Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

BELARUS

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2007
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(Position as of March 31, 2007)

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: November 5, 2001.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesNo restrictions as reported in the latest staff report as of December 31, 2006.
International security restrictions
Other security restrictionsIn accordance with UN resolutions, there are restrictions on financial transactions with persons and organizations associated with terrorist activities.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw of the Republic of Belarus No. 426-Z of July 19, 2000, on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism; Instruction on Procedures for the Suspension by Banks and Nonbank Financial and Credit Institutions of Certain Financial Transactions (Resolution of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus No. 34 of March 13, 2006); www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of the Republic of Belarus is the Belarusian rubel.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Conventional pegged arrangementThe National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) maintains a de facto conventional peg vis-à-vis the dollar with negligible daily fluctuations. At the same time, the Belarusian rubel de jure targets the exchange rate of the Russian ruble within a horizontal band (± 4%) and the U.S. dollar (±2%). However, de facto the exchange rate of the Belarusian rubel against the Russian ruble is allowed at certain times to move in line with market trends outside the established band with a view to limiting daily fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Belarusian rubel vis-à-vis the dollar.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketThe forward market is regulated by the same provisions as the spot market.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksBanking Code of the Republic of Belarus; www.nbrb.by/engl/legislation/code.asp; Statute of the NBRB; www.nbrb.by/engl/legislation/statute.asp; Annual Monetary Policy Guidelines for the NBRB; www.nbrb.by/publications/ondkp.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements of transactions between residents and nonresidents are effected in any foreign currency for which the NBRB establishes an official exchange rate against the Belarusian rubel. Settlements in other currencies and Belarusian rubels are effected if provided for by intergovernmental agreements between the CBs of both parties to the settlements. Settlements in rubels between residents and nonresidents of the countries with which such arrangements have been concluded may be effected through nonresident accounts in domestic banks or through correspondent accounts in rubels of nonresident banks with authorized banks in Belarus. Settlements with nonresidents in rubels are also allowed, regardless of the existence of an intergovernmental agreement, provided settlements are effected through a nonresident rubel account at a bank in Belarus.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyControls apply to the use of domestic currency for current and capital transactions and payments.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsSettlements between residents in foreign currency are prohibited, except in cases established by the foreign exchange law.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
OperativeIn accordance with intergovernmental agreements between the NBRB and the CBs of most CIS countries (except Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan) and the Baltic countries, settlements are effected in the national currencies of the parties involved in the settlements and in freely convertible currencies. Some of the agreements also stipulate the possibility of settlements in currencies of other CIS countries.
Regional arrangementsBelarus has arrangements with Moscow and various other regions in the Russian Federation. The Republic of Belarus has subscribed to the Agreement on the Establishment of a Payment Union of CIS Member States.
Clearing agreementsAn agreement with Uzbekistan provides for the exchange of cotton for strategic goods from Belarus on a balanced basis. There are also agreements with Moldova and Ukraine. Settlements between the NBRB and the CBs of the majority of CIS countries are effected via the interstate bank using bank transfers on the basis of multilateral clearing.
Barter agreements and open accountsYes.
Administration of controlThe exchange regulation authorities are the Council of Ministers and the NBRB; the exchange control authorities are the Council of Ministers, the NBRB, the State Control Committee, and the State Customs Committee. The exchange control agents are banks, customs offices, bodies of the state administration, and state organizations subordinate to the government of Belarus and oblast (local) governments.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
On domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents (other than banks) are required to have a license issued by the MOF to engage in transactions in precious metals and stones. When effecting banking operations with precious metals and stones, banks are required to have a license issued by the NBRB. Banks must obtain a license from the MOF to engage in nonbanking operations in precious metals and stones.
On external tradeLicenses for residents to export precious metals and stones are issued by the Ministry of Trade (MOT) with the approval of the MOF.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyResident and nonresident individuals may export up to the equivalent of 500 base units established in Belarus. A base unit was equal to Rbl 31,000 at the end of 2006. Individuals may export rubels to the territory of customs union member states without restrictions on the amount and without mandatory declaration.
Foreign currencyResident and nonresident individuals may freely export the equivalent of $10,000; amounts greater than this require presentation of a permit. Exports of foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of $3,000 are subject to mandatory declaration. Exports of foreign currencies to states participating in the customs union are unrestricted.
