Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

MOROCCO

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2007
Share
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

(Position as of April 30, 2007)

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: January 21, 1993.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesNo restrictions as reported in the latest staff report as of December 31, 2006.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)In accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, prior authorization from the Foreign Exchange Office (FEO) is required to conduct financial transactions with nonresident individuals or entities with suspected links to terrorism.
Other security restrictionsMorocco maintains restrictions against certain countries pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Morocco is the Moroccan dirham.
Other legal tenderCommemorative gold coins with a face value of DH 250 and DH 500 and commemorative silver coins with a face value of DH 50, DH 100, DH 150, and DH 200 are also legal tender.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Conventional pegged arrangementBank Al-Maghrib (BAM)—the central bank—intervenes continuously in the market during the day by setting the buying and selling rates applicable to its operations with banks, based on a basket of currencies weighted in accordance with the geographic distribution of Morocco’s foreign trade and the pattern of currencies of settlement. This quotation system is also based on the observance of the cross exchange rates in the international market. For exchange operations with customers, banks may not exceed the rate limits set by the BAM. Banks charge a commission of 0.2% on their foreign exchange transactions with customers.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketBanks may provide forward exchange contracts for commercial and financial operations for periods of up to 12 months. They may also open foreign exchange options to economic operators as a hedge against exchange rate risks.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsAll transactions between Morocco and foreign countries—regardless of the type of transaction—must be settled in foreign currencies that are quoted by the BAM or in convertible dirhams.
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 residentsTransactions among residents in Morocco must be denominated and settled in domestic currency.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsA regional payments arrangement among the CBs of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia governs payment operations among those countries. Effective August 18, 2006, economic operators may settle their transactions either within the framework of these arrangements or by following normal procedures.
Administration of controlExchange control is administered by the FEO, an agency under the MOF. This office has delegated the execution of the main exchange control measures to authorized banks. Import and export licenses, which are required for some products, are issued by the Department of Foreign Trade (DFT).
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
On domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents may purchase, hold, and sell gold coins in Morocco for numismatic or investment purposes. Ten different types of foreign gold coins are traded on the Casablanca Stock Exchange, which does not, however, deal in gold bars.
On external tradeImports of gold are subject to authorization from the Customs and Indirect Taxes Administration. The MOF fixes annually a quota for the importation of gold ingots. The quota is then allocated among jewelers and industrial users of precious metals. Exports of gold are also regulated.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesEffective December 1, 2006, a new regulatory framework for manual foreign exchange operations was established governing foreign currency banknote buying and selling operations and spelling out the terms to be met by entities carrying out these operations: (1) creation of foreign exchange bureaus dealing exclusively with manual foreign exchange business; those involved must be legal entities with a minimum capital of DH 500,000; (2) authorization for intermediation corporations involved in the cash transfer business to engage in manual foreign exchange along with their cash transfer activities; and (3) redefinition of the system of subdelegations in the area of manual foreign exchange, limiting engagement in this business to institutions related to the tourism sector.
Foreign exchange bureaus and cash transfer corporations are authorized to buy, in exchange for domestic currency, foreign banknotes and/or foreign-currency-denominated traveler’s checks, and to sell for cash, in exchange for domestic currency, foreign banknotes or traveler’s checks, as part of the allowance for tourists and the allowances for missions and internships abroad undertaken by personnel of central and local governments and of public institutions and enterprises. Subdelegated institutions may engage solely in the purchase of foreign-currency-denominated banknotes and traveler’s checks in exchange for dirhams, on behalf of an authorized intermediary of their choice.
On exports
Domestic currencyThe exportation of domestic banknotes is subject to authorization. However, authorized intermediary banks may export dirham-denominated banknotes to the Tangiers free export zone, subject to an export declaration. The dirhams must be drawn from convertible dirham accounts of operators in the free export zone and used solely for payments to residents for the following expenditures: wages and other wage-earner remuneration up to any amount, transportation, repairs, work, and supplies of products from the territory covered, in sums of up to DH 3,000 an operation and subject to an annual ceiling of DH 120,000 an operator.
Foreign currencyForeign and Moroccan nonresidents may export foreign banknotes debited from their foreign exchange or convertible dirham accounts, or previously imported. Foreign nationals visiting Morocco are permitted to repurchase foreign exchange on presentation of receipts indicating the amount of the original conversion of foreign exchange into dirhams. Residents may also export foreign banknotes within the limits specified in foreign exchange regulations.
On imports
Domestic currencyThe importation of domestic banknotes is subject to authorization.
