Chapter

Summary Features of Exchange Arrangements and Regulatory Frameworks for Current and Capital Transactions in Member Countries1

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
September 2004
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(As of date shown on first country page)2

Total number of member countries with this featureAfghanistan, I.S. ofAlbaniaAlgeriaAngolaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanThe BahamasBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswana
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII158"
Article XIV26
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender41
Currency board arrangement6
Conventional pegged arrangement39+
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bands4
Crawling peg5
Crawling band5+
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate49
Independently floating35
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates11
Multiple exchange rates3
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements66
Payments arrears62
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers94
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements98
Surrender requirements75
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities126
Money market instruments105
Collective investment securities96
Derivatives and other instruments79
Commercial credits98
Financial credits109
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities89
Direct investment143
Liquidation of direct investment56
Real estate transactions136
Personal capital transactions95
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other credit institutions156
Institutional investors91
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
BrazilBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCentral African RepublicChadChileChina, People’s Rep. ofColombiaComorosCongo, Dem. Rep. ofCongo, Republic ofCosta RicaCôte d’IvoireCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFijiFinland
+
FranceGabonGambia, TheGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGreeceGrenadaGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHondurasHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, I.R. ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapan
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII
Article XIV
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no
separate legal tender
Currency board arrangement
Conventional pegged arrangement
Pegged exchange rate within
horizontal bands
Crawling peg
Crawling band
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate
Independently floating
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates
Multiple exchange rates
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements
Payments arrears
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements
Surrender requirements
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities
Money market instruments
Collective investment securities
Derivatives and other instruments
Commercial credits
Financial credits
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
Direct investment
Liquidation of direct investment
Real estate transactions
Personal capital movements
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other
credit institutions
Institutional investors
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
JordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyz RepublicLao People’s Dem. Rep.LatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLithuaniaLuxembourgMacedonia, fmr. Yugoslav Rep.MadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall Islands, Rep. of theMauritaniaMauritiusMexicoMicronesia, Fed. States ofMoldovaMongoliaMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNepalNetherlands
++++
New ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPolandPortugalQatarRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSt. Kitts and NevisSt. LuciaSt. Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSão Tomé and Príncipe
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII
Article XIV
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender
Currency board arrangement
Conventional pegged arrangement
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bands
Crawling peg
Crawling band*
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate
Independently floating
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates
Multiple exchange rates
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements
Payments arrears
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements
Surrender requirements
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities
Money market instruments
Collective investment securities
Derivatives and other instruments
Commercial credits
Financial credits
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
Direct investment
Liquidation of direct investment
Real estate transactions
Personal capital movements
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other credit institutions
Institutional investors
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
For key and footnotes, see page 18.
Saudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovak RepublicSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguay
+
UzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Rep. Bolivariana deVietnamYemen, Republic ofZambiaZimbabweMemorandum: NonmembersArubaHong Kong SARNetherlands Antilles
Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIII
Article XIV
Exchange rate arrangements
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender
Currency board arrangement
Conventional pegged arrangement
Pegged exchange rate within horizontal bands
Crawling peg
Crawling band
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate
Independently floating
Exchange rate structure
Dual exchange rates
Multiple exchange rates
Arrangements for payments and receipts
Bilateral payments arrangements
Payments arrears
Controls on payments for invisible transactions and current transfers
Proceeds from exports and/or invisible transactions
Repatriation requirements
Surrender requirements
Capital transactions
Controls on:
Capital market securities
Money market instruments
Collective investment securities
Derivatives and other instruments
Commercial credits
Financial credits
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
Direct investment
Liquidation of direct investment
Real estate transactions
Personal capital movements
Provisions specific to:
Commercial banks and other credit institutions
Institutional investors
Key and Footnotes

Indicates that the specified practice is a feature of the exchange system.

Indicates that data were not available at time of publication.

Indicates that the specific practice is not regulated.

Indicates that member uses the currency of another member as legal tender.

Indicates that member participates in the euro area.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis the euro.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis another single currency.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis the SDR.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis a basket of currencies.

Indicates that the country participates in the ERM II of the EMS.

Indicates other arrangements.

The entries for Aruba, Hong Kong SAR, and the Netherlands Antilles are located at the end of the table.

Usually December 31, 2003.

Key and Footnotes

Indicates that the specified practice is a feature of the exchange system.

Indicates that data were not available at time of publication.

Indicates that the specific practice is not regulated.

Indicates that member uses the currency of another member as legal tender.

Indicates that member participates in the euro area.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis the euro.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis another single currency.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis the SDR.

Indicates that flexibility is limited vis-à-vis a basket of currencies.

Indicates that the country participates in the ERM II of the EMS.

Indicates other arrangements.

The entries for Aruba, Hong Kong SAR, and the Netherlands Antilles are located at the end of the table.

Usually December 31, 2003.