On imports
Domestic currencyResident and nonresident individuals may import up to the equivalent of 500 base units established in Belarus. Individuals may import rubels from the territory of customs union member states without restrictions on the amount and without mandatory declaration.
Foreign currencyThere are no limits on imports of foreign currency by resident and nonresident individuals, but effective May 21, 2006, amounts in excess of $10,000 (previously, $3,000) or its equivalent are subject to mandatory declaration.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw No. 226-3 on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control of July 22, 2003; Regulation No. 72 for the Performance of Foreign Exchange Transactions, adopted April 30, 2004; Instruction No. 73/78 on the Procedure for the Import, Export, and Remittance of Foreign Currency, Belarusian Rubels, Payment Documents in Foreign Currency, Documentary Securities in Belarusian Rubels, and Foreign Currency by Individuals across the Customs Frontier of the Republic of Belarus, adopted April 30, 2004; www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyWithout declaring the sources of their foreign exchange, residents may open foreign currency accounts at banks authorized to deal in foreign exchange.
Held abroadYes.
Approval requiredNBRB approval is required for all residents (except banks) to open accounts in nonresident banks abroad, with the exception of accounts used to record credit transactions, accounts to service diplomatic and other official representative offices of the Republic of Belarus, and accounts of representative offices of residents at banks of Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) member countries in the domestic currency of the EEC member country on whose territory the account of the representative office is opened (notification is required). Banks may open accounts with nonresident banks with NBRB approval for the maintenance of representative offices or other structural offices. In all other instances NRBR approval is not required for banks. Individuals residing abroad do not require approval to open accounts.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNBRB approval is required to open domestic currency accounts abroad by residents.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyResident legal entities may purchase foreign currency without restrictions (1) to effect settlements with nonresidents, with the exception of settlements involving the granting of a loan to a nonresident; to purchase securities from a nonresident that have been issued by residents or nonresidents; or to purchase real property from a nonresident; (2) to pay for business travel and training expenses abroad; (3) to perform settlements with banks; and (4) to perform a number of other transactions that have been specified by the NBRB.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw No. 226-3 on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control of July 22, 2003; Instruction No. 112 on the Procedure for the Performance of Foreign Exchange Transactions Involving Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs, adopted July 28, 2005; Regulation No. 72 for the Performance of Foreign Exchange Transactions, adopted April 30, 2004; www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedNonresident legal entities may maintain foreign exchange accounts with authorized banks in Belarus. Transactions on a current account in foreign currency of nonresident legal entities may be performed without restrictions based on the type of transaction (including for foreign exchange transactions associated with the purchase and sale of foreign currency). The source of the funds may be receipts from abroad; proceeds from the sale of goods and services in the territory of Belarus, including sales to residents; debt-service payments; interest earned on balances on the accounts; funds from other foreign exchange accounts of nonresidents in Belarus; and earnings from investments from the performance of other operations with residents and nonresidents. These accounts may be debited for purchases of goods and services and for investments, as well as for payments to residents and nonresidents. Funds from these accounts may be freely repatriated or exchanged for rubels at the market exchange rate through authorized banks, provided rubels are placed on account with Belarusian banks.
Domestic currency accountsNonresident legal entities may open T (current) and S (investment in government securities) accounts. A nonresident may open a T account for foreign currency transactions only in the name of its representative office (branch). Transactions on a T account are performed without restriction, depending on the type of transaction (including transactions involving the purchase and sale of foreign currency). Funds from T accounts may be used to purchase foreign currency, goods and services, bonds, shares in enterprises, privatization vouchers, and payment for current transactions. Funds in S accounts are used for investment in securities issued by the Belarusian government and the NBRB.
Convertible into foreign currencyBalances in T and S accounts may be converted into foreign currency.