Foreign currencyNonresident travelers may bring in unlimited amounts of foreign banknotes, traveler’s checks, and other means of payment denominated in foreign exchange. If nonresidents wish to take out some or all of the foreign exchange they are importing, a customs declaration is necessary for amounts in excess of the equivalent of DH 50,000. Resident travelers may also import unlimited amounts of foreign banknotes or any other means of payment denominated in foreign exchange, but must surrender them for dirhams within 30 days of their return to Morocco. Foreign exchange banknotes may be brought into the country without a customs declaration.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyTwo types of accounts may be opened.
(1) Foreign resident individuals and corporations may open foreign exchange accounts in Moroccan banks without limitation. These accounts may be credited with transfers from abroad, any foreign-exchange-denominated means of payment (e.g., banknotes or traveler’s checks), or foreign currency that was withdrawn from a Moroccan bank in accordance with current foreign exchange regulations. They may be debited for transfers abroad or for purchases of dirhams for all domestic settlements. There are no restrictions on the rate of interest payable on the accounts or on transfers between foreign exchange accounts or between these accounts and convertible dirham accounts. Authorized banks may issue international credit cards to holders of these accounts. Overdrafts on these accounts are not permitted.
(2) Moroccan exporters of goods and services holding a convertible export promotion account (CCPEX) may open foreign exchange accounts; those without a CCPEX must obtain prior approval from the FEO. Up to 20% of foreign exchange receipts from exports may be credited to these accounts (deep sea fishing companies may credit up to 25%), and the remainder must be sold to Moroccan banks. Exporters’ foreign exchange accounts may also be credited without restriction with proceeds (principal and interest) from financial investments made from these accounts and with transfers from other foreign exchange accounts held by the same account holder. These accounts may be debited for payment of business expenses, as provided for in the exchange regulations; for investments in authorized banks; for subscribing to bonds issued by the Moroccan Treasury; to credit another foreign exchange account or a CCPEX held in the name of the same account holder; and for the surrender of foreign exchange to banks. Authorized banks may issue international credit cards to holders of these accounts. Overdrafts on these accounts are not permitted.
Effective March 1, 2007, authorized banks may open foreign currency accounts for insurance and reinsurance companies and make transfers related to foreign deposit, investment, and placement operations. Effective March 21, 2007, authorized banks may open foreign currency accounts to allow traders to improve their management of international trade operations while avoiding exchange rate fluctuations and the commissions and fees related to foreign currency buying and selling operations.
Approval requiredApproval is not required for resident foreign nationals.
Held abroadYes.
Approval requiredApproval is not required for foreign residents.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadn.a.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyResident foreign nationals may open accounts in convertible dirhams in Moroccan banks. The accounts may be credited with the proceeds of foreign exchange sales and amounts transferable from Morocco, in accordance with exchange regulations. The accounts may be debited to purchase foreign exchange or for any other domestic settlement.
There are no restrictions on interest payments or on transfers between accounts abroad in convertible dirhams and between convertible dirham accounts and foreign exchange accounts. Authorized banks may issue international credit cards to holders of these accounts. Overdrafts are not permitted on these accounts. Exporters of goods and services may open a CCPEX. These accounts may be credited with the dirham equivalent of 20% of foreign exchange that is repatriated and transferred to approved intermediary banks for exports of goods and services. Funds in the accounts may be used to finance expenditures abroad in relation to the professional activities of the interested parties. Fishing companies may deposit up to 100% of the exchange value of repatriated foreign exchange.
Exporters may open a foreign exchange account, a CCPEX, or both, provided the overall percentage of foreign exchange earnings to be deposited in the accounts does not exceed 20% of repatriated earnings. Authorized banks may issue international credit cards to holders of these accounts. Overdrafts are not permitted on these accounts.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedTwo types of accounts may be opened:



(1) Foreign currency accounts in the names of foreign nationals may be maintained by nonresident natural or juridical persons of foreign nationality. These accounts may be credited with transfers from abroad; with foreign banknotes, checks, and traveler’s checks; with any other means of payment denominated in foreign currency; and with foreign currency withdrawn from domestic banks, in accordance with exchange regulations. They may be debited for transfers abroad or for the surrender of foreign currency for dirhams for all domestic settlements.
(2) Foreign currency accounts may be opened by Moroccan nationals residing abroad. These accounts may be credited with transfers from abroad; with traveler’s checks, foreign banknotes, or any other means of payment denominated in foreign currency; and with foreign currency withdrawn from domestic banks in accordance with exchange regulations. They may be debited for transfers abroad and for the surrender of foreign currency for dirhams for all domestic settlements. There are no restrictions on interest payments on these accounts, on transfers between foreign currency accounts, or on transfers between foreign currency accounts and convertible dirham accounts.
Domestic currency accountsThere are three types of accounts.



(1) Foreign dirham accounts convertible into foreign currency are restricted to resident and nonresident natural and juridical persons of foreign nationality.