Islamic State of Afghanistan

(Position as of December 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article XIVYes.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of the Islamic State of Afghanistan is the Afghani.
Exchange rate structure
UnitaryThe Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the central bank, maintains a daily official rate defined in terms of the dollar and based on the average of the opening quotations of a number of important and reputable money traders operating in a free market in the form of a money bazaar. In principle, the DAB’s buying and selling rates for foreign cash are within margins of ±1%; in practice, however, the DAB’s transactions have been limited to buying, and thus have little impact on the exchange rate movements in the market. A second exchange rate—the official rate—is applied to certain transactions of the central government (mainly debt-service payments) and certain foreign currency income earned in the Islamic State of Afghanistan.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateMost convertible currency transactions are effected at the free market exchange rate. The DAB posts rates for dollars, euros, Indian rupees, Pakistan rupees, pounds sterling, and Swiss francs. These rates are calculated using the IMF’s daily SDR rates for these currencies.
Exchange taxn.a.
Exchange subsidyn.a.
Forward exchange marketThere are no arrangements for forward cover against exchange rate risk in operations in the official market or the commercial banking sector.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with countries with which the Islamic State of Afghanistan maintains bilateral payments agreements are made in bilateral accounting dollars, in accordance with the procedures set forth in these agreements. Exchange rates for trade under bilateral payments agreements are specified in each agreement. The proceeds from exports of karakul to all countries must be obtained in convertible currencies. There are no other prescriptions of currency requirements.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyEffective March 21, 2003, the Afghani is designated as the currency to be used for all transactions and settlements of accounts unless the use of another currency is specified by the parties concerned.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangementsThe Islamic State of Afghanistan maintains bilateral payments agreements with Bulgaria, China, and Russia. Some of these have been inoperative for several years.
OperativeYes.
InoperativeYes.
Administration of controlForeign exchange transactions are controlled by the government through the DAB. No restrictions apply to transactions in the free exchange market.
International security restrictionsn.a.
Payments arrearsn.a.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on external tradeImports and reexports of gold are permitted, subject to regulations. Exports of gold bullion, silver, and jewelry require permission from the DAB and the MOF. Commercial exports of gold and silver jewelry and other articles containing small quantities of gold or silver do not require a license. Customs duties are payable on imports and exports of silver in any form, unless the transaction is made by, or on behalf of, the monetary authorities.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyTravelers may take out up to Af 2,000 in domestic banknotes and Af 50 in coins.
Foreign currencyTravelers entering the Islamic State of Afghanistan are required to spend a minimum of the equivalent of $26 a day in foreign exchange. They may take any amount out of the country that was declared upon arrival, subject to this minimum conversion requirement.
On imports
Domestic currencyTravelers may bring in up to Af 2,000 in domestic banknotes and Af 50 in coins.
Foreign currencyTravelers may bring in any amount of foreign currency but must declare it when entering the country if they intend to take out any unspent amount on departure.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedDAB approval is required for residents to open and hold foreign exchange accounts domestically and abroad.
Held domesticallyDAB approval is required for residents to open and hold foreign exchange accounts.
Held abroadYes.
Approval requiredYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedDAB approval is required for nonresidents to open and hold foreign exchange accounts.
Approval requiredYes.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetAn annual import program drawn up by the Ministry of Commerce covers both public and private sector imports. Adjustments in the public sector import plan are made as circumstances change. There is an indicative import plan for the private sector, drawn up on the basis of proposals submitted by the Chamber of Commerce.
Financing requirements for importsn.a.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Letters of creditPayments through the banking system for imports to countries with which the Islamic State of Afghanistan has payments agreements may usually be made only under LCs. Payments to other countries may be made under LCs, against bills for collection, or against an undertaking by the importer to import goods of at least an equivalent value to the payment made through the banking system. Except for public sector imports under the government budget, all importers are required to lodge minimum import deposits with banks when they open LCs. The deposit ratios, based on the c.i.f. value of imports, are 20% for essential products and range from 30% to 60% for other products.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresAll importers must obtain a license from the Ministry of Commerce for statistical purposes. A license is issued on the basis of appropriate documents that have been approved by the Chamber of Commerce. For imports of nonessential goods, a 1% fee based on the import value is levied and is payable in dollars. The Chamber of Commerce charges a 2% fee to members and a 2.5% fee to nonmembers. The fee is based on the value of imports.
Positive listMost bilateral agreements specify quantities (and sometimes prices) for the products to be traded.
Negative listThe importation of certain drugs, liquor, arms, and ammunition is prohibited on grounds of public policy or for security reasons; in some instances, however, special permission to import these goods may be granted. The importation of a few textiles and selected nonessential consumer goods is also prohibited.
Licenses with quotasThere are no quantitative restrictions on most imports, but tariff rates on most consumer items range from 30% to 50%.
Import taxes and/or tariffsNo.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExport proceeds from bilateral accounts may be retained in bilateral clearing dollar accounts with the DAB. These retained proceeds may either be used directly by the original exporter or sold to other importers. In either case, the retained proceeds are converted at the clearing rate applicable to that particular bilateral arrangement. In the case of exports to countries trading in convertible currencies, export proceeds may be retained abroad for three, six, or twelve months, depending on the country of destination. During the relevant period, the exporter may use these funds to import any goods not included on the list of prohibited goods. Alternatively, at the end of the relevant holding period limit, foreign exchange holdings abroad must be repatriated and held in a foreign currency account with a bank in the Islamic State of Afghanistan or sold at the commercial exchange rate.
Surrender requirementsProceeds from exports of raisins, fresh fruits, animal casings, skins, licorice roots, medicinal herbs, and wool must be surrendered immediately at the commercial exchange rate.
Financing requirementsn.a.
Documentation requirementsn.a.
Export licensesAll exporters must obtain a license from the Ministry of Commerce to engage in export trade for statistical purposes. A license is issued on the basis of appropriate documents that have been approved by the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce levies a 5% fee based on the export value. The exportation of opium and museum pieces is prohibited. Otherwise, control is exercised only over exports to bilateral agreement countries.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesn.a.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersForeign exchange for most private purposes may be acquired in the money bazaar.
Payments for travelThe DAB levies a charge of Af 0.75 per $1. A charge of 1% on the total value of other convertible currencies is levied on permits for their export by authorized travelers.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsThe limit for tourist travel is $2,000 or its equivalent, except for private travel to India, for which the limit is the equivalent of $700. The limit for business travel is $15,000.
Personal paymentsFor medical treatment, the central bank levies a commission of Af 0.75 per $1. No information is available for other types of personal payments other than medical costs.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsNormally, the DAB authorizes up to the equivalent of $2,500 for medical treatment.
Foreign workers’ wagesForeign employees working in the Afghan public and private sectors must convert 60% of their foreign currency salaries into Afghanis at the official rate.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsn.a.
Restrictions on use of fundsn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsThe liquidation of investments in enterprises requires approval from the High Commission and the prior settlement of all accounts.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsn.a.
Controls on credit operationsn.a.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentInvestments require prior approval and are administered by the Investment Committee. Foreign investment in the Islamic State of Afghanistan can take place only through joint ventures, and an investment approved by the Investment Committee requires no further license to operate in the Islamic State of Afghanistan. The Foreign and Domestic Private Investment Law includes the following provisions: (1) income tax exemption for four years (six years outside Kabul province), beginning with the date of the first sale of products resulting from the new investment; (2) exemption from import duties on essential imports (mainly for capital goods); (3) exemption from taxes on dividends for four years after the first distribution of dividends, but not more than seven years after the approval of the investment; (4) exemption from personal income and corporate taxes on interest on foreign loans that constitute part of an approved investment; (5) exemption from export duties, provided that the products are not among prohibited exports; and (6) mandatory procurement by government agencies and departments from enterprises established under the law, as long as the prices are not more than 15% higher than those of foreign suppliers.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentSales of investments in enterprises, as defined by the Domestic and Foreign Investment Law, must be approved by the High Commission and must be preceded by the settlement of all accounts.
Capital may be repatriated after five years at an annual rate not exceeding 20% of total registered capital.
Controls on real estate transactionsn.a.
Controls on personal capital transactionsn.a.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsn.a.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.a.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 2003
Arrangements for payments and receiptsMarch 21. The Afghani was designated as the currency to be used for all transactions and settlements of accounts unless the use of another currency was agreed to by the parties concerned.

