Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

CÔTE D’IVOIRE

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

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: June 1, 1996.
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 restrictionsA framework has been established at the WAEMU regional level to combat the financing of terrorism in the member states of the union. The framework facilitates the enforcement of the decisions on the freezing of funds made by the Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council, based on the list of persons and entities established by that committee.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksRegulation 14/2002/CM/UEMOA by the WAEMU Council of Ministers of September 19, 2002; www.uemoa.int/actes/Default.htm; www.bceao.int.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Côte d’Ivoire is the CFA franc.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Conventional pegged arrangementCôte d’Ivoire participates in a currency union with seven other members of the WAEMU and has no separate legal tender. The CFA franc is pegged to the euro, the intervention currency, at a fixed rate of CFAF 655.957 per €1. Exchange rates for other currencies are derived from the rate for the currency concerned in the Paris exchange market vis-à-vis the euro. Effective January 1, 2007, the exchange arrangement of the WAEMU countries is reclassified to the category conventional pegged arrangement from the category exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender. The new classification is based on the behavior of the common currency, whereas the previous classification was based on the lack of a separate legal tender. The new classification thus reflects only a definitional change, and is not based on a judgment that there has been a substantive change in the exchange regime or other policies of the currency union or its members.
Exchange taxA symmetrical bank commission of 0.3% applies to transfers to all countries outside the WAEMU. The proceeds of this commission must be surrendered in their entirety to the treasury. In addition, banks are allowed to charge an exchange commission of up to 2% on over-the-counter exchange for euros.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketResidents are authorized to contract forward exchange cover for payments related to imports and exports of goods and services. Forward cover may be contracted only in the currency of settlement stipulated in the commercial contract. Maturities must correspond to the due date of the import or export payment stipulated in the commercial contract.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsCôte d’Ivoire is linked to the French Treasury through an Operations Account, through which settlements with France, Monaco, and other Operations Account countries (WAEMU and CAEMC member countries and the Comoros) are made in euros or in the currency of any other Operations Account country. Settlements outside the Operations Account may be conducted freely in CFA francs.
Controls on the use of domestic currency
For capital transactions
Transactions in derivatives and other instrumentsYes.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsThe CFA franc is the only legal tender, and residents are not permitted to use foreign exchange for domestic transactions.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsAn Operations Account is maintained with the French Treasury that links Operations Account countries. All purchases or sales of foreign currencies or euros against CFA francs are ultimately settled through a debit or credit to the Operations Account.
Clearing agreementsA multilateral clearing agreement exists in the context of the WAMA among the countries of the WAEMU, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. All payments related to current transactions between the member bank countries may be effected under the clearing arrangements. However, this excludes transactions specified by the committee of governors of the CBs of ECOWAS member countries and payments related to the exportation from the country of a member bank to the country of another member bank of finished products originating in countries whose CB or monetary authority is not a member of the WAMA.
Administration of controlExchange control is administered jointly by the Directorate of the Treasury in the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and the BCEAO. Most of the authority to supervise foreign exchange transactions is delegated to authorized banks, which are required to report these operations to the MEF. The BCEAO is also authorized to collect—either directly or through banks, financial institutions, the postal administration, or judicial agents—any information necessary to compile balance of payments statistics. Customs officers monitor outflows of foreign exchange and confirm import and export of goods. All residents of WAEMU countries are treated as residents of Côte d’Ivoire for the purposes of financial transactions. All foreign exchange operations with foreign countries must be effected through authorized intermediary banks, the postal administration, or the BCEAO. No supporting documents are required for transfers of up to the equivalent of CFAF 300,000. Within the framework of the regional financial market, the placement and soliciting of foreign and domestic securities in Côte d’Ivoire require the prior authorization of the RCPSFM.
Payments arrears
OfficialYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
On external tradeImports of gold require prior MEF authorization. Exempt from this requirement are (1) imports by or on behalf of the treasury or the BCEAO, (2) imports of manufactured articles containing minor quantities of gold (such as gold-filled or gold-plated articles), and (3) imports by travelers of gold objects up to a combined weight of 500 grams. Both licensed and exempt imports of gold are subject to customs declaration. Exports of gold have been liberalized.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyCFA franc banknotes may be exported freely by travelers. However, the suspension of BCEAO repurchases of exported banknotes continues. In addition, the exchange of BCEAO banknotes between authorized intermediaries and their correspondents outside the WAEMU is prohibited.
