Article VIII General Obligations of Members
- International Monetary Fund
- Published Date:
- September 2011
Section 1. Introduction
In addition to the obligations assumed under other articles of this Agreement, each member undertakes the obligations set out in this Article.
Section 2. Avoidance of restrictions on current payments
(a) Subject to the provisions of Article VII, Section 3(b) and Article XIV, Section 2, no member shall, without the approval of the Fund, impose restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions.
(b) Exchange contracts which involve the currency of any member and which are contrary to the exchange control regulations of that member maintained or imposed consistently with this Agreement shall be unenforceable in the territories of any member. In addition, members may, by mutual accord, cooperate in measures for the purpose of making the exchange control regulations of either member more effective, provided that such measures and regulations are consistent with this Agreement.
Section 3. Avoidance of discriminatory currency practices
No member shall engage in, or permit any of its fiscal agencies referred to in Article V, Section 1 to engage in, any discriminatory currency arrangements or multiple currency practices, whether within or outside margins under Article IV or prescribed by or under Schedule C, except as authorized under this Agreement or approved by the Fund. If such arrangements and practices are engaged in at the date when this Agreement enters into force, the member concerned shall consult with the Fund as to their progressive removal unless they are maintained or imposed under Article XIV, Section 2, in which case the provisions of Section 3 of that Article shall apply.
Section 4. Convertibility of foreign-held balances
(a) Each member shall buy balances of its currency held by another member if the latter, in requesting the purchase, represents:
(i) that the balances to be bought have been recently acquired as a result of current transactions; or
(ii) that their conversion is needed for making payments for current transactions.
The buying member shall have the option to pay either in special drawing rights, subject to Article XIX, Section 4, or in the currency of the member making the request.
(b) The obligation in (a) above shall not apply when:
(i) the convertibility of the balances has been restricted consistently with Section 2 of this Article or Article VI, Section 3;
(ii) the balances have accumulated as a result of transactions effected before the removal by a member of restrictions maintained or imposed under Article XIV, Section 2;
(iii) the balances have been acquired contrary to the exchange regulations of the member which is asked to buy them;
(iv) the currency of the member requesting the purchase has been declared scarce under Article VII, Section 3(a); or
(v) the member requested to make the purchase is for any reason not entitled to buy currencies of other members from the Fund for its own currency.
Section 5. Furnishing of information
(a) The Fund may require members to furnish it with such information as it deems necessary for its activities, including, as the minimum necessary for the effective discharge of the Fund’s duties, national data on the following matters:
(i) official holdings at home and abroad of (1) gold, (2) foreign exchange;
(ii) holdings at home and abroad by banking and financial agencies, other than official agencies, of (1) gold, (2) foreign exchange;
(iii) production of gold;
(iv) gold exports and imports according to countries of destination and origin;
(v) total exports and imports of merchandise, in terms of local currency values, according to countries of destination and origin;
(vi) international balance of payments, including (1) trade in goods and services, (2) gold transactions, (3) known capital transactions, and (4) other items;
(vii) international investment position, i.e., investments within the territories of the member owned abroad and investments abroad owned by persons in its territories so far as it is possible to furnish this information;
(viii) national income;
(ix) price indices, i.e., indices of commodity prices in wholesale and retail markets and of export and import prices;
(x) buying and selling rates for foreign currencies;
(xi) exchange controls, i.e., a comprehensive statement of exchange controls in effect at the time of assuming membership in the Fund and details of subsequent changes as they occur; and
(xii) where official clearing arrangements exist, details of amounts awaiting clearance in respect of commercial and financial transactions, and of the length of time during which such arrears have been outstanding.
(b) In requesting information the Fund shall take into consideration the varying ability of members to furnish the data requested. Members shall be under no obligation to furnish information in such detail that the affairs of individuals or corporations are disclosed. Members undertake, however, to furnish the desired information in as detailed and accurate a manner as is practicable and, so far as possible, to avoid mere estimates.
(c) The Fund may arrange to obtain further information by agreement with members. It shall act as a centre for the collection and exchange of information on monetary and financial problems, thus facilitating the preparation of studies designed to assist members in developing policies which further the purposes of the Fund.
Section 6. Consultation between members regarding existing international agreements
Where under this Agreement a member is authorized in the special or temporary circumstances specified in the Agreement to maintain or establish restrictions on exchange transactions, and there are other engagements between members entered into prior to this Agreement which conflict with the application of such restrictions, the parties to such engagements shall consult with one another with a view to making such mutually acceptable adjustments as may be necessary. The provisions of this Article shall be without prejudice to the operation of Article VII, Section 5.
Section 7. Obligation to collaborate regarding policies on reserve assets
Each member undertakes to collaborate with the Fund and with other members in order to ensure that the policies of the member with respect to reserve assets shall be consistent with the objectives of promoting better international surveillance of international liquidity and making the special drawing right the principal reserve asset in the international monetary system.