Albania

(Position as of December 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article XIVYes.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Albania is the Albanian lek.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Independently floatingThe exchange rate of the lek is determined on the basis of supply and demand in the foreign exchange market. The Bank of Albania (BOA) intervenes occasionally in the exchange market only to smooth excessive fluctuations of the exchange rate and to meet foreign currency reserve targets. The BOA calculates and announces the daily average exchange rates for the dollar and 10 other major currencies and the prices of gold and silver. No margins are set between buying and selling rates for the official exchange rate, but commercial banks charge commissions ranging from 0.2% to 2%, depending on the amount, for cashing traveler’s checks. Government transactions are conducted at market rates.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsPayment for all merchandise trade is made in convertible currencies. All transactions under bilateral payments agreement were suspended in 1992, and the settlement of clearing accounts is awaiting the outcome of negotiations. All contracts denominated and payable in foreign currencies are valid.
Payments arrangements
Clearing agreementsAlbania maintains bilateral clearing agreements in nonconvertible currencies with Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and Vietnam. Albania also maintains bilateral clearing agreements in convertible currencies with Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Turkey, Vietnam, and Serbia and Montenegro.
Administration of controlThe BOA is vested with the powers to administer exchange controls. The BOA is the only authority that has the right to (1) license, authorize, regulate, supervise, and revoke the licenses of foreign exchange market participants, as well as second-tier banks; (2) define the limits of their activities; and (3) regulate and supervise foreign exchange operations and international payments in order to prevent any participant from dominating the market and undermining the value of the lek through speculation.
In accordance with anti-money laundering legislation, banks are required to maintain records of all cash transactions in excess of the equivalent of lek 2 million and on all other transactions in excess of lek 20 million, and to report these to the authority responsible for the prevention of money laundering.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrears
OfficialAlbania has official arrears to Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Serbia and Montenegro, and Vietnam. An agreement was reached to reschedule arrears to the Russian Federation in May 2002 under a Paris Club agreement and with China in November 2002.
PrivateAlbania has incurred private payments arrears with creditors (banks and companies) in Austria, Belgium, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Macedonia, and the Slovak Republic.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on external tradeResidents and nonresidents may transfer standardized gold and precious metals to and from Albania only through entities specially licensed by the BOA.
Residents and nonresidents are entitled to transfer nonstandardized gold and precious metals to and from Albania subject to documentary requirements regarding the source; the purpose of the transfer; the quantity; and whether the transfer involves the returning of the precious metals and, if so, the form in which it should be returned. There is no requirement for transfers of jewelry for personal use.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyNatural and juridical persons are allowed to take out up to lek 100,000 a person in banknotes and coins. The BOA may authorize larger amounts.
Foreign currencyForeign natural persons may take abroad in cash or traveler’s checks foreign exchange in an amount equal to the amount declared when entering the country. Albanian natural or juridical persons are not allowed to export amounts larger than lek 3.5 million or its equivalent.
On imports
Domestic currencyNatural and juridical persons are allowed to import up to lek 100,000 in domestic banknotes and coins. The BOA may authorize larger amounts.
Foreign currencyUpon entering or exiting Albania, resident and nonresident individuals are required to declare cash, traveler’s checks, precious stones or metals, and antiquaries valued at lek 1 million or more.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadn.a.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsFor imports equal to or larger than the equivalent of lek 3 million, the following documents must be submitted: (1) an application for carrying out the transaction as well as a declaration specifying in detail the nature of the transaction; (2) a contract and an invoice (or a pro forma invoice) issued by the natural or juridical person supplying the goods; (3) a declaration that the underlying document has not been used to support previous transactions, which is to be issued by the natural or juridical person wishing to carry out the transaction with the bank; and (4) a customs clearance document (within 3 to 12 months, depending on the settlement of the invoice).
Letters of creditYes.
Import licenses used as exchange licensesYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresThe import of the following products is prohibited: (1) dangerous waste, such as toxic corrosives, residual waste from explosives, and radioactive materials; (2) military poisons, chemical weapons, and other strong poisons; (3) narcotics and psychotropic substances; and (4) animal products from countries infected with livestock diseases.
Positive listYes.
Open general licensesYes.
Licenses with quotasAutomatic licensing restrictions are applied on fuel products to support the implementation of domestic technical standards.
Import taxes and/or tariffsExcise taxes on domestic and imported goods are unified. Customs tariffs are applied to the c.i.f. value at rates of zero, 2%, 5%, 10%, and 15%.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsAll private and public companies or individuals operating in the export sector are required to repatriate their foreign exchange receipts.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesExport bans apply on copper and articles made thereof; works of art; arms and ammunitions, as well as parts and accessories therefore; and explosives and pyrotechnic products.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersSupporting documents are required for transactions exceeding the equivalent of lek 3 million.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsPurchases of these instruments abroad by residents may be conducted through entities licensed by the BOA, subject to documentary requirements. For prudential reasons and money laundering prevention, the BOA monitors and reviews these transactions.
On capital market securitiesControls apply on all transactions in capital market securities except for purchase locally by nonresidents.
On money market instrumentsThe regulations governing capital market securities apply.
On collective investment securitiesThe regulations governing capital market securities apply.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsThe regulations governing capital and money market instruments apply.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial credits
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentThe regulations governing capital and money market instruments apply.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsThe regulations governing capital and money market instruments apply.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsControls relate only to the purchase of land.
Controls on personal capital transactions
LoansThe regulations governing capital and money market instruments apply.
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsThese transactions are subject only to anti-money laundering regulations.
Gifts, endowments, inheritances, and legacies
To residents from nonresidentsThese transactions are subject only to anti-money laundering regulations.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Lending is subject to capital controls.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts held by nonresidents
Credit controlsYes.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsThe limit is 20% of the bank’s capital for a single currency and 30% for all currencies.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.r.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.r.
Changes During 2003
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.

