Chapter

MALI

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2004
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(Position as of December 31, 2003)
Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: June 1, 1996.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Mali is the CFA franc.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tenderThe CFA franc is pegged to the euro at the rate of CFAF 655.957 per €1. Exchange rates for other currencies are derived from the rate for the currency concerned in the Paris foreign exchange market and the fixed rate between the euro and the CFA franc.
Exchange taxThere is no tax on purchases or sales of foreign exchange. However, foreign exchange transfers are subject to a stamp duty of 0.6% with a minimum levy of CFAF 600. In addition, banks charge a commission of 0.25% on transfers to all countries outside the WAEMU, which must be surrendered in its entirety to the treasury.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketResidents are authorized to contract forward exchange cover with the prior authorization of the MOF to settle payments related to imports and exports of goods and services. For certain products, the duration of forward exchange rate cover may be extended to three months but cannot be renewed. For exports, the duration of forward exchange contracts may not exceed 120 days after the arrival of the goods at their destination.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsAs Mali is linked to the French Treasury through an Operations Account, settlements with France, Monaco, and other Operations Account countries (WAEMU and CAEMC members and the Comoros) are made in euros or the currency of any other Operations Account country.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsAll transactions among residents must be conducted in domestic currency.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsAn Operations Account is maintained with the French Treasury that links Operations Account countries. All purchases or sales of foreign currencies or euros against CFA francs are ultimately settled through a debit or credit to the Operations Account.
Clearing agreementsA multilateral clearing agreement exists between the WAEMU members and Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
Administration of controlExchange control is administered jointly by the MOF and the BCEAO. Most of the authority to supervise foreign exchange transactions has been delegated to authorized banks, which are required to report these operations to the MOF. The only operations that continue to require prior authorization of the MOF or the BCEAO are residents’ investments abroad, domestic accounts in foreign exchange, and residents’ accounts abroad. No supporting documents are required for transfers of up to CFAF 300,000.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)Authorization from the Directorate of External Commerce, issued after a favorable ruling by the MOF, is required to sell, import, export, or deal in precious and semiprecious metals.
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeDomestic trade in gold and other precious materials or fossils is permitted only for persons of Malian nationality or licensed nationals of other countries with which Mali has a reciprocal agreement who hold professional identity cards. There are no controls on holding gold for noncommercial purposes.
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of gold require authorization from the MOF. The following are exempt from this requirement: (1) gold imported or exported by the MOF or the BCEAO; (2) manufactured articles containing minor quantities of gold, such as gold-filled or gold plated articles; and (3) gold articles with a combined weight of up to 500 grams imported or exported by travelers.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyThe export of CFA banknotes by travelers is free of restrictions, but the BCEAO does not repurchase exported banknotes. Transfers of BCEAO banknotes by mail or other means to authorized intermediaries and their branches located in non-WAEMU countries are prohibited.
Foreign currencyNonresidents may reexport foreign banknotes in amounts exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 1 million, but documentation demonstrating the importation of the foreign banknotes or their purchase through a means of payment registered in the name of the traveler or through the use of nonresident deposits in local banks is required. Residents traveling to non-WAEMU countries may export an amount up to the equivalent of CFAF 2 million a person in foreign currency.
On imports
Domestic currencyResidents and nonresident travelers may bring in unlimited amounts of banknotes and coins issued by the BCEAO.
Foreign currencyNonresidents may bring in any amount of foreign banknotes and coins (except gold coins) of countries outside the Operations Account area. Residents bringing in foreign banknotes or other means of payment exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 300,000 must declare them to customs upon entry and sell them to an authorized intermediary bank within eight days. Nonresident travelers must declare to customs foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 1 million upon entry.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedResidents are allowed to open foreign exchange accounts with local banks or banks abroad after obtaining authorization from the MOF, subsequent to the approval of the BCEAO.
Held domesticallyYes.
Approval requiredYes.
Held abroadResident travelers may open foreign exchange accounts abroad to deposit foreign currency or income acquired during their stay abroad. However, funds held in these accounts must be repatriated within 30 days of return.
Approval requiredYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadPrior MOF authorization is required to open these accounts.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedNonresidents are allowed to open these accounts, but BCEAO authorization is required.
