a foreign correspondent bank of the BOA.
Surrender requirementsAll export proceeds from crude and refined hydrocarbons, by-products from gas, and mineral products must be surrendered to the BOA. Exporters of other products must surrender 50% of the proceeds to the interbank market; the remaining portion may be retained in a foreign currency account. Exporters may use the funds in these accounts for imports or other payments pertaining to their business, or they may transfer the funds to another foreign currency account. Proceeds from exports of nonhydrocarbons and nonminerals may be surrendered to commercial banks and other authorized participants in the interbank foreign exchange market.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsThe requirements are not enforced in practice.
Letters of creditYes.
GuaranteesYes.
DomiciliationYes.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Export licensesAll exports to Israel are prohibited, and certain exports are prohibited for social or cultural reasons regardless of destination.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfers
Investment-related paymentsThe transfer abroad of dividends and interest is permitted, provided it is executed through an authorized intermediary.

Information is not available on the payment or transfer of amortization of loans or depreciation of direct investments.
Prior approvalProfit remittances are permitted, provided tax obligations have been met. Authorization is to be granted by the exchange control authorities within two months of request. Transfer must be executed through an authorized intermediary.
Payments for travelResidents traveling abroad receive an annual foreign exchange allowance, and pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia receive an allowance in Saudi Arabian riyals; the amount may be provided in the form of checks that are cashed on arrival for those traveling by air or by sea. Travel tickets purchased by nonresidents for travel abroad must be paid for with imported foreign exchange.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsThe quantitative limit is DA 15,000.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal payments
Prior approvalTransfers of alimony payments are permitted provided that the arrangement was made in an Algerian court and is enforceable in Algeria. BOA authorization is required for payments relating to family support payments; limits are set on a case-by-case basis.
Quantitative limitsThe limits for medical costs are DA 15,900 for adults and DA 7,600 for children under 15 years of age. The limit for studies abroad is DA 9,000 (previously DA 7,500) a month between September 1 and June 30.
Indicative limits/bona fide testTransfers for family financial support and alimony payments are set on a case-by-case basis.
Foreign workers’ wagesResidents of other countries working in Algeria under technical cooperation programs for public enterprises and agencies or for certain mixed companies may transfer abroad up to 100% of their salaries.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalApproval of the BOA is required for payments relating to membership, consulting, and legal fees.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsFifty percent of receipts must be surrendered to the banks.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsCapital transfers to any destination abroad are subject to individual approval by the BOA.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsIn accordance with article 187 of the Law on Money and Credit (LMC), residents may not purchase real estate, monetary, or financial assets abroad using funds from activities in Algeria except as complementary to the activities abroad.
Bonds or other debt securitiesNonresidents may invest in bonds or other debt securities. Transfers abroad of proceeds from these investments are allowed, but they must be effected through an authorized intermediary.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThe transfer abroad of proceeds from the sale of portfolio investments (bonds or other debt securities) on the stock exchange may be made freely, but transfers must be executed through an authorized intermediary.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
On money market instruments
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
On collective investment securities
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Controls on derivatives and other instruments
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Controls on credit operationsThere are controls on all credit transactions, guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentYes.
Inward direct investmentForeign direct investment is permitted freely except in certain specified sectors, provided that it conforms to the laws and regulations governing regulated activities and that prior declaration is made to the authorities.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentProceeds from disinvestment following the closing or transfer of a business operation may be transferred abroad through banks or authorized intermediaries, subject to prior approval.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Controls on personal capital transactionsn.a.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadYes.
Maintenance of accounts abroadYes.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeBanks and financial institutions may onlend foreign funds borrowed abroad.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Interest rate controlsThe interest rates applicable to foreign currency accounts are determined quarterly by the BOA.
Open foreign exchange position limitsBanks and financial institutions are required to meet the following: (1) a maximum spread of 10% between their position (short or long) in each currency and the amount of their counterpart funds in domestic currency; and (2) a maximum spread of 30% between total exposure (short and long positions, whichever is highest) for all foreign currencies and domestic currency resources.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 2002
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. A new import tariff rate structure was introduced with rates of zero, 5%, 15%, and 30%. The temporary additional duty on certain categories of goods that was introduced in July 2001 was reduced to 36% from 48%. It is to be completely phased out by January 2006.
Changes During 2003
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. Joint stock companies with a minimum capital of DA 10 million owned by resident nationals of Algeria were authorized to import raw materials and manufactured goods for resale.

Angola

(Position as of February 28, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article XIVYes.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Angola is the Angolan kwanza.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateThe exchange rate of the kwanza is market determined. However, the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) intervenes actively in the foreign exchange market, allowing only modest depreciations of the official exchange rate. The BNA publishes a reference rate daily, which is computed as the transaction-weighted average of the day’s rates.

Authorized foreign exchange dealers (i.e., banks and exchange bureaus) may deal among themselves and with their customers at freely negotiated rates.
Exchange taxForeign exchange operations are subject to a stamp duty of 1.5%. Transactions between banking institutions or involving banknotes and traveler’s checks are exempt from this duty.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsTransactions with other countries may be made through bank transfers, LCs, or financing and banking agreements.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsYes.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
OperativeAn agreement with Brazil is in effect
InoperativeThere are agreements with Portugal and Spain.
Administration of controlThe BNA is the exchange authority and may delegate its powers to other entities that are authorized to engage in foreign exchange activities. All capital transactions and invisible operations exceeding $50,000 or its equivalent are subject to prior BNA authorization. The BNA has authorized commercial banks to carry out certain transactions and invisible operations not exceeding $50,000 or its equivalent in the foreign exchange market. Effective February 7, 2003, foreign exchange bureaus that are licensed to conduct foreign exchange transactions may deal only in banknotes and traveler’s checks and execute current invisible operations of a private nature (Central Bank Instructive No. 2/2003). These bureaus may buy foreign currency from residents and nonresident natural and juridical persons, and sell foreign currency to residents up to the equivalent of $10,000 a person a trip, subject to the presentation of a passport with visa of country of destination (or residence identification card) and airline tickets.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)Yes.
In accordance with UN sanctionsYes.
Payments arrears
OfficialYes.
PrivateYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents are permitted to hold and trade gold only in the form of jewelry.
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of gold—both coins and bullion—are the monopoly of the BNA.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyExports of domestic currency are prohibited.
Foreign currencyResidents are permitted to take out up to the equivalent of $10,000 in foreign exchange. They may take out amounts exceeding this limit only if they present exchange purchase documents, including statements regarding the reason for the purchase. When leaving Angola, nonresidents are allowed to take out up to $5,000; amounts exceeding this limit may be taken out, if they were declared upon arrival in the country. The export and reexport of banknotes and traveler’s checks by banking institutions require a prior authorization of the governor of the BNA.
On imports
Domestic currencyImports of domestic currency are prohibited.
Foreign currencyThere are no limits on the amount of foreign banknotes or traveler’s checks that a resident may bring into the country; for nonresidents, amounts in excess of $5,000 must be declared upon arrival. Banking institutions are free to import banknotes and traveler’s checks, but they must submit a monthly report to the BNA.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyCheckbooks may not be issued against accounts of juridical and natural persons. These accounts may be credited with foreign currency or any other instruments accepted internationally and accrued interest. These accounts may be debited with withdrawal or sale of foreign exchange to settle imports or capital payments, as allowed by law. Transfers between these accounts are permitted, but overdrafts are not.
Held abroadAfter prior BNA approval, juridical persons are allowed to open foreign exchange accounts that may be credited with their export receipts to pay for imports of goods and services and to make debt service payments. For natural persons, no approval is required for holding these accounts.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThese accounts may be credited with foreign currency imported from abroad, with the accrued interest, or with sums from nonresidents’ type A domestic currency accounts. They may be debited for the withdrawal or sale of foreign currency, payments for foreign currency expenditures, or the repatriation of amounts authorized by the BNA.
Domestic currency accountsNonresidents may open two types of domestic currency accounts: type A and type B. The type A account may be credited with the proceeds from sales of funds from foreign exchange accounts and, after obtaining prior BNA authorization, with receipts from the nonresident’s activities in Angola. These accounts may be debited for payments of local expenses and against purchases of foreign currency to be deposited in a foreign currency account held by the same entity.