Algeria

(Position as of January 31, 2004)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: September 15, 1997.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Algeria is the Algerian dinar.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateThe external value of the dinar is determined in the interbank foreign exchange market. No margin limits are imposed on the buying and selling exchange rates in the interbank foreign exchange market. However, a margin of DA 0.015 has been established between the buying and selling rates of the Bank of Algeria (BOA) for the dinar against the dollar.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketAuthorized banks may provide forward cover to residents, and there are no regulatory constraints limiting the ability of banks to cover their own forward position.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with countries with which no payment agreements are in force are made in convertible currencies. Payments under foreign supply contracts may be made in either the currency in use at the headquarters of the supplier or that of the country of origin of the merchandise, except for transactions with Morocco, which may be effected in dollars through special clearing accounts maintained at the central banks of each country.
Payments arrangementsYes.
Clearing agreementsSpecified commercial settlements with Morocco and Tunisia are made through a Moroccan dirham account at the Bank of Morocco and a Tunisian dinar account at the Bank of Tunisia.
Administration of controlThe BOA has general jurisdiction over exchange controls. Authority for a number of exchange control procedures has been delegated to commercial banks and the Postal Administration.
International security restrictionsNo.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents may purchase, hold, and sell gold coins in Algeria for numismatic purposes. Unworked gold for industrial and professional use is distributed by the Agence nationale pour la distribution et la transformation de l’or et des autres métaux précieux (AGENOR); this agency is also authorized to purchase gold in Algeria and to hold, process, and distribute any other precious metals.
Controls on external tradeAGENOR is authorized to import and export any precious metals, including gold. Gold used by dentists and goldsmiths is imported by AGENOR. Gold and other precious metals are included on the list of items importable by concessionaires.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyResident travelers may take out up to DA 200 a person.
Foreign currencyForeign nonresident travelers may reexport any foreign currency they declared upon entry. Resident travelers may export foreign currency withdrawn from their foreign currency accounts up to the equivalent of €7,622.45 a trip for an unlimited number of trips a year.
On imports
Domestic currencyResident travelers may reimport up to DA 200 a person. Nonresidents are not permitted to bring in Algerian dinar banknotes.
Foreign currencyThere are no restrictions on the importation of foreign banknotes, but residents and nonresidents must declare them when they enter Algeria.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyThese accounts may be freely credited with book transfers of convertible currencies from abroad using either postal or banking facilities, imported convertible foreign currencies that were declared at the time of the account holder’s entry into the country, or domestic bank-to-bank book transfers between accounts held by individuals. These accounts may be debited freely for book transfers abroad but only through the banking system. They may also be debited for purchases of dinars, for book transfers in dinars, and for purchases of convertible foreign currencies to be physically exported by the account holder. The interest rate payable on deposits in these accounts is fixed quarterly by the BOA.
Economic entities are also allowed to open foreign currency accounts for receiving and making foreign currency transfers, including the retained portion of their export proceeds. They may transfer funds in these accounts to other foreign currency accounts, or use them to make payments in Algeria or to make foreign currency payments for goods and services pertaining to their business.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyThese accounts are permitted in limited cases, such as for embassies.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThese accounts may be credited with foreign currency banknotes and other means of payment denominated in foreign currency, as well as other dinar-denominated funds that meet all requirements for transfers abroad. They may be debited without restrictions to make transfers abroad, to export through withdrawals of foreign banknotes, and to make dinar payments in Algeria. These accounts pay interest and may not show a net debit position.
Domestic currency accountsFinal departure accounts may be opened, without prior authorization, in the name of any natural person residing in Algeria who is not of Algerian nationality and who intends to leave Algeria to return to his or her country of origin. These accounts may be credited with an amount equivalent to the holdings as of October 20, 1963, of the person concerned; with the proceeds from sales of real estate by the account holder, provided that the funds are paid directly by a ministerial officer; with the proceeds of the sale of securities through a bank; and with any other payments up to DA 2,000. These accounts may be debited without prior approval for certain payments in Algeria on behalf of the account holder.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Approval requiredOutward transfers require individual approval from the BOA.
Blocked accountsIndividual suspense accounts may be opened without authorization and may be credited with payments from any country.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsPayments for imports of gold, other precious metals, and precious stones must be made from foreign currency accounts. External borrowing by importers for import financing purposes must be arranged through an authorized intermediary bank.
Advance payment requirementsExcept when otherwise indicated by the BOA, down payments for imports may not exceed 15% of the total value of imports. When a public agency, public enterprise, or ministry incurs expenditures for imports deemed to be urgent or exceptional, the bank may effect payment before exchange and trade control formalities have been completed.
Advance import depositsAlthough not mandatory, domiciled banks may require from the importer, as part of their normal commercial operations, a deposit in dinars up to the full value of the imports.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsImporters willing to insure merchandise or capital goods transported by air or sea must purchase insurance from authorized Algerian insurers. However, this requirement does not apply to the following: (1) gift items; (2) material and equipment imported under the temporary admission regime; (3) goods, including capital goods, financed by international and regional institutions; and (4) goods imported under an agreement that renders the vendor liable for transportation risks.
Domiciliation requirementsAll imports are subject to obligatory domiciliation at an authorized intermediary bank, which an importer must establish by submitting to an authorized bank a commercial contract or pro forma invoice. Import payments may be made freely but only through the domiciled bank, which effects payments in foreign exchange and debits the importer’s account with corresponding amounts in dinars valued at the official exchange rate.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Letters of creditYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Negative listThere are no legal restrictions against Israel, but there are no imports from Israel in practice. A small number of imports are prohibited for religious or security reasons.
Other nontariff measuresJuridical and natural persons registered under the Commercial Register (including concessionaires and wholesalers) may import goods without prior authorization. Effective July 18, 2003, the requirement that only joint stock companies with a minimum capital of DA 10 million owned by resident nationals of Algeria may import raw materials and manufactured goods for resale was abrogated. (A transition period from January 1 to July 18, 2003, was granted to enable economic agents to comply with the new arrangements.) This requirement did not apply to concessionaries and wholesalers that had received Money and Credit Council approval.
Import taxes and/or tariffsImports are subject to tariffs of zero, 5%, 15%, and 30%. Effective January 1, 2003, the temporary additional duty applied on certain categories of goods that was introduced in July 2001 was reduced to 36% from 48%. On January 1, 2004, this duty was further reduced to 24%. This is to be completely phased out by January 2006.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsFor all exports, excluding hydrocarbons, proceeds must be repatriated within 120 days of delivery date of the goods. Proceeds from hydrocarbon exports are considered to be surrendered when deposited in BOA foreign correspondent banks. The value date of the deposit is the payment due date indicated in the invoice and/or trade contract.
Surrender requirementsAll export proceeds from crude and refined hydrocarbons, by-products from gas, and mineral products must be surrendered to the BOA. Exporters of other products must surrender 50% of the proceeds to the commercial banks; the remaining portion may be retained in a foreign currency account held in Algeria. Exporters may use the funds in these accounts for imports or other payments pertaining to their business, or they may transfer the funds to another foreign currency account.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsThe requirements are enforced in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Letters of creditYes.
GuaranteesYes.
DomiciliationYes.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Export licensesAll exports to Israel are prohibited, and certain exports are prohibited for social or cultural reasons regardless of destination.
Export taxesNo.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfers
Investment-related paymentsThe transfer abroad of dividends and interest is permitted, provided it is executed through an authorized intermediary.
Transfers of loan repayments are executed in accordance with the terms of the contract.
Prior approvalProfit remittances are permitted, provided tax obligations have been met. Authorization is to be granted by the exchange control authorities within two months of request. Transfer must be executed through an authorized intermediary.
Payments for travelResidents traveling abroad receive an annual foreign exchange allowance, and pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia receive an allowance in Saudi Arabian riyals; the amount may be provided in the form of checks that are cashed on arrival for those traveling by air or by sea. Travel tickets purchased by nonresidents for travel abroad must be paid for with imported foreign exchange.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsThe quantitative limit is DA 15,000 a person a year.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal payments
Prior approvalTransfers of alimony payments are permitted provided that the arrangement was made in an Algerian court and is enforceable in Algeria. BOA authorization is required for payments relating to family support payments; limits are set on a case-by-case basis.
Quantitative limitsThe limits for medical costs are DA 15,900 for adults and DA 7,600 for children under 15 years of age. The limit for studies abroad is DA 9,000 a month between September 1 and June 30.
Indicative limits/bona fide testTransfers for family financial support and alimony payments are set on a case-by-case basis.
Foreign workers’ wagesResidents of other countries working in Algeria under technical cooperation programs for public enterprises and agencies or for certain mixed companies may transfer abroad up to 100% of their salaries.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalApproval of the BOA is required for payments relating to membership, consulting, and legal fees.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsFifty percent of receipts must be surrendered to the banks.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsCapital transfers to any destination abroad are subject to individual approval by the BOA.
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase locally by nonresidentsYes.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsIn accordance with article 126 of the Ordinance on Money and Credit, residents may not purchase real estate, monetary, or financial assets abroad using funds from activities in Algeria except to finance activities abroad that are complementary to the activities in Algeria.
Bonds or other debt securitiesNonresidents may invest in bonds or other debt securities. Transfers abroad of proceeds from these investments are allowed, but they must be effected through an authorized intermediary.
Purchase locally by nonresidentsThe transfer abroad of proceeds from the sale of portfolio investments (bonds or other debt securities) on the stock exchange may be made freely, but transfers must be executed through an authorized intermediary.
Sale or issue locally by nonresidentsYes.
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
On money market instruments
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
On collective investment securities
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Controls on derivatives and other instruments
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Controls on credit operationsThere are controls on all credit transactions, guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentYes.
Inward direct investmentForeign direct investment is permitted freely except in certain specified sectors, provided that it conforms to the laws and regulations governing regulated activities and that prior declaration is made to the authorities.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentProceeds from disinvestment following the closing or transfer of a business operation may be transferred abroad through banks or authorized intermediaries, subject to prior approval.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase abroad by residentsThe controls governing shares or other securities of a participating nature apply.
Controls on personal capital transactionsn.a.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadYes.
Maintenance of accounts abroadYes.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeBanks and financial institutions may onlend foreign funds borrowed abroad.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Interest rate controlsThe interest rates applicable to foreign currency accounts are determined quarterly by the BOA.
Open foreign exchange position limitsBanks and financial institutions are required to meet the following: (1) a maximum spread of 10% between their position (short or long) in each currency and the amount of their equity capital; and (2) a maximum spread of 30% between total exposure (short and long positions, whichever is highest) for all foreign currencies and their equity capital.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsNo.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 2003
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. The temporary additional duty that was introduced in July 2001 was reduced to 36% from 48%; it is to be completely phased out by January 2006.
July 18. The stipulation that only joint stock companies with a minimum capital of DA 10 million owned by resident nationals of Algeria were authorized to import raw materials and manufactured goods for resale was eliminated.
Changes During 2004
Imports and import paymentsJanuary 1. The temporary additional duty that was introduced in July 2001 was reduced to 24% from 36%; it is to be phased out completely by January 2006.