Foreign currencyThe reexportation of foreign banknotes by nonresident travelers is allowed up to the equivalent of CFAF 500,000; the reexportation of foreign banknotes above this ceiling requires documentation demonstrating either the importation of the foreign banknotes or their purchase against other means of payment registered in the name of the traveler or through the use of nonresident deposit accounts in local banks.
On imports
Domestic currencyResidents are free to import domestic currency. The sending of BCEAO banknotes between licensed intermediary banks and their correspondent banks located outside the WAEMU is strictly prohibited.
Foreign currencyResidents and nonresidents may bring in any amount of foreign banknotes and coins (except gold coins) of countries outside the Operations Account area. Residents bringing in foreign banknotes and foreign currency traveler’s checks exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 300,000 must declare them to customs on entry and sell them to an authorized intermediary bank within eight days. Nonresident travelers must declare to customs foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of CFAF 1 million on entry and exit.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksRegulation R09/98/CM/UEMOA of December 20, 1998; www.bceao.int.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThe holding by residents of foreign currency accounts is subject to prior MEF authorization, after consent by the BCEAO.
Held domesticallyYes.
Approval requiredYes.
Held abroadYes.
Approval requiredIndividuals traveling abroad may open bank accounts to receive foreign currency legitimately exported during their travel or earned during their stay abroad. However, residents are required to repatriate assets held in these accounts within 30 days of their return. In all other cases, the prior authorization of the MEF, after BCEAO approval, is required to open an account abroad.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Approval requiredThe holding by nonresidents of accounts denominated in foreign currency other than the euro is subject to the prior authorization of the BCEAO. The opening of the account is subject to presentation of documents by nonresidents proving their status and actual residence.
Domestic currency accountsBecause the BCEAO has suspended the repurchase of banknotes circulating outside the WAEMU area, nonresident accounts may not be credited or debited with BCEAO banknotes. These accounts may not be overdrawn without prior MEF authorization. Transfers of funds between nonresident accounts are not restricted.
Convertible into foreign currencyConvertible foreign currency accounts may be debited freely for the purchase by nonresidents of foreign currencies on the official exchange market.
Blocked accountsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksRegulation R09/98/CM/UEMOA of December 20, 1998; www.bceao.int.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Advance payment requirementsAdvance payments for imports require authorization, and importers may not acquire foreign exchange until the date of the payment specified in the contract.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsImporters may purchase foreign exchange for import payments after establishing bank payment order accounts and submitting supporting documents, but not earlier than eight days before shipment if a documentary credit is opened, or on the due date of payment if the products have already been imported.
Domiciliation requirementAll import transactions from outside the CFA franc zone exceeding CFAF 5 million must be effected through an authorized bank.
Preshipment inspectionInspection for quality and price is required for imports exceeding CFAF 3 million; imports valued at less than CFAF 3 million may be subject to random inspection.
Letters of creditLCs are required for goods imported from countries not included in the EU, Operations Account countries, and ACP countries.
OtherExchange authorization, invoices, and export-import cards are required.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Positive listImports are classified into three categories: (1) goods requiring prior authorization or the approval of ministries, (2) goods subject to quantitative or other restrictions requiring licenses issued by the Directorate of External Trade Promotions, and (3) freely importable goods.
Negative listImports of certain goods, such as narcotics, are prohibited regardless of origin.
Open general licensesImport licenses for a short list of controlled products are issued by the Directorate of External Trade Promotions in the Ministry of Commerce.
Other nontariff measuresYes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThe CET of the WAEMU consists of four rates (zero, 5%, 10%, and 20%). Imports are also subject to a statistical fee of 1%. A community solidarity levy of 1% is applied on the c.i.f. value of non-WAEMU imports. In addition, a 1% ECOWAS levy (PCC) is applied on the c.i.f. value of non-ECOWAS imports.