Approval requiredYes.
Domestic currency accountsNonresident accounts may not be credited or debited with BCEAO banknotes or by a central bank maintaining an Operations Account with the French Treasury. These accounts may not be overdrawn without the authorization of both the MOF and the BCEAO.
Convertible into foreign currencyNonresidents may freely debit accounts denominated in CFA francs to purchase foreign 1 currency on the official market.
Blocked accountsYes.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Domiciliation requirementsA domiciliation requirement exists for all imports exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 5 million.
Preshipment inspectionAn inspection for quality and price is required.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresThere are no import licensing requirements, but imports are required to be registered and permits are issued automatically.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThe CET of the WAEMU consists of four rates (zero, 5%, 10%, and 20%). Imports are also subject to a customs duty of up to 5% and a customs service fee of 5%. Some goods are exempt from these charges. Tariff rates are ad valorem (except for those on petroleum products) and are based on c.i.f. values. Petroleum is subject to a variable levy. Imports are subject to additional taxes ranging from 7.5% to 55%, which have been suspended since 1994.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExports to foreign countries must be recorded with an authorized bank, and all export proceeds, excluding proceeds from exports to WAEMU countries, must be repatriated through the BCEAO.
Surrender requirementsProceeds must be surrendered within 30 days of the payment due date or within 120 days of shipment if no payment date is specified in the sales contract.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirements
DomiciliationAll exports exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 5 million must be domiciled, except for transfers made through the intermediary of the post administration, exports without payments involved, and certain special exports.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments for invisible transactions to France, Monaco, and the countries linked to the French Treasury by an Operations Account are permitted freely. Supporting documents are not required for payments for invisibles to other countries under CFAF 300,000. Trade related payments above this amount are permitted freely when the basic trade transaction has been approved or does not require authorization.
Investment-related paymentsAuthorized banks may transfer, on their own responsibility, profit payments based on supporting documentation.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsResidents visiting non-WAEMU member states may carry up to the equivalent of CFAF 2 million in non-CFA banknotes. Any excess must be carried in the form of traveler’s checks, bank drafts, or other means of payment.
Indicative limits/bona fide testResident travelers must present a ticket and passport or identity card to an authorized intermediary (bank or exchange house) for issue of foreign exchange.
Personal paymentsPayment of costs for study abroad and medical expenses are allowed freely on the basis of supporting documents.
Foreign workers’ wagesThe transfer of salaries is permitted upon presentation of the appropriate pay voucher, provided that the transfer takes place within three months of the pay period or that there is a reciprocity agreement with the country of the foreign national.
Credit card use abroadCredit cards issued by specialized resident financial intermediaries and authorized banks may be used abroad.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from invisible transactions with countries that are not WAEMU members must be repatriated.
Surrender requirementsProceeds, except those from WAEMU member countries, must be surrendered within one month after the date of receipt.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsAll investments outside the WAEMU by residents require prior MOF authorization, and at least 75% of such investments must be financed with borrowing from abroad. Investment from WAEMU countries is permitted freely.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases may be effected freely, but they must be conducted through a domestic bank.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe issue, marketing, and sale of any type of security of foreign governments, public entities, foreign companies, or international institutions require the prior approval of the RCPSFM.
Purchase abroad by residentsThese transactions require prior authorization of the MOF, which is subject to documentary requirements.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents are free to transfer these securities abroad. If the purpose of these transactions is to place Malian resident institutions under foreign control, the foreign investors concerned are required to report in advance to the MOF. The same rule applies to disinvestments. Foreign currency proceeds from these transactions must be surrendered to an authorized domestic bank.
Bonds or other debt securitiesThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases may be made freely, but they must be conducted through a domestic bank.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
On money market instruments
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases may be made freely, but they must be conducted through a domestic bank.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThese transactions require prior approval of the RCPSFM.
Purchase abroad by residentsPrior authorization from the MOF is required.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents are free to sell money market instruments abroad. Sales constituting disinvestment are subject to prior disclosure. The foreign currency proceeds of such sales or disinvestment must be surrendered to a licensed banking intermediary. The issue abroad of money market instruments by residents is governed by the provisions applicable to loans.