(2) Convertible dirham accounts held in the name of Moroccans residing abroad.
Both types of accounts may be credited with proceeds from the surrender of foreign currency and amounts freely transferable from Morocco in accordance with general or special authorization from the FEO. They may be debited for the purchase of foreign currency and all domestic settlements. There are no restrictions on transfers between foreign accounts in convertible dirhams or between these accounts and foreign currency accounts. Holders of these accounts may obtain international credit cards from authorized banks. Overdrafts are not allowed, and there are no restrictions on the payment of interest on these accounts.
(3) Nonresident foreign nationals holding funds not deemed transferable under the exchange control regulations may deposit said funds in convertible term accounts held at authorized intermediary banks. Funds in these accounts with balances less than or equivalent to DH 200,000 on September 10, 2004, could be transferred abroad without restriction until December 31, 2005, at the latest. Funds available in convertible term accounts may be transferred within a maximum period of four years in annual installments of 25%.
Holders of convertible term accounts and those acquiring them, including Moroccans resident abroad, may make unlimited use of the funds in these accounts to cover any domestic expenditure in dirhams, including investment expenditures. Investments financed from the accounts are covered by the convertibility arrangements for a period of two years from the date of the investment.
Convertible into foreign currencyNonresident foreign natural or juridical persons may open convertible domestic currency accounts and foreign accounts in convertible dirhams in authorized banks. These accounts may be credited with the proceeds of foreign exchange sales and transferable amounts from Morocco in accordance with exchange regulations. The accounts may be debited for the purchase of foreign exchange or for any domestic settlements and for dirham term placements in Morocco.
There are no restrictions on the payment of interest on these accounts, or on transfers between foreign accounts in convertible dirhams and between convertible dirham accounts and foreign exchange accounts. Authorized banks may issue international credit cards to holders of these accounts. Overdrafts are not permitted on these accounts.
Blocked accountsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Advance payment requirementsImporters may make advance payments for imports of capital goods up to 40% of the f.o.b. value of the goods. In the case of spare parts, consumer goods, and samples, advance payment is limited to the foreign exchange equivalent of DH 20,000. Importers may make payment in advance of the due date under a commercial contract in exchange for a discount of at least 3% from the foreign suppliers.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsEffective September 5, 2006, import settlements of spillage differentials and settlements of imports by a third party in lieu of the initial importers were liberalized.
Effective March 21, 2007, new liberal arrangements have been introduced for international trade operations: (1) authorization has been granted to individuals duly listed in the trade register to engage in international trade operations; and (2) these operations have been expanded to include services not related to commercial operations.
Domiciliation requirementFor all imports, a commercial security must be underwritten by the importer and domiciled at an authorized bank to cover eventual payment for goods and related fees. This domiciliation is not required for imports that do not involve payments.
OtherExcept for goods imported by air or by postal package, insurance policies for imports must be taken out with insurance companies in Morocco. For certain groups of goods, however, insurance policies may be underwritten abroad. This group includes (1) externally financed imports if the terms include foreign insurance; (2) capital goods and equipment under turnkey contracts; and (3) crude oil, gas, heifers, and wood.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Positive listImports are not restricted, except for arms and explosives, secondhand clothing, chemical products that deplete the ozone layer, and used tires and wheels with used tires or retreads. These products require an import license issued by the DFT.
Negative listImports of products that affect public health, morals, order, or security are prohibited.
Other nontariff measuresImports may be restricted for limited periods to protect infant industries or to countervail dumping. Tariff measures may be established for periods of five years to protect infant industries, and they may be extended to eight years. In the case of dumping, the product in question is subject to a prior import declaration for a maximum period of nine months, and this measure is renewable once. During this period, investigations are carried out to determine whether or not dumping is taking place and, if it is, to determine what tariff measures are to be introduced.
Import taxes and/or tariffsCustoms duties are levied on an ad valorem basis. A large number of consumer goods not produced in Morocco are subject to a 10% duty. Imports of products to be used in the manufacture of goods for export are exempt from customs duties. Specific rates are applied to certain agricultural products.
State import monopolyNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsAll exporters must provide an export certificate guaranteeing repatriation and surrender of foreign exchange proceeds. Certain exports are exempt from this regulation. Proceeds from exports may be collected abroad and used directly to finance imports of goods and raw materials needed to manufacture goods for export.
Surrender requirementsForeign exchange must be surrendered within one month of the date of payment by foreign buyers specified in the commercial contract. In principle, this date must not be more than 150 days from the date of the shipment of goods. For products sold on consignment abroad (fresh fruit and vegetables, citrus fruit, flowers, and craft products), the deadline set may be within a period of up to 180 days. This deadline may be extended if warranted by business conditions and approved by the FEO. Exporters of goods and services are authorized to hold up to 20% of export earnings in convertible dirham or foreign exchange CCPEX accounts. Companies exporting clothing, household textile products, and related products may grant their foreign clients a discount of up to 3% of the invoice price.
