Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions 2005


International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2005
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(Position as of December 31, 2004)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: August 1, 1962.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Austria is the euro.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
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 ECB may intervene to smooth out fluctuations in the euro exchange rate.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketForward exchange transactions are permitted.
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 among the signatories.
Administration of controlExchange transactions are effected through Austrian banks authorized by the Financial Market Authority.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)Austria has informed the IMF of certain exchange restrictions which have been imposed under the EU regulations and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
In accordance with UN sanctionsIn accordance with EU regulations and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, certain restrictions are maintained with respect to certain individuals associated with Liberia, Myanmar, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and the previous governments of Iraq and the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Financing of and financial assistance related to military activities in Somalia are prohibited. Restrictions also apply on transfers with respect to the Taliban and individuals 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 Iraq, Liberia, Myanmar, Sudan, and Zimbabwe; individuals linked to the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; the Taliban; and individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. 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 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, there are reporting requirements to the Austrian National Bank.
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 investorsYes.
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 2004
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.

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