Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

TUNISIA

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2007
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(Position as of April 30, 2007)

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: January 6, 1993.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesThe staff report for the 2006 Article IV consultation with Tunisia states that as of May 10, 2006, Tunisia maintained a multiple currency practice resulting from honoring exchange rate guarantees extended prior to August 1988 to development banks, which will automatically expire after the existing commitments have matured. (Country Report No. 06/207)
International security restrictions
Other security restrictionsYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Tunisia is the Tunisian dinar.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no predetermined path for the exchange rateThe exchange rate of the dinar is determined in the interbank market in which commercial banks, including offshore banks acting on behalf of their resident customers, conduct transactions at freely negotiated rates. There is no limit on the spread between the buying and selling rates. The Central Bank of Tunisia (CBT) intervenes in the market and publishes an indicative interbank exchange rate for foreign currencies and banknotes by the following day. The CBT pursues a real effective exchange rate rule. Resident banks trade freely in foreign currencies in the spot market among themselves, with their foreign correspondents, and with nonresident banks in Tunisia.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketImporters and exporters are authorized to obtain forward exchange cover on the interbank market as of the date the contract is signed or the date on which the foreign commercial paper is domiciled, depending on the arrangements for the product concerned. Forward rates are freely negotiated by the authorized counterpart bank. Forward cover may be established for up to 12 months for imports and up to 9 months for exports. Persons who provide services are eligible for exchange cover for up to 12 months, to be provided within 30 days of the date on which the claim originated. Resident enterprises may purchase, in the forward market, futures maturing in up to 12 months to hedge against exchange risks related to the repayment of their foreign currency loans. They may also sell, for terms of up to 12 months, the foreign currency from drawings on external loans or from foreign currency investments.



Nonresidents may enter into contracts with resident authorized intermediaries for forward purchases of convertible dinars, maturing in up to 12 months. Resident authorized intermediaries may engage in, among themselves or with resident enterprises, foreign currency/convertible dinar swaps, maturing in up to 12 months. They may also engage in foreign currency/convertible dinar swaps with nonresident banks operating in Tunisia, their foreign correspondent banks, and nonresident enterprises operating in Tunisia, to make spot purchases and forward sales of convertible dinars. For the purposes of hedging against foreign currency interest rate risks, forward rate agreements may be signed for terms of 12 months by resident banks with foreign correspondent banks and by resident enterprises with resident banks and nonresident banks operating in Tunisia. Residents contracting such foreign currency loans may also purchase 3-, 6-, and 12-month foreign currency options in dollars or euros. Call options in other currencies may be listed on request. Authorized intermediaries may set the forward exchange rates for foreign currencies against dinars applied to customers’ forward transactions in accordance with the procedures followed in international markets.
Official cover of forward operationsThe national reinsurance company manages this exchange cover mechanism for banks and financial institutions with respect to their borrowing abroad.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw 58-109 of October 18, 1958, Effecting Monetary Reform; Circular 2001-11 of May 4, 2001, on the Foreign Exchange Market and Instruments to Hedge against Exchange and Interest Rate Risk; Minister of Finance Avis de Change of February 3, 1989, on Call Options in Foreign Exchange; Circular 89-08 of March 6, 1989, on Hedging against Exchange Risk: Currency Options, Article 18 of Law 98-111 of December 28, 1998, Setting Forth the Budget Law for 1999.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements between Tunisia and other countries may be made in any convertible currency (traded in the interbank market) or in convertible dinars through foreign accounts. Payments to Israel are prohibited. Settlements between Tunisia and Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Morocco may be effected through convertible accounts in the national currencies concerned at the respective CBs. Effective September 13, 2006, these settlements may also be effected in foreign currencies accepted by the respective CBs.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyPayments in dinars may be made abroad or from abroad through convertible dinar foreign accounts maintained domestically in the name of the foreign creditors or debtors or of their banks, respectively.
For current transactions and paymentsYes.
For capital transactions
Transactions in capital and money market instrumentsYes.
Transactions in derivatives and other instrumentsYes.
Credit operationsYes.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsThe dinar is the currency of account and the currency of payment in transactions among residents, unless otherwise authorized by the CBT, subsequent to approval from the MOF.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsSettlements with Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Morocco may be effected through convertible national currency accounts at the respective CBs.
Administration of controlExchange control is administered by the CBT. The CBT delegates authority over payments for imports and most invisibles to the authorized banks, whereas the Ministry of Trade (MOT) administers foreign trade control, which entails issuing import and export authorization for the remaining products not covered by the liberalization of foreign trade.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
On domestic ownership and/or tradeOnly jewelry craftspeople, legal entities established by jewelry craftspeople to supply gold to their members, agencies legally authorized to process gold for use as a manufacturing input, and individuals requiring gold for scientific, training, or occasional uses may acquire gold from authorized importers.
On external tradeMonetary gold may be imported by the CBT as well as by one or more other agencies so authorized by decree. Imports and exports of other forms of gold are subject to prior authorization from the CBT and the Ministry of Trade.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyEffective February 26, 2007, the prohibition on exports of dinar banknotes and coins has been eased in cases where the CBT has signed agreements to that effect with its counterparts or any other specialized authority abroad.
Foreign currencyEffective February 3, 2006, nonresident travelers wishing to reexport the foreign exchange equivalent of amounts equal to or exceeding TD 3,000 (previously, TD 1,000) must declare to customs the foreign currencies they are importing on their entry into Tunisia. The amount subject to declaration was further increased to TD 5,000, effective March 2, 2007. There is no ceiling on the reconversion of Tunisian banknotes by nonresident travelers. Foreign exchange from dinar reconversion may be reexported on presentation of a foreign exchange voucher or receipt if the amount to be reexported is less than TD 5,000 or if the foreign exchange used in the purchase of the dinars was received abroad in the form of a check, draft, money order, or any other evidence of a claim, or by debiting a foreign account in foreign currency or convertible dinars. The foreign exchange import declaration approved by customs is also required if the amount of foreign exchange from dinar reconversion equals or exceeds the equivalent of TD 5,000 and if the dinars derived from the surrender of foreign currencies physically imported from abroad.
On imports
Domestic currencyEffective February 26, 2007, the prohibition on the imports of dinar banknotes and coins has been eased in cases where the CBT has signed agreements to that effect with its counterparts or any other specialized authority abroad.
Foreign currencyTravelers may freely import foreign banknotes. However, a customs declaration must be submitted for imported banknotes, regardless of amount, if the banknotes are to be deposited in a foreign currency or convertible dinar account or to pay for imports of goods and services into Tunisia.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw 76-18 of January 21, 1978, [sic] Amending and Codifying the Foreign Exchange and External Trade Legislation Governing Relations between Tunisia and Other Countries; Decree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Minister of Planning and Finance Avis de Change No. 4, on the Execution of Payments between Tunisia and Other Countries; Circular 92-06 of March 25, 1992, on the Unified Procedure for Bilateral Settlements among the States of the Arab Maghreb Union; Law 2005-17 of March 1, 2005, on Precious Metals; Minister of Finance Avis de Change of February 3, 2006, Establishing Conditions for Reexports of Imported Foreign Banknotes by Nonresident Travelers; Minister of Finance Avis de Change No. 94-01, Establishing Conditions for Reexports of Imported Foreign Banknotes by Nonresident Travelers; Circular 94-13 of September 7, 1994, on the Importing, Surrender, Reconversion, and Reexporting of Foreign Exchange by Travelers; Law 94-41 of March 7, 1994, on External Trade; Decree 94-1743 of August 29, 1994, Establishing Procedures for External Trade Operations.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domestically(1) Professional accounts in foreign currency may be opened by (a) any resident individual, (b) any Tunisian legal entity, and (c) any foreign legal entity in Tunisia with foreign currency assets in connection with its activities. These accounts may be credited with (a) a maximum of 100% of foreign exchange proceeds from the account holder’s exports and foreign currency loans contracted in conformity with the regulations in force; (b) interest accrued on the balances of these accounts; and (c) transfers from the account holder’s other professional accounts in the same foreign currency or any other foreign currency. The accounts may be debited for (a) payment of any current operation pertaining to the activity for which they were opened and (b) any other transaction with general or specific authorization. Balances may be offered for sale on the foreign exchange money market.