The type B account may only be credited with receipts from the nonresident’s activity in the country (when authorized by the BNA), and may only be debited for payment of local expenses.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Preshipment inspectionEffective August 9, 2002, the following require preshipment inspection: imports by government institutions and public companies and imports of boats, buses, mechanical accessories, new and used cars, receptors and transistors, objects of broadcasting, telecommunications devices, telex equipment, televisions, trucks, and scrap metal. Imports by juridical and natural persons of goods valued at more than the equivalent of $5,000 and $10,000, respectively, also require preshipment inspection. Imports of goods of lesser value are also subject to inspection if the frequency is more than once every quarter.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Negative listThere are restrictions on imports of currency, toxic products, and certain drugs. Imports of arms and ammunition for personal use are subject to authorization by the Ministry of the Interior.
Open general licensesImports are not subject to licenses, but must be registered under the REM (entry merchandise registration) system for statistical purposes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThe tariff system consists of eight rates: 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 25%, 30%, and 35%.
Taxes collected through the exchange systemThe stamp tax is collected through the exchange system.
State import monopolyOil products and derivatives may be imported only by the public oil company. Arms and ammunition for warfare may be imported only by the state.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsDomestic oil companies must surrender all their export proceeds to the BNA. Foreign oil companies are allowed, with BNA authorization, to retain their export receipts abroad for payments of imports of goods and services, interest and profits transfer, and the amortization of capital. These companies must use funds from abroad for payment of royalties, taxes, and local expenses. Foreign exchange earnings by the non-oil sector must be surrendered to domestic banks. Diamond companies are allowed to retain in local banks a percentage of the receipts of exports for payments of imports of goods and services. They may also retain part of their receipts abroad in escrow accounts, with BNA authorization, as a guarantee against foreign borrowing.
Financing requirementsn.r.
Documentation requirements
Letters of creditYes.
GuaranteesYes.
DomiciliationYes.
Export licenses
Without quotasExports are not subject to licenses, but must be registered under the RSM (exit merchandise registration) system for statistical purposes. Reexports of goods other than personal belongings are prohibited. Exports of arms, ammunition, and ethnological collections are prohibited. Special export regimes apply to aircraft, animals and animal products, historical objects, and petroleum.
Export taxesExport taxes consist of six rates: 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, and 10%.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersEffective February 7, 2003, banks must obtain BNA authorization in order to effect payments for invisible transactions in excess of $50,000 or its equivalent for each transaction (Central Bank Instructive No. 4/2003).
Trade-related paymentsService contracts with nonresidents in excess of $50,000 or its equivalent are subject to licensing.
Prior approvalYes.
Investment-related payments
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsForeign investors must obtain MOF authorization to remit profits and dividends, provided the investment in the resident company exceeds $250,000 or its equivalent.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsResidents may, upon presentation of a passport and an airline ticket, purchase foreign exchange from financial institutions as follows: for personal travel, the equivalent of $10,000 a person a trip; for business travel, a maximum of $500 a day for up to 30 days; for educational, scientific, or cultural purposes, $2,000 a person a month (limited to residents who are temporarily abroad); and for medical treatment, a maximum of $10,000 (prior to February 7, 2003, $5,000) upon presentation of medical certificate without invoice; amount is unlimited if paid directly to the bank account of the hospital.
Personal payments
Prior approvalPrior approval is required for the payment of pensions in excess of $50,000 or its equivalent.
Quantitative limitsUp to the equivalent of $2,000 a month may be authorized to Angolans or foreigners residing abroad who are direct descendants of and financially dependent on residents of Angola, provided that they are under 18 or over 60 years of age, are students, or are incapable of working.
Foreign workers’ wages
Prior approvalYes.
Credit card use abroadOnly banks may issue credit cards.
Quantitative limitsUse of credit cards abroad is limited to the equivalent of $10,000.
Other payments
Prior approvalYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsService earnings must be surrendered to the banks, unless the provider is authorized by the BNA to retain a certain proportion of the proceeds.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsForeign investment activities (i.e., the setting up of new companies or branches, but also acquisition of equity, total or partial takeover of operations, and lending related to profit sharing) are subject to the provisions of the Foreign Investment Law as well as the provisions of foreign exchange legislation and regulations. Implementation is the responsibility of the Foreign Investment Institute. Foreign investments in the areas of petroleum production, diamond mining, and financial institutions are governed by separate legislation. Effective February 7, 2003, all capital transfers are subject to BNA licensing (Central Bank Instructive No. 1/2003). All capital transactions must be conducted through authorized banks and require BNA approval and licensing for imports and exports of capital. Banks may perform a few capital transactions, such as donations and inheritance from abroad, without BNA approval.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue 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 instruments
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
On collective investment securities
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsn.r.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial creditsOperations are subject to licensing for statistical purposes only.
By residents to nonresidentsSuppliers’ credits must be reported to the BNA.
To residents from nonresidentsSuppliers’ credits must be reported to the BNA.
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 investmentAngolan citizens are permitted to invest abroad, in accordance with the Exchange Control Law.
Inward direct investmentForeign investment is prohibited in the following areas: (1) defense, internal public order, and state security; (2) central banking and currency issue; and (3) other areas reserved for the state.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentWith prior approval of the MOF, foreign investors are guaranteed the right to transfer abroad the proceeds of the sale of investments, including gains and amounts owed to them after payments of taxes due.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale locally by nonresidentsYes.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsYes.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsYes.
Transfer into the country by immigrantsYes.
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)Yes.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeBanks may lend locally in foreign exchange to resident exporters.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsEffective February 7, 2003, the reserve requirement for demand deposits in both local and foreign currencies is 10% (Central Bank Instructive No. 08/2003). The reserve requirement coefficient is calculated weekly, based on the average deposits held the previous week. Prior to this date, demand deposits in local currency were subject to a reserve requirement of 30%. Up to 5% of the reserve requirement base may be held in securities or treasury bonds of the BNA. The coefficient of the reserve requirement for central government deposits in local and foreign currencies is 100%.
Liquid asset requirementsThe liquid asset requirement is 50% of the foreign exchange portfolio.
Credit controlsBanks may lend locally in foreign exchange only to resident exporters.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Reserve requirementsYes.
Liquid asset requirementsYes.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsEffective February 7, 2003, banks may hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to 20% of their own funds (Central Bank Instructive No. 05/2003). Prior to this date, banks could hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to the equivalent of $500,000; for foreign exchange bureaus, the amount was up to $150,000.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.r.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.r.
Changes During 2002
Imports and import paymentsAugust 9. The preshipment inspection system was revised.
Changes During 2003
Arrangements for payments and receiptsFebruary 7. Foreign exchange bureaus that are licensed to conduct foreign exchange transactions may deal only in banknotes and traveler’s checks and execute current invisible operations of a private nature (Central Bank Instructive No. 2/2003). Foreign exchange bureaus may buy foreign currency from residents and nonresident individuals and juridical persons, and sell foreign currency to residents up to the equivalent of $10,000 a person a trip, subject to presentation of passports with visa of country of destination (or residence identification card) and airline tickets.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersFebruary 7. Banks must obtain BNA authorization in order to effect payments for invisibles in excess of $50,000 or its equivalent for each transaction (Central Bank Instructive No. 4/2003).
February 7. The limit for medical treatment was increased to the equivalent of $10,000 from $5,000 without an invoice. There is no limit if paid directly to the bank account of the hospital.
Capital transactionsFebruary 7. All capital transfers are subject to BNA licensing (Central Bank Instructive No. 1/2003). All capital transactions must be conducted through authorized banks and require BNA approval and licensing for imports and exports of capital. Banks may perform a few capital transactions, such as donations and inheritance from abroad, without BNA approval.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsFebruary 7. The reserve requirement for demand deposits in both local and foreign currencies is 10% (Central Bank Instructive No. 08/2003). The reserve requirement coefficient is calculated weekly, based on the average deposits held the previous week. Prior to this date, demand deposits in local currency were subject to a reserve requirement of 30%. Up to 5% of the reserve requirement base may be held in securities or treasury bonds of the BNA. The coefficient of the reserve requirement for central government deposits in local and foreign currencies is 100%.
February 7. Banks may hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to 20% of their own funds (Central Bank Instructive No. 05/2003). Prior to this date, banks could hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to the equivalent of $500,000; for foreign exchange bureaus, the amount was up to $150,000.

Antigua and Barbuda

(Position as of December 31, 2002)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: November 22, 1983.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean dollar issued by the ECCB.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separateThe Eastern Caribbean dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar, the intervention currency, at legal tender EC$2.70 per US$1. The ECCB also quotes daily rates for the Canadian dollar and the pound sterling.
Exchange taxA foreign exchange levy of 1% is applied on purchases of foreign currency.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with residents of member countries of the CARICOM must be made either in the currency of the country concerned or in Eastern Caribbean dollars. Exports to Jamaica are settled in U.S. dollars. Settlements with residents of other countries may be made in any foreign currency or in Eastern Caribbean dollars.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsYes.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsAntigua and Barbuda is a member of the CARICOM.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlThe MOF applies exchange controls to all foreign currency transactions. However, up to the equivalent of EC$250,000 in foreign currency may be purchased without MOF approval.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)On May 3, 2002, the authorities of Antigua and Barbuda notified the IMF of measures taken to freeze the assets of terrorists and terrorist organizations. These measures were taken in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
In accordance with UN sanctionsYes.
Payments arrears
OfficialYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyThere are restrictions on exports of domestic currency outside the ECCU.
Foreign currencyYes.
On imports
Foreign currencyYes.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be opened, especially in tourist-oriented industries or in export trade where receipts are primarily in foreign currency and a large number of inputs are imported or financed in foreign currency.
Held domesticallyYes.
Approval requiredCommercial banks are required to report external accounts operations to the MOF on a monthly basis.
Held abroadn.a.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadn.r.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be maintained in any currency and may be credited with receipts from sales of merchandise (whether from export-oriented or local production) or from remittances.
Approval requiredCommercial banks are required to report external accounts operations to the MOF on a monthly basis.
Domestic currency accountsThese accounts may be maintained, but prior approval is required.
Blocked accountsn.a.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetn.a.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsPayments for authorized imports are permitted upon application and submission of documentary evidence. Up to EC$250,000 a transaction may be purchased in foreign currency without MOF approval.
Domiciliation requirementsYes.
Letters of creditYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresCertain goods require individual licenses, unless imported from CARICOM countries. Antigua and Barbuda follows the CARICOM rules of origin.
Open general licensesMost goods may be freely imported under OGLs granted by the MOF and the Ministries of Industry and Commerce.
Import taxes and/or tariffsCustoms duty rates range from zero to 35% for nearly all items. Effective February 28, 2002, the fourth phase of the CARICOM CET is applied. As a result, tariffs on imports from CARICOM countries range from zero to 20% (previously, the maximum tariff was 25%). There are no customs duties on a number of items, including milk and poultry. Some goods, including basic foods and agricultural goods, are exempt from customs duties. Other exemptions for machinery, equipment, and raw materials are granted on a case-by-case basis.
State import monopolyThere is a monopoly on imports of vegetable and petroleum products.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsn.a.
Financing requirementsn.a.
Documentation requirements
Letters of creditYes.
GuaranteesYes.
DomiciliationYes.
OtherYes.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesReexports are not subject to any tax if transactions take place within the bonded area.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments for invisibles (related to authorized imports) exceeding EC$250,000 require prior approval for certain categories, except for payments for freight, insurance, unloading and storage costs, administrative expenses, commissions, and profits and dividends, which are not subject to controls.
Investment-related paymentsProfits may be remitted in full after compliance with corporate income tax payments. Verification is not applied in practice; the authorities, however, can decide to undertake such verification. Information is not available on the amortization of loans or depreciation of direct investments.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Payments for travel
Prior approvalApproval is required only for amounts exceeding the equivalent of EC$250,000.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal paymentsInformation is not available on the transfer of pensions.
Prior approvalPayments related to family maintenance and alimony are allowed if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsFor payments related to medical expenses and studies abroad, approval on a case-by-case basis is required only for amounts exceeding the equivalent of EC$250,000.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Foreign workers’ wages
Prior approvalThese remittances are allowed, if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalPayments for consulting and legal fees are allowed, if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsThe limit for subscriptions and membership fees is EC$10,000 a year.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsNo.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investmentNo.
Outward direct investmentLarge transfers abroad for investment purposes may be done in phases over time by the Financial Secretary.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsAn alien landholding license is required, and the purchase must be approved by the cabinet.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsAs a result of laws governing offshore financial institutions (1) the International Financial Sector Authority was created, with responsibility for licensing offshore financial institutions; (2) there are annual inspections of offshore financial institutions; (3) the minimum capital requirement for offshore banks is US$5 million, of which US$1.5 million is to be deposited in the domestic banking system; (4) all bank directors are to be natural persons, at least one of whom must be a national of Antigua and Barbuda (thus making bank ownership more transparent); and (5) offshore banks are allowed to extend credit to the Antiguan and Barbudan government.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)MOF approval is required for these transactions. Loans are subject to a 3% stamp duty.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.a.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 2002
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMay 3. The authorities of Antigua and Barbuda notified the IMF of measures taken to freeze the assets of terrorists and terrorist organizations, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
Imports and import paymentsFebruary 28. The fourth phase of the CARICOM CET was applied, reducing the maximum tariff on CARICOM imports to 20% from 25%.

