Explanatory Note to Country Surveys

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
September 1978
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In Part II, individual surveys of the exchange systems of the member countries of the Fund, including two non-metropolitan territories, are given. The exchange systems of five other countries which were not members of the Fund at the end of 1977 are also described.

In general, the surveys relate to the exchange systems as at the end of 1977. For a few countries the surveys relate to the exchange systems at a later date or include references to significant developments that took place early in 1978.

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 1977” 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 1977.

Under Exchange Rate System, the par value and/or the central rate and/or the official exchange rates are given, usually in terms of SDRs, gold, and/or U.S. dollars, together with a reference to other rates. The rates quoted are those effective on December 31, 1977, 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 the accounts in its currency of 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 either given freely, or restricted, according to administrative decisions.

Under Payments for Invisibles, action in the matter of permitting payments abroad for current transactions in invisibles is 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 imposed on the proceeds from exports. The expression “exchange receipts must be surrendered” indicates that the recipient is required by the regulations to sell his foreign exchange 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, the principal provisions are summarized that govern the holding, negotiation, and import and export of gold coins and gold in other forms.

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