(2) Special accounts in foreign currency may be opened by (a) individuals of Tunisian nationality changing their normal residence to Tunisia from abroad; (b) resident individuals of Tunisian nationality or Tunisian legal entities for their nontransferable assets legitimately acquired abroad; (c) individuals of foreign nationality residing in Tunisia; (d) foreign legal entities with branches in Tunisia; and (e) Tunisian diplomats and civil servants stationed abroad. Funds legitimately acquired abroad, not from the exportation of goods or services from Tunisia, may be credited to these special accounts. They may be debited for (a) foreign exchange sold on the interbank market; (b) foreign exchange remitted to the account holder, his or her spouse, parents, and offspring to undertake foreign travel; (c) amounts credited to another special account in foreign currency or convertible dinars; and (d) any payments abroad, including those for the acquisition of movable property or real estate located abroad or ownership rights abroad, for foreign claims, and for payments for imports subject to applicable foreign trade formalities.



(3) Residents are free to open foreign currency international trading accounts to make payments related to their international trade and brokerage operations and associated expenses. These accounts may be credited with (a) the proceeds from exports of goods for which advance payment has been received; (b) profits and/or commissions from international trade and brokerage operations; (c) foreign currency loans contracted to finance trade operations; (d) foreign currency from trade operations repurchased on the exchange market after it has been sold on the market; and (e) interest generated by deposits on the account. They may be debited for (a) payments for purchases made within the framework of international trade operations and associated expenses; (b) settlement of expenses related to international brokerage operations; (c) repayment of foreign currency loans; (d) settlement of current operations carried out in conformity with exchange and foreign trade regulations and any operation carried out with general or special authorization; and (e) sales of foreign currencies in the exchange market.



(4) Effective November 9, 2006, service providers’ accounts in foreign exchange or in convertible dinar may be opened by any resident individual holding foreign exchange received in payment of services provided to nonresidents established abroad. These accounts may be freely credited with (a) proceeds from payment in foreign currency for services provided; (b) income or proceeds in foreign currency from holdings acquired abroad by debiting said accounts; and (c) interest generated by deposits on the account calculated in accordance with the terms and conditions for special accounts in convertible foreign currency.



The accounts may be freely debited for (a) sales of foreign currencies in the exchange market; (b) foreign exchange remitted to the account holder, his or her spouse, parents, and offspring to undertake foreign travel; (c) foreign exchange remitted to a resident with the status of salaried employee of the account holder to travel abroad on business; (d) payments of any kind, carried out in conformity with exchange and foreign trade regulations in force, in connection with current operations; and (e) any payments abroad for (i) the acquisition of movable property or real estate located abroad or ownership rights abroad or foreign claims or claims in foreign currency, whether or not represented by securities; and (ii) the management of assets legitimately constituted abroad.
Approval requiredTo open special accounts, Tunisians must submit a declaration of foreign holdings to the CBT.
Held abroadCBT authorization is required for residents to open accounts abroad. Resident banks may freely open correspondent current accounts abroad.
Approval requiredYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currency(1) Professional accounts in convertible dinars may be opened by resident individuals or legal entities with resources in foreign exchange, subject to CBT authorization. These accounts may be credited and debited in accordance with the terms specified by the CBT in the authorization to open such accounts.



(2) Special accounts in convertible dinars may be opened by the same individuals and legal entities that may open special foreign exchange accounts. These special accounts may be credited with the dinar proceeds from sales on the interbank market of funds legitimately acquired abroad, but not from the exportation of goods or services from Tunisia. They may be debited for (a) payments of any kind in Tunisia; (b) the acquisition of foreign currencies either for remittance to the account holder, or his or her spouse, parents, and offspring, or for making payments abroad, particularly for the acquisition of movable property or real estate located abroad, ownership rights abroad, or foreign claims, and for payments for imports subject to applicable foreign trade formalities; and (c) amounts credited to another special account in foreign currency or convertible dinars. To open special accounts, Tunisians must submit a declaration of foreign holdings to the CBT.



(3) With CBT authorization, special export earnings accounts in convertible dinars may be opened by Tunisian or foreign individuals residing in Tunisia who earn profits from the exportation of goods or services and/or who are shareholders or partners in a resident company earning profits from the exportation of goods or services. These accounts may be freely credited with (a) 15%, effective January 1, 2007 (previously, 10%), of the export earnings realized by the account holder and/or received from companies in which he or she is a shareholder, (b) proceeds from sales on the interbank market of foreign exchange representing income or revenue from assets acquired abroad by debiting the account, and (c) interest on balances in the account.



They may be freely debited for (a) payments of any kind in Tunisia; (b) purchases on the interbank market of foreign exchange to be used for foreign travel by the account holder, his or her spouse, parents, or offspring; and (c) payments in connection with a current operation or acquisition of rights and interests abroad, regardless of whether these are represented by securities, including their related management fees.



