Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

SURINAME

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2007
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(Position as of December 31, 2006)

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: June 29, 1978.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesThe staff report for the 2005 Article IV consultation with Suriname states that as of February 8, 2006, Suriname maintained multiple currency practices subject to Fund approval arising from (i) the absence of a mechanism to prevent a possible deviation of more than 2 percent between the official exchange rate used for government transactions and the market-determined bank/cambios rate and (ii) the preferential exchange rate for infant formula imports. (Country Report No. 06/135)
International security restrictions
Other security restrictionsn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Suriname is the Surinamese dollar.
Other legal tenderSixteen commemorative gold coins are legal tender.
Exchange rate structure
MultipleAn official exchange rate is used for about 20% of all foreign exchange transactions, and a commercial exchange rate, which is more flexible, is used by commercial banks and exchange bureaus to handle all other foreign exchange transactions. The government of Suriname provides a subsidy to imports of infant formula according to a mechanism whereby 50% of the counter value is paid by the MOF (50% of the exchange rate multiplied by the foreign exchange amount).
Classification
Conventional pegged arrangementThe official exchange rate is pegged at SRD 2.75 per U.S. dollar. The exchange rate of the Surinamese dollar vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar in the official and parallel markets remained stable.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyn.a.
Forward exchange marketNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements in Surinamese dollars between Suriname and foreign countries are not permitted; in general, they must be made in specified convertible currencies (Australian dollars, Barbados dollars, Canadian dollars, Eastern Caribbean dollars, euros, Guyana dollars, yen, Norwegian kroner, Swedish kronor, Swiss francs, Trinidad and Tobago dollars, pounds sterling, and U.S. dollars).
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 residentsThe use of foreign exchange among residents is permitted. However, given that only the Surinamese dollar is legal tender, settlement of payments with foreign currency can occur only with the consent of the parties involved. Settlements in foreign currency are against the prevailing regulations.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangementsn.a.
Regional arrangementsSuriname is a member of CARICOM. The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was established January 1, 2006.
Administration of controlThe Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) grants export and import licenses. The Foreign Exchange Commission (FEC) grants licenses for most external payments other than imports of goods and services, approves foreign loans, and authorizes banks to deal in foreign exchange.
Payments arrears
OfficialPayments arrears are owed to Brazil and the United States, with Brazil accounting for 56% of the arrears. The original debts were contracted in the 1980s and 1990s on commercial terms from Brazil and on concessional terms from the United States.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
On domestic ownership and/or tradeProducers of gold may sell only to authorized gold buyers. Authorized gold buyers are permitted to sell nuggets at freely negotiated prices for industrial and artistic purposes. Dealings between residents in gold bars and other forms of unworked gold, with the exception of nuggets, are prohibited. If local production does not meet industrial demand, the Central Bank of Suriname (CBS) may import some gold. Residents may hold and acquire gold coins in Suriname for numismatic and investment purposes; authorized banks may freely negotiate the sale of gold coins among themselves and with other residents. Residents other than the monetary authorities, producers of gold, and authorized industrial and dental users are not allowed to hold or acquire gold in any form other than nuggets, jewelry, or coins, at home or abroad, without special permission.
On external tradeImports and exports of gold require exchange licenses issued by the FEC. Licenses are not normally granted, except for imports and exports of coins by authorized banks and imports and exports by or on behalf of the monetary authorities, producers of gold, and industrial users. Residents arriving from abroad, however, may bring in gold freely, subject to declaration and provided they surrender it to the CBS within 20 days. Nonresident travelers may also bring in gold freely, subject to declaration; they may reexport the declared amount freely. Imports of gold are subject to a duty of 5%. Imports and exports of all forms of gold are subject to a statistical fee of 0.5%; in addition, imports are subject to a licensing fee of 1.5%.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyExports exceeding SRD 150 are not allowed without the permission of the FEC.
Foreign currencyPersons exporting more than the equivalent of US$10,000 must submit a written declaration. Nonresidents may take out of the country up to the amount they brought in and declared on entry.
On imports
Domestic currencyYes.
Foreign currencyTravelers may bring in up to the equivalent of US$10,000. Larger amounts must be declared.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedResidents are allowed to open foreign currency accounts with domestic and foreign banks and to hold foreign securities, provided the funds were not acquired from sales of real estate in Suriname. Balances in these accounts and holdings of foreign assets may be used freely for transactions other than capital transactions. All transfers between residents and nonresidents must be reported to the CBS for statistical purposes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
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 permittedNonresidents, whether banks or nonbanks, may open accounts in U.S. dollars with domestic banks with the prior permission of the FEC; no overdrafts are permitted. These accounts may not be credited with Surinamese dollars. All current transfers between residents and nonresidents must be reported to the CBS for statistical purposes.
Approval requiredYes.
Domestic currency accountsNonresidents other than banks may open accounts in Surinamese dollars freely with domestic banks. Certain debit and credit accounts are covered by a general license, and all others are subject to a specific license. These accounts must not be overdrawn. Authorized banks may open nonresident accounts in Surinamese dollars in the name of nonresident banks; these accounts also must not be overdrawn. Authorized banks may open nonresident accounts on behalf of nonresidents drawing pensions from the government or under company-sponsored plans. A special permit is required to transfer pensions abroad. Nonresident accounts in Surinamese dollars may not be credited with Surinamese banknotes mailed from abroad.
Convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Approval requiredYes.
Blocked accountsYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsPurchases of foreign exchange to settle import payments must be supported by invoices.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresImport licenses are required only for those goods that are listed on the negative list. Importers must be registered with the national chamber of commerce.