Surrender to authorized dealersYes.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsEffective March 21, 2007, new liberal arrangements have been introduced for international trade operations: (1) authorization has been granted to individuals duly listed in the trade register to engage in international trade operations; and (2) these operations have been expanded to include services not related to commercial operations. Exporters must provide an export certificate guaranteeing repatriation and surrender of proceeds from their exports.
Preshipment inspectionPreshipment inspection is not required; however, exports of food products are subject to quality control.
Export licenses
Without quotasExports of grain flour, charcoal, archaeological items, chemical products that deplete the ozone layer, and hides and skins require export licenses issued by the DFT.
Export taxesA tax of DH 34 a ton is levied on exports of phosphates. A 1% quality control tax is levied on exports of foodstuffs.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersAuthorized banks may make payments for current transactions; namely (1) fees relating to international trade transactions, transportation, services, technical assistance, income from capital (including interest and dividends), and wages; (2) transfers of amounts owed to foreign suppliers for international business transactions (goods and services) conducted by Moroccan corporations (purchases of goods abroad for direct sale to foreign customers); (3) tax-exempt and taxable earnings of foreign or Moroccan artists residing abroad who are invited to exhibit or perform in Morocco; (4) transfers of funds representing prizes won at film festivals; (5) transfers for services rendered by residents to call centers in Morocco: rentals of specialized lines or satellite segments, use of telephone lines abroad, etc. (effective July 19, 2006); and (6) transfers of funds payable for book printing, publishing, copublishing, or calligraphy.
Effective September 5, 2006, the following have also been liberalized: (1) transfers for the definitive acquisition of manufacturing license rights; (2) provision by authorized intermediary banks of foreign-currency-denominated banknotes to nonresident individuals providing occasional technical assistance to public bodies and remunerated in advance in dirhams; (3) transfers for fees related to the use of artistic rights belonging to nonresidents by legal entities operating in the audiovisual sector or by cultural associations recognized as having a public purpose; (4) transfers for expenses related to the printing, publishing, copublishing, and calligraphy of works or to the organization in Morocco of meetings, events, and sport, cultural, and artistic celebrations in favor of public agencies and associations recognized as having a public purpose; (5) transfers to cover expenses of foreign registration of contracts awarded to Moroccan entities by nonresident entities; (6) transfers to reimburse the travel and living expenses of foreign nationals participating in technical assistance operations in favor of resident legal entities; (7) settlements of the participation costs of Moroccan sport federations in events abroad (living expenses); (8) transfers (up to DH 7,000 a month, for up to one year’s duration) to Moroccan students pursuing their studies abroad or to those who have completed their studies and are beginning an unremunerated internship; (9) transfers or awards of foreign-currency-denominated banknote allowances related to net gains on taxes and fees of foreign or Moroccan prize-winners residing abroad, in the context of competitions organized by Moroccan sport federations or by public entities; (10) transfers of funds in the form of prizes won at film festivals by foreign nationals or by Moroccans residing abroad; and (11) transfers to foreign public agencies and multilateral institutions for the repayment of funds received as grants and not used fully or in part.
Trade-related paymentsPayments for freight, unloading, and storage are not restricted. Importers may pay for overweight freight charges in amounts not exceeding 10% of the amount initially stated in the commercial contract, as well as any penalty for the shipment. Representation and brokerage charges of exporters of goods or services may be settled for up to 10% of the value of exports of goods or services.
Rental fees for stands and exhibitor fees for fairs and exhibitions abroad by residents who do not hold a CCPEX may be transferred by authorized intermediaries on presentation of an invoice or fee slip duly signed by the organizer of the fair or exhibition.
Costs related to consignment sales—consignment commission; transit charges; costs of transportation between foreign locations; handling charges; customs duty; wrapping and reconditioning costs; warehousing and storage fees; expert costs; analysis or sampling fees; destruction expenses in cases of damage; and costs for advertising and promotion incurred by foreign commissioners and purchasing cooperatives, by foreign consignees for the marketing of goods sold in the context of consignment sales (fresh fruit and vegetables, citrus fruits, flowers, and craft products)—may be settled directly by prior deduction from the selling price of the above-mentioned goods sold on consignment.
Authorized intermediaries may also freely transfer funds returned by the General Treasury of the Realm for the VAT on bills of purchase in Morocco collected by diplomatic and consular representatives, representatives of international public bodies, or by foreign staff of those bodies.