(4) Subject to CBT authorization, exchange subagency accounts in convertible dinars may be opened by a resident individual acting on behalf of an authorized intermediary or a resident individual with equity holdings in a resident legal entity acting on behalf of an authorized intermediary. These accounts may be credited freely with (a) 5%, effective January 1, 2007 (previously, 2%), of the dinar equivalent of foreign exchange sold to an authorized intermediary by a person acting as a subagency; (b) 5%, effective January 1, 2007 (previously, 2%), of the dinar equivalent of foreign exchange sold by a legal entity acting as a subagency, prorated in accordance with the equity of the account holder in such legal entity; (c) the dinar proceeds from the sales of foreign exchange on the exchange market, revenue, or assets acquired abroad by debiting this account; and (d) interest earned on the accounts. These accounts may be freely debited for (a) payments of any kind in Tunisia; and (b) purchases of foreign exchange on the exchange market for (i) travel abroad by the account holder, his or her spouse, parents, or offspring; (ii) payments for current transactions, subject to exchange and foreign trade regulations; (iii) payments for the purchase of movable or real property abroad, ownership rights abroad, and foreign claims—whether or not represented by securities; and (iv) payments for fees for the management of assets legitimately acquired abroad.



(5) Service providers’ accounts in convertible dinars may be opened by any resident individual holding foreign exchange received in payment of services provided to nonresidents established abroad. Effective November 9, 2006, these accounts may be freely credited with (a) the equivalent in dinars from the sale in the exchange market of foreign currencies from the proceeds of payment for services provided; (b) the proceeds in dinars from the sale in the exchange market of foreign currencies from the income or proceeds of holdings acquired abroad through debiting said accounts; and (c) interest generated by deposits on the account. Said interest is calculated in accordance with the terms and conditions for special accounts in convertible dinars.



These accounts may be freely debited for (A) payments of any kind in Tunisia; (B) the purchase of foreign currencies in the exchange market for (a) remittance to the account holder, his or her spouse, parents, or offspring to undertake foreign travel; (b) remittance to a resident with the status of salaried employee of the account holder to travel abroad on business; (c) payments of any kind, carried out in conformity with exchange and foreign trade regulations in force, in connection with current operations; (d); any payments abroad for (i) the acquisition of movable property or real estate located abroad or ownership rights abroad or foreign claims or claims in foreign currency, whether or not represented by securities; and (ii) the management of assets legitimately constituted abroad.



(6) Effective January 1, 2007, residents may open travel allowance accounts in convertible dinar to hold foreign exchange issued for travel purposes and not used abroad. Effective February 26, 2007, the conditions for opening and operating travel allowances accounts were established.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksDecree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Circular 93-14 of September 15, 1993, Establishing Conditions for the Opening and Operation of Professional Accounts in Foreign Exchange or Convertible Dinars; Avis de Change of April 21, 1987, Establishing Conditions for the Opening and Operation of Residents’ Accounts in Foreign Exchange and in Convertible Dinars; Circular 87-37 of September 24, 1987, on Special Accounts in Foreign Exchange and in Convertible Dinars; Circular 2001-01 of January 1, 2001, on International Trading and Brokerage; Circular 2003-05 of March 27, 2003, on Exchange Subagency Accounts in Convertible Dinars; Circular 2001-09 of March 2, 2001 on Special Export Earnings Accounts in Convertible Dinars; Circular 2006-14 of November 9, 2006 on Service Providers’ Accounts in Foreign Currency or Convertible Dinars.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedForeign accounts in convertible currencies may be opened freely by all nonresidents regardless of nationality. These accounts may be credited with (1) receipts in convertible foreign currencies (banknotes must be declared at customs); (2) foreign exchange remitted to the account holder by a nonresident; (3) authorized payments by residents in favor of the account holder; (4) interest payable by the authorized intermediaries on foreign exchange deposits in these accounts, whenever they can use the funds deposited at remunerative rates; (5) transfers from other foreign accounts; and (6) the proceeds of cashed checks, traveler’s checks, or drafts denominated in convertible currencies and made out by a nonresident to the order of the account holder. All other credits require prior authorization from the CBT, either directly or by delegation. These accounts may be debited freely for (1) payments of any kind in Tunisia; (2) transfers abroad or delivery of foreign currency to the account holder, to any other nonresident beneficiary, or to residents with the status of permanent representatives or salaried employees of the account holder; and (3) transfers to other foreign accounts.
Domestic currency accounts(1) Domestic nonresident accounts may be opened by authorized intermediaries in the name of nonresident individuals of foreign nationality residing temporarily in Tunisia. These accounts may be credited without prior authorization from the CBT with the following: (a) transfers of funds from abroad in convertible currencies; (b) revenue of any kind accruing in Tunisia to the holder of the account (in particular the nontransferable part of remuneration for services rendered in Tunisia by the account holder); (c) liquid assets from estates settled in Tunisia; (d) proceeds from the repayment of loans in dinars by debiting the account; and (e) transfers from another domestic nonresident account opened in the name of the account holder. These accounts may be debited for (a) support of the account holder and his or her family in Tunisia, (b) payment of costs of managing property in Tunisia, (c) lending to residents, and (d) transfers to another domestic nonresident account opened in the name of the account holder.



(2) Special dinar accounts may be opened freely by foreign enterprises with contracts in Tunisia. These enterprises are authorized to open for each contract a single special account in dinars, in which they may deposit the portion of the contract price payable in dinars to cover their local expenses. These accounts may also be credited with funds from a foreign account in foreign exchange, or in convertible dinars, the dinar equivalent of any transfer in convertible foreign currency from abroad, and interest accruing on funds deposited in the account. The accounts may be freely debited for enterprises’ contract-related expenses in Tunisia. These enterprises are free to retransfer dinar equivalents credited to their foreign currency accounts, provided the funds available in the account are sufficient to cover the transfer. Any transfer operations from such accounts must be authorized by the CBT. Interest is paid at the same rates as those applied to resident demand accounts in dinars.



(3) Capital accounts may be opened freely in the name of a nonresident individual of foreign nationality or by a nonresident legal entity. Subject to certain conditions, capital accounts may be credited, without the prior approval of the CBT, with the proceeds of sales on the stock exchange, or the contractual or advance redemption of transferable Tunisian securities; with the sales proceeds of real estate through an attorney at the Supreme Court, or of rights to real estate situated in Tunisia; and with funds from another capital account. Irrespective of the account holder’s country of residence, capital accounts may be freely debited for the living expenses in Tunisia of the account holder and his or her family up to TD 100 a person a week, provided total withdrawals from one or more capital accounts in a calendar year do not exceed TD 2,000. In addition, a capital account holder traveling in Tunisia between November 1 and March 31 may withdraw from the account an amount equal to the foreign exchange imported for the trip and surrendered to the CBT, an authorized intermediary, or a subagency, provided total withdrawals for the living expenses of the account holder and his or her family do not exceed TD 2,000 a year. Such accounts may also be debited, subject to certain conditions, for expenses connected with the management of Tunisian securities; for the maintenance, repair, and insurance of real estate and all taxes; and for transfer to the credit of another capital account. Balances on capital accounts are freely transferable between nonresidents of foreign nationality, with the exception of legal entities governed by public law. Subject to certain conditions, they may also be debited to assist the account holder’s parents and offspring residing in Tunisia, at a maximum rate of TD 50 a person a month. These accounts do not pay interest and may not be overdrawn. Individuals or legal entities of French or Italian nationality holding capital accounts may, with CBT authorization, transfer all funds in their accounts regardless of the date of deposit but subject to the condition, in the case of Italian account holders, that the said funds derived from the sale of real property; no restriction with respect to the origin of funds applies to French account holders.