Argentina

(Position as of May 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: May 14, 1968.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Argentina is the Argentine peso.
Exchange rate structure
UnitaryPrior to January 5, 2002, a unitary exchange rate was in operation. Effective this date, a dual exchange rate system was introduced, consisting of an official exchange rate of Arg$1.4 per US$1, which applied to certain trade and financial transactions, and the floating market exchange rate, through which all other transactions were effected. On February 11, 2002, the official exchange rate was eliminated and the dual market was unified.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchangeThe exchange rate of the Argentine peso is determined in the interbank market in which the rate Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) plays an active role. Prior to the end of 2001, the external value of the peso was pegged to the dollar under a currency board type of arrangement. Exchange rates of other currencies were based on the buying and selling rates for the dollar in markets abroad. Between January 5, 2002, and February 10, 2002, a dual exchange system was in effect, consisting of an official and a floating exchange rate. Effective February 11, 2002, the authorities officially allowed the peso to float in a unified market, but the BCRA intervenes in the market frequently. As a result, the exchange rate arrangement of Argentina has been reclassified to the category managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate from the category currency board arrangement. On December 26, 2002, the retail buying and selling of U.S. dollar banknotes on behalf and on the instructions of the BCRA were suspended.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyEffective January 5, 2002, a 7.5% export subsidy that was applicable to most exports was abolished.
Forward exchange marketMost derivative operations in the forward market are subject to prior BCRA approval. Effective March 18, 2002, forward exchange operations with foreign counterparts require prior authorization from the BCRA. On April 29, 2002, the prior authorization requirement was lifted for transfers abroad to make payments for forward operations between foreign currencies. Effective June 3, 2002, this requirement was extended to include forward operations with local counterparts.

Effective June 5, 2002, the transfer of funds to settle forward contracts in commodity prices is permitted freely.

Effective September 18, 2002, financial institutions may trade among themselves in nondeliverable futures (NDFs) exchange contracts in self-regulated markets that are to be settled in domestic currency. Effective March 13, 2003, domestic financial institutions may settle their overdue future contracts with unrelated foreign financial institutions. As of March 22, 2003, prior authorization is required to settle forwards and other financial derivatives contracts abroad.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsTransactions with countries with which there are no payments agreements must be settled in freely convertible currencies. Effective September 6, 2002, there is a monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$100,000 on foreign exchange purchases by residents for various purposes. This limit was raised to US$150,000 on January 2, 2003; to US$200,000 on March 13, 2003; to US$300,000 on March 27, 2003; and to US$500,000 on May 6, 2003.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyDomestic banknotes and coins may be used for buying foreign exchange for any purpose, in accordance with BCRA authorization requirements.

Demand and savings time deposits in domestic currency may be used to buy foreign exchange only for international transactions permitted by the BCRA. Demand deposits may be used for purchasing foreign exchange for the following purposes: (1) payments for imports of goods and services in accordance with BCRA regulations; (2) other payments for services abroad, provided that detailed documentation is submitted when the nature of the service for which payments are to be made has no direct relationship to the activities of the firm; (3) payments for profits and dividends, subject to submission of a statement by a Professional Council-certified external auditor and BCRA approval; (4) payments of financial obligations with respect to principal and interest; and (5) payments for expenditures related to participation in trade fairs and exhibitions for export promotion purposes.

Effective December 12, 2002, foreign exchange selling operations in the free market may be effected against peso banknotes, a personal check, or a debit. Previously, these transactions were subject to the “corralito” account arrangement, which restricted the flow of funds outside the banking system by limiting cash withdrawals and directing domestic payments into accounts within the banking system. Reprogrammed deposits (CEDROS) under the frozen time deposits “corralon” may be used only for a few domestic payments and transfers.
For current transactions and paymentsYes.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsTransactions in foreign currencies are permitted, and contracts based thereon are legally enforceable.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsWithin the framework of the multilateral clearing system of the LAIA, payments between Argentina and other LAIA countries are settled voluntarily through payments agreements and a reciprocal credit mechanism.

Argentina also has agreements with Cuba, Malaysia, and Russia. Payments between Argentina and these countries are settled on a voluntary basis through accounts opened with the BCRA and the other central banks concerned, with the exception of Cuba, where settlement through the accounts specified in the agreements is obligatory.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlAll exchange transactions must be carried out through specially authorized entities. These authorized entities include banks, exchange agencies, exchange houses, exchange offices, and financial companies. Each type of institution is subject to separate regulations.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsRestrictions are imposed on current payments with respect to Iraq, Libya, and Serbia and Montenegro.
Payments arrearsEffective March 27, 2003, payments of external arrears up to US$5 million are permitted under certain conditions.
OfficialYes.
PrivateYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents may hold gold coins and gold in any other form in Argentina or abroad. Financial institutions, exchange houses, and exchange agencies may buy or sell gold in the form of coins or gold bars among themselves, and may buy such gold from their clients, as well as other precious metals, the market value of which is based on the daily list prices of major transactions.
Controls on external tradeImports of gold bars are not restricted. Imports of gold by industrial users are subject to a statistical duty of 0.5% and a sales tax. Authorized institutions may export gold to entities abroad with prior BCRA authorization. Proceeds from gold exports must be received in convertible currencies. Exports of coins and precious metals exceeding US$10,000 or its equivalent require BCRA approval.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Foreign currencyExports of U.S. dollars exceeding $10,000 require prior BCRA authorization.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedEffective February 3, 2002, authorized banks may open demand deposit accounts in foreign currencies and time deposits in dollars and euros on behalf of selected entities, provided that identification requirements (intended, inter alia, to prevent money laundering) have been met.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThe regulations governing resident accounts apply.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Minimum financing requirementsOn January 10, 2002, minimum financing requirements were imposed on import payments that may be made at the official exchange rate; effective February 11, 2002, the minimum financing requirements have been extended to the unified market. Consumer goods may be fully financed abroad for periods of 45, 90, or 180 days, depending on the type of product, and capita goods with values of less than the equivalent of US$200,000 may be financed abroad up to 30% of their value, and the remainder may be financed abroad for a minimum period of 180 days after shipment—capital goods valued at more than US$200,000 may be financed abroad up to 20% of their value, and the remainder may be financed abroad for a minimum of 360 days after shipment.
Advance payment requirementsEffective March 25, 2002, advance payments could be made for most imports when the importer has funds available in foreign currencies (cash or deposits abroad), provided that goods arrived in Argentina within 180 days of payments (a longer time period applied for capital goods). This requirement was eliminated on September 5, 2002. Exporters may make advance payments for imports up to 20 days with their export receipts. On May 3, 2002, advance payments for raw materials and intermediate goods were allowed. Effective November 21, 2002, capital goods less than the equivalent of US$20,000 (f.o.b. value) in value may be paid in advance fully; capital goods between US$20,000 and US$100,000 may be paid in advance up to 30% of the import value and the rest must be financed abroad for a minimum period of 90 days after shipping; capital goods between US$100,000 and US$200,000 may be paid in advance up to 30% of import value and must be financed abroad for a minimum period of 180 days; and amounts exceeding US$200,000 may be paid in advance up to 20% of import value and the rest financed abroad for a minimum period of 360 days (an additional 15% may be prepaid upon bills of lading). Effective December 26, 2002, advance payments for capital goods may be made, and effective January 7, 2003, advance payments may be made for all goods.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsNo.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresImport licenses are required for paper products and footwear.
Negative listRestrictions are in force for security, hygiene, and public health reasons.
Open general licensesOGLs are required for a limited list of products.
Licenses with quotasQuantitative restrictions are applied to automobile sector products from MERCOSUR countries and to performance sports footwear from non-MERCOSUR countries.
Other nontariff measuresNontariff barriers are not applied to intra-MERCOSUR trade. Argentina, however, applies a special regime to sugar imports with the authorization of MERCOSUR, pending agreement on a common regime for this sector. Imports of secondhand clothing, tires, and some capital goods are prohibited.
Import taxes and/or tariffsArgentina and MERCOSUR apply a CET to imports from the rest of the world that encompasses all products. CET rates currently range from zero to 20%. A number of products are subject to an additional tariff of 1.5%. A CET of 16% applies to a list of computer and telecommunications products until 2006. The maximum import tariff for non-MERCOSUR trade is 28%. The national list now covers 100 products and the import tariffs on some capital goods may be reduced, in some cases, to 3% or, exceptionally, to zero.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExport proceeds must be repatriated and sold in the foreign exchange market within 60 to 360 days, depending on the types of products involved (in accordance with the terms stipulated by the Secretariat of Industry, Commerce, and Mines). Effective December 26, 2002, proceeds from exports of capital and finished goods may be repatriated within up to two years if they are covered by a guarantee from banks abroad in the form of LCs or letters of guarantee. In addition to the term stipulated by the Secretariat, the BCRA may stipulate a repatriation period often business days. On March 25, 2003, this period was reduced to five business days, and subsequently it was extended to 30 business days on March 27, 2003, and to 90 days on May 6, 2003. Export proceeds need not be repatriated for (1) exports that have received specific exemptions under law on executive decrees and have been contracted with the government; (2) exports that are to be used to settle export advances or service principal and interest on export financing and prefinancing loans that (1) are financed or guaranteed by local financial institutions, regardless of their source of financing; (ii) were contracted before December 6, 2001 (subject to BCRA approval); or (iii) were disbursed between December 6, 2001, and January 10, 2002, through the official foreign exchange market (since January 11, 2002) or through the unified and unrestricted exchange market (since February 11, 2002); (3) exports that have been earmarked to service properly recorded financial contracts in effect on or since November 30, 2001 (subject to BCRA approval); and (4) proceeds from exports that will be used to repay principals on financial liabilities to foreign entities outstanding on November 30, 2001, that have been restructured on terms exceeding five years as of each repayment day (subject to BCRA approval).
Surrender requirementsEffective May 17, 2002, exporters were required to surrender export proceeds to the BCRA at the market rate (which is specified in Communication A3619). Effective May 31, 2002, export proceeds exceeding the equivalent of US$1 million had to be surrendered to the BCRA at market exchange rates (previously, surrender to the BCRA was voluntary).