Blocked accountsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw No. 226-3 on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control of July 22, 2003; Regulation No. 944 on the Procedure for the Investment of Funds by Nonresidents in Government Securities of the Republic of Belarus and NBRB Securities, adopted September 4, 1997; Instruction No. 112 on the Procedure for the Performance of Foreign Exchange Transactions Involving Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs, adopted July 28, 2005; Regulation No. 72 for the Performance of Foreign Exchange Transactions, adopted April 30, 2004; www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Advance payment requirementsEffective March 6, 2007, no restrictions apply on advance payments from a resident to a nonresident, up to $500,000 (previously, effective July 5, 2006, the ceiling for advance payments made by a resident without restrictions to a single nonresident was increased to the equivalent of $3 million from $500,000). Advance payments for goods or services exceeding the equivalent of $500,000 require that one of the following be obtained: (1) a foreign bank guarantee or reserve letter of credit; (2) an insurance agreement of voluntary insurance of entrepreneurial risk; or (3) permission from the NBRB. Permission from the MOT is required for payments for imported services more than 90 days in advance of the performance of the services and for imported goods more than 60 days in advance of the receipt of the goods. Permission from the MOT and registration with the NBRB are required for advance payments of more than 180 days. Effective July 5, 2006, the previous stipulation that a resident could make advance payments above the established limit if the resident made a bank deposit in the amount of the excess for a period of 60 calendar days was eliminated.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsNo.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresLicenses are required for imports of the following goods: white sugar (only from the Russian Federation), insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, antigermination substances and regulators of the growth of plants, nonconsumable alcohol-containing products with an ethyl alcohol content of more than 7%, perfumes and cosmetics, antiseptic medical and veterinary substances with an ethyl alcohol content of more than 80%, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products.
Negative listThere are prohibitions on imports of production and consumption waste that cannot be processed or used in Belarus and on printed matter, audiovisual materials, and other media containing information that may harm the political or economic interests or security of Belarus or the health and morals of Belarusian citizens, and ozone-depleting substances and/or products containing ozone-depleting substances, as indicated in Annexes A and B to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer of September 16, 1987.
Licenses with quotasLicenses that are issued within the limits of quota allocations are applied to alcoholic products and tobacco products.
Other nontariff measuresQuantitative restrictions are applied to seafood and fish.
Import taxes and/or tariffsBelarus has abolished customs controls and customs processing of goods originating in Belarus and the Russian Federation and trading between Belarus and the Russian Federation. Goods originating from countries with which Belarus has a free trade agreement are imported into and exported from Belarus free of duty. Regular (base) import duty rates apply to countries with MFN status. Import duties at twice the base rates are imposed on goods imported from countries that Belarus has not granted MFN status and on goods whose country of origin can not be established. Seasonal customs duties apply to certain vegetables. Some consumer and industrial goods are subject to elevated import customs duty rates. VAT and excise taxes are imposed on imports into the Republic of Belarus if provided under law, and a fee for customs processing is imposed. Precious metal ingots imported by banks for purposes of banking operations and by legal persons for purposes of selling to banks are exempt from customs duties and VAT; also exempt are sales by legal persons to banks, transactions between banks, and sales by banks to individuals. Indirect taxes apply on goods imported from the Russian Federation.
State import monopolyNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw of the Republic of Belarus No. 226-Z of July 22, 2003, on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control; Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 7 of January 4, 2000, on Improvement of the Procedure for the Performance and Monitoring of Foreign Trade Transactions; Instruction on the Performance of Advance Payments under Foreign Trade Agreements (Resolution of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus No. 153 of August 28, 2003); Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 1267 of September 27, 2006, on Licensing of Foreign Trade in Certain Types of Goods; www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul/; Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 2151-XII of February 3, 1993, on the Customs Tariff; Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 218 of March 18, 1997, on Establishment of Bans and Restrictions on the Shipment of Goods across the Customs Border of the Republic of Belarus; Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 865 of June 28, 2002, on Approval of Import Customs Duty Rates.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from exports of goods and services must be repatriated within 90 days from the date of shipment, and proceeds from other exports of goods and services produced by residents under commission contracts must be repatriated within 180 days. Longer time periods require MOT permission and NBRB approval.
Surrender requirementsThe surrender requirement is 30%. Effective September 21, 2006, monetary resources from exports of goods and services and from the sale of goods and services to individuals are subject to surrender.
Surrender to authorized dealersSurrender of foreign exchange proceeds occurs in trading on exchanges.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesIn addition to export licenses, other restrictive measures apply to exports. These include the following: (1) minimum export prices apply to raw and sawed timber, wooden railroad ties, salt, evaporated milk and cream, beef, pork, white sugar, casein, flax and flax fiber, cattle rawhide, mink, fox, and Arctic fox skins, and mineral fertilizers; (2) only certain business entities have the right to export certain types of woods; and (3) there are prohibitions on exports of medical raw materials that grow in the wild; plants and animals of types listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus and also their parts and derivatives (except for those cultivated or reared in captivity); historical and cultural valuables; scrap and waste of ferrous, nonferrous, and precious metals for industrial use, including semi-finished and prefabricated goods; by individuals, of printed matter, audiovisual materials, and other media containing information that may harm the political or economic interests or security of Belarus or the health and morals of its citizens; and ozone-depleting substances and/or products containing ozone-depleting substances indicated in Annexes A and B to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer of September 16, 1987.