(4) Suspense accounts may be opened by all nonresidents regardless of nationality and may be used for crediting all proceeds accruing to nonresidents and awaiting utilization. These proceeds may, on general or specific approval, be used in Tunisia for specific purposes, transferred abroad, or transferred to other nonresident accounts. Suspense accounts may be debited, without the prior authorization of the CBT, for payments to the Tunisian government or public institutions, or payment of the expenses of managing securities deposited in a suspense file opened in the name of the account holder. They may also be debited for settlement of living expenses incurred in Tunisia by the account holder and his or her family up to TD 100 a person a week, provided the total withdrawals in any calendar year from one or more accounts do not exceed TD 2,000 a family. In addition, a suspense account holder traveling in Tunisia between November 1 and March 31 of the following year may withdraw from the account an amount equal to the foreign exchange imported for the trip and surrendered to the CBT, an authorized intermediary, or a subagency, provided total withdrawals for the living expenses of the account holder and his or her family do not exceed TD 2,000 a year. Up to TD 50 a person a month may be debited to assist the offspring or parents of the account holder. Individuals or legal entities of French or Italian nationality holding suspense accounts may, with CBT authorization, transfer all funds in their accounts regardless of the date of deposit but subject to the condition, in the case of Italian account holders, that the said funds derived from the sale of real property; no restriction with respect to the origin of funds applies to French account holders. These accounts do not pay interest and may not be overdrawn.
Convertible into foreign currencyForeign accounts in convertible dinars may be opened by all nonresidents regardless of nationality. These accounts may be credited freely with (1) the dinar proceeds from sales of foreign currency on the interbank market (banknotes must be declared at customs); (2) proceeds from authorized payments by residents in favor of the account holder; (3) proceeds from the conversion of cashed checks, traveler’s checks, or drafts expressed in foreign currency and made out by a nonresident to the order of the account holder; (4) transfers from other foreign accounts; and (5) interest on balances in these accounts. No other amount may be credited to these accounts without authorization from the CBT, granted either directly or by delegation.