Angola

(Position as of December 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article XIVYes.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Angola is the Angolan kwanza.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification



Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rate
The exchange rate of the kwanza is market determined. However, the Banco Nacional de Angola (BNA) intervenes actively in the foreign exchange market, allowing only modest depreciations and appreciations of the official exchange rate. The BNA publishes a reference rate daily, which is computed as the transaction-weighted average of the day’s rates.
Authorized foreign exchange dealers (i.e., banks and exchange bureaus) may deal among themselves and with their customers at freely negotiated rates.
Exchange taxForeign exchange operations are subject to a stamp duty of 0.15%. Transactions between banking institutions or involving banknotes and traveler’s checks are exempt from this duty.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsTransactions with other countries may be made through bank transfers, LCs, or financing and banking agreements.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsYes.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangements
OperativeAn agreement with Brazil is in effect.
InoperativeThere are agreements with Portugal and Spain.
Administration of controlThe BNA is the exchange authority and may delegate its powers to other entities that are authorized to engage in foreign exchange activities. All capital transactions and invisible operations exceeding $5,000 or its equivalent are subject to prior BNA authorization. The BNA has authorized commercial banks to carry out certain transactions and invisible operations not exceeding this amount in the foreign exchange market. Effective February 7, 2003, foreign exchange bureaus that are licensed to conduct foreign exchange transactions may deal only in banknotes and traveler’s checks and execute current invisible operations of a private nature (Central Bank Instructive No. 2/2003).
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)Yes.
In accordance with UN sanctionsYes.
Payments arrears
OfficialYes.
PrivateYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents are permitted to hold and trade gold only in the form of jewelry.
Controls on external tradeImports and exports of gold in coin and bullion form are subject to BNA monopoly.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyExports of domestic currency are prohibited.
Foreign currencyResidents may take out up to the equivalent of $10,000 in foreign exchange. Amounts exceeding this limit require purchase documents, including statements regarding the reason for the purchase. Nonresidents may take out up to $5,000; amounts exceeding this limit may be taken out only if previously declared upon arrival in the country. Exports of banknotes and traveler’s checks by banking institutions require prior authorization from the governor of the BNA.
On imports
Domestic currencyImports of domestic currency are prohibited.
Foreign currencyResidents may bring in up to the equivalent of $10,000 in foreign currency or traveler’s checks. For nonresidents, amounts in excess of $5,000 must be declared upon arrival. Banking institutions are free to import banknotes and traveler’s checks, but they must submit a monthly report to the BNA.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyCheckbooks may not be issued against accounts of juridical or natural persons. These accounts may be credited with foreign currency or any other instruments accepted internationally and accrued interest. These accounts may be debited with the withdrawal or sale of foreign exchange to settle imports or capital payments, as allowed by law. Transfers between these accounts are permitted, but overdrafts are not.
Held abroadWith BNA approval, juridical persons are allowed to open foreign exchange accounts abroad that may be credited with their export receipts and may be debited for payments for imports of goods and services and debt service payments. For natural persons, no approval is required for holding these accounts. With BNA authorization, diamond and other mineral companies are allowed to retain escrow accounts in banks abroad as a guarantee against foreign borrowing.
Approval requiredYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadNo.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThese accounts may be credited with foreign currency imported from abroad, with the accrued interest, or with sums from nonresidents’ type A domestic currency accounts. They may be debited for the withdrawal or sale of foreign currency, payments for foreign currency expenditures, or the repatriation of amounts authorized by the BNA.
Domestic currency accountsNonresidents may open two types of domestic currency accounts: type A and type B. A type A account may be credited with the proceeds from sales of funds from foreign exchange accounts and, after obtaining prior BNA authorization, with receipts from a nonresident’s activities in Angola. These accounts may be debited for payments of local expenses and against purchases of foreign currency to be deposited in a foreign currency account held by the same entity.
A type B account may only be credited with receipts from the nonresident’s activity in the country (when authorized by the BNA), and may be debited only for payment of local expenses.
Convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for imports
Preshipment inspectionPreshipment inspection is required in the following cases: imports by government institutions and public companies, as well as any other merchandise selected by the customs administration, and imports of buses, mechanical accessories, new and used cars, motorcycles, receivers and transistors, broadcasting equipment, telecommunications devices, telex equipment, televisions, trucks, and scrap metal. Imports by juridical and natural persons of goods valued at more than the equivalent of $5,000 and $10,000, respectively, also require preshipment inspection. Imports of goods of lesser value are subject to inspection if the frequency is more than once every quarter.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Negative listRestrictions apply to imports of currency, toxic products, and certain drugs. Imports of arms and ammunition for personal use are subject to authorization by the Ministry of the Interior.
Open general licensesImports are not subject to licenses, but must be registered under the REM (entry merchandise registration) system for statistical purposes.
Import taxes and/or tariffsThe tariff system consists of eight rates: 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 25%, 30%, and 35%.
Taxes collected through the exchange systemThe stamp tax is collected through the exchange system.
State import monopolyOil products and derivatives may be imported only by the public oil company. Arms and ammunition for warfare may be imported only by the state.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsDomestic oil companies must surrender all their export proceeds to the BNA. Foreign oil companies are allowed, with BNA authorization, to retain their export receipts abroad for payments of imports of goods and services, interest and profits transfer, and the amortization of capital. These companies must use funds from abroad for payment of royalties, taxes, and local expenses. Foreign exchange earnings by the non-oil sector must be surrendered to domestic banks. Diamond companies are allowed to retain in local banks a percentage of the receipts from exports for payments for imports of goods and services. They may also retain part of their receipts abroad in escrow accounts, with BNA authorization, as a guarantee against foreign borrowing.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirements
Letters of creditYes.
GuaranteesYes.
DomiciliationYes.
Preshipment inspectionYes.
Export licenses
Without quotasExports are not subject to licenses, but must be registered under the RSM (exit merchandise registration system) for statistical purposes. Reexports of goods other than personal belongings are prohibited. Exports of arms, ammunition, and cultural artifacts are prohibited. Special export regimes apply to aircraft, animals and animal products, historical objects, and petroleum.
