Chapter

COMOROS

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 the Comoros is the Comorian franc.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Conventional pegged arrangementThe Comorian franc is pegged to the euro at CF 491.96775 per €1. Exchange rates are officially quoted on the basis of the fixed rate of the Comorian franc for the euro and the Paris exchange market rates for other currencies.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketForward cover against exchange rate risk is authorized by the Central Bank of the Comoros (CBC) and is provided to traders for up to three months by a commercial bank that is authorized to conduct this transaction.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsAs the Comoros is linked to the French Treasury through an Operations Account, settlements with France, Monaco, and other Operations Account countries (WAEMU and CAEMC members) are made in euros or the currency of any other Operations Account country. Settlements with all other countries are usually made through correspondent banks in France in any of the currencies of those countries or in euros through foreign Comorian franc accounts.
Controls on the use of domestic currencySettlements in domestic currency abroad require prior approval of the CBC.
For current transactions and paymentsSettlements abroad in banknotes are not allowed.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsThe use of foreign exchange among residents is prohibited. Any foreign currency acquired must be converted at authorized financial institutions.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsComoros is a member of COMESA and RIFF.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlThe Minister of Finance and Budget has sole authority in exchange control matters but has delegated certain exchange control powers to the CBC and to authorized banks. Exchange control is administered by the CBC. The Ministry of Finance and Budget supervises borrowing and lending abroad, inward direct investment, and all outward investment. With the exception of transactions relating to gold, the country’s exchange control measures do not apply to (1) France (and its overseas departments and territories) and Monaco; and (2) all other countries whose banks of issue are linked with the French Treasury by an Operations Account (WAEMU and CAEMC members). Statistical reporting is required to monitor speculative transactions.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrears
OfficialYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeYes.
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of gold bullion or coins require prior authorization. Exports and imports of articles containing gold are subject to declaration, but transfers of personal jewelry within the limit of 500 grams a person are exempt from such declaration.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyA limit of CF 500,000 applies to exports to countries outside the franc zone.
Foreign currencyResidents traveling to France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries may take out the equivalent of CF 500,000 in banknotes and any amount in other means of payment. Residents traveling to countries other than France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries may take out any means of payment up to the equivalent of CF 500,000 a person a trip. Any amount in excess of these limits is subject to CBC approval, which is granted if supporting documentation is provided. Nonresident travelers may export the equivalent of CF 500,000 in banknotes and any means of payment issued abroad in their name without providing documentary justification. Other cases are authorized pursuant to the exchange regulations when supporting documents are produced.
On imports
Domestic currencyNo controls apply to currencies imported from the Operations Account countries.
Foreign currencyResident travelers are required to surrender all foreign exchange to an authorized intermediary within one month of return. Nonresidents bringing in foreign currency banknotes are required to declare them to customs upon entry.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyThese accounts are permitted, but prior approval is required.
Held abroadThese accounts are permitted, but prior approval is required.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyPrior authorization is required.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThese accounts are permitted, but prior approval is required.
Domestic currency accountsThese accounts are permitted if applicants meet the criteria for nonresident eligibility.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsYes.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Domiciliation requirementsAll import transactions must be domiciled with an authorized bank if the value is CF 500,000 or more.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Letters of creditYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresThe importation of most goods, except for those originating from member countries of the EU, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries, is subject to notification for statistical purposes.
Negative listThe importation of certain goods from all countries is prohibited for health or security reasons.
Import taxes and/or tariffsImport duty rates are 20%, 30%, and 40% for general merchandise. The import duty rate for tobacco is 180% and that for spirits ranges between 200% and 250%. An administrative fee of 3% is levied on imports that are exempt from duty.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from exports to foreign countries must be repatriated within 30 days of the expiration of the commercial contract.
Surrender requirementsProceeds must be sold immediately after repatriation to an authorized bank.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsWith a few exceptions, exports to any destination have no licensing requirements.
Letters of creditYes.
DomiciliationAll export transactions must be domiciled with an authorized bank if the value is CF 500,000 or more.
Preshipment inspectionPreshipment inspection is required by customs regulations.
Export licensesNotification is required for statistical purposes.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesA temporary export tax of 5% is levied on vanilla.
Other export taxesTaxes are levied on specific luxury products.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments for invisibles to France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries are permitted freely. Payments for invisibles related to authorized imports are not restricted. All other payments, except investment-related transfers, are subject to indicative limits or bona fide tests.
Trade-related payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Investment-related paymentsRepatriation of dividends and other earnings from nonresidents’ direct investments is authorized and guaranteed under the Investment Code.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testResidents traveling to countries other than France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries may take out any means of payment up to the equivalent of CF 500,000 a person a trip. Any amount in excess of these limits is subject to the prior approval of the CBC on submission of supporting documentation.
Personal paymentsThese transactions are authorized on presentation of supporting documents.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Foreign workers’ wages
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Credit card use abroad
Quantitative limitsThe limits for tourist and business travel apply.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from transactions with France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries may be retained. All amounts due from residents of other countries with respect to services and all income earned in those countries from foreign assets must be repatriated within one month of the due date or date of receipt.
Surrender requirementsExport proceeds in foreign currency must be sold to an authorized bank.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsCapital transfers between the Comoros and France, Monaco, and the Operations Account countries are, in principle, free of exchange control. Capital transfers to all other countries require exchange control approval, but capital receipts from these countries are permitted freely.
On capital market securitiesCBC authorization is required to effect these transactions.
On money market instrumentsThere is no local market in these instruments.
On collective investment securitiesThere is no local market in these instruments.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsThere is no local market in these instruments.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsCredits must have a maximum maturity of 90 days.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
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 investmentYes.
Outward direct investmentControls relate to the approval of the underlying transactions, not to payments or receipts.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentYes.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Loans
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Settlement of debts abroad by immigrantsSettlement of debt is permitted upon presentation of supporting documentation.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsYes.
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)Lending is permitted for economic activities in the Comoros.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeSuch lending does not take place in practice.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeThere is no local market for these securities.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsThere is no local market for these transactions.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 2003
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.

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