These accounts may be debited freely for (1) payments of any kind in Tunisia, and (2) purchases on the interbank market of foreign currency either for transfers abroad or for delivery to the account holder, to any other nonresident beneficiary, or to residents with the status of representatives or salaried employees of the account holder.
Blocked accountsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksDecree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Minister of Planning and Finance Avis de Change No. 5, on Nonresidents’ Accounts, Foreign Accounts in Dinars, and Foreign Accounts in Convertible Currencies.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Advance payment requirementsEffective January 1, 2007, residents may make advance payments for imports of goods necessary for productive activities without the presentation of a bank guarantee.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Domiciliation requirementFinancial settlement of imports may be effected through the authorized intermediary with which the import authorization is domiciled for products not liberalized, the commercial invoice for products in which trade has been liberalized, and the commercial contract for the import of empty packaging for reexport filled as well as merchandise imported into Tunisia for reexport after inward processing.
OtherImporters must receive a customs code.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresImports are free from licensing requirements, except those that have an impact on security, law and order, hygiene, health, morals, protection of fauna and flora, and cultural heritage, and are effected, effective October 2, 2006, by a commercial invoice (previously, an import certificate) domiciled with an authorized intermediary. Goods not liberalized need an import authorization granted through the MOT. Imports of raw materials, semifinished products, spare parts, and equipment that are paid for by sources outside Tunisia and do not involve the payment or delivery of foreign currency may be effected by enterprises for their own use without foreign trade formalities up to a value of TD 100,000 or its equivalent a year. Furthermore, companies exclusively engaged in exporting goods or services; companies established in an industrial park; and holders of permits for exploration, research, the operation of concessions in the hydrocarbons sector, or contractors or subcontractors employed by such companies, may import freely, without foreign trade formalities, any goods required for their production process, subject only to customs declaration.
Negative listGoods not covered by the liberalization of foreign trade and those that have an impact on security, law and order, hygiene, health, morals, protection of flora and fauna, and cultural heritage are included in a list issued by decree.
Other nontariff measuresAll imports from Israel are prohibited. Some items, a list of which is drawn up by the MOT, are subject to technical import controls.
Import taxes and/or tariffsIn addition to customs duties, imports are subject to the VAT and, in some cases, to the consumption tax. Certain imports destined for domestic investment projects are eligible for full or partial exemption from import duties.
State import monopolyNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksCircular 94-14 of September 14, 1994, on the Financial Settlement of Merchandise Imports and Exports; Law 94-41 of March 7, 1994, on External Trade; Decree 94-1742 of August 29, 1994, Listing Products Not Covered by the Liberalization of Foreign Trade; Decree 94-1743 of August 29, 1994, Establishing Procedures for External Trade Operations; Decree of the Minister of National Economy of August 30, 1994, Listing Products Subject to Technical Import and Export Controls.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExport proceeds must be repatriated within 10 days of the payment due date. If no credit is extended, payment is due within 30 days of the date of shipment. Nonresident companies exclusively engaged in exporting goods or services and covered by the Investment Incentives Code, as well as nonresident international trading companies and nonresident enterprises established in an economic business park, are not required to repatriate or surrender their export proceeds.
Surrender requirementsResident exporters may retain in their professional accounts up to 100% of their foreign exchange export proceeds and their foreign currency loans contracted in accordance with existing exchange regulations.
Financing requirementsEffective January 1, 2007, the deadline for export payments effected in conformity with the regulation in force was extended to 360 days from 180 days.
Documentation requirements
DomiciliationExports of goods covered by the liberalization of foreign trade must be domiciled within eight days of the date of shipment.
Preshipment inspectionSome products listed by the MOT are subject to export controls.
Export licensesMost exports are free from a licensing requirement, and certain goods may be exported with an authorization issued by the MOT. Tunisia has signed free trade agreements with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, and the Syrian Arab Republic and the Mediterranean Arab states, providing for the reduction of tariff barriers.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksDecree 94-1743 of August 29, 1994, Establishing Procedures for External Trade Operations; Circular 94-14 of September 14, 1994, on the Financial Settlement of Merchandise Imports and Exports; Decree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Circular 93-14 of September 15, 1993, Establishing Conditions for the Opening and Operation of Professional Accounts in Foreign Exchange or Convertible Dinars; Decree 94-1744 of August 29, 1994, on the Procedures for Technical Import and Export Controls and the Agencies Authorized to Perform Them; Decree of the Minister of National Economy of August 30, 1994, Listing Products Subject to Technical Import and Export Controls.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfers
Trade-related paymentsTransfers may be freely effected for payment of freight, storage, and warehousing services; transit and administrative fees; customs duties; commissions; and fees for analyses and controls of materials and products.
Investment-related paymentsIncome from foreign capital invested in accordance with the laws and regulations in force and interest on foreign currency loans contracted by residents in accordance with the regulations in force may be transferred freely. Rent from real estate owned by nonresidents may be transferred freely.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsEffective January 1, 2007, the annual allowance for tourist travel has been raised to TD 4,000 from TD 2,000 an adult and to TD 2,000 from TD 1,000 a child under 10 years of age. Unused amounts may not be carried forward to subsequent years. The business travel allowance (AVA) for exporters is 25% of export proceeds for the current year, with an annual limit of the equivalent of TD 180,000. Any unused portion of this allowance may be carried forward to subsequent years, provided the cumulative amount does not exceed the annual limit of TD 250,000, effective February 5, 2007 (previously, TD 180,000). Resident individuals or legal entities that have signed service or work contracts with nonresidents that can be fully or partially implemented abroad may receive a business travel allowance—for contracts that may be executed abroad—set at 15% of the contracts. Exporters may combine the AVA for contracts executable abroad with the Exporter-AVA. Effective February 5, 2007, the annual limit for business travel by importers was raised to 10% from 6% of turnover with an annual limit of TD 15,000 (previously, TD 5,000 to TD 30,000). The annual limit for business travel by other professions has been raised, effective February 5, 2007, to 8% (previously, 4%) of the income declared to the tax authorities with an overall limit of TD 30,000 (previously, TD 2,000 to TD 20,000). Effective February 5, 2007, the travel allowance for promoters of new projects is TD 15,000 (previously, 10,000), and is granted only once for the duration of the project.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal paymentsThere are no restrictions on the transfer of pensions.
Prior approvalAlimony payments to an ex-spouse and child support under a final judgment are freely transferable.
Quantitative limitsEffective January 1, 2007, the annual allowance for expenses related to stays abroad for reasons of health has been raised from TD 1,000 to TD 1,500. Persons accompanying patients may transfer up to TD 250 a trip in the case of medical or paramedical staff and TD 1,000 (previously, TD 750) in all other cases, effective January 1, 2007. The annual settlement allowance for students studying abroad is TD 2,000. Effective January 1, 2007, the monthly living expense allowance for such students is TD 1,500 (previously, TD 1,000). Registration fees and education allowances are freely transferable up to the amount due to a foreign educational institution. Effective April 12, 2007, the amounts that may be transferred abroad for professional training are TD 2,000 for each training cycle as settlement allowance, and TD 15,000 a month for living expenses, registration fees, and training fees.
Indicative limits/bona fide testThe limit of TD 500 for expenses related to stays abroad for reasons of health may be exceeded if the patient’s condition requires several trips abroad during the same year.
Foreign workers’ wages
Quantitative limitsContractually employed foreign nationals may transfer up to 50% of their earnings. For foreign experts employed by the public sector, limits on transfers are specified in their contracts; otherwise, the restrictions for contractually employed foreign nationals apply.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Credit card use abroadEffective February 9, 2007, the tourist travel allowance may be transferred using international payment cards. Previously, only operators eligible for business travel allowances were authorized to use credit cards abroad.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsThose eligible for business travel allowances may use their credit cards abroad only to the extent of their transfer entitlements for these allowances.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other paymentsSubscription fees for journals and periodicals, membership fees, dues for foreign associations and organizations, and payments for literary and artistic rights, legal proceedings, arbitrage, and attorney fees are freely transferable.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksDecree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Circular 94-07 of May 31, 1994, on Current Transfers Related to International Transport; Circular 93-21 of December 10, 1993, on Current Transfers; Circular 93-17 of October 13, 1993, on the Distribution and Transfer of Profits, Dividends, Percentages of Profits, Remuneration of Founders’ Shares, and Directors’ Fees Owed to Nonresidents; Circular 93-10 of September 3, 1993, on Transfers to Pay Tuition Fees for Students Abroad; Circular 2004-05 of November 1, 2004, on the Travel Allowance; Circular 2001-08 of March 2, 2001, on Business Travel Allowances; Circular 93-18 of October 18, 1993, on Transfers for Residents Receiving Medical Treatment Abroad and Related Travel Expenses; Circular 93-12 of September 8, 1993, on Transfers of Wage Savings.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsResidents are required to repatriate all remuneration for services rendered to nonresidents and all proceeds from invisible transactions received from abroad.
Surrender requirementsResident exporters may retain in their professional foreign currency accounts 100% of their foreign currency from export earnings as well from their foreign exchange borrowing contracted in accordance with the exchange regulations in force. Residents providing services abroad are exempt from surrendering foreign currency proceeds, which are earmarked for deposit in an account called “service providers’ account.”
Restrictions on use of fundsForeign exchange deposited in professional accounts must be used in accordance with the rules governing the operation of accounts of this type.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw 76-18 of January 21, 1978, [sic] Amending and Codifying the Foreign Exchange and External Trade Legislation Governing Relations between Tunisia and Other Countries; Decree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Circular 93-14 of September 15, 1993, Establishing Conditions for the Opening and Operation of Professional Accounts in Foreign Exchange or Convertible Dinars; Circular 94-14 of September 14, 1994, on the Financial Settlement of Merchandise Imports and Exports; Circular 2006-14 of November 9, 2006 on Service Providers’ Accounts in Foreign Currency or Convertible Dinars.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Repatriation requirementsResidents are required to repatriate all income from investment abroad as well as all proceeds from the divestiture or liquidation of such investments.
Surrender requirements
Surrender to the central bankYes.
Surrender to authorized dealersThe foreign currency repatriated must be sold in the foreign exchange market.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsThere are controls on all transactions in capital and money market instruments.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsStocks in existing companies in Tunisia may be acquired freely with foreign exchange transferred from abroad by foreign nonresidents. However, the acquisition by foreigners of shares with voting rights is subject to the approval of the HIC if the foreign ownership in the capital of the companies is equal to or more than 50%, except in the case of acquisition among foreigners or acquisition of stock in small or medium-sized enterprises engaged in a sector that is open to foreign investment. The approval of the HIC is not required if the acquisition of shares with voting rights in existing companies in Tunisia is (1) effected among foreign shareholders of the same company; (2) effected by a foreign individual or legal entity, resident or nonresident, or a nonresident legal entity established in Tunisia for shares already acquired up to or more than 50%; and (3) provided as a guarantee for management activities of foreign directors in these companies.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsNonresidents may sell freely shares of companies established in Tunisia. They may also transfer freely net real proceeds from the sale of shares that were purchased with foreign exchange transferred from abroad for an investment made in accordance with the legislation in force.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe accumulation of assets abroad by residents is subject to authorization. However, resident exporters may transfer freely the equivalent of TD 60,000 to TD 300,000 a year to finance equity participation in companies located abroad; nonexporting companies are permitted to transfer funds abroad for equity participation up to TD 20,000 to TD 100,000. The holders of special accounts in foreign currency or convertible dinars, special export earnings accounts, or exchange subagency accounts may purchase securities abroad by debiting these accounts.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Bonds or other debt securities
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThe purchase or subscription by nonresident foreign nationals of debt securities issued by the state or resident companies is subject to approval, except for (1) effective April 17, 2007, 20% of the estimated semiannual amount of treasury bond issues (previously, 10%); and (2) effective August 1, 2006, 20% (previously, 10%) of bonds issued by resident to companies listed on the stock exchange or having a rating from a rating agency.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
On money market instrumentsControls apply to all these transactions.
On collective investment securities
Purchase locally by nonresidentsNonresidents may acquire freely shares of Tunisian mutual funds with foreign exchange transferred from abroad. However, the approval of the HIC is required if the acquisition raises the foreign ownership to more than 50% of the mutual fund’s capital.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsNonresidents may transfer freely net real proceeds from sales of Tunisian mutual fund shares acquired with foreign exchange transferred from abroad.
Purchase abroad by residentsYes.
Sale or issue abroad by residentsYes.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsControls apply to all transactions in derivatives and other instruments. Resident banks may engage in (1) foreign currency swaps maturing in up to 12 months with nonresident banks operating in Tunisia, and with foreign correspondent banks; (2) foreign currency/dinar swaps maturing in up to 12 months among themselves and with resident enterprises, provided the transactions in question back actual commercial or financial transactions; and (3) foreign currency/convertible dinar swaps, by making spot purchases and forward sales of convertible dinars to nonresident banks operating in Tunisia, foreign correspondent banks, and nonresident enterprises operating in Tunisia. For the purposes of hedging against foreign exchange rate risks, resident and nonresident authorized intermediaries may conclude future rate agreements for terms of up to 12 months with resident enterprises, or with their foreign correspondent banks.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsThese credits require approval from the CBT, except for credits in foreign currency granted on the money market to refinance import or export operations of nonresident industrial enterprises established in Tunisia and short-term credits in dinars to finance the local operating expenses of nonresident enterprises established in Tunisia. Effective March 2, 2007, the imports and exports of nonresident service companies established in Tunisia and engaged exclusively in exporting, as well as the export of products of local origin by nonresident international trading companies established in Tunisia may be financed on the foreign currency money market.
To residents from nonresidentsResident credit institutions and other resident enterprises may freely contract foreign currency commercial loans from nonresidents up to the limit of TD 10 million and TD 3 million, respectively.