On collective investment securities
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsPrior MOF authorization is required.
Purchase abroad by residentsPrior MOF authorization is required.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsThese instruments, which are virtually nonexistent, are governed by the regulations generally applicable to securities and investments. Residents are allowed to purchase abroad call and put options in commodities and securities, subject to observance of all regulations governing these transactions.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents may not purchase commodities or securities abroad for the purpose of delivering them locally within the context of a put option contract. Put options must be on assets that can be acquired locally by the resident seller for delivery abroad in execution of the contract.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial creditsSpecial controls apply for borrowing outside the BCEAO.
By residents to nonresidentsThe granting of these credits is subject to the following provisions: (1) any claims generated by the export of goods must be collected, and the corresponding amounts must be repatriated through the BCEAO within 30 days of the due date of the payment stipulated in the commercial contract. In principle, the grace period should not exceed 120 days following the arrival of the goods at their destination; and (2) any claims generated by the provision of services must also be collected and then surrendered on the exchange market within one month of the due date of the payment, for which no limit is set.
To residents from nonresidentsThere are no controls on the granting of these credits; their repayment is generally authorized, subject to the licensed intermediary being presented with documentation attesting to the authenticity of the commercial transaction or to the provision of services.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsThe granting of financial credits is subject to the prior authorization of the MOF. The transfer of funds abroad for this purpose requires prior MOF approval.
To residents from nonresidentsThere are no controls on the granting of these credits. However, if these transactions are carried out between a direct investment enterprise established in Mali and its parent company abroad, they are considered to be direct investments and, as a result, are subject to prior disclosure to the MOF for statistical purposes. These operations must be effected through an authorized intermediary.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsThe granting of guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities is subject to the prior authorization of the MOF. The transfer of funds abroad requires an exchange permit approved by the MOF.
To residents from nonresidentsThere are no controls on the granting of these facilities.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentAll outward investments by residents require the prior authorization of the MOF. These investments may be financed up to 75% by external borrowing. MOF authorization is not needed for purchases of foreign securities issued or sold in WAEMU member states if the issue or sale by nonresidents has been authorized by the RCPSFM.
Inward direct investmentInward direct investments between WAEMU member states are free, but they must be declared to the MOF for statistical purposes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentLiquidation of a resident’s foreign investments must be reported for information purposes to the MOF. Reinvestment of the proceeds of liquidation requires the ministry’s prior authorization. If the reinvestment was not authorized, proceeds of the liquidation must be repatriated within one month through an authorized intermediary. Foreign investments may be transferred freely from Mali and must be reported for statistical purposes.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsPrior authorization of the MOF is required.
Sale locally by nonresidentsThe proceeds of the sale or liquidation of foreign direct investment or the sale of real estate may be freely transferred abroad or credited to a foreign account in francs, upon presentation of supporting documentation to an authorized bank.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsPrior authorization of the MOF is required.
To residents from nonresidentsLoans contracted by residents with nonresidents for domestic use must be transacted through authorized intermediaries in all cases, unless specifically exempted by the MOF. The authorized intermediaries ensure the proper execution of the transaction.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsPayments relating to inheritances and dowries are generally authorized. Payments in connection with gifts or donations, however, require the prior authorization of the MOF.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsImmigrants acquiring resident status must submit supporting documents to the local bank for the payment of debts contracted abroad while they were nonresidents.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsThese transfers are allowed upon presentation of proof of emigration.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadLicensed intermediaries are free to borrow abroad. Other credit institutions are governed by general provisions applicable to other residents.
Maintenance of accounts abroadBanks and financial institutions are not authorized to hold liquid assets outside the WAEMU zone, except to meet the needs of their current operations.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)There are no controls on commercial credit operations of this type; the prior authorization of the MOF and the BCEAO is required for loans and financial credits.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeLending to residents in foreign exchange is not permitted.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangePrior authorization of the RCPSFM is required.
Investment regulationsPrior authorization of the MOF is required.
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsControls are imposed by the Insurance Code of the Inter-African Insurance Market Conference.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadYes.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyYes.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2003
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.

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