Effective March 1, 2007, the new regulatory framework governing insurance and reinsurance operations was established. The new framework lists the foreign currency operations eligible for insurance in Morocco that economic operators may underwrite with insurance and reinsurance companies established in Morocco (imports and exports when the related contracts are underwritten by or on behalf of nonresidents, merchandise shipments from a foreign country or a free trade zone in Morocco to a foreign country within the framework of international trade operations initiated by resident operators, exports not involving payments, etc.) and foreign currency operations abroad (mandatory insurance for which coverage cannot be found from insurance and reinsurance companies established in Morocco, “Aviation” and “Maritime and Transportation” insurance, including international road transportation (hull and cargo)) within the framework of free trade agreements for risks, whether covered or not with insurance and reinsurance companies established in Morocco.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Investment-related payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testThere are indicative limits on transfers of interest, which must be market based.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsEffective April 5, 2007, for tourist travel, authorized banks may provide Moroccan or foreign nationals the equivalent of DH 20,000 (previously, DH 15,000) a person a year. An additional allowance of DH 7,500 (previously, DH 7,000) may be granted for a minor child on the passport of the beneficiary parent, when accompanying the parent at the time of travel abroad. For a given trip, the tourist allowance may be combined, in whole or in part, with any other foreign exchange allowances granted under a general or special FEO authorization. The same allowance for tourist travel may also be granted to Moroccan nationals living abroad on their return to their country of residence following their stay in Morocco, provided they have not benefited from the 15% allowance on remittances within the previous 12 months, up to a limit of DH 20,000. Residents of foreign nationality who wish to travel abroad may be granted the foreign exchange equivalent of all their income savings. Effective April 5, 2007, Moroccan or foreign nationals residing in Morocco and Moroccan nationals residing abroad are eligible for a foreign exchange allowance equivalent to DH 15,000 (previously, DH 14,000) for Umra (lesser pilgrimage) travel. Allowances for tourist and religious travel (Umra) may be granted in whole or in part, by subrogation, to Moroccan travel agencies approved by the Ministry for Tourism, for tourism, family, cultural, or private travel abroad, by means of an individual or group check, or by transfer to foreign service providers. Business travel by exporters of goods and services may be financed without restriction by debiting convertible export promotion accounts or foreign exchange accounts maintained with Moroccan banks. In the case of business travel other than by exporters of goods and services, annual foreign exchange allowances are approved by the FEO on the basis of need, with a daily limit of DH 2,000. Banks have been authorized to provide allowances of up to DH 40,000 to small and medium-size enterprises and of up to DH 20,000 a year for business travel by individuals not belonging to either of these categories. Larger allowances may be approved by the FEO on proof of need. The allowances for specific business travel may not be added to other allowances, except for the tourist allowance.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal payments
Prior approvalApproval from the Ministry of Health is required to make transfers abroad for medical treatment when the patient is not covered by an insurance policy.
Quantitative limitsAuthorized banks may provide foreign exchange allowances to Moroccan nationals for travel abroad for medical treatment up to a maximum of the equivalent of DH 30,000, and to make transfers on patients’ behalf for treatment abroad to hospitals and medical institutions concerned. Banks are authorized to make transfers for study abroad as follows: (1) an annual installation allowance equivalent to DH 20,000 and the same amount for a person accompanying a minor student leaving Morocco for the first time; (2) school fees to foreign academic institutions, in unlimited amounts, on presentation of supporting documents; (3) allowances for living expenses amounting to (a) the equivalent of DH 7,000 a month for 12 months for those without scholarships; (b) DH 7,000 a month less the amount of the scholarship for those with scholarships; (c) expenses required for boarding school plus DH 2,500 a month for school fees; and (d) for students in the United States, the sum of tuition fees and living expenses stated in U.S. immigration documents; (4) payments of rent and corresponding charges to a foreign landlord on presentation by a student or guardian of a lease and a certificate of residence or other equivalent document; (5) the purchase price of a computer, up to DH 25,000 over a three-year period; and (6) repayment of student loans contracted with foreign banks. Effective September 5, 2006, authorized intermediaries may transfer up to DH 7,000 a month for meeting the costs of unremunerated internships of up to one year’s duration, to Moroccan students still pursuing higher education or beginning an internship during the 12 months following the end of their studies.
To cover the costs of internships and missions abroad, banks are authorized to sell foreign exchange to staff of public agencies, local governments, public institutions and enterprises, and foreign institutions or bodies up to the amount allocated by their employers. Medical staff in public agencies, local governments, and public institutions and enterprises wishing to attend professional events abroad are also eligible to purchase foreign exchange. If the costs of the mission or internship are borne in full by the traveler, banks may provide DH 2,000 a day up to DH 20,000 a trip. Banks may transfer funds to cover immigration application fees. In addition, immigrants who have obtained a visa may purchase up to the equivalent of DH 25,000 for moving expenses.