Effective June 18, 2002, the threshold of surrender to the BCRA was lowered to US$500,000, and was further reduced, on September 3, 2002, to US$200,000. On January 16, 2003, this threshold was raised to US$1 million, and the surrender requirement for receipts from export financing and advance payments was eliminated.

Until December 2, 2002, pesos received by exporters in exchange for export-related foreign currency had to be deposited in sight deposits subject to “corralito” restrictions.

Effective May 6, 2003, the surrender requirement for export proceeds was eliminated, except for those exports subject to surrender requirement through February 1, 2002.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licenses
Without quotasLicenses are required for exports of arms, sensitive goods, and military materials.
With quotasThere are quantitative restrictions on exports of protected animal species.
Export taxesA 5% export duty is applied to treated and untreated leather, and a 3.5% duty is applied to cotton, flax, groundnuts, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and turnips. Effective March 4, 2002, the export duty rates have been raised to 5–20% from 5–12% and they are applied to all exports.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersYes.
Investment-related payments
Prior approvalInterest payments on commercial credits do not require prior approval. Between March 25 and December 31, 2002, interest payments on financial credits by the private sector required prior approval except for payments for (1) new financing received in the foreign exchange market after February 11, 2002; (2) debts obtained from international organizations; (3) debts obtained from banks participating in the financing of investment projects cofinanced by international organizations; (4) debts obtained from official credit agencies and export credit companies that are members of the Union of Credit Investment Insurers or guaranteed by them; and (5) debts obtained from multilateral credit organizations.

From September 5, 2002, to May 5, 2003, prior approval was required to make interest payments on bonds and financial obligations on local government debt. Between February 11, 2002, and January 7, 2003, prior authorization of the BCRA was required for remittance of profit and dividends. Effective January 2, 2003, the transfer requirement on dividend payments was lifted.
Other payments
Prior approvalEffective January 8, 2003, payments of reinsurance premiums require prior authorization from the National Superintendency of Insurance upon presentation of certification regarding the reason and the amount to be transferred.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsEffective February 11, 2002, proceeds from exports of services must be repatriated and either sold in the foreign exchange market or deposited in a foreign exchange account within 15 days of receipt, and the BCRA may stipulate a repatriation period of 10 business days. On March 25, 2002, this time period was shortened to 5 business days; it was subsequently extended to 30 business days on March 27, 2003, and to 90 business days on May 6, 2003.
Surrender requirementsYes.
Restrictions on use of fundsUntil December 2, 2002, pesos received by an exporter in exchange for export-related foreign currency had to be deposited in sight deposits subject to “corralito” restrictions.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsAs a general rule, repayments of principal of external loans are subject to prior BCRA authorization with the following exceptions: (1) external payments on loans to privileged creditors (i.e., creditors listed in subparagraphs 5(b) to 5(f) of Communication A 3878, including international organizations); (2) external payments on new loans (a loan is considered new for these purposes when the foreign currency originated in that loan entered the Argentine free exchange market (MULC) on or after February 11, 2002; (3) external payments on loans that have been renegotiated under the terms set forth in Communication A 3843, as amended, applying to debt restructurings agreed between debtor and creditor on or after January 2, 2003, as long as the restructuring agreement provides for (1) upfront cash payments of no more than 10% and payments of 5% in 6 months and 5% in 12 months (20% the first year); and (ii) the maintenance of an average maturity of the remaining amounts of no less than five years more than the average maturity of the debt at the restructuring date. In addition, the loan must have its origins in one of the specific financial transactions listed in subparagraph 1.4 of Communication A 3843; and (4) transfers of foreign currency within the framework set forth by Communication A 3872 (Fiduciary Fund), with respect to loans contracted prior to February 10, 2002, with original or refinanced maturity dates falling on or before December 31, 2002, the debtor can access to the MULC (for 60 calendar days as of January 27, 2003) for up to 5% of the principal amount of the loan in order for a Fiduciary Fund to be administered by a financial institution (trustee). The beneficiary of the fund is the debtor and each beneficiary may constitute only one fiduciary fund. The fund’s resources may be used to re-enter the MULC (with prior authorization of the BCRA) and/or to make external payments on loans that were contracted prior to February 10, 2002, and that have been restructured in accordance with the terms referred to in (4) above. If the fund’s resources are to be used to make external payments of loans different from those restructured, prior authorization of the BCRA is required. Effective June 3, 2002, the foreign borrowing operations of the nonfinancial public sector in the forms of bonds and financial loans—to the extent that they do not constitute the capitalization of interest—must be contracted at terms of at least 90 calendar days. A 0.4% financial transactions tax is levied on credit and debit transactions of banks.

Effective September 3, 2002, automatic access to the foreign exchange market is available to those enterprises whose debt has been restructured and ratified by the courts when (1) the agreement with creditors involves the refinancing of debts that are due and unpaid, at average terms following signature of the agreement of not less than four years for principal payment; (2) a grace period of at least two years; (3) interest payments made quarterly or more frequently; (4) the annual interest rate agreed to does not exceed in annual terms the equivalent of the six-month LIBOR plus 3%; and (5) waivers, forgiveness, or capitalization operations reducing the amount of the debt by at least 40% of its nominal value. Effective January 2, 2003, repayments of principal on nonfinancial private sector debts no longer require BCRA prior approval, provided that the amount paid by the original financial debtor did not exceed a monthly equivalent of US$150,000 (this ceiling was raised to US$300,000 on February 13, 2003, and to US$1 million on March 13, 2003). Effective February 13, 2003, the prior approval requirement for servicing of nonfinancial private sector debts was abolished, provided that servicing related to financial debts did not exceed the equivalent of US$1 million (this ceiling was raised to US$3 million on March 13, 2003, and to US$5 million on March 27, 2003). Effective May 6, 2003, the prior approval requirement for servicing of nonfinancial and financial private sector debts was abolished, except for servicing of debts by financial entities under liabilities refinancing schemes approved by the BCRA.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsUnder the regulations of the National Securities Commission (CNV), foreign and Argentine issuers must meet the same requirements to make a public offering of securities in Argentina. Both must establish a permanent representative office and a domicile in Argentina to receive notices. Foreign issuers must state whether the securities are also being offered to the public in their country of origin and specify the initial and periodic information requirements to which they are subject. If the CNV believes that the regulations in the country of origin properly protect local investors and guarantee an adequate flow of information, the CNV may lower the requirements for these issuers. The CNV may authorize foreign issuers on a case-by-case basis to submit only such information as they would periodically submit to the corresponding authority in their jurisdiction of origin.

Issuers of public offerings of securities domestically and abroad must present simultaneously all required information in Spanish to the entities that authorize the public offering and listing abroad.
Purchase abroad by residentsAlthough there are no specific controls on residents’ purchases of foreign securities abroad, their purchases may be limited as a result of restrictions on capital flows from Argentina to foreign jurisdictions. Effective March 27, 2003, the monthly limit on foreign exchange purchases for financial investment abroad without prior BCRA approval was increased to the equivalent of US$300,000 from US$200,000 (prior to March 13, 2002, the limit was US$150,000).
Bonds or other debt securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe regulations governing the sale or issue of shares of a participating nature apply.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe regulations governing domestic issuers also apply. In particular, approval by the CNV is required for public offering. In addition, commercial paper must have a minimum maturity of seven days. Effective June 3, 2002, financial bonds issued and loans extended abroad must be made on terms not exceeding 90 consecutive days, in cases in which interest capitalizations are not involved.
On money market instruments
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe regulations governing domestic issuers also apply. In particular, approval by the CNV is required for public offering. In addition, commercial paper must have a minimum maturity of seven days.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe regulations governing domestic issuers also apply. In particular, approval by the CNV is required for public offering. In addition, commercial paper must have a minimum maturity of seven days.
On collective investment securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsApproval by the CNV is required for public offerings.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe regulations governing the sale or issue of shares of a participating nature apply.
Controls on derivatives and other instruments
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsApproval by the CNV is required for public offerings.
Purchase abroad by residentsForward and other derivatives contracts—except for currency and commodity swaps—are subject to BCRA approval.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsForward and other derivatives contracts—except for currency and commodity swaps—are subject to BCRA approval.
Controls on credit operations
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsEffective February 11, 2002, residents may extend credits to nonresidents only against pesos. Effective September 6, 2002, a monthly ceiling of $100,000 applies on extension to financial credits. This limit was raised to US$150,000 on January 2, 2003; to US$200,000 on March 13, 2003; to US$300,000 on March 27, 2003; and to US$500,000 on May 6, 2003.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentYes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases of real estate in border areas by foreign investors require prior approval for the project from the Border Superintendency of the Ministry of Defense for national security reasons.
Controls on personal capital transactions
LoansUntil August 12, 2002, most transfers related to the repayment of principal on loans contracted before February 11, 2002—with certain exceptions—were subject to prior BCRA approval.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Credits granted by financial intermediaries must be used in the country and must finance investment, production, commercialization, and consumption of goods and services for internal consumption or export.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeThere are limits on the maximum amount of securities a bank may hold from a particular issuer.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsEffective September 9, 2002, foreign exchange bureaus are required to keep positions in external assets exceeding the equivalent of US$1.5 million in a dollar account at the BCRA (Communication A 3713).
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksTransactions are prohibited by virtue of policies on general lending.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThere are regulations on the minimum capital held against market risks. Effective June 26, 2002, the limits on the overall foreign exchange position to be held against market risks were adjusted as follows: (1) in the case of banks obtaining rediscount from the BCRA in amounts exceeding 50% of net liabilities, the limit was reduced by 50%; (2) in the case of banks that have made a capital injection in foreign currencies after December 3, 2002, the limit was increased by 40%; (3) in cases involving checks bought from third parties in correspondence accounts or banks that operate in more than 15 agencies, the limit was increased by the equivalent of US$500,000; and (4) in cases involving currencies other than the U.S. dollar and the euro, the limit was increased by US$1 million (Communication A 3645). Effective February 13, 2003, the limit on the overall foreign exchange position (defined as foreign currency liquid assets held abroad plus long spot and forward positions in foreign currency securities of foreign issuers and domestic holdings of foreign currency banknotes and coins) is the equivalent of 10% of regulatory capital outstanding at end-November 2001 or US$1 million, whichever is larger. The same requirement applies to financial entities. Effective May 1, 2003, the absolute value of the overall net position in foreign exchange—as a monthly average of daily balances converted to pesos at the reference exchange rate—may not exceed 30% of the net liabilities of the preceding month (Communication A 3889).