Export taxesExport taxes consist of six rates: 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, and 10%.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersEffective February 7, 2003, banks must obtain BNA authorization in order to effect payments for invisible transactions in excess of $5,000 or its equivalent for each transaction (Central Bank Instructive No. 4/2003).
Trade-related paymentsService contracts with nonresidents in excess of $5,000 or its equivalent are subject to licensing.
Prior approvalYes.
Investment-related payments
Prior approvalForeign investors are authorized by the BNA to remit profits and dividends, after payment of taxes and fulfillment of other legal requirements.
Payments for travel
Quantitative limitsResidents may, upon presentation of a passport and an airline ticket, purchase foreign exchange from financial institutions as follows: for personal travel, the equivalent of $10,000 a person a trip; for business travel, a maximum of $500 a day for up to 30 days; for educational, scientific, or cultural purposes, $2,000 a person a month (limited to residents who are temporarily abroad); and for medical treatment without an invoice, a maximum of $10,000 (prior to February 7, 2003, $5,000). The amount for medical treatment is unlimited if paid directly to the bank account of the hospital.
Personal payments
Prior approvalPrior approval is required for the payment of pensions in excess of $5,000 or its equivalent.
Quantitative limitsUp to the equivalent of $2,000 a month may be authorized to Angolans or foreigners residing abroad who are direct descendants of and financially dependent on residents of Angola.
Foreign workers’ wages
Prior approvalYes.
Credit card use abroadOnly banks may issue credit cards.
Quantitative limitsUse of credit cards abroad is limited to the equivalent of $10,000.
Other payments
Prior approvalYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsYes.
Surrender requirementsService earnings must be surrendered to a bank, unless the provider is authorized by the BNA to retain a certain proportion of the proceeds.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsForeign investment activities (i.e., the setting up of new companies or branches, but also acquisition of equity, total or partial takeover of operations, and lending related to profit sharing) are subject to the provisions of the Foreign Investment Law as well as the provisions of foreign exchange legislation and regulations. Implementation is the responsibility of the Foreign Investment Institute. Foreign investments in the areas of petroleum production, diamond mining, and financial institutions are governed by separate legislation. Effective February 7, 2003 (Central Bank Instructive No. 1/2003), all capital transactions must be conducted through authorized banks and require BNA approval and licensing. Banks may perform certain capital transactions, such as those that involve donations and inheritance from abroad, without BNA approval.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsControls apply on all capital and money market instruments.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsn.r.
Controls on credit operations
Commercial creditsOperations are subject to licensing for statistical purposes only.
By residents to nonresidentsSuppliers’ credits must be reported to the BNA.
To residents from nonresidentsSuppliers’ credits must be reported to the BNA.
Financial creditsFinancial credits are subject to licensing from the BNA.
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Guarantees, sureties, and financial backup facilities
By residents to nonresidentsYes.
To residents from nonresidentsYes.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentAngolan citizens are permitted to invest abroad, in accordance with the Exchange Control Law.
Inward direct investmentEffective May 3, 2003, foreign investments are subject to the provisions of the Private Investment Law (2003) as well as foreign exchange laws and regulations. Foreign investment is prohibited in the following areas: (1) defense, internal public order, and state security; (2) central banking and currency issue; and (3) other areas reserved for the state.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentWith prior approval of the MOF, foreign investors are guaranteed the right to transfer abroad the proceeds of the sale of investments, including gains and amounts owed to them after payment of taxes due.
Controls on real estate transactionsControls apply on all these transactions.
Controls on personal capital transactionsControls apply on all these transactions.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutions
Borrowing abroadYes.
Maintenance of accounts abroadYes.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)Yes.
Lending locally in foreign exchangeBanks may lend locally in foreign exchange to resident exporters.
Differential treatment of deposit accounts in foreign exchange
Reserve requirementsEffective September 2, 2003, the reserve requirement for demand deposits in both local and foreign currencies is 15% (Central Bank Instructive No. 10/2003). Prior to this date, demand deposits in local currency were subject to a reserve requirement of 30%. The reserve requirement coefficient is calculated weekly, based on the average deposits held in the previous week. Up to 5% of the reserve requirement base may be held in securities or treasury bonds of the BNA. The coefficient of the reserve requirement for central government deposits in local and foreign currencies is 100%. The reserve requirements must be settled in domestic currency.
Liquid asset requirementsThe liquid asset requirement is 50% of the foreign exchange portfolio.
Credit controlsBanks may lend locally in foreign exchange only to resident exporters.
Investment regulations
Abroad by banksYes.
In banks by nonresidentsYes.
Open foreign exchange position limitsEffective February 7, 2003, banks may hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to 20% of their own funds (Central Bank Instructive No. 06/2003). Prior to this date, banks could hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to the equivalent of $500,000. Effective October 17, 2003, foreign exchange bureaus may hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to 10 times their social capital (Central Bank Instructive No. 15/2003). Previously, for foreign exchange bureaus, the amount was up to $150,000. Banks must sell any excess above the 20% limit to the BNA.
On resident assets and liabilitiesYes.
On nonresident assets and liabilitiesYes.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.r.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.r.
Changes During 2003
Arrangements for payments and receiptsFebruary 7. Foreign exchange bureaus that are licensed to conduct foreign exchange transactions were allowed to deal only in banknotes and traveler’s checks and execute current invisible operations of a private nature (Central Bank Instructive No. 2/2003).
Payments for invisible transactions and current transfersFebruary 7. Banks were required to obtain BNA authorization in order to effect payments for invisibles in excess of $5,000 or its equivalent for each transaction (Central Bank Instructive No. 4/2003).
February 7. The limit for noninvoiced payments for medical treatment was increased to the equivalent of $10,000 from $5,000.
Capital transactions
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsFebruary 7. According to Central Bank Instructive No. 1/2003, all capital transactions were required to be conducted through authorized banks and required BNA approval and licensing. Banks could perform certain capital transactions, such as those that involve donations and inheritance from abroad, without BNA approval.
Controls on direct investmentMay 3. Foreign investments were made subject to the provisions of the Private Investment Law (2003) and the foreign exchange laws and regulations.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsFebruary 7. Banks could hold daily foreign exchange positions of up to 20% of their own funds (Central Bank Instructive No. 06/2003). Previously, the limit was up to the equivalent of $500,000
September 2. The reserve requirement for demand deposits in both local and foreign currencies was unified at 15% (Central Bank Instructive No. 10/2003). Prior to this date, demand deposits in local currency were subject to a reserve requirement of 30%.
October 17. Foreign exchange bureaus could hold daily open foreign exchange positions of up to 10 times the social capital (Central Bank Instructive No. 15/2003). Previously, the limit was up to the equivalent of $150,000.