State import monopolyNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from exports, excluding those to WAEMU countries, must normally be collected within 120 days of shipment and repatriated through the BCEAO not later than one month after the due date of the payment.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to the central bankYes.
Surrender to authorized dealersProceeds must be surrendered to authorized banks within 30 days of the payment due date. Authorized intermediaries must then surrender the foreign exchange to the BCEAO by transfer through the bank of issue. Proceeds may be surrendered to authorized intermediaries other than the issuing banks if authorized by the BCEAO.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsAll export transactions require a customs declaration.
Letters of creditYes.
Guaranteesn.a.
DomiciliationAll export transactions of more than CFAF 5 million, except those between WAEMU countries, must be domiciled with an authorized intermediary bank.
Export licenses
Without quotasExports are permitted on the basis of a simple authorization from the Directorate of Foreign Trade, which issues certificates of origin, as needed. Exports of diamonds, gold, and all other precious metals, however, require prior authorization of the MEF, with the exception of articles with a small gold content, travelers’ personal effects weighing less than 500 grams, and coins (fewer than 10 pieces, irrespective of their face value or denomination).
With quotasExports of lumber are subject to quantitative quotas allocated through an auction.
Export taxes
Other export taxesExports of cocoa and coffee are subject to export tax and can be effected only by exporters authorized by the Authority for Regulation of Coffee and Cocoa.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersTransfers for invisible transactions to France, Monaco, and Operations Account countries may be made freely. Payments and receipts made by foreign ships on stopovers in WAEMU countries or by WAEMU ships abroad are considered current transactions. Payments and transfers for current transactions may be made freely through authorized intermediaries. Transfers exceeding CFAF 300,000 are subject to documentary requirements.
Trade-related payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Investment-related paymentsAuthorized banks may transfer profits and interest payments based on supporting documentation.
Prior approvalPayments for depreciation of direct investments require prior authorization from the MEF, because this type of depreciation is not specifically mentioned in the regulations.
Indicative limits/bona fide testOutward transfers of proceeds from the liquidation of investments may be made by authorized banks, subject to presentation of supporting documents.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsResidents traveling for tourism or business purposes to non-WAEMU countries are allowed to take out banknotes other than CFA franc notes up to the equivalent of CFAF 2 million a person; amounts in excess of this limit may be taken out in the form of traveler’s checks, certified checks, or other means of payment.
Indicative limits/bona fide testResident travelers must present a travel document and a valid passport or a national identity card to an authorized intermediary bank or exchange bureau before foreign exchange will be issued.
Personal payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testAll personal payments may be conducted through an authorized bank, subject to presentation of supporting documents.
Foreign workers’ wages
Indicative limits/bona fide testPayments abroad related to wages, salaries, and honoraria; contributions and benefits; pensions and work-related activities; and service contracts are generally authorized on presentation of the appropriate documentation.
Credit card use abroadThe use of credit cards is allowed only when issued by specialized institutions.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsProceeds from invisible transactions with non-WAEMU countries must be repatriated.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to the central bankAt the request of the BCEAO, authorized foreign exchange dealers must surrender to the CB, in exchange for BCEAO-issued currency, all assets denominated in euros and other currencies held in their establishments.
Surrender to authorized dealersAll proceeds from invisible transactions with non-WAEMU countries must be surrendered to an AD within one month of the due date. Resident travelers must declare to customs any foreign means of payment in excess of the equivalent of CFAF 300,000 that they bring in and must surrender it to an authorized bank within eight days of their return The BCEAO may, in monitoring banks’ external positions, request the surrender of foreign currency held abroad by ADs.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsCapital transactions between WAEMU member countries are unrestricted. Outward capital transfers require MEF authorization, except in the case of (1) amortization of debts and repayment of short-term loans granted to finance industrial and commercial operations, and (2) payments for the purchase of options. Capital receipts from non-WAEMU countries, however, are generally permitted.
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to the central bankAt the request of the BCEAO, authorized foreign exchange dealers must surrender to the CB, in exchange for BCEAO-issued currency, all assets denominated in euros and other currencies held in their establishments.