Indicative limits/bona fide testRequests for additional amounts require FEO approval, which is granted on presentation of supporting documents.
Foreign workers’ wages
Quantitative limitsForeign nationals residing in Morocco and employed in either the private or public sector or engaged in industrial, commercial, agricultural, and certain other professions may transfer all their income. They may also contribute freely to pension or social security funds in their countries of origin. These arrangements apply equally to foreign spouses of Moroccan nationals.
Commercial banks may transfer pensions paid by government or private organizations to retired individuals residing permanently abroad. In addition, retired foreign nationals and foreign spouses of Moroccan nationals may transfer their entire pensions. They may also transfer severance benefits by order of a Moroccan court.
Credit card use abroad
Prior approvalBanks may issue credit cards without restriction to (1) foreign nationals holding accounts in foreign exchange or convertible dirhams; (2) staff of international organizations that have offices or headquarters in Morocco; (3) Moroccan nationals residing abroad who hold accounts in convertible dirhams or in foreign exchange; (4) exporters of goods or services who hold foreign exchange or CCPEX accounts; and (5) economic operators, other than exporters of goods and services, who have a foreign exchange travel allowance. Authorized banks may also issue international credit cards to other economic operators and to any Moroccan or foreign individual eligible for a foreign exchange allowance under the exchange regulations for travel for tourism, religious, medical, educational, or emigration purposes.
Quantitative limitsThe limit is the amount of funds in the beneficiary’s account and the authorized foreign exchange allowance.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsResidents of Moroccan nationality and Moroccan legal entities must repatriate foreign exchange receipts accruing from all their claims on nonresidents and sell them on the foreign exchange market. Resident foreign nationals must repatriate only those foreign exchange receipts that result from their activities in Morocco. Repatriation must take place within one month of the date of the claim.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to authorized dealersExporters of goods and services may keep up to 20% of their foreign exchange receipts in foreign currency or convertible dirham accounts.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to authorized dealersYes.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsNonresidents may purchase Moroccan securities without limitation.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe issue of capital market securities by nonresidents is subject to authorization. There are, however, no restrictions on the sale of Moroccan securities by nonresidents. Proceeds from such sales may be transferred freely, provided the relevant purchases are financed by foreign exchange inflows or other comparable means. In other cases, the proceeds must be deposited in a convertible dirham account and may be transferred abroad over a four-year period.
Purchase abroad by residentsPurchases of foreign securities by residents of Moroccan nationality and transfers of the funds required for such purchases are subject to the prior approval of the FEO. Authorized intermediary banks may place foreign exchange with correspondent banks abroad and may acquire sovereign securities issued by international financial institutions. Resident foreign nationals are free to purchase securities and other funds, provided these purchases are financed from their foreign exchange holdings abroad or from their foreign exchange accounts or convertible dirham accounts.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese transactions are subject to prior FEO authorization.
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 instruments
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsThe issue of these instruments by nonresidents is prohibited.
Purchase abroad by residentsPurchases by Moroccan nationals require prior FEO authorization. Resident foreign nationals are free to engage in these transactions, provided they are financed with their own foreign exchange holdings.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese transactions require prior FEO authorization.
On collective investment securitiesThe regulations governing money market instruments apply.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on derivatives and other instruments
Purchase locally by nonresidentsAuthorized intermediary banks may offer instruments to hedge against exchange, interest rate, and commodity price fluctuation risks to resident operators only.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsOnly Moroccan banks may offer instruments to hedge against exchange, interest rate, and commodity price fluctuation risks to operators.
Purchase abroad by residentsEconomic agents may acquire hedging instruments through authorized banks against price fluctuations for certain commodities that are or may be traded on a secondary market. Authorized intermediary banks may offer their customers their own exchange options, to the exclusion of foreign instruments. To hedge against customer risks, authorized intermediary banks must have recourse to the local interbank market. However, if they are unable to find the appropriate hedging instrument on the local market, they may turn to the international market for foreign exchange hedging instruments. Hedging transactions should be backed by the foreign exchange options taken by customers. Authorized banks may also offer resident economic operators who take out foreign loan instruments to hedge against the risk of interest rate fluctuation. These instruments (option, hedge against interest rate risk) should be backed by real trade or financial transactions, excluding speculative transactions.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsThese transactions are subject to prior approval by the FEO.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsExporters of goods are free to extend commercial credits to nonresidents for up to 150 days. Credits with longer terms may be extended with FEO approval, if justified on the basis of commercial necessity. Authorized intermediary banks may use funds from foreign currency accounts in the names of exporters of goods and services, resident nationals, and resident and nonresident foreign nationals in lines of credit that they grant to each other, and especially for the granting of buyer credits for foreign customers of Moroccan exporters.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsThese transactions are subject to FEO approval. Local banks may extend loans in dirhams to foreign nonresident individuals for the purchase or development of Moroccan real estate, up to 70% of the value of the real estate to be purchased or developed; these loans must be serviced with funds transferred from abroad or with debits from convertible dirham accounts.