Effective January 9, 2007, credit institutions and other enterprises listed on the stock exchange or having a rating from a credit rating agency may freely contract foreign currency commercial loans from nonresidents in maturities of over 12 months without limit for the former and up to the limit of TD 10 million for the latter. Previously, this facility was applicable only to credit institutions and other enterprises that had a rating from a credit rating agency.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsResident credit institutions and other resident enterprises may freely contract foreign currency financial loans from nonresidents up to an annual limit of the equivalent of TD 10 million and TD 3 million, respectively. Effective January 9, 2007, resident credit institutions and other resident enterprises that have a rating from a credit rating agency or are listed on the stock exchange may freely contract foreign currency financial loans from nonresidents in maturities of over 12 months without limits for the former and up to the limit of TD 10 million for the latter. Previously, this facility was available only to rated credit institutions and enterprises.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsResident banks may freely grant bid bonds, performance bonds, advance payment bonds, contract holdback bonds, or any other bonds to resident exporters of goods or services to guarantee their obligations to nonresidents. They may also freely grant guarantees for the payment by resident importers of their purchases from nonresident suppliers. The issue and establishment of repayment guarantees for foreign currency loans freely contracted by residents are not subject to approval.
To residents from nonresidentsAt the request and with the counterguarantee of a nonresident bank, resident banks may freely grant the usual bank guarantees required of nonresident service providers by resident transactors in connection with business contracts, work contracts, service contracts, etc.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentAny direct investment by residents abroad is subject to CBT approval. Effective March 2, 2007, the annual limit on resident exporting companies’ annual transfers to finance branches, subsidiaries, and equity participation in companies abroad is TD 1 million (previously, in the range of TD 60,000 to TD 300,000) and the annual limit for transfer to finance representation or liaison offices is TD 500,000 (previously, in the range of TD 30,000 to TD 150,000). For nonexporting companies, the limit on transfers abroad for the same types of investment is TD 150,000 (previously, in the range of TD 10,000 to TD 50,000) for representation or liaison offices and TD 300,000 (previously, in the range of TD 20,000 to TD 100,000) for branches, subsidiaries, and equity participation abroad. The limit is TD 3 million for companies financing investments abroad out of their foreign exchange export proceeds held in professional accounts. Effective March 2, 2007, residents may freely purchase equity in nonresident companies established in Tunisia.
Inward direct investmentForeigners may invest freely in most economic sectors. However, the participation of foreign nationals in certain service activities not wholly exported remains subject to HIC approval if such participation exceeds 50% of the enterprise’s capital. Effective February 26, 2007, foreign nonresidents may purchase shares or equity in companies established in Tunisia under the code of investment at the time of a capital increase beyond their preferential subscription rights without exchange authorization. Effective February 26, 2007, the purchase of land and buildings in industrial zones and land in tourist areas for economic development projects by foreign nonresidents with foreign exchange transferred from abroad was liberalized.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentAll foreign direct investment carried out legitimately in Tunisia with foreign exchange transferred from abroad is guaranteed the right to repatriate the net proceeds from the sale or liquidation of the invested capital, even if the net proceeds exceed the initial value of the foreign exchange invested.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsPurchases require prior approval from the CBT, except for transactions debited to special accounts in foreign currencies or convertible dinars or through special export earnings accounts in convertible dinars or exchange subagency accounts in convertible dinars, and effective November 9, 2006, service providers’ accounts in foreign currency or convertible dinars.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsPurchases by nonresident foreign nationals require prior approval from the CBT.
Sale locally by nonresidentsAuthorization is required for sales other than those made to a resident and involving real estate that is the subject of a land title. These sales are recorded in the Land Registry solely upon presentation of documentation showing that the price was deposited by the buyer in a suspense or capital account maintained in the name of the seller on the books of an authorized intermediary.
Controls on personal capital transactions
LoansControls apply to all these transactions.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
By residents to nonresidentsAuthorization is not required to take possession of an inheritance established in Tunisia for the benefit of a nonresident. The transfer of proceeds from gifts, endowments, and inheritances not previously guaranteed is subject to approval.
To residents from nonresidentsAuthorization is not required for gifts from nonresidents to residents, and for taking possession of an inheritance established abroad for a resident. Proceeds from gifts and inheritances must be declared and repatriated.
Settlements of debts abroad by immigrantsYes.
Transfer of assets
Transfer abroad by emigrantsYes.
Transfer into the country by immigrantsNonresident Tunisian nationals returning permanently to the country must declare and repatriate their assets or proceeds and revenue from their holdings abroad.
Transfer of gambling and prize earningsYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw 76-18 of January 21, 1978, [sic] Amending and Codifying the Foreign Exchange and External Trade Legislation Governing Relations between Tunisia and Other Countries; Decree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Law 93-120 of December 27, 1993, Promulgating the Code of Investment Promotion; Decree 94-492 of February 28, 1994, Listing the Activities for Which the Sectors Referred to in Articles 1, 2, 3, and 27 of the Code of Investment Promotion Are Responsible; Circular 2004-03 of July 19, 2004, on the Setting of Limits on the Rate of Subscription and Acquisition of Treasury Bonds (bons du trésor assimilables) by Nonresident Foreign Nationals; Circular 2005-05 of February 16, 2005, on Investments Abroad; Circular 2001-11 of May 4, 2001, on the Foreign Exchange Market and Instruments to Hedge against Exchange and Interest Rate Risk; Minister of Finance Avis de Change No. 17, Regulating Investments and the Uses of Foreign Exchange Not Subject to Surrender Requirements; Circular 92-13 of June 10, 1992, on the Foreign Exchange Money Market, Investment and Use of Foreign Exchange not Subject to Surrender Requirements, and Refinancing in Foreign Exchange Obtained from the BCT; Minister of Finance Avis de Change No. 12 of March 4, 1988, on the Granting of Guarantees by Authorized Intermediaries in Connection with External Trade and the Provision of Services to Nonresidents; Circular 93-21 of December 10, 1993, on Current Transfers; Circular 93-16 of October 7, 1993, on External Loans; Circular 64-39 of June 10, 1964 (Real Estate Transactions); Circular 2005-05 of February 16, 2005, on Investments Abroad; Circular 87-37 of September 24, 1987, on Special Accounts in Foreign Exchange and in Convertible Dinars; Circular 99-09 of May 24, 1999, on the Granting by Authorized Intermediary Banks of Short-Term Loans in Dinars to Nonresident Enterprises Established in Tunisia; Circular 2003-05 of March 27, 2003, on Exchange Subagency Accounts in Convertible Dinars; Circular 2001-09 of March 2, 2001, on Special Export Earnings Accounts in Convertible Dinars; Circular 2006-14 of November 9, 2006 on Service Providers’ Accounts in Foreign Currency or Convertible Dinars.
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadResident credit institutions, if rated by a rating agency, may freely contract all foreign currency loans (e.g., buyer’s credits, supplier’s credits, financial loans, financial leases) for their business needs from nonresidents up to a limit of the equivalent of TD 10 million a year. There is no limit on such loans if their maturity is longer than 12 months, and they are contracted by credit institutions rated by a rating agency and, effective January 9, 2007, by credit institutions listed on the stock exchange.
Maintenance of accounts abroadResident banks may freely open correspondent accounts with foreign banks of their choice.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)The approval of the CBT is required for loans granted by resident banks to nonresidents. However, resident banks may freely extend loans on the foreign exchange money market to nonresident industrial enterprises established in Tunisia for operating expenses and to finance their imports and exports. In addition, resident banks may extend dinar loans to offshore companies to finance local (dinar-denominated) operating expenses. Such loans cannot be used to purchase foreign exchange and must be placed in special accounts.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeResident banks may freely finance on the foreign exchange money market the import and export operations of resident entities. They may also lend their foreign currency surpluses to other resident banks and to their correspondent banks in exchange for loans with the same maturity in another currency.
Purchase of locally issued securities denominated in foreign exchangeYes.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsThere is no reserve requirement on foreign currency deposit accounts.
Liquid asset requirementsA liquidity ratio requirement takes foreign currency deposits into account.
Interest rate controlsInterest rates on dinar and convertible dinar deposits of nonresidents other than individuals of Tunisian nationality are freely negotiated, except for demand accounts, on which there is a cap of 2%. The remuneration on foreign currency accounts is freely negotiated with banks. Dinar balances in suspense accounts and capital accounts do not earn interest.