When the net foreign exchange position is positive, the amount may not exceed that proportion of liquid own resources, whichever is smaller. Excesses may be subject to a charge of up to the equivalent of twice the nominal annual interest rate resulting from auctions of BCRA instruments in U.S. dollars or twice the 30-day LIBOR for operations in that currency as reported for the last working day of the relevant month, whichever is greater.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsYes.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadThere is a 25% limit on investment for mutual fund portfolios, but this limit does not apply to MERCOSUR and Chile. For diversification, no more than 10% of pension funds may be invested in securities issued by a foreign sovereign, or in securities of foreign corporations issued abroad.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyWhen a mutual fund consists of securities, a minimum of 75% of the investment must be made in assets issued and traded in Argentina, including those issued by MERCOSUR and Chile.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionYes.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsDue to the implicit risk associated with open foreign exchange positions in different currencies other than the U.S. dollar, additional capital is required to cover those risks. Deposits and loans in these currencies are computed to build the position.
Changes During 2002
Exchange arrangementJanuary 5. The 7.5% export subsidy applicable to most exports was abolished.
January 5. A dual exchange rate system was introduced. It consisted of an official exchange rate of Arg$1.4 per US$1, applicable to certain trade and financial transactions, and the floating market exchange rate, applicable to all other transactions.
February 11. The official exchange rate was eliminated and the dual market was unified.
February 11. The authorities officially allowed the peso to float. As a result, the exchange rate arrangement of Argentina was reclassified from the category currency board arrangement to the category managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate.
March 18. Forward exchange operations with foreign counterparts required prior authorization from the BCRA.
April 29. The prior authorization requirements for transfers abroad to make payments for forward operations between foreign currencies were lifted.
June 3. The restriction that forward exchange operations with foreign counterparts require prior authorization from the BCRA was extended to include forward operations with local counterparts.
June 5. Transfers of funds to settle forward contracts in commodity prices were permitted freely.
September 18. NDFs to be settled in domestic currency were allowed to be traded among financial institutions.
December 26. The BCRA suspended the buying and selling of U.S. dollar banknotes.
Arrangements for payments and receiptsSeptember 6. A monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$100,000 was imposed on foreign exchange purchases by residents for various purposes.
December 12. The “corralito” account arrangement was abolished.
December 12. Foreign exchange-selling operations in the free market were allowed to be effected against peso banknotes, the buyer’s own check, or debits from the buyer’s account.
Resident accountsFebruary 3. Authorized banks were allowed to open demand deposit accounts in foreign currencies and time deposits in dollars and euros on behalf of select entities, provided that identification requirements (intended, inter alia, to prevent money laundering) have been met.
Nonresident accountsFebruary 3. Authorized banks were allowed to open demand deposit accounts in foreign currencies and time deposits in dollars and euros on behalf of select entities, provided that identification requirements (intended, inter alia, to prevent money laundering) have been met.
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 10. Minimum financing requirements were imposed on import payments that are allowed to be made at the official exchange rate.
February 11. Minimum financing requirements were extended to the unified market.
March 25. Most imports were permitted to be paid for in advance when the importer had funds available in a foreign currency (cash or deposits abroad).
May 3. A new schedule of goods for which advance payments are permitted came into effect.
September 5. Minimum financial requirements made at the official exchange rate were eliminated.
November 21. Advance payments were allowed in the following cases: (1) for capital goods amounting up to the equivalent of US$20,000 (f.o.b. value) or an equivalent amount; (2) from US$20,000 to US$100,000, with up to 30% advance payment, and outstanding balance from 90 days; (3) from US$100,000 to US$200,000, up to 30% advance payment and outstanding balance from 180 days; and (4) for higher amounts, with a 20% advance payment, 15% paid upon bills of lading, and the outstanding balance from 360 days.
December 26. Advance payments for capital goods were permitted.
Exports and export proceedsMarch 4. Export duty rates were raised to 5–20% from 5–12% and were applied to all exports.
May 17. Exporters are required to surrender export proceeds to the BCRA at the market rate.
May 31. The voluntary scheme for BCRA foreign exchange purchases from exporters was replaced with a requirement that merchandise export receipts above the equivalent of US$1 million be surrendered to the BCRA—rather than to the market—at market rates.
June 18. The amount of export proceeds that must be surrendered to the BCRA was reduced to the equivalent of US$500,000 from US$1 million.
September 3. The minimum amount of export proceeds that must be surrendered to the BCRA was reduced to the equivalent of US$200,000 from US$500,000.
December 2. The pesos received by the exporter in exchange for the export-related foreign currency had to be deposited in sight deposits subject to “corralito” restrictions.
December 26. Proceeds from exports of capital goods were allowed to be repatriated within up to two years if they are covered by a guarantee from banks abroad in the form of letters of credit or letters of guarantee.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersFebruary 11. Prior approval of the BCRA was required for remittances of profits and dividends.
March 25. Interest payments on financial credits by the private sector, with certain exceptions, required BCRA approval.
September 5. Prior approval of the BCRA was required for payments of interest on bonds and financial obligations on local government debt.
December 31. BCRA approval was no longer required for interest payments on financial credits by the private sector.
Proceeds from invisible transactions and current transfersFebruary 11. Proceeds from exports of services were required to be repatriated and surrendered within 15 days of collection—locally or abroad—or credited to a foreign account.
March 25. Proceeds from exports of services were required to be repatriated and surrendered within 5 days of collection—locally or abroad—or credited to a foreign account.
December 2. The pesos received by an exporter in exchange for the export-related foreign currency were required to be deposited in sight deposits subject to “corralito” restrictions.
Capital transactions
Controls on capital transactionsSeptember 3. Automatic access to foreign exchange was permitted for enterprises whose debt had been restructured and ratified by the courts.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsMarch 13. The monthly limit on foreign exchange for purchase abroad of capital market securities without prior BCRA approval was increased to the equivalent of US$200,000 from US$150,000.
June 3. Financial bonds issued and loans extended abroad must be made on terms not exceeding 90 days, consecutively, in cases where interest capitalizations are not involved.
Controls on credit operationsFebruary 11. Residents may extend credits to nonresidents only against the peso.
September 6. A monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$100,000 applied on extensions to financial credits.
Controls on personal capital transactionsFebruary 11. Transfers related to repayment of principal on loans contracted before February 11, 2002, were subject to prior BCRA approval, with certain exceptions.
August 12. BCRA approval was no longer required for transfers related to repayment of principal on loans.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsJune 26. The limits on overall foreign exchange position to be held against market risks were adjusted subject to certain circumstances.
September 9. Foreign exchange bureaus were required to keep positions in external assets exceeding the equivalent of US$1.5 million in a dollar account at the central bank (Communication A 3713).
Changes During 2003
Exchange arrangementMarch 13. Domestic financial institutions were permitted to settle their overdue future contracts with unrelated foreign financial institutions.
March 22. Settlement of forward transactions and other financial derivatives contracts abroad require prior authorization of the BCRA.
Arrangements for payments and receiptsJanuary 2. A monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$100,000 on residents’ foreign exchange purchases for various purposes was raised to US$150,000.
March 13. A monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$100,000 on residents’ foreign exchange purchases for various purposes was raised to US$200,000.
March 27. A monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$100,000 on residents’ foreign exchange purchases for various purposes was raised to US$300,000.
March 27. Payments of external arrears of up to US$5 million were allowed under certain conditions.
May 6. A monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$100,000 on residents’ foreign exchange purchases for various purposes was raised to US$500,000.
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 7. Advance payments for all goods were permitted.
Exports and export proceedsJanuary 16. The minimum amount of proceeds that must be surrendered to the BCRA was raised to the equivalent of US$1 million from US$200,000. Advances and prefinancing proceeds were no longer required to be surrendered to the BCRA.
March 25. The period during which repatriated export proceeds must be sold in the foreign exchange market or surrendered to the BCRA was reduced to five days.
March 27. The period during which repatriated export proceeds must be sold in the foreign exchange market or surrendered to the BCRA was changed to 30 days from 5 days.
May 6. The period during which repatriated export proceeds must be sold in the foreign exchange market or surrendered to the BCRA was changed to 90 days from 30 days.
May 6. Surrender of export proceeds to the BCRA was eliminated except for those exports for which proceeds had to be received through February 1, 2002.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersJanuary 2. The requirement for the transfers of dividend payments was lifted.
January 7. Prior BCRA approval was no longer required for remittances of profits and dividends.
January 8. Payments of reinsurance premiums were subject to prior authorization from the National Superintendency of Insurance.
May 5. Prior BCRA approval was no longer required for payments of interest on bonds and financial obligations on local government debt.
Proceeds from invisible transactions and current transfersMarch 27. The period during which proceeds from exports of services must be repatriated was extended to 30 days from 5 days.
May 6. The period during which proceeds from exports of services must be repatriated was extended to 90 days from 30 days.
Capital transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsJanuary 2. Repayment of principal services on nonfinancial private sector debts no longer required BCRA prior approval, provided that the amount paid by the original financial debtor did not exceed a monthly equivalent of US$150,000. (This ceiling was raised to US$300,000 on February 13, 2003, and to US$1 million on March 13, 2003.)
February 13. Repayment of principal on nonfinancial private sector debts no longer required BCRA prior approval, provided that the amounts involved financial debts that, as of December 31, 2001, did not exceed the equivalent of US$1 million. (The ceiling was raised to US$3 million on March 13, 2003 and to US$5 million on March 27, 2003.)
March 27. The monthly limit on foreign exchange purchases for financial investment abroad without prior BCRA approval was raised to the equivalent of US$300,000 from US$200,000.
May 6. BCRA prior approval was no longer required for payments of principal on nonfinancial and financial private sector debts, except for those liabilities under refinancing schemes arranged with the BCRA.
Controls on credit operationsJanuary 2. The monthly ceiling on purchases of foreign exchange by resident to nonresidents for extension of financial credits without BCRA approval was increased to the equivalent of US$150,000 from US$100,000.
March 13. The monthly ceiling on purchases of foreign exchange by resident to nonresident for extension of financial credits without BCRA approval was increased to the equivalent of US$200,000 from US$150,000.
March 27. The monthly ceiling on purchases of foreign exchange by resident to nonresidents for extension of financial credits without BCRA approval was increased to the equivalent of US$300,000 from US$200,000.
May 6. The monthly ceiling on purchases of foreign exchange by resident to nonresidents for extension of financial credits without BCRA approval was increased to the equivalent of US$500,000 from US$300,000.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsFebruary 13. The limit on the overall foreign exchange position of financial institutions was set at 10% of regulation capital outstanding at end-November 2001 or US$1 million, whichever is larger.
May 1. The overall net position in foreign exchange of financial institutions (as a monthly average of daily balances converted to pesos at the reference exchange rate) was not allowed to exceed 30% of the net liabilities of the preceding month.