Without quotasExports of the following goods are effected on the basis of licenses issued by the MOT with the approval of relevant government authorities: cereals, corn, flax seeds and rapeseeds, raw amber, pyrites, ores and concentrates of precious metals, certain chemical elements, precious metals in a colloidal state, alloys of precious metals, oil and oil products, rawhide and cattle hides, pearls, precious natural stones, various articles made of precious metals, certain base metals, and amber and products thereof.
With quotasLicenses from the MOT are required for exports of the following goods: fabrics made of wool yarn; cotton thread, yarn, and fabric; thread from chemical fibers; yarn and fabric made of artificial and synthetic fibers and blended fibers; cable and rope products; terry cloth towels and similar terry cloth fabrics; interwoven and interlock fabrics; socks and hosiery articles; knitted clothing and accessories; textile clothing and accessories; blankets, throws, and bed, table, bath, and kitchen linens; dishcloths; curtains, window shades, and bedspreads; sacks; paper bags; floor cleaning fabrics; and sets consisting of fabrics and yarn (only for goods to be exported to the EU and Turkey, in accordance with quotas set by the EU and Turkey); and also for mineral fertilizers and ferrous and nonferrous metal waste and scrap.
Export taxesIndirect taxes apply on goods exported to the Russian Federation.
Other export taxesUnder the arrangement of the common customs region with the Russian Federation, export customs duties are collected on a list of goods with a low degree of processing that are exported outside the Customs Union. Most duties are on an ad valorem basis and range from 5% to 30%. Specific and combined duties are also levied. Indirect taxes apply on goods exported to the Russian Federation.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw of the Republic of Belarus No. 226-Z of July 22, 2003, on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control; Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 7 of January 4, 2000, on Improvement of the Procedure for the Performance and Monitoring of Foreign Trade Transactions; Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 452 of July 17, 2006, on Mandatory Surrender of Foreign Currency; Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 1267 of September 27, 2006, on Licensing of Foreign Trade in Certain Types of Goods; www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul; Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 717 of December 5, 2006, on Export Customs Duty Rates for Timber and Products Manufactured Therefrom; Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 60 of January 31, 2007, on Export Customs Duty Rates; Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 218 of March 18, 1997, on Establishment of Bans and Restrictions on the Shipment of Goods across the Customs Border of the Republic of Belarus; Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 864 of June 28, 2002, on Approval of Export Customs Duty Rates; Resolution of the Ministry of the Economy of the Republic of Belarus No. 256 of December 2, 2002, on Approval of a List of Minimum Prices for Certain Types of Exports Produced in the Republic of Belarus.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfers
Investment-related payments
Prior approvalPayments associated with the leasing of real estate outside the Republic of Belarus are subject to NBRB permission (in accordance with foreign exchange legislation of the Republic of Belarus, this transaction is considered a capital transaction).
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw No. 226-3 on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control of July 22, 2003; Regulation No. 72 for the Performance of Foreign Exchange Transactions, adopted April 30, 2004; www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from exports of services must be repatriated by legal persons within 90 days, and proceeds from exports of services by residents under commission contracts must be repatriated within 180 days. MOT permission is required for deferrals of 90 to 180 days. Permission from the MOT and approval from the NBRB are required for periods exceeding 180 days.
Surrender requirementsThe surrender requirement is 30% of proceeds. Effective September 21, 2006, monetary resources from exports of goods and services and from the sale of goods and services to individuals are subject to surrender requirements.
Surrender to authorized dealersSurrender of foreign exchange proceeds occurs in trading on exchanges.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw No. 226-3 on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control of July 22, 2003; Decree No. 311 of the President of the Republic of Belarus on Improvement of the Foreign Exchange Surrender Procedure, adopted June 2, 1997; Decree No. 7 of the President of the Republic of Belarus on Improvement of the Procedure for the Performance and Monitoring of Foreign Trade Transactions, adopted January 4, 2000.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsThe legislation governing the securities market does not define “securities of a participating nature” or “collective investment securities.”
Repatriation requirementsIn case of a delay in payment for more than 180 days, a deferral of receipt of proceeds must be extended by the MOT with approval from NBRB (in accordance with foreign exchange legislation of the Republic of Belarus, this transaction is considered a capital transaction).