Surrender to authorized dealersThe proceeds in foreign assets from the sale or liquidation of investments by residents must be surrendered to authorized intermediary banks within one month. The BCEAO may, in monitoring banks’ external positions, request the surrender of foreign currency held abroad by ADs.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsThe prior authorization of the RCPSFM is required for the following operations: issuing or marketing of securities and real assets of foreign entities, canvassing, and publicity or advertising for investment abroad. Securities and mutual funds issued outside the WAEMU by a private or public entity that is not a resident of a member country may not be listed on a regional securities exchange.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThese purchases are subject to prior declaration to the MEF for statistical purposes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe issue of securities and the sale of corporate or foreign securities by nonresidents are subject to prior RCPSFM authorization. There are no controls on the sale of securities resulting from the divestiture of investment in the form of a transfer between a nonresident and a resident, but such sales are subject to the regulations governing the financial settlement of the operation.
Settlement of securities transactions by transfer abroad or by credit to a nonresident account requires an exchange authorization to be submitted to the MEF for approval, accompanied by supporting documentation.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe purchase of foreign securities by residents and the transfer abroad of funds for this purpose are subject to the prior authorization of the MEF. Authorization is not required for purchases of foreign securities whose issuance or offering for sale in WAEMU countries has been authorized by the RCPSFM.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents may sell local corporate securities abroad. If these operations result in foreign control of domestic establishments, foreign investors are required to make a prior declaration to the MEF. The sale of securities to liquidate an investment abroad is subject to declaration to the MEF for statistical purposes.
Residents may also issue securities abroad, except for those constituting a loan. Issuance of the latter to nonresidents must be made through an authorized bank and must be reported to the MEF for statistical purposes.
Bonds or other debt securitiesThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
On money market instrumentsThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsResidents may sell money market instruments abroad. Sales liquidating an investment are subject to prior declaration.
On collective investment securitiesThe regulations governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsThese instruments are subject to general regulations that apply to securities and investments. Residents may freely purchase abroad or from nonresidents call or put options for primary commodities or securities transactions. Residents may not purchase commodities or securities on foreign markets for delivery in a put option contract. Put options must be on assets that can be acquired locally by the resident seller for delivery abroad in execution of the contract.
Controls on credit operationsBorrowing by residents from nonresidents must be channeled through authorized intermediaries (whenever borrowed funds are made available for use in the country), unless otherwise indicated by the MEF.
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsThere are no controls on credits related to exports of goods, provided the date on which payment falls due is not more than 120 days after the date of shipment. The transfer of funds abroad for this purpose is subject to prior MEF authorization.
To residents from nonresidentsThere are no controls, and repayments of commercial credits are generally approved, subject to the presentation of documents attesting to the validity of the commercial operation or of the services rendered, as well as the payment due date.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsThese credits require prior approval of the MEF. Outward transfers necessary to service such facilities require an exchange authorization, subject to the approval of the BCEAO acting on behalf of the MEF and substantiated by documentation.
To residents from nonresidentsThere are no controls on these credits, but they must be declared to the directorate responsible for external finance for statistical purposes. The necessary funds must be transferred from abroad through an authorized agent. There are no controls on repayments of loans, provided the authorized agent handling the settlement is furnished with documentation attesting to the validity of the transaction.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsThe granting of guarantees and sureties is subject to prior approval by the MEF. Transfers abroad of funds to service these facilities require the issuance of an exchange authorization, subject to approval of the MEF, and the submission of supporting documents.
To residents from nonresidentsThese facilities may be granted freely, although the funds required for servicing them must be transferred abroad by an authorized bank. If, however, these transactions take place between a resident direct investment company and its parent company located abroad, they are considered to be direct investments and therefore require prior declaration to the MEF.
Controls on direct investmentDirect investments constitute investments implying control of a company or enterprise. Mere participation is not considered direct investment unless it exceeds 10% of the capital of a company whose shares are quoted on a stock exchange. All investments abroad by residents, including investments through foreign companies under the direct or indirect control of residents of Côte d’Ivoire and investments by foreign branches or subsidiaries of companies established in Côte d’Ivoire, require prior authorization by the MEF.