Armenia

(Position as of January 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: May 29, 1997.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Armenia is the Armenian dram.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Independently floatingArmenia has adopted an independently floating exchange rate regime. The Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) pursues a policy of monetary targeting for which it manages the reserve money as its operational target and intervenes in the foreign exchange market only to smooth the fluctuations of reserve money. Foreign exchange transactions take place predominantly in the interbank market, in which the CBA also participates. Foreign exchange auctions in Armenia are currently inoperative.

Purchases and sales of foreign currency may be implemented through foreign exchange entities licensed by the CBA, including banks; foreign exchange dealers; and foreign exchange bureaus; or, in the case of the government and commercial banks, through the CBA itself which acts as the government’s financial agent. Foreign exchange entities carry out foreign exchange transactions by setting their own buying and selling rates without any restrictions.

The exchange rate of the dram against the dollar is determined on the basis of exchange rates prevailing in the interbank market on the previous day. The official exchange rate is set as the average (midpoint) of the CBA’s buying and selling rates. The official exchange rate is used for accounting purposes and is used in daily operations with the treasury. Foreign exchange entities use the official exchange rate of the CBA for bookkeeping and revaluation purposes.

Foreign exchange entities and other business entities determine exchange rates for their operations independently.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketResidents and nonresidents may negotiate freely forward exchange contracts for both commercial and financial transactions in all leading convertible currencies in the domestic exchange market and at major international foreign exchange markets. However, for the time being, the forward exchange market in Armenia is still undeveloped, although some banks sign forward contracts in small amounts.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirements
Use of foreign exchange among residentsResidents are prohibited from using foreign exchange as a means of payment within Armenia.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
InoperativeArmenia maintains agreements with Russia and Turkmenistan.
Regional arrangementsArmenia is a signatory of the 1993 Treaty of Economic Union (with Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), which provides for the eventual establishment of a customs union, a payments union, cooperation on investment, industrial development, and customs procedures. Armenia also joined the Agreement on the Establishment of a Payments Union of CIS member countries. Armenia is a member of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Pact, together with Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Bilateral free trade agreements have been signed with Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine, though only the agreement with Russia is in operation. In 2002, Armenia joined the EU as an observer. Effective December 10, 2002, Armenia is a member of the WTO.
Clearing agreementsThere is an arrangement with Turkmenistan for the importation of natural gas. In addition, bilateral clearing agreements with the Baltic countries, Russia, and the other countries of the FSU exist, but all have become largely inoperative.
Administration of controlThe CBA is the main body that formulates and administers exchange rate policy and that may issue foreign exchange regulations within Armenia. The CBA also has the overall responsibility for currency control, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MOFE). In general, the MOFE exercises authority over ministries and other administrative authorities, municipal authorities, budgetary organizations, and state funds. The CBA exercises authority over the activities of all other agents. Resident and nonresident currency dealers, including banks, may undertake foreign exchange transactions without restriction. There are no restrictions on current and capital movements unless otherwise specified by the CBA (in which case one month’s notice is required).
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrears
OfficialThere are arrears to the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan, but negotiations for their settlements through transfer of goods (in the case of Turkmenistan) and debt-equity swaps (in the case of Russia) have been concluded.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Foreign currencyIndividuals are authorized to transfer, deliver, and export currency and securities denominated in foreign exchange up to the equivalent of $10,000 without any restriction. Exports of currency exceeding that amount are permitted through bank transfers.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyYes.
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 measures
Negative listImport permits from the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Health are required and granted on a case-by-case basis to import medicinal preparations and pesticides. Imports of weapons, military equipment and parts, and explosives require special authorization from the government.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThere are two rates of customs duties: zero and 10%; the former applies to most imports. Products imported from countries in the CIS are exempted. Tariffs for a few agricultural products, textiles, and vehicles are zero, while a 10% tariff applies for a variety of new materials and manufactured products.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsAt present, there is no repatriation requirement; however, the CBA has the power, as specified by legislation, to impose such requirements on foreign exchange proceeds.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesExport permits are required for export of medicines, wild animals, and plants. In addition, special government permission is required for the export of nuclear technology, nuclear waste, related nonnuclear products, and technology with direct military applications. Minimum threshold prices for the export of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and the reexport of foreign-produced goods therefrom remain in force.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesNo.
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 transactionsExcept for purchases of real estate in Armenia by nonresidents, there are no controls on capital transactions. However, the CBA reserves the right to impose controls if necessary. New controls are announced one month in advance.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsNo.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investmentNo.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactionsNonresidents are prohibited by the constitution to acquire land in Armenia.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsOn November 22, 2002, the CBA introduced a deposit insurance scheme for deposits in foreign and local currencies. In July 2005, a special guaranteed deposit insurance fund will begin to pay compensation on deposits in the event of a bankruptcy
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Reserve requirementsAn 8% reserve requirement in local currency applies against deposits in both foreign and domestic currency. Effective January 1, 2002, the reserve requirement is remunerated at an annual rate of 3% (prior to this date, 5%).
Open foreign exchange position limitsEffective January 3, 2003, a limit of 30% applies to the gross foreign exchange position of lending institutions in convertible and nonconvertible currencies (prior to this date, the limit was 25%).

Moreover, a limit of 5% applies to the net foreign exchange position of commercial banks in nonconvertible currencies.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2002
Arrangements for payments and receiptsDecember 10. Armenia became a member of the WTO.
Capital transactions
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsJanuary 1. The annual rate of remuneration for reserve requirement was reduced to 3% from 5%.
November 22. The CBA introduced a deposit insurance scheme for deposits in foreign and local currencies.
Changes During 2003
Capital transactions
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsJanuary 3. The limit applied to the gross foreign exchange position of lending institutions in convertible and nonconvertible currencies was increased to 30% from 25%.

Aruba

(Position as of December 31, 2002)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: February 15, 1961.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Conventional pegged arrangementThe florin is pegged to the dollar at Af. 1.79 per $1. The Centrale Bank van Aruba (CBA), the central bank, deals with local commercial banks within margins of 0.002795% on either side of parity.
Exchange taxA foreign exchange commission of 1.3% is levied on all payments to nonresidents, except when settled in Netherlands Antillean guilders. Certain institutions are exempted from this commission. Since July 17, 2002, payments abroad through checking accounts of local banks, and payments to nonresidents effected through intercompany and foreign bank accounts are also exempt from this commission.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsn.a.
Payments arrangementsNo.
Administration of controlThe CBA administers foreign exchange control.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsYes.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyThe exportation of domestic banknotes is prohibited.
Foreign currencyThe exportation of foreign banknotes requires a license, except for traveling purposes.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadThe opening of an account abroad must be reported to the CBA. Approval is not required, but holders of accounts abroad must apply to the CBA if they wish to be exempted from the requirement that they collect foreign claims as soon as they fall due and transfer and sell them to a local foreign exchange bank.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadn.a.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyThese accounts are not allowed.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyBalances in these accounts are fully convertible.
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 measures
Licenses with quotasThe importation of eggs may be subject to quotas, depending on the domestic supply situation.
Import taxes and/or tariffsYes.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsUnless specifically exempted, export proceeds must be converted into local currency within eight working days, or credited to a foreign currency account with a local foreign exchange bank, or deposited in a foreign bank account that has been registered with the CBA.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersMost restrictions on these transactions have been eliminated.
Investment-related payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testInterest payments on all types of loans may be effected if a license has been obtained from the CBA to conclude the loan. As regards profits and dividends, documents should be submitted to the CBA with respect to the amount involved. In the case of depreciation of direct investments, a special license is required if the amount of the transaction exceeds the authorized ceiling.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsUnless specifically exempted, proceeds must be converted into local currency within eight working days, or credited to a foreign currency account with a local foreign exchange bank, or deposited in a foreign bank account that has been reported to the CBA.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsEffective July 1, 2002, transactions of less than Af. 300,000 a year (previously, Af. 200,000) for natural persons and Af. 750,000 a year (previously, Af. 500,000) for juridical persons (excluding commercial banks and institutional investors) may be carried out without CBA authorization. These ceilings are applicable to all capital transactions with nonresidents, including investments and loans; a CBA license is required for capital transactions exceeding these ceilings.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securitiesThere are controls on all these transactions. A CBA license is required for transactions that exceed the indicated ceilings.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsThere are controls on these transactions exceeding the indicated ceilings.
Controls on credit operationsThere are controls on these transactions exceeding the indicated ceilings.
Controls on direct investmentThere are controls on all transactions exceeding the indicated ceilings.
Outward direct investmentThe CBA may require divestment, repatriation, and surrender of proceeds to the CBA.
Inward direct investmentYes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentYes.
Controls on real estate transactionsThere are controls on transactions exceeding the indicated ceilings.
Controls on personal capital transactionsPersonal capital transactions must be effected through the banking system.
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsYes.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsYes.
Liquid asset requirementsYes.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Reserve requirementsYes.
Liquid asset requirementsYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadYes.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyThe limits are 40% of the first Af. 10 million of outstanding liabilities; 50% of the second Af. 10 million; and 60% of the remaining liabilities.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2002
Exchange arrangementJuly 17. Payments abroad made through checking accounts of local banks, and payments to nonresidents that are effected through intercompany and foreign bank accounts are exempt from the 1.3% foreign exchange commission.
Capital transactionsJuly 1. The limit for capital transactions that do not require a special foreign exchange license from the CBA was increased to Af. 300,000 from Af. 200,000 for natural persons and to Af. 750,000 from Af. 500,000 for juridical persons.

Australia

(Position as of July 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: July 1, 1965.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Australia is the Australian dollar. It also circulates in several other countries, including Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Independently floatingThe exchange rate of the Australian dollar is market determined. Licensed foreign exchange dealers may deal among themselves, with their customers, and with overseas counterparties at mutually negotiated rates for both spot and forward transactions in any currency with regard to trade- and non–trade related transactions. However, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) retains discretionary power to intervene in the foreign exchange market. There is no official exchange rate for the Australian dollar. The RBA publishes an indicative rate for the Australian dollar based on market observation at 9 a.m., noon, and 4 p.m. daily.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketActive trading takes place in forward and futures contracts.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirements
Use of foreign exchange among residentsResidents generally require a financial services license to purchase or sell foreign currency except where one of the following conditions is met: (1) the transaction is settled immediately, (2) the person is not a dealer in foreign currency, or (3) the person is dealing on his or her own account.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsAustralia participates in PACER.
Administration of controlEffective March 11, 2002, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is responsible for the licensing of all financial service providers, including foreign exchange dealers that deal in foreign currency transactions unless the transactions are settled immediately or in the case of persons dealing on their own accounts.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsFinancial restrictions apply to certain transactions, accounts, and assets relating to Iraq; Zimbabwe; the UNITA movement in Angola; certain persons associated with the previous government of the former Republic of Yugoslavia; the Taliban; and organizations, individuals, and other entities identified as terrorists or as sponsors of terrorism.