The annual interest rate applicable to foreign currency accounts in convertible dinars held by Tunisian residents abroad and special accounts in convertible dinars must be at least equal to the average overnight money market rate minus two percentage points.
Credit controlsn.a.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Reserve requirementsThe dinar deposits of nonresidents are included in the calculation of the reserve requirement ratios.
Liquid asset requirementsThe liquidity ratio requirement takes nonresidents’ deposits into account.
Interest rate controlsInterest rates on dinar and convertible dinar deposits of nonresidents are freely negotiated, except for demand accounts, on which there is a cap of 2%. The remuneration on foreign currency accounts is freely negotiated with banks. Dinar balances in suspense accounts and capital accounts do not earn interest.
Credit controlsn.a.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksApproval of the MOF and the CBT is required to open an office or branch by a credit institution.
In banks by nonresidentsApproval is required for any acquisition of capital in a bank or other financial institution and, in all cases, for the acquisition of a proportion of the voting rights equal to or exceeding one-tenth, one-fifth, one-third, one-half, or two-thirds of the voting rights, as well as of any instrument that may result in the transfer of a significant proportion of the assets, potentially changing its financial structure or the focus of its activities.
Open foreign exchange position limitsNet open positions of banks operating in the foreign exchange market resulting from both spot and forward transactions are limited to 10% of banks’ net own funds in each currency, with a global limit of 20% for positions in all currencies.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Insurance companies
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsYes.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadYes.
Pension fundsn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment fundsAny acquisition on the stock exchange of a twentieth, tenth, fifth, third, half, or two-thirds of the capital of a company that is involved in public deposit taking must be declared to that company, to the Financial Board, and to the Securities Exchange. Nonresidents may acquire freely shares of Tunisian mutual funds with foreign exchange transferred from abroad. However, the approval of the HIC is required if the acquisition raises the foreign ownership to more than 50% of the mutual fund’s capital.
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsn.a.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadn.a.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyn.a.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw 2001-65 of July 10, 2001, on Credit Institutions; Decree 77-608 of July 27, 1977, Establishing Conditions for the Implementation of Law 76-18 of January 21, 1976; Minister of Planning and Finance Avis de Change No. 5 on Nonresidents’ Accounts, Foreign Accounts in Dinars, and Foreign Accounts in Convertible Currencies; Circular 93-16 of October 7, 1993, on External Loans; Circular 94-03 of February 1, 1994, on the Methods of Execution of Payments to and from Abroad; Circular 92-13 of June 10, 1992, on the Foreign Exchange Money Market, Investment and Use of Foreign Exchange Not Subject to Surrender Requirements, and Refinancing in Foreign Exchange Granted by the BCT; Circular 99-09 of May 24, 1999, on the Granting by Resident Banks of Short-Term Loans in Dinars to Nonresident Enterprises Established in Tunisia; Circular 2002-05 of May 6, 2002, on Required Reserves; Circular 86-42 of December 1, 1986, on the Regulation of Bank Terms and Conditions; Circular 91-22 of December 17, 1991, Regulating Bank Terms and Conditions; Circular 97-08 of May 9, 1997, Establishing Rules for the Monitoring of Exchange Positions.
Changes during 2006
Arrangements for payments and receiptsFebruary 3. Nonresident travelers wishing to reexport the foreign exchange equivalent of amounts equal to or exceeding TD 3,000 (previously, TD 1,000) must declare to customs the foreign currencies they are importing on their entry into Tunisia.