Surrender requirementsThe surrender requirement for foreign exchange proceeds on export transactions (in case of a delay in payment for more than 180 days) is 30%.
Surrender to authorized dealersSurrender of foreign exchange proceeds occurs in trading on exchanges.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsThe government and the NBRB establish quotas and procedures for clearing the securities of foreign issuers for circulation in Belarus and quotas and procedures for clearing securities of issuers under the jurisdiction of Belarus for circulation outside Belarus.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating naturePurchases or sales locally by nonresidents require registration with the Securities Committee at the MOF for shares to be exported.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsA permit from the NBRB is not required for these transactions.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsA permit from the NBRB is not required for these transactions. The domestic placement of stocks and bonds of foreign issuers is permitted, subject to regulations.
Purchase abroad by residentsA permit from the NBRB is required for these transactions.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsForeign placement of stocks and bonds of domestic issuers are permitted, subject to regulations. Notification of the NBRB is required.
Bonds or other debt securitiesRegistration of securities is required with the exception of government securities and securities of the NBRB destined for placement on the domestic market of the Republic of Belarus. The NBRB regulates the issue of certificates of deposit and saving certificates by banks. These may be issued in domestic currency. Banks are not allowed to export bank certificates. Otherwise, the regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe domestic placement of stocks and bonds of foreign issuers and foreign placement of stocks and bonds of domestic issuers is permitted, subject to regulations.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsNotification of the NBRB is required.
On money market instrumentsGovernment securities and securities of the NBRB destined for placement on the domestic market of the Republic of Belarus are not subject to state registration.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsAn NBRB permit is not required. Nonresidents may own certificates of deposit and saving certificates.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsA permit from the NBRB is not required for these transactions.
Purchase abroad by residentsAn NBRB permit is required.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsNotification of the NBRB is required.
On collective investment securities
Purchase locally by nonresidentsA permit from the NBRB is not required for these transactions.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsA permit from the NBRB is not required for these transactions.
Purchase abroad by residentsAn NBRB permit is required.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsNotification of the NBRB is required.
Controls on derivatives and other instruments
Purchase locally by nonresidentsA permit from the NBRB is not required for these transactions.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsA permit from the NBRB is not required for these transactions.
Purchase abroad by residentsAn NBRB permit is required.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsNotification of the NBRB is required.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsThe deferral of receipt of proceeds from exports of goods and services and also of receipt of imports of goods and services that have been paid for requires approval. For deferrals of 90 to 180 days, the permit is issued by the MOT; for deferrals of more than 180 days, permits from the MOT and approval of the NBRB are required. The same procedures apply to advance payments.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsAn NBRB permit is required if the credit is for longer than 180 days.
To residents from nonresidentsAn NBRB permit is required for credits longer than 180 days if one of the following conditions is present: (1) the amount exceeds the equivalent of $1 million; (2) effective August 13, 2006, the interest rate is higher than 11% (in dollars), higher than 11% (in euros), or higher than 3% of the relevant CB refinancing rate (for other currencies); (3) the funds are to be used to pay the obligations of a resident borrower, bypassing the resident’s account; (4) repayment is to be made from other than the resident borrower’s account; or (5) the credit is provided by a nonresident who is a resident of an offshore zone. For other credits longer than 180 days, notification of the NBRB is required.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentA permit from the NBRB is required.
Inward direct investmentA permit from the NBRB is not required. Foreign investments must be registered with the relevant local governments. Financial institutions must also register them with the NBRB. Insurance institutions, including those with foreign investments, must also be registered with the MOF. Certain activities require special approval (license). When establishing an enterprise with foreign investments, the proportion of a foreign investor’s share is not restricted, except for shares in insurance organizations, which may not exceed 49%. The quota of foreign investors in the authorized capital of all insurance organizations must not exceed 30%.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsAn NBRB permit is required.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsAn NBRB permit is required for loans with maturities of more than 180 days.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw No. 226-3 on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control of July 22, 2003; Regulation No. 72 for the Performance of Foreign Exchange Transactions, adopted April 30, 2004; Resolution of the Council of Directors of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus No. 178 of July 12, 2006, on Interest Rate Ceilings for Credits (Loans) Attracted from Nonresidents above Which a Permit from the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Is Required.