In accordance with UN Security Council Resolution No. 1373, the Minister for Foreign Affairs is empowered to maintain a list of suspected persons, entities, and assets connected with terrorism (the list was augmented on October 28, 2002). Dealing with the funds or other assets of the listed individuals or groups, or making funds or assets available to them, is prohibited, and any funds in connection with listed individuals or groups must be frozen.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesExportation or importation of notes and coins totaling more than $A 10,000 in domestic or foreign currency must be reported to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC).
Foreign currencyNonresident travelers may take out any foreign currency they brought into Australia.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyA person generally requires a financial services license to purchase or sell foreign currency except where one of the following conditions is met: (1) the transaction is settled immediately, (2) the person is not a dealer in foreign currency, or (3) the person is dealing on his or her own account.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyConversion may be effected through a licensed foreign exchange dealer or through a person who is not licensed, provided that one of the following conditions is met: (1) the transaction is settled immediately, (2) the person is not a dealer in foreign currency, or (3) the person is dealing on his or her own account.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedA person generally requires a financial services license to purchase or sell foreign currency except where one of the following conditions is met: (1) the transaction is settled immediately, (2) the person is not a dealer in foreign currency, or (3) the seller is dealing on his or her own account.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyConversion must be effected through a licensed foreign exchange dealer or through a person who is not licensed, provided that one of the following conditions is met: (1) the transaction is settled immediately, (2) the person is not a dealer in foreign currency, or (3) the person is dealing on his or her own account.
Blocked accountsOnly those accounts affected by international security restrictions or UN sanctions are blocked.
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 measuresThere are no import-licensing requirements or quotas on imports other than the tariff quota that applies to certain cheeses and curd.
Negative listFor some products, imports are allowed only if written authorization is obtained from the relevant authorities or if certain regulations are observed. Among the goods subject to control are narcotic, psychotropic, and therapeutic substances; firearms and certain weapons; certain chemicals and primary commodities; some glazed ceramic ware; rough diamonds; and various dangerous goods. These controls are maintained mainly to meet health and safety requirements; to meet certain requirements for labeling, packaging, or technical specifications; and to satisfy certain obligations arising from Australia’s membership in international commodity agreements or to meet obligations under international trade embargoes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsA general tariff of 5% applies to most manufactured goods, with the following exceptions. The tariff on passenger motor vehicles and certain automotive components is 15% and is scheduled to be reduced to 5% by 2010. Textiles, clothing, and footwear are subject to tariffs ranging from zero to 25%. Tariffs for these goods will also be reduced on January 1, 2005 to levels between 7.5% and 17.5%. Tariffs for a large range of goods have been abolished.

The ANZCERTA establishes free trade in goods between Australia and New Zealand. The SPARTECA provides the Forum Island countries with nonreciprocal, duty-free access to most markets in Australia and New Zealand. Trade between Papua New Guinea and Australia is covered by the Papua New Guinea-Australia Trade and Commercial Relations Agreement. Developing countries receive tariff preferences on exports to Australia under the Australian System of Tariff Preferences for Developing Countries, with a uniform preferential margin of 5%. Effective July 1, 2003, all goods produced in the least-developed countries and Timor-Leste may be imported free of duties and quotas. Preferences have been eliminated on imports of some goods, such as textiles, clothing and footwear, chemicals, vegetable and fruit preparations, tuna, and sugar, except from the least-developed countries and South Pacific island territories.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesExport prohibitions and restrictions in effect are designed to ensure quality control, administer trade embargoes, and meet obligations under international arrangements. These prohibitions are also set up to restrict the exportation of certain defense materials; regulate the exportation of goods that involve high technology and have dual civilian and military applications; maintain adequate measures of control over designated cultural property, resources, flora, and fauna; secure conservation objectives; and respond to specific market distortions abroad. Remaining controls on primary products apply mainly to food and agricultural products. Rough diamonds may be exported only to countries participating in the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme.

Export controls apply to uranium and related nuclear materials (including uranium-bearing sands) to ensure compliance with Australia’s nonproliferation policy obligations. Restrictions also apply to certain other nuclear and related materials. Licenses are required for exports of unprocessed wood, including wood chips. The Australian Dairy Corporation administers export control powers in relation to prescribed dairy products under the provisions of the Dairy Produce Act. All exporters of controlled dairy products must be licensed. This system allows the control of exports to markets where quantitative restrictions apply.

Cattle, sheep or goat meat, and livestock may be exported only by persons or firms licensed by the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry (AFFA). If other countries impose quantitative restrictions on imports of meat or livestock, the AFFA may, in conjunction with industry, introduce measures to control Australian exports to conform with those restrictions.

Other Commonwealth statutory marketing authorities that have export control powers are the Horticulture Australia Limited, the Australian Honey Board, the Australian Wheat Board, and the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. The Australian Wheat Board’s powers make it the sole exporter of Australian wheat.
With quotasAustralia has a complete ban on the export of merino ewes, their genetic material, ova, and embryos to any country other than New Zealand. However, merino breeding rams purchased at designated export auctions and semen from rams included in the National Register of Semen Export Donors may be exported. Sales are subject to AFFA approval and an annual quota (currently limited in total to 800 rams a year, with a provision for up to 100 rams to be placed on a semen donor register). No ram sold and nominated for the collection of semen for export may be physically exported. There is no restriction on the export of merino rams or reproductive material to New Zealand. The above restrictions do not apply to merino rams intended for slaughter; however, the export of these rams is subject to controls to ensure they do not enter breeding stocks.
Export taxesNo.
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 transactionsThe purchase of shares and other securities of a participatory nature, which may be affected by laws and policies on inward direct investment, may require notification to the Australian authorities. Foreign governments, their agencies, and international organizations are not permitted to issue bearer bonds and, when borrowing in the Australian capital market, must advise the Australian authorities of the details of each borrowing after its completion. Subject to certain disclosure requirements, overseas banks may issue securities in the wholesale capital market in amounts of $A 500,000 or more. Effective March 11, 2002, a license issued by the ASIC is required to provide financial products advice; to deal in financial products (including securities, derivatives, and foreign exchange contracts that are not derivatives or a contract to exchange one currency for another that is to be settled immediately); or to create a market for a financial product. This license entails specific codes of conduct and obligations, and subjects the licensee to certain disclosure requirements in relation to retail clients.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Bonds or other debt securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
On money market instruments
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsA person generally requires a financial services license to purchase or sell foreign currency except where one of the following conditions is met: (1) the transaction is settled immediately, (2) the person is not a dealer in foreign currency, or (3) the person is dealing on his or her own account.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentPrior authorization is required for (1) acquisitions by foreign investors of a substantial interest in an Australian business with total assets of $A 50 million or more or where the proposal values the business at or over that amount (a substantial interest occurs when a single foreigner and any associates have 15% or more ownership of a business or several foreigners have 40%); (2) all investments subject to special restrictions (i.e., in the banking, civil aviation, airports, shipping, media, telecommunications, and real estate sectors), including those below the SA 50 million threshold; (3) direct investments by foreign governments or their agencies, irrespective of size; and (4) proposals to establish new business where the total amount of the investment is SA 10 million or more.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsAll acquisitions of residential real estate, including vacant land, must be documented, unless exempt by regulation. Acquisitions of nonresidential commercial real estate for development are normally approved, as are acquisitions of developed nonresidential commercial real estate. Acquisition of developed nonresidential commercial real estate is exempt if the total value of the property is less than $A 50 million and if the property is not subject to heritage listing. If the property is subject to heritage listing, the total value of the property may not exceed $A 5 million.

Approval is also usually granted for acquisitions of vacant land for development, subject to certain conditions, and for acquisitions of dwellings (including condominiums) direct from a developer, either “off the plan,” while under construction, or completed but never occupied, provided that no more than 50% of the total number of dwellings are sold to foreign investors.

Foreign acquisitions of established residential real estate are normally approved only in cases involving temporary residents who acquire the property as their principal place of residence for a period in excess of 12 months, subject to resale of the property upon departure. Foreign persons who are entitled to reside permanently in Australia or those who purchase as joint tenants with an Australian spouse are not required to seek approval to acquire any form of residential real estate. Foreign acquisition of residential real estate (including condominiums) within a designated integrated tourist resort is exempt from authorization.
Sale locally by nonresidentsThe sale of Australian real estate by both residents and nonresidents is subject to the above conditions.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsTransfers may be subject to approval of the authorities in cases where the gift involves a foreign person attaining an interest in Australian urban land.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsAuthorized deposit-taking institutions are subject to prudential requirements, e.g., liquidity management and credit concentration.
Investment regulations
In banks by nonresidentsPrior approval from the Treasurer is required for any person or group—domestic or foreign—to acquire a 15% or larger share in a financial sector company, including authorized deposit-taking institutions and any nonoperating holding company for these institutions in Australia.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsForeign-owned life insurance companies can only operate in the form of locally incorporated subsidiaries.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsThe rules of the Australian Stock Exchange require that, to be a participating organization of the exchange, a majority of the directors must be Australian residents. This rule does not prohibit foreigners from owning participating organizations.

Authorized deposit-taking institutions, insurance companies, and pension funds are supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
Changes During 2002
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMarch 11. The Financial Services Reform Act came into effect, establishing a single licensing regime within the ASIC for all financial market activity. Providers of financial services must now hold an Australian financial services license issued by the ASIC.
October 28. Additional names of individuals and entities associated with terrorism that are subject to financial restrictions were added to the list maintained by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Capital transactionsMarch 11. A license issued by the ASIC is required to provide financial products advice, to deal in financial products, or to create a market for a financial product.
Changes During 2003
Imports and import paymentsJuly 1. All goods produced in least-developed countries and Timor-Leste were allowed to be imported free of duties and quotas.