February 3. The minimum amount of foreign currency banknotes that nonresident travelers must declare to customs was raised to TD 3,000 from TD 1,000.



September 13. Settlements with the countries of the Arab Maghreb Union were allowed to be settled either in foreign currencies accepted by the respective CBs or through convertible accounts in the national currencies concerned at the respective CBs.
Resident accountsNovember 9. Resident individuals holding foreign exchange received in payment of services to nonresidents established abroad were allowed to open service providers’ accounts in foreign currency or in convertible dinars.
Imports and import paymentsOctober 2. Imports that are free from licensing requirements were allowed to be effected using a commercial invoice instead of an import certificate.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersNovember 13. The annual allowance for tourist travel was raised to TD 4,000 from TD 2,000 an adult and to TD 2,000 from TD 1,000 a child under 10 years of age.



November 20. The annual allowance related to stay abroad for health reasons was raised to TD 1,500 from TD 1,000 and to TD 1,000 for the person accompanying the patient.



November 27. The monthly student allowance was raised to TD 1,500 from TD 1,000.
Capital transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsAugust 1. Nonresident foreign nationals were allowed to subscribe or purchase with foreign exchange transferred from abroad 20% of each type of bonds issued by resident companies listed on the stock exchange or having obtained a rating from a rating agency.
Controls on real estate transactionsNovember 9. Purchase of real estate abroad by residents was allowed without prior approval from the CBT provided these transactions are debited to the service provider’s accounts in foreign currency or convertible dinars.
Changes during 2007
Arrangements for payments and receiptsFebruary 26. The ban on the import and export of Tunisian dinars was eased in cases where the CBT has signed agreements to that effect with its counterparts or any other specialized authority abroad.



March 2. The minimum amount of foreign currency banknotes that nonresident travelers must declare to customs was raised to TD 5,000 from TD 3,000.
Resident accountsJanuary 1. The amount of export earnings that could be credited to special export earnings accounts was raised to 15% from 10%.



January 1. Residents were allowed to open travel allowance accounts in convertible dinars to hold foreign exchange issued for travel purposes and not used abroad.



January 1. The amount of the dinar equivalent of foreign exchange sold that may be credited to an exchange subagency account was raised to 5% from 2%.



February 26. The conditions for opening and operating travel allowance accounts were established.
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. Advance payments were allowed for the import of goods necessary for productive activities without presentation of a bank guarantee.
Exports and export proceedsJanuary 1. The deadline for payment of exports effected in conformity with the regulations in force was extended to 360 days from 180 days.
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersJanuary 1. The annual allowance for tourist travel was raised to TD 4,000 from TD 2,000 an adult and to TD 2,000 from TD 1,000 a child under 10 years of age. The annual allowance for expenses related to stays abroad for reasons of health was raised to TD 1,500 from TD 1,000 for patients and for persons accompanying patients may transfer up to TD 250 a trip in the case of medical or paramedical staff and TD 1,000 (previously, TD 750) in all other cases. The monthly living expense allowance for students studying abroad was raised to TD 1,500 from TD 1,000.



February 5. The annual limit for Exporter-AVA was raised to TD 250,000 from TD 180,000. The Importer-AVA was raised to 10% from 6% of turnover with an annual limit of TD 15,000. The granting of AVA for other professions has been liberalized and the amount raised to 8% from 4% of income declared to the tax authorities with an annual limit of TD 30,000. The Promoter-AVA was raised to TD 15,000 from TD 10,000 without restriction.



February 9. The tourist travel allowance could be transferred using international payment cards.



April 12. The amounts freely transferable abroad for professional training were set at TD 2,000 for each training cycle for the settlement allowance and TD 1,500 a month for living expenses, and registration fees and training fees.
Capital transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsApril 17. Nonresident foreign nationals were allowed to subscribe and purchase with foreign exchange transferred from abroad 20% of treasury bonds (bons du trésor assimilables) or bonds issued by resident companies listed on the stock exchange or rated by a rating agency.
Controls on credit operationsJanuary 9. Resident companies listed on the stock exchange were allowed to contract foreign currency loans in maturities of over 12 months without limit for credit institutions and up to the limit of TD 10 million for other enterprises.



March 2. The imports and exports of nonresident service companies established in Tunisia and exclusively engaged in exporting, as well as the exports of products of local origin by nonresident international trading companies established in Tunisia were allowed to be financed on the foreign currency money market.
Controls on direct investmentFebruary 26. The acquisition by foreign nonresidents of land and buildings in industrial zones and land in tourist areas for economic development projects with foreign exchange transferred from abroad was liberalized.



February 26. The exchange authorization requirements for the acquisition by foreign nonresidents of shares or equity with foreign exchange abroad in companies established in Tunisia under the code of investment at the time of a capital increase beyond their preferential subscription rights was abolished.



March 2. The annual limit to finance investments abroad by nonexporting companies was raised to TD 150,000 for representation or liaison offices, and TD 300,000 for branches, subsidiaries, and equity participation in companies abroad.



March 2. The annual limit to finance investments abroad by exporting companies was raised to TD 500,000 for representation or liaison offices, TD 1 million for branches, subsidiaries, and equity participation in companies abroad, and TD 3 million for companies that finance such investments out of their foreign exchange export proceeds held in professional accounts.



March 2. Residents were allowed to purchase equity in nonresident companies established in Tunisia.
Provisions specific to the financial sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsJanuary 9. Resident credit institutions listed on the stock exchange were allowed to contract credits with nonresidents without limitation.

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