Antigua and Barbuda

(Position as of December 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: November 22, 1983.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean dollar issued by the ECCB.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Exchange arrangement with no separate legal tenderThe Eastern Caribbean dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar under a currency board arrangement at EC$2.70 per US$1.
Exchange taxA foreign exchange levy of 1% is applied on purchases of foreign currency.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketNo.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsSettlements with residents of member countries of the CARICOM must be made either in the currency of the country concerned or in Eastern Caribbean dollars. Exports to Jamaica are settled in U.S. dollars. Settlements with residents of other countries may be made in any foreign currency or in Eastern Caribbean dollars.
Use of foreign exchange among residentsYes.
Payments arrangements
Regional arrangementsAntigua and Barbuda is a member of the CARICOM.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlThe MOF applies controls to all foreign exchange transactions. However, up to the equivalent of EC$250,000 in foreign currency may be purchased without MOF approval.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)Measures have been taken to freeze the assets of terrorists and terrorist organizations. These measures were taken in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
In accordance with UN sanctionsYes.
Payments arrears
OfficialYes.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Domestic currencyExports of domestic currency outside the ECCU are subject to limits prescribed by the ECCB.
Foreign currencyYes.
On imports
Foreign currencyYes.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be opened, especially in tourist-oriented industries or in export trade where receipts are primarily in foreign currency and a large number of inputs are imported or financed in foreign currency.
Held domesticallyYes.
Approval requiredCommercial banks are required to report external accounts operations to the MOF on a monthly basis.
Held abroadn.a.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadn.r.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedExternal accounts may be maintained in any currency and may be credited with receipts from sales of merchandise (whether from export-oriented or local production) or from remittances.
Approval requiredCommercial banks are required to report external accounts operations to the MOF on a monthly basis.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Approval requiredYes.
Blocked accountsn.a.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetn.a.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsPayments for authorized imports are permitted upon application and submission of documentary evidence. Up to EC$250,000 a transaction may be purchased in foreign currency without MOF approval.
Domiciliation requirementsYes.
Letters of creditYes.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresCertain goods require individual licenses, unless imported from CARICOM countries. Antigua and Barbuda follows the CARICOM rules of origin.
Open general licensesMost goods may be freely imported under OGLs granted by the MOF and the Ministries of Industry and Commerce.
Import taxes and/or tariffsCustoms duty rates range from zero to 35% for nearly all items. The CARICOM CET is applied. As a result, tariffs on imports from CARICOM countries range from zero to 20%. There are no customs duties on a number of items, including milk and poultry. Some goods, including basic foods and agricultural goods, are exempt from customs duties. Other exemptions for machinery, equipment, and raw materials are granted on a case-by-case basis.
State import monopolyThere is a monopoly on imports of vegetable and petroleum products.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsn.a.
Financing requirementsn.a.
Documentation requirements
Letters of creditYes.
GuaranteesYes.
DomiciliationYes.
OtherYes.
Export licensesNo.
Export taxesReexports are not subject to any tax if transactions take place within the bonded area.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersPayments for certain categories of invisibles (related to authorized imports) exceeding EC$250,000 require prior approval. No controls apply on payments for freight, insurance, unloading and storage costs, administrative expenses, commissions, and profits and dividends.
Investment-related paymentsProfits may be remitted in full after compliance with corporate income tax payments. Verification is not applied in practice; the authorities, however, can decide to undertake such verification.
Prior approvalYes.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Payments for travel
Prior approvalApproval is required only for amounts exceeding the equivalent of EC$250,000.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Personal paymentsInformation is not available on the transfer of pensions.
Prior approvalPayments related to family maintenance are permitted. Payments for alimony are allowed if provided for by contract.
Quantitative limitsFor payments related to medical expenses and studies abroad, approval on a case-by-case basis is required only for amounts exceeding the equivalent of EC$250,000.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Foreign workers’ wages
Prior approvalThese remittances are allowed, if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsYes.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Other payments
Prior approvalPayments for consulting and legal fees are allowed, if provided for in the contract.
Quantitative limitsThe limit for subscriptions and membership fees is EC$ 10,000 a year.
Indicative limits/bona fide testYes.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Controls on capital and money market instrumentsNo.
Controls on derivatives and other instrumentsNo.
Controls on credit operationsNo.
Controls on direct investment
Outward direct investmentLarge transfers abroad for investment purposes may be made in phases over time by the Financial Secretary.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactions
Purchase locally by nonresidentsAn alien landholding license is required, and the purchase must be approved by the cabinet.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsUnder the laws governing offshore financial institutions (1) the International Financial Sector Authority was created, with responsibility for licensing offshore financial institutions; (2) annual inspections of offshore financial institutions are conducted; (3) the minimum capital requirement for offshore banks is the equivalent of US$5 million, of which US$1.5 million is to be deposited in the domestic banking system; (4) all bank directors are to be natural persons, at least one of whom must be a national of Antigua and Barbuda; and (5) offshore banks are allowed to extend credit to the Antiguan and Barbudan government.
Lending to nonresidents (financial or commercial credits)MOF approval is required for these transactions. Loans are subject to a 3% stamp duty.
Provisions specific to institutional investorsn.a.
Other controls imposed by securities lawsn.a.
Changes During 2003
No significant changes occurred in the exchange and trade system.