Outward direct investmentAll investment abroad by residents is subject to prior MEF authorization. At least 75% of such investment must be financed by foreign loans. Authorization is not required for purchases of foreign securities whose issuance or offering for sale in WAEMU member countries has been authorized by the RCPSFM.
Inward direct investmentForeign direct investments, including those made by resident companies that are directly or indirectly under foreign control and those made by branches or subsidiaries of foreign companies, must be reported to the MEF for statistical purposes.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentThe liquidation of investments abroad must be reported to the MEF for statistical purposes. Reinvestment of the proceeds from the liquidation is subject to prior MEF authorization. If reinvestment is not authorized, the proceeds from the liquidation must be repatriated within one month through an authorized intermediary. The sale of foreign investments by nonresidents is unrestricted but must be reported to the MEF for statistical purposes.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsThese purchases require the prior authorization of the MEF.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases for purposes other than direct investment in a business, branch, or company are allowed. They require a declaration to the MEF for statistical purposes.
Sale locally by nonresidentsSales by nonresidents to residents require the submission of supporting documentation to the authorized intermediary that handles the settlement and must be declared to the MEF.
Controls on personal capital transactionsPersonal capital transactions between residents and nonresidents must be made through the BCEAO, the postal service, or an authorized intermediary bank, unless prior authorization is obtained from the MEF.
LoansThe regulations governing securities and investments apply.
By residents to nonresidentsThese transactions require prior MEF authorization. The individuals concerned may not engage in such operations as a professional occupation without first being licensed and included on the list of financial institutions.
To residents from nonresidentsThese transactions may be made freely, but are subject to declaration for statistical purposes to the MEF when granted and when repaid.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsInheritances and dowries are generally authorized. Gifts and endowments, however, are subject to prior MEF authorization.
To residents from nonresidentsThese transactions are subject to declaration.
Settlements of debts abroad by immigrantsImmigrants who have received resident status must obtain prior authorization of the MEF to settle debts contracted abroad while they were nonresidents.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsThese transactions are subject to prior authorization of the MEF if they exceed CFAF 300,000 a person. There are no restrictions on the transfer of smaller amounts.
Transfer into the country by immigrantsForeign accounts (in foreign currencies or CFA francs) of nonresidents who become residents must be closed. However, they may maintain abroad bank accounts opened and financial assets acquired while they were nonresidents. New transfers to these accounts require MEF approval.
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadFor statistical purposes, these transactions must be declared to the MEF when they are granted and when they are repaid.
Maintenance of accounts abroadBanks and financial institutions are authorized to open accounts with their correspondent banks for settling transactions for their own account or the accounts of their customers. However, banks are not authorized to hold in these accounts amounts that exceed their current requirements.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Commercial lending is allowed. Financial credits are subject to prior MEF authorization following BCEAO approval. Loans of any kind, CFAF overdrafts, and, in general, any advances granted to nonresidents are subject to prior MEF authorization, after BCEAO approval. These claims are included in the external position of banks and financial institutions, which is subject to special monitoring.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeNo explicit regulations exist regarding these transactions, but prior authorization by the MEF is required with the approval of the BCEAO.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeThese purchases require prior RCPSFM authorization, after approval by the MEF.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Credit controlsYes.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidentsMonetary regulations make no distinction among resident deposit accounts, nonresident deposit accounts, and foreign deposit accounts.
Credit controlsAny overdraft or advance granted to a nonresident requires the prior authorization of the MEF with the approval of the BCEAO.
Investment regulationsThe regulations governing direct investment apply.
Abroad by banksYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsNo prudential ratios apply. Open positions result from special dispensations.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Insurance companiesControls are imposed by the CIMA Code.
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsn.a.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadThe CIMA Code does not allow insurance companies to invest abroad.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyThe CIMA Code includes specific rules for the use of insurance companies’ technical reserves.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionThe CIMA Code specifies that liabilities in a given currency must be covered by assets denominated in the same currency.
Pension fundsn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment fundsn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Changes during 2006
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.
Changes during 2007
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. The exchange arrangement of the WAEMU countries was reclassified to the category conventional pegged arrangement from the category exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender. The new classification reflects only a definitional change.

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