Chapter

Explanatory Note to Country Surveys

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
September 1980
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In Part Two, individual surveys of the exchange systems of the member countries of the Fund, including three nonmetropolitan territories, are given. The exchange system of one other country, which is not a member of the Fund, is also described.

In general, the surveys relate to the exchange systems as at the end of 1979. For a few countries the surveys include references to significant developments that took place early in 1980.

The description of an exchange system is not necessarily confined to those aspects involving exchange restrictions or exchange controls. As in previous Reports, questions of definition and jurisdiction have not been raised, and an attempt has been made to describe restrictive systems in their entirety, except for the tariff structure and, in most cases, direct taxes on exports and imports. Thus, the surveys include references to such features as import licensing, advance deposit requirements, import surcharges, travel taxes, export licensing, and export incentive schemes. Similarly, the section “Changes during 1979” includes references to certain developments that may have a direct impact on international transactions but are not reflected in the body of the survey, such as major revisions of import tariffs or developments relating to regional cooperation.

A standardized framework has been employed in drafting the surveys: each system is described under similar headings, and each country survey contains a final section that lists chronologically the more significant changes during 1979.

The section on Exchange Rate System takes account of the notifications of exchange arrangements that member countries have furnished to the Fund under Article IV, Section 2(a). The structure of exchange markets is described, and the official exchange rate is given. The rates quoted are those effective on December 31, 1979, unless stated otherwise.

Under Administration of Control, some indication is given of the authorities responsible for policy and administration of the controls and of the extent to which their powers are delegated for working purposes.

Under Prescription of Currency, the requirements affecting the selection of the currency and method of settlement for transactions with other countries are described. Where a country has concluded payments agreements with other countries, the terms of these agreements often lead to prescription of the currency for specified categories of payments to and from the countries concerned. The countries with which bilateral payments agreements are in force are listed either in the text or in a footnote.

Under Nonresident Accounts, an indication is given of the manner in which the country treats accounts maintained in its currency by account holders who are not regarded as resident in that country, and the facilities and limitations attached to such accounts. Where there is more than one type of nonresident account, the nature and operation of the various types are described.

Under Imports and Import Payments, import licensing requirements are described briefly, and details are given of other requirements imposed on payments for imports and of any advance deposit requirements. The term “open general license” indicates arrangements whereby certain imports or other international transactions are exempt from the restrictive application of licensing requirements, in contrast to an “individual license,” which may be given either freely, or restrictively, according to administrative decisions.

Under Payments for Invisibles, the procedures for permitting payments abroad for current transactions in invisibles are described briefly, together with any limitations on the export of foreign and domestic banknotes. For some countries that do not impose limitations on payments for invisibles, this section is combined with the section on Proceeds from Invisibles (see below).

Under Exports and Export Proceeds, the application of export licensing, where this is operative, is indicated, with an outline of the requirements that may be imposed on the handling of proceeds from exports. The expression “exchange receipts must be surrendered” indicates that the recipient is required by the regulations to sell any foreign exchange he has earned against local currency, usually at the official rate, to the central bank or to a commercial bank or exchange dealer authorized for this purpose. In some countries there is a requirement that the exchange be sold in a free market.

Under Proceeds from Invisibles, any conditions governing exchange derived from transactions in invisibles are given, and any limitations on the import of foreign and domestic banknotes are described.

Under Capital, a general indication of the special arrangements or limitations attached to international receipts and payments in respect of capital items is given. Where special arrangements for foreign capital also cover the income thereon, they are usually dealt with in this section rather than in the sections on Payments for Invisibles and Proceeds from Invisibles.

Under Gold, there is a summary of the principal provisions in the regulations that govern the holding, negotiation, and import and export of gold coin and gold in other forms.

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