Negative listImports of the following are prohibited unless a license has been obtained from the MTI: wild animals and plants that are not indigenous to Suriname; pesticides (based on the Fund for Special Operations List of the IDB); used cars and motorcycles more than 8 years old and buses more than 15 years old; collector’s items more than 20 years old; all chemical and radioactive waste materials; and chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Imports of some other items, such as explosives and narcotics, are prohibited for reasons of public policy or health.
Open general licensesYes.
Other nontariff measuresImports of certain types of goods require permission from ministries operating under specific acts of parliament; i.e., the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Agriculture, and Forestry and Natural Resources. Importers must obtain certificates of importation issued by the relevant ministry for imports of animals and birds or their eggs; brood eggs; animal parts and products; psychotropic products for human medicinal purposes; medicines for humans and animals; microorganisms for research; waste products; and refrigerators, air conditioners, and equipment containing chlorofluorocarbons.
Import taxes and/or tariffsIn addition to customs duties, a “consent duty” of 1.5% is levied on the c.i.f. value of all imports. A statistical fee of 2% is levied on the c.i.f. value of imports of bauxite companies, and of 0.5% is levied on the c.i.f. value of other imports. Suriname applies the fourth phase of the CARICOM CET; as a result, the maximum external tariff rate is 20%.
State import monopolyNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExporters are not required to surrender their export proceeds but must transfer those receipts to their own accounts with local commercial banks.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirements
Domiciliationn.a.
Preshipment inspectionThis is conducted by the Customs Office.
Export licensesExport licenses are required only for those goods that are listed on the negative list. Licenses are issued by the MTI in cooperation with the Ministries of Justice, Health, and Agriculture. Licenses are issued by these offices for exports of the following: round timber logs, peeled wood, letterwood, explosives, narcotics, medicinal plants and herbs, wild animals and plants, and products made from gold or other precious metals not defined under the Foreign Currency Law of 1947. The export of bamboo is prohibited.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesExports of processed and semiprocessed wood are subject to a tax of 10% of the f.o.b. value, except for exports to CARICOM member countries. Exports of bauxite are subject to a statistical fee of 2% of their f.o.b. value, and other exports are subject to a statistical fee of 0.5% of their f.o.b. value.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfers
Trade-related payments
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Investment-related paymentsTransfers of profits from investments are permitted, subject to registration with InvestSur (an institute for the promotion of investments in Suriname).
Prior approvalYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Payments for travel
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal paymentsInformation is not available for payments related to medical costs, studies abroad, and family maintenance.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Foreign workers’ wages
Quantitative limitsThe amount that a repatriating family may take out is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Credit card use abroad
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 requirementsYes.
Restrictions on use of fundsTransactions involving outward remittances of foreign exchange for capital account transactions are subject to FEC approval.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsTransactions involving outward remittances of foreign exchange for capital account transactions are subject to FEC approval. Application for a license must be submitted to the FEC at least one month before the intended date for effecting such a transaction.
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating natureSubject to certain requirements, residents may purchase or sell in specified countries Surinamese corporate shares that have been designated as negotiable by the FEC. Controls apply to all other transactions in shares or other securities of a participating nature.
Bonds or other debt securitiesControls apply to all these transactions.
On money market instrumentsControls apply to all these transactions.
On collective investment securitiesControls apply to all these transactions.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsControls apply to all these transactions.
Controls on credit operationsControls apply to all these transactions.
Controls on direct investmentControls apply to all these transactions.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentTransfers of foreign exchange (including loans) imported by a nonresident entrepreneur for the company’s use are permitted at any time. Also permitted are transfers of capital proceeds from the sale to residents or the liquidation of fully or partly foreign-owned companies or other types of enterprises established by nonresidents with foreign capital after July 31, 1953.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsResidents may not purchase real estate abroad without FEC permission.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale locally by nonresidentsYes.
Controls on personal capital transactions
LoansControls apply to all these transactions.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legaciesControls apply to all these transactions.
Settlements of debts abroad by immigrantsYes.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsThe FEC may allow emigrants (heads of families) to transfer foreign exchange in a lump sum or in regular annual remittances representing the proceeds from the sale of assets held in Suriname. The amounts of these transfers are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Transfer into the country by immigrantsYes.
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 institutionsForeign transactions of authorized banks are restricted, in principle, to those undertaken for the accounts of their customers.
Borrowing abroadExternal borrowing is not allowed without permission of the FEC.
Maintenance of accounts abroadYes.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Authorized banks may place abroad in short-term U.S. dollar assets the amounts corresponding to balances in their nonresident U.S. dollar accounts.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeBanks may extend foreign exchange loans to residents, subject to specific qualification requirements.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeYes.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsYes.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Reserve requirementsYes.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Open foreign exchange position limits
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Insurance companies
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsYes.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadYes.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionn.r.
Pension funds
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsYes.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadYes.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment funds
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsYes.
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 hyperlinksn.a.
Changes during 2006
Arrangements for payments and receiptsJanuary 1. The CSME was established.

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