To residents from nonresidentsResident enterprises may obtain loans abroad without limitation, provided they are backed by investment or foreign trade transactions. Repayments must be made from Morocco through the banking system.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsMoroccan banks may issue securities to nonresidents on behalf of residents for (1) the participation of the latter in markets abroad (the provision of goods or services); (2) the refund of down payments received from foreign customers; and (3) the guarantee of loans or any other financial instruments mobilized in accordance with foreign exchange regulations. In addition, effective August 15, 2006, authorized intermediary banks may issue securities for (1) the substitution of a holdback corresponding to the portion payable in foreign currency under a public or private contract awarded to a nonresident; (2) the guarantee of a settlement of operations related to international transportation; (3) guarantees in favor of foreign banks granting medium- or long-term loans to nonresident foreign individuals, in amounts of up to 70% of the value of the goods to be purchased; and (4) payment to foreign lenders of the foreign currency equivalent of the amounts received, within the framework of contracts to perform works, and/or provide services fully or partly financed by foreign lenders, in lieu of the contract principals.
To residents from nonresidentsMoroccan banks may issue or accept, in favor of residents, sureties issued on behalf of nonresidents in support of the participation of those nonresidents in public or private contracting, the supply of goods or services, and the refund of down payments. They may also issue sureties on behalf of nonresidents in settlement of tax liabilities or financial obligations. A counter-guarantee from a foreign bank is required for sureties issued by Moroccan banks on behalf of nonresidents. When claims are entered under sureties issued or accepted in favor of residents on behalf of nonresidents, the relevant amounts must be repatriated to Morocco.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentOutward direct investments are subject to the prior approval of the FEO, but resident foreign nationals are free to invest abroad, provided the operations are financed from their own funds abroad or from their holdings denominated in convertible dirhams or foreign exchange.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentThere are no controls on transfers made directly through the banking system of the proceeds of the liquidation or sale of foreign investments, including capital gains, when such investment is financed by sale of foreign exchange or by debit from a convertible dirham account in foreign currency.
Controls on real estate transactionsThese operations are subject to the investment regulations.
Purchase abroad by residentsPurchases of real estate abroad by Moroccan nationals require prior FEO authorization. Residents of foreign nationality may purchase real estate abroad with funds from foreign exchange accounts.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsForeign nationals may purchase real estate, except farmland.
Controls on personal capital transactions
Loans
By residents to nonresidentsThese operations are subject to FEO approval. However, Moroccan banks may grant loans in dirhams to foreign individuals for the purchase or development of real estate in Morocco up to 70% of the value of the real estate to be purchased or developed.
To residents from nonresidentsThese operations are subject to FEO approval.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsGifts and grants are subject to authorization. However, transfers of inheritance may be effected freely if the inherited property is covered by convertibility arrangements. In other cases, eligible parties may enjoy transfer rights if such rights have not been already exercised by the deceased.
Settlements of debts abroad by immigrantsThese operations are unrestricted, provided they are financed from the foreign funds of the parties concerned or from their funds in foreign exchange or in convertible dirhams.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsOn departure from Morocco, foreign nationals may freely transfer those assets not subject to the convertibility arrangement for amounts up to DH 30,000 or the equivalent for each year of residence in Morocco, in addition to other transfer rights (e.g., income or savings). Any remainder must be deposited in a convertible term account.
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsThese earnings are transferable, provided the gambling was financed with foreign currency.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadCommercial banks may borrow abroad only to finance foreign trade or investment operations on behalf of customers.
Maintenance of accounts abroadBanks may open and maintain accounts with their correspondents to effect outward payments and to manage hedging operations against price fluctuation risk for certain commodities.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Lending by Moroccan banks is subject to FEO approval. However, banks may grant loans to nonresident foreign individuals for purchases or development of real estate in Morocco, up to 70% of the value of the real estate. Banks may use available cash held in foreign exchange accounts held by foreign nationals, Moroccan citizens residing abroad, and exporters to provide buyer credits to foreign customers to finance Moroccan exports.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeFEO approval is required for these transactions.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeThese transactions are subject to prior FEO approval.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsConvertible dirham and foreign exchange accounts are excluded from reserve requirements.
Liquid asset requirementsCredit institutions must calculate this coefficient on the basis of accounting records of their head office in Morocco and, where applicable, of all their agencies and branches abroad.