Austria

(Position as of December 31, 2002)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: August 1, 1962.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Austria is the euro. Until February 28, 2002, the Austrian schilling was the legal tender in cash transactions, and between January 1 and February 28, 2002, both the schilling and the euro circulated. The euro became the sole legal tender on March 1, 2002.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tenderAustria participates in a currency union (EMU) with 11 other members of the EU: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. The conversion rate between the euro and the schilling was set at $13.7603 per €1. The ECB has the right to intervene to smooth out fluctuations in the euro exchange rate.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with all countries may be made either in foreign currencies or through free euro accounts.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
OperativeThere are no bilateral payments agreements; however, several bilateral agreements exist for the promotion and protection of investments, which include provisions on transfers between the signatories.
Administration of controlMost exchange transactions are effected through Austrian banks authorized by the central bank.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsCertain restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions to Iraq are in force. EU restrictions are imposed on payments and transfers to specifically targeted persons associated with Liberia or the former Republic of Yugoslavia. In addition, restrictions apply to payments and transfers to Myanmar; Somalia; Zimbabwe; the Taliban; and individuals, groups, and organizations associated with terrorism.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesNo.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsAccounts of citizens of certain countries affected by EU regulations and accounts that are blocked by virtue of UN sanctions are treated differently. In the former case, regulations are addressed directly to the credit institutions of the member states, which are then responsible for taking the requisite action. This procedure applies to accounts belonging to certain citizens of Myanmar, Zimbabwe, individuals linked to the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Taliban, and to non-EU terrorists. In the latter case, the Austrian National Bank issues official announcements (regulations) to make provisions of the UN sanctions effective under Austrian law. These official announcements are addressed to the Austrian credit institutions. This procedure applies to accounts belonging to citizens of Iraq and to terrorists with a residence in the EU.
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 measuresExport and import licenses must be issued by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs for industrial products and by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for agricultural products. As a member of the EU, Austria applies all import regulations based on the common commercial policy, i.e., import restrictions for industrial products in the textile and clothing sectors and statistical surveillance for products falling under the scope of the ECSC Treaty. There are also regulations based on current EU law with regard to China for imports of some consumer products.
Positive listYes.
Licenses with quotasYes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsAustria applies the Common Import Regime of the EU.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesLicenses for exports must be obtained from the relevant ministry, or at the time of clearance, from the customs authorities. For most exports, licenses are not required. Export licenses are issued with due consideration for the provisions of relevant EU trade agreements and the fulfillment of quotas established in accordance with such agreements, and the needs of the Austrian economy.
Without quotasYes.
With quotasYes.
Export taxesNo.
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 transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsIn some cases, reporting requirements to the Austrian National Bank exist.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentIn the auditing and legal professions, the transport sector, and the electric power generation sector certain restrictions apply for investments by nonresidents and Austrian residents who are not nationals of one of the countries of the EEA.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThe acquisition of real estate is subject to approval by local authorities.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsReserve requirements apply only to deposits held in euros.
Liquid asset requirementsLiquid asset requirements apply only to deposits held in euros.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThe net amount of an open foreign exchange position must not exceed 30% of own funds at the end of any business day; the total sum of all open positions must not exceed 50% of own funds. The euro is not considered a foreign currency.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsYes.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadYes.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyYes.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionYes.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2002
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. Euro banknotes were introduced. Both the euro and the schilling could be used for payments through February 28, 2002.
March 1. The euro became the sole legal tender.
Arrangements for payments and receiptsDecember 20. The sanctions against the UNITA movement in Angola were lifted.

Azerbaijan

(Position as of December 31, 2002)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article XIVYes.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijan manat.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateThe official exchange rate of the manat is determined as the weighted average of the rates quoted in telephone, auction, customer, and electronic interbank transactions. Most exchange transactions are effected as customer transactions.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirements
Use of foreign exchange among residentsIn accordance with current legislation, settlements among residents within the country may be effected in foreign currencies only with a license issued by the Azerbaijan National Bank (ANB).
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
InoperativeYes.
Clearing agreementsAzerbaijan was a member of the Payment Union of the CIS countries, which is now inoperative.
Barter agreements and open accountsYes.
Administration of controlThe ANB regulates foreign exchange transactions, conducts foreign currency operations, and administers official gold and convertible currency reserve holdings. The ANB also has overall responsibility for issuing licenses to deal in foreign exchange and to open foreign exchange accounts abroad; for regulating foreign exchange operations, including implementing and monitoring compliance with the law; and for establishing prudential rules governing foreign exchange operations. The Ministry of Economic Development regulates foreign trade, while the organization and operation of customs is regulated under the Customs Code.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)Controls are administered by the Cabinet of Ministries jointly with the ANB.
Controls on external tradeA license is required to conduct international trade in gold.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesThe exportation and importation of foreign banknotes are regulated by the ANB and the customs agencies. Banks may import and export foreign banknotes only with a license issued by the ANB.
On exports
Domestic currencyNo more than manat 50,000 in banknotes may be taken out of the country, on the condition that they be returned.
Foreign currencyResidents and nonresidents may export up to the equivalent of $10,000 and $1,000 respectively, without documentation. Effective April 10, 2002, both residents and nonresidents may export up to $50,000 in currency that they previously brought into the country.
On imports
Domestic currencyYes.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyIndividuals may maintain these accounts without declaring the source of the foreign exchange, and they may transfer foreign exchange held in these accounts freely.
Held abroadResident enterprises may open and use foreign exchange bank accounts in banks abroad, subject to authorization by the ANB. Enterprises are obligated to repatriate the foreign exchange held in accounts abroad (except the amount used to pay for imports).

There is no regulation for individuals who open and use foreign exchange bank accounts in banks abroad, however, prior approval is required.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNatural and juridical persons may purchase foreign exchange through authorized banks, and authorized banks may also purchase foreign exchange in these markets on their own account, in accordance with the regulations of the ANB. These regulations do not set any limit.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedForeign exchange in these accounts may be transferred abroad or sold to the banks for manat. Prior to opening an account, a nonresident entity must provide proof from the Ministry of Justice of its legal status.
Domestic currency accountsNonresident enterprises may also open and operate accounts in manat and use them for domestic transactions, in accordance with instructions issued by the ANB.
Convertible into foreign currencyNonresidents may acquire foreign currency through authorized banks without limit.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Advance payment requirementsImport payments made more than 180 days prior to the delivery of goods require ANB approval. Effective June 20, 2002, prepayments by bank transfers for import contracts of goods and services are limited to the equivalent of $25,000 (previously, $10,000). This amount may exceed the indicative limit, subject to authorization of the ANB.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Letters of creditEffective June 20, 2002, prepayments by bank transfers in excess of $25,000 (previously, $10,000) or its equivalent require either an LC or authorization by the ANB.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresNo.
Import taxes and/or tariffsMost goods from all sources are subject to a tariff of 15% and some capital and input goods are subject to a tariff of 5%.

Tariff bands of 3% and 10% apply to other goods, and certain goods are subject to a 0.5% tariff. Imports of under invoiced goods are subject to specific tariffs.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsResidents are required to repatriate all proceeds from exports within 180 days and transfer them to a licensed bank in Azerbaijan within 10 days of receipt. Expenses, commissions, and taxes paid abroad relating to economic activities may be deducted from the proceeds prior to their being transferred to a licensed bank.
Financing requirementsYes.
Documentation requirements
Letters of creditAll export operations must be secured by a 100% prepayment or an irrevocable LC.
GuaranteesYes.
Export licenses
Without quotasExports of scrap metal are restricted.
Export taxesA duty of $5 to $15 a metric ton is applied to exports of scrap metal.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersEffective June 20, 2002, the limits on all payments for invisible transactions and current transfers are eliminated, and resident individuals are allowed to purchase noncash foreign exchange for transfer abroad to meet the costs of bona fide current international transactions.
Investment-related paymentsPrior to June 20, 2002, these transactions were subject to indicative limits.
Payments for travelPrior to June 20, 2002, these transactions were subject to indicative limits.
Personal paymentsPrior to June 20, 2002, these transactions were subject to indicative limits of $10,000 on the cost of payments related to medical costs, studies abroad, and family maintenance and alimony.
Foreign workers’ wagesPrior to June 20, 2002, prior approval was required for these transactions.
Other paymentsPrior to June 20, 2002, the indicative limit for subscriptions and membership fees varied from $1,000 to $5,000, or the equivalents, a year.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsProceeds received by residents must be repatriated within six months and transferred to a licensed bank within 10 days of repatriation.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThere are no controls, except that banks must sell their holdings shares to nonresidents within the quotas specified by the ANB.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese transactions are regulated by the State Securities Committee in accordance with quotas and trading authorization procedures.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe transfer of funds is permitted with the approval of the ANB.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese operations are regulated by the laws on joint-stock companies, securities, and stock exchanges, and by in-house instruction of the ANB and the State Securities Committee. Sales are effected mainly by prior subscription; an organized market is just emerging.
Bonds or other debt securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
On money market instruments
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
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 instrumentsThese instruments are not currently available, and legislation concerning derivatives has not been formulated.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsEffective June 20, 2002, credits provided to nonresidents for longer than 180 days and credits to finance projects abroad require ANB approval.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentDirect investment abroad requires ANB authorization.
Inward direct investmentProfits may be reinvested in local currency held in Azerbaijan or converted into foreign currency and transferred without controls. Foreign investors are granted certain privileges: enterprises or joint ventures with foreign equity capital ownership of more than 30% are entitled to a two-year holiday on profit taxes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactionsNo.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsThese transactions are permitted, but a court ruling is required.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsSubject to presentation of satisfactory documents and based on a court ruling.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsSubject to authorization by the ANB.
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)Effective June 20, 2002, credits provided to nonresidents for longer than 180 days and credits to finance projects abroad require ANB approval.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeYes.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeYes.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsThere is a 10% reserve requirement on all deposit accounts, regardless of currency.
Liquid asset requirementsLiquid assets must be equal to at least 30% of current obligations with maturities in the current month.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Reserve requirementsThere is a 10% reserve requirement on deposit accounts.
Liquid asset requirementsLiquid assets must be equal to at least 30% of current obligations with maturity in the current month.
Investment regulationsThe Law on Banks and Banking grants the ANB the right to set quotas for participation in banks’ equity capital by foreign investors. This same law establishes regulations governing the investment of funds in shares of other banks, nonbank enterprises, institutions, and organizations.
Abroad by banksThese transactions are permitted with ANB approval.
In banks by nonresidentsThese transactions are subject to authorization by the ANB.
Open foreign exchange position limits
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsThe regulations and procedures governing participation by nonresidents in the securities market are determined in accordance with the Azerbaijan Republic Law on Securities and by the Committee on Securities under the president of Azerbaijan.