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsForeign currency purchases and sales may be performed by banks and nonbank financial and credit institutions with a relevant banking license. Banks perform these transactions without restriction within the limits of the open foreign exchange position. A banking license is required to engage in banking operations.
Maintenance of accounts abroadA permit from the NBRB is required to open accounts for the maintenance of representative offices and branches of banks.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsEffective June 1, 2006, the reserve requirement on domestic currency deposits of legal entities and foreign currency deposits was reduced to 8% from 9%. Effective November 1, 2006, the reserve requirement on domestic currency deposits of individuals was reduced to 4.5% from 5%. There are no reserve requirements for nonresident banks.
Liquid asset requirementsn.a.
Interest rate controlsn.a.
Credit controlsn.a.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Reserve requirementsEffective June 1, 2006, the reserve requirement on domestic currency deposits of legal entities and foreign currency deposits was reduced to 8% from 9%. Effective November 1, 2006, the reserve requirement on domestic currency deposits of individuals was reduced to 4.5% from 5%. There are no reserve requirements for nonresident banks.
Liquid asset requirementsn.a.
Interest rate controlsn.a.
Credit controlsn.a.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksApproval by the NBRB is required.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThe following limits based on a bank’s equity capital have been established on open foreign exchange positions: (1) an overall open foreign exchange position of 20%; (2) an open foreign exchange position of 10% for each type of foreign currency on balance-sheet accounts and off-balance-sheet accounts; and (3) an open foreign exchange position of 10% on forward transactions for each type of foreign currency. Limits are computed as a whole by type of foreign currency regardless of whether assets or liabilities belong to a resident or nonresident.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsLimits may be established by the Council of Ministers and the NBRB.
Insurance companiesAn insurance organization is required to obtain prior permission from the MOF to (1) increase the amount of its authorized capital using funds from foreign investors and/or their subsidiaries and (2) transfer shares (shares in their authorized capital) to foreign investors and/or their subsidiaries. The quota of foreign investors in the authorized capital of all insurance organizations must not exceed 30%.
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsYes.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadThe establishment of separate subdivisions outside Belarus by insurance organizations and insurance brokers, as well as participation in the establishment of foreign insurance organizations or insurance brokers, requires permission from the MOF following the procedure provided for by legislation.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyYes.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionn.a.
Pension fundsn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment fundsControls are administered by the Securities Committee of the MOF. The legislation provides for the establishment of investment funds; however, there are no investment funds in the country at this time. Specialized investment funds that handled registered “property” privatization vouchers ceased operation as of May 1, 2004. The financial assets of an investment fund (cash and government securities) must be equal to the equivalent of at least €500,000.
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsn.a.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadn.a.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyn.a.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw of the Republic of Belarus No. 226-Z of July 22, 2003, on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control; www.nbrb.by/Legislation/ForExRegul.
Changes during 2006
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMay 21. The ceiling above which imported cash foreign currency is subject to mandatory declaration was increased to $10,000 from $3,000.
Imports and import paymentsJuly 5. The ceiling for advance payments made by a resident without restrictions to a single nonresident for a good was increased to the equivalent of $3 million from $500,000. The previous stipulation that a resident could make advance payments above the established limit if the resident made a bank deposit in the amount of the excess for a period of 60 calendar days was eliminated.
Exports and export proceedsSeptember 21. A new surrender procedure was established: foreign currency is surrendered only for monetary resources received as foreign exchange proceeds from exports of goods and services and also for monetary resources in foreign currency received from the sale to individuals of goods and services.
Proceeds from invisible transactions and current transfersSeptember 21. Monetary resources from exports of goods and services and from the sale of goods and services to individuals were made subject to surrender requirements.
Capital transactions
Controls on credit operationsAugust 13. The ceiling interest rate for credits received from nonresidents by residents for a period of more than 180 days for which a permit from the NBRB is not required was raised to 11% (in U.S. dollars), higher than 11% (in euros), and higher than 3% of the refinancing rate of the relevant CB (for other currencies).
Provisions specific to the financial sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsJune 1. The reserve requirement on domestic currency deposits of legal entities and foreign currency deposits was reduced to 8% from 9%.
November 1. The reserve requirement on domestic currency deposits of individuals was reduced to 4.5% from 5%.
Changes during 2007
Imports and import paymentsMarch 6. The ceiling for advance payments made by a resident without restrictions to a single nonresident for a good was decreased from the equivalent of $3 million to $500,000.

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