Chapter

GUYANA

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: December 27, 1966.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Guyana is the Guyana dollar.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateThe exchange rate of the Guyana dollar is determined in the cambio market, although the authorities intervene in the foreign exchange market as conditions require. The Bank of Guyana (BOG) conducts certain transactions on the basis of the cambio exchange rate by averaging quotations of the three largest dealers on the date the transaction takes place. In accordance with bilateral agreements with the central banks of the CARICOM, the BOG quotes weekly rates for certain CARICOM currencies.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketThe only arrangement for forward cover against exchange rate risk operates in the official sector in respect of exchange rate guarantees that are provided to certain deposits in dormant accounts. However, no exchange rate guarantee has been given for deposits made after end-March 1989.
Official cover of forward operationsYes.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsn.a.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
OperativeThere are arrangements with all CARICOM central banks.
Regional arrangementsGuyana is a member of the CARICOM.
Administration of controlNo.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsIn accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, restrictions are applied on financial transactions and assets of the Taliban, Al-Qaida and individuals associated with it, and persons and groups associated with terrorism.
Payments arrears
OfficialArrears are due to Argentina, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, India, Kuwait, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, and República Bolivariana de Venezuela.
PrivateArrears exist on certain dormant accounts holding domestic currency deposits equivalent in value to pending applications for foreign exchange.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents other than the monetary authorities, authorized dealers, producers of gold, and authorized industrial users are not allowed to hold or acquire gold in any form except for numismatic purposes and jewelry, at home or abroad, without special permission.
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of gold in any form by, or on behalf of, the monetary authorities, authorized dealers, producers of gold, and industrial users require permits endorsed by the Guyana Gold Board.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesTravelers entering or leaving Guyana must declare foreign currency in excess of the equivalent of US$10,000.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyExporters are allowed to maintain and operate foreign exchange accounts. These accounts are approved on merit but are generally granted to bona fide exporters who require imported inputs for production and/or have external loan obligations. These accounts may be credited with all or a portion of retained export proceeds and proceeds of foreign currency loans. They may be debited freely for any payments at the discretion of the account holder.
Approval requiredYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyThe balances of these accounts may be converted at the prevailing cambio exchange rate.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be opened by commercial banks, without the prior approval of the central bank, for citizens of Guyana residing permanently abroad, citizens of other countries temporarily residing in Guyana, nonresidents attached to diplomatic missions or international organizations, branches of companies incorporated outside Guyana, and companies incorporated in Guyana but controlled by nonresidents abroad. These accounts may be maintained in U.S. dollars, pounds sterling, or Canadian dollars and may be credited with noncash instruments of convertible foreign currencies transferred through the banking system. These accounts may also be credited freely with all authorized payments by residents of Guyana to nonresidents; other credits require approval. They may be debited freely for payments for any purpose to residents of any country, for transfers to other external accounts, for withdrawals by the account holder in Guyana, and for transfers to nonresident accounts.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetThe BOG prepares a statement of convertible currency receipts and payments to monitor projected flows.
Financing requirements for importsImport transactions effected through the cambio exchange market are permitted without restriction. Most imports of consumer goods take place on this basis. Certain payments for official imports effected by commercial banks on behalf of the BOG require the BOG’s prior approval.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsRequirements are related mainly to petroleum products. Documents required include invoices, bills of lading, and certificates of origin.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresThere are no licensing requirements for permissible imports, except for petroleum products and some 20 items affecting national security, public health and safety, and the environment.
Negative listImports of unprocessed meat, poultry, fruit, and processed fruit items from all non-CARICOM sources are restricted, subject to import-licensing controls.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThe fourth phase of the CARICOM CET is applied to all imports from sources outside the CARICOM. Duty rates range from 5% to 20%, except for agricultural products, for which the rate is 40%. Effective February 3, 2003, a duty rate of 100% (previously, 125%) applies to imports of chicken from non-CARICOM sources, but those from CARICOM countries are exempt.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesLicenses are required for exports of gold and wildlife.
Without quotasGold exports are not subject to quotas.
With quotasThere are quotas for the supply of some commodities to preferential markets and for wildlife exports.
Export taxesThere are levies on exports of rice; the proceeds from this levy are reinvested in the rice industry. On July 24, 2003, the levy on sugar exports was eliminated, however, an export duty of G$ 1 applies to all sugar exports to extraregional destinations. An export duty is applied to exports of timber, bauxite, live birds, and aquarium fish.
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 instrumentsNo.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsAll types of credit operations are controlled. For financial credits to residents from nonresidents, banks are required to obtain approval from the MOF before lending to nonresident enterprises.
Controls on direct investmentNo.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactionsNo.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Banks are required to obtain approval from the MOF before lending locally in foreign exchange, except for lending to an authorized dealer.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsOpen positions are monitored.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2003
Imports and import paymentsFebruary 3. The duty rate on imports of chicken from non-CARICOM sources was reduced to 100% from 125%.
Exports and export proceedsJuly 24. The levy on sugar exports was eliminated.

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