Credit controlsOverdrafts are not permitted in foreign exchange accounts.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Credit controlsOverdrafts are not permitted in foreign exchange accounts.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksThese operations are subject to approval by the FEO and the monetary authorities. Authorized intermediary banks may undertake foreign exchange investments with counterparts abroad and may purchase sovereign bonds and securities issued by international financial institutions.
In banks by nonresidentsThese operations are subject to approval by the monetary authorities.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThe open foreign exchange position limit for each currency is 10% of net capital and 20% in aggregate for all currencies.
On resident assets and liabilitiesThe assets and liabilities of these accounts are included in the calculation of banks’ foreign exchange positions.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesThe assets and liabilities of these accounts are included in the calculation of banks’ foreign exchange positions.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Insurance companies
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsn.a.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadn.a.
Pension fundsn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment fundsn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Changes during 2006
Arrangements for payments and receiptsAugust 18. Under the regional payments arrangement among the CBs of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia, economic operators were permitted to settle their transactions within the framework of these arrangements or by following normal procedures.
December 1. A new regulatory framework for manual foreign exchange operations was established governing foreign currency banknote buying and selling operations and spelling out the terms to be met by entities carrying out these operations.
Imports and import paymentsSeptember 5. Import settlements of spillage differentials and settlements of imports by a third party in lieu of the initial importer were liberalized.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersJuly 19. Transfers for services rendered by residents to call centers in Morocco—rentals of specialized lines or satellite segments, use of telephone lines abroad, etc.—and related costs were liberalized.
September 5. The following payments for current transactions were liberalized: (1) transfers for the definitive acquisition of manufacturing license rights; (2) authorization for authorized intermediary banks to provide foreign-currency-denominated banknotes to nonresident individuals providing occasional technical assistance to public bodies and remunerated in advance in dirhams; (3) transfers for fees related to the use of artistic rights belonging to nonresidents by legal entities operating in the audiovisual sector or by cultural associations recognized as having a public purpose; (4) transfers for expenses related to the printing, publishing, copublishing, and calligraphy of works or to the organization in Morocco of meetings, events, and sport, cultural, and artistic celebrations in favor of public agencies and associations recognized as having a public purpose; (5) transfers to cover expenses of foreign registration of contracts awarded to Moroccan entities by nonresident entities; (6) transfers to reimburse the travel and living expenses of foreign nationals participating in technical assistance operations in favor of resident legal entities; (7) settlements of the participation costs of Moroccan sport federations in events abroad (living expenses); (8) transfers (up to DH 7,000 a month, for up to one year’s duration) to Moroccan students pursuing their studies abroad or to those who have completed their studies and are beginning an unremunerated internship; (9) transfers or awards of foreign-currency-denominated banknote allowances related to net gains on taxes and fees of foreign or Moroccan prizewinners residing abroad, in the context of competitions organized by Moroccan sport federations or by public entities; (10) transfers of funds in the form of prizes won at film festivals by foreign nationals or by Moroccans residing abroad; and (11) transfers to foreign public agencies and multilateral institutions for the repayment of funds received as grants and not used fully or in part.
Capital transactions
Controls on credit operationsAugust 15. The issuing of guarantees, sureties and financial backup facilities was liberalized in the following cases: (1) substitution of holdbacks corresponding to the portion payable in foreign currency under a public or private contract awarded to a nonresident; (2) securities guaranteeing the settlement of operations related to international transportation; (3) securities to be issued within the framework of contracts to perform work, supply goods, and/or provide services financed by a foreign lender; and (4) securities in favor of foreign banks that grant medium- or long-term loans to nonresident foreign individuals for the acquisition of real property in Morocco, for amounts representing up to 70% of the value of the property to be acquired.
Changes during 2007
Resident accountsMarch 1. Authorized banks were allowed to open foreign currency accounts for insurance and reinsurance companies and transfer related to foreign deposit, investment, and placement operations.
March 21. Authorized banks were allowed to open foreign currency accounts to allow traders to improve their management of international trade operations while avoiding exchange rate fluctuations and the commissions and fees related to foreign currency buying and selling operations.
Imports and import paymentsMarch 21. New liberal arrangements were introduced for international trade operations: (1) authorization was granted to individuals duly listed in the trade register to engage in international trade operations; and (2) these operations were expanded to include services not related to commercial operations.
Exports and export proceedsMarch 21. New liberal arrangements were introduced for international trade operations: (1) authorization was granted to individuals duly listed in the trade register to engage in international trade operations; and (2) these operations were expanded to include services not related to commercial operations.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersMarch 1. The new regulatory framework governing insurance and reinsurance operations was established.
April 5. The tourist allowance was increased to DH 20,000 from DH 15,000; to DH 7,500 from DH 7,000 for minor children included in the recipient parent’s passport; and to DH 15,000 from DH 14,000 for Umra (lesser pilgrimage).

    Other Resources Citing This Publication