Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions 2005
Chapter

GREECE

Author(s):
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: July 22, 1992.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Greece is the euro.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tenderGreece participates in a currency union (EMU) with 11 other members of the EU: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, 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 coverage is provided by domestic credit institutions to their customers in all major currencies at freely negotiable market rates.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsNo.
Payments arrangementsNo.
Administration of controlThere are no exchange controls. Resident credit institutions are authorized to carry out all the necessary formalities for the settlement of all transactions with nonresidents and are required to provide to the Bank of Greece (BOG) all the information necessary to compile the balance of payments.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)On December 10, 2004, Greece informed the IMF of certain restrictions that continue to apply on certain payments and transfers in accordance with the relevant EU and UN Security Council resolutions.
In accordance with UN sanctionsIn accordance with EU regulations and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, certain restrictions are maintained on financial transactions with respect to the former government of Iraq; public bodies, corporations or agencies, and other natural or legal persons listed in the respective EU regulations; and certain individuals associated with the previous government of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Financial sanctions also apply with respect to Liberia, Myanmar, and Zimbabwe. Financing of and financial assistance related to military activities in Somalia are prohibited. Restrictions also apply on financial transactions with respect to Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaida, the Taliban, and other individuals and organizations associated with terrorism.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeNatural and juridical persons, residents, and nonresidents are free to purchase and sell gold coins and/or bars that are not used for commercial and industrial purposes. This gold may be purchased by and sold to the BOG and/or any other credit institution operating in Greece authorized to carry out transactions in foreign exchange.
Controls on external tradeEffective January 21, 2004, residents and nonresidents are no longer required for statistical purposes to declare upon entering and/or leaving Greece amounts of gold exceeding the equivalent of €10,000 and €2,000, respectively, or to submit a copy of the document certifying that the latter transaction was carried out by a resident credit institution.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exportsEffective January 21, 2004, the statistical requirements that residents and nonresidents leaving Greece must declare amounts of banknotes in domestic and/or foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of €2,000 were abolished. In this declaration, they were required to specify the purpose of the export of banknotes; in addition, residents of Greece had to provide their fiscal number.
On importsEffective January 21, 2004, residents and nonresidents entering Greece are no longer required to declare imported banknotes in domestic and foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of €10,000.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyResidents are permitted to convert deposits in domestic currency held with resident credit institutions into foreign currency deposits.
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 measuresImport licenses are required for some specific products from certain low-cost countries under EU surveillance. Imports of certain items, such as medicines, narcotics, and motion picture films are governed by special regulations, which are in accordance with EU regulations.
Licenses with quotasYes.
Other nontariff measuresYes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsNo.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersThere are no limits for these transactions. Effective January 21, 2004, cross-border transactions by resident credit institutions (on behalf of their customers) exceeding the equivalent of €12,500 no longer require supporting documentation (previously, this was required for statistical purposes).
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 instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsExisting legislation on inward direct investment imposes certain controls on the purchase of shares and other securities of a participating nature in the broadcasting and maritime sectors by non-EU residents.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentInvestments in border regions by non-EU residents require approval for reasons of national security. Controls also apply to non-EU residents for the acquisition of mining rights and participation in new or existing enterprises if these are engaged in radio and television broadcasting or maritime or air transport.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactionsNo.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsNo.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsThere are certain prudential provisions that differ according to the type of institutional investor.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadThere are certain prudential provisions that differ according to the type of institutional investor.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyThere are certain prudential provisions that differ according to the type of institutional investor.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionFor prudential purposes, the provisions applied to EU countries are in effect.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsNo.
Changes During 2004
Arrangements for payments and receiptsJanuary 21. The requirement to declare imports and exports of gold in excess of the equivalent of €10,000 for residents and €2,000 for nonresidents, or to submit a copy of the document certifying that the latter transaction was carried out by a resident credit institution, was lifted.
January 21. The requirement to declare imports of banknotes in domestic or foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of €10,000 and exports exceeding €2,000 was lifted.
December 10. The authorities informed the IMF of certain restrictions imposed on certain payments and transfers based on EU and UN sanctions.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersJanuary 21. The requirement for supporting documentation for cross-border transactions by resident credit institutions (on behalf of their customers) exceeding the equivalent of €12,500 was lifted.

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