Argentina

(Position as of December 31, 2003)

Status Under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: May 14, 1968.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Argentina is the Argentine peso.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Managed floating with no preannounced path for the exchange rateThe exchange rate of the Argentine peso is determined in the interbank market in which the Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) plays an active role. All foreign exchange transactions must be effected through the free and unified foreign exchange market (MULC).
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketThere are two forward markets; transactions in these markets are settled by netting in domestic currency.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirementsTransactions with countries with which there are no payments agreements must be settled in freely convertible currencies. Effective January 2, 2003, there is a monthly ceiling of the equivalent of US$150,000 on foreign exchange purchases by residents for various purposes (previously, US$100,000). This limit was raised to US$200,000 on March 13, 2003; to US$300,000 (or an amount equal to tax payments on monthly financial transactions, whichever is greater) on March 27, 2003; and to US$500,000 (or an amount equal to three times the tax payments on monthly financial transactions, whichever is greater) on May 6, 2003.
Controls on the use of domestic currencyDomestic banknotes and coins may be used for buying foreign exchange for any purpose, in accordance with BCRA authorization requirements.
Foreign exchange sales are settled with peso banknotes, personal checks, or an account debit. Previously, these transactions were subject to the “corralito” account arrangement, which restricted the flow of funds outside the banking system by limiting cash withdrawals and directing domestic payments into accounts within the banking system. Reprogrammed deposits under “corralon” frozen time deposits may be used only for a few domestic payments and transfers.
For current transactions and paymentsYes.
For capital transactionsYes.
Transactions in capital and money market instrumentsEffective June 30, 2003, the use of foreign exchange in the local market must be registered with the BCRA; foreign exchange entering the local market may be transferred abroad only after a lapse of 180 calendar days (the 180-day minimum does not apply to foreign trade and direct investment operations).
Use of foreign exchange among residentsTransactions in foreign currencies are permitted, and contracts based thereon are legally enforceable.
Payments arrangements
Bilateral payments arrangementsYes.
OperativeArgentina has agreements with Cuba, Malaysia, and Russia. Payments between Argentina and these countries are settled on a voluntary basis through accounts opened at the BCRA and the other central banks concerned, with the exception of Cuba, where settlement through the accounts specified in the agreement concerned is obligatory.
Regional arrangementsWithin the framework of the multilateral clearing system of the LAIA, payments between Argentina and other LAIA countries are settled voluntarily through payments agreements and a reciprocal credit mechanism.
Clearing agreementsYes.
Administration of controlExchange regulations are established by the BCRA in accordance with the policy set by the national executive. All exchange transactions must be carried out through specially authorized entities. These authorized entities include banks, exchange agencies, exchange houses, exchange offices, and financial companies. Each type of institution is subject to separate regulations. Authorized entities may enter into foreign currency swaps with (1) foreign banks whose head office is located in a member country of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and are rated at least A by a rating agency listed in the registry of the BCRA; (2) entities owned by a foreign government; and (3) branches of state-owned banks in Argentina. BCRA approval is required for transactions with other counterparts. Transfers of foreign banknotes abroad against imports of domestic banknotes exceeding the equivalent of US$5,000 a month require BCRA approval.
International security restrictions
In accordance with UN sanctionsRestrictions are imposed on current payments with respect to Iraq, Libya, and Serbia and Montenegro.
Payments arrearsEffective March 27, 2003, payments of external arrears up to US$5 million are permitted under certain conditions. On May 6, 2003, this limit was lifted.
PrivateEffective January 27, 2003, an agreement was entered into whereby nonfinancial private sector entities with unrestructured external obligations may make transfers to a U.S. dollar-denominated trust fund for a period of 60 days in amounts no greater than 3% of the external debt in arrears, with the understanding that these funds will be used to cancel debt obligations once outstanding debts have been restructured.
Effective February 13, 2003, the limit on transfers to a U.S. dollar-denominated trust fund by nonfinancial private sector entities with unrestructured external obligations was raised to 5% of internal debt in arrears. On May 6, 2003, this limit was lifted.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)
Controls on domestic ownership and/or tradeResidents may hold gold coins and gold in any other form in Argentina or abroad. Financial institutions, exchange houses, and exchange agencies may buy or sell gold in the form of coins or gold bars among themselves, and may buy such gold from their clients, as well as other precious metals, the market value of which is based on the daily list prices of major transactions.
Controls on external tradeImports of gold bars are not restricted. Imports of gold by industrial users are subject to a statistical duty of 0.5% and a sales tax. Authorized institutions may export gold coins or bullion to entities abroad with prior BCRA authorization. Proceeds from gold exports must be received in convertible currencies. Exports of coins and precious metals exceeding US$10,000 or its equivalent require BCRA approval.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotes
On exports
Foreign currencyExports of foreign currency exceeding the equivalent of US$10,000 require prior BCRA authorization and must be made through entities subject to supervision by the Superintendency of Financial and Exchange Entities.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedAuthorized banks may open demand deposit accounts in dollars, and time deposits, private securities, and term investments may be denominated in dollars and euros. Authorized banks may open deposit accounts in other foreign currencies with BCRA approval. In addition, they may accept deposits of public and private securities and term investments in dollars and euros. In all cases, the appropriate identification requirements (intended, inter alia, to prevent money laundering) must be met.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyNo.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedThe regulations governing resident accounts apply.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Blocked accountsNo.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for imports
Minimum financing requirementsEffective January 1, 2003, the minimum financing requirements on all imports were lifted. Imports of goods may be paid in full in advance with proof of imports within 180 days of the advance payment (this limit is extended in the case of capital goods). Previously, minimum financing requirements were imposed on import payments that could be made at the official exchange rate and on the unified market. Consumer goods may be fully financed abroad for periods of 45, 90, or 180 days, depending on the type of product, and capital goods with values of less than the equivalent of US$200,000 could be financed abroad for up to 30% of their value, and the remainder financed abroad for a minimum period of 180 days after shipment; capital goods valued at more than US$200,000 could be financed abroad for up to 20% of their value, and the remainder may be financed abroad for a minimum of 360 days after shipment. These requirements were eased gradually prior to their elimination.
Advance payment requirementsEffective May 1, 2003, all restrictions on advance payments were lifted. Exporters could make advance payments for imports up to 20 days with their export receipts. Effective January 7, 2003, goods less than the equivalent of US$20,000 (f.o.b. value) in value could be paid fully in advance; capital goods between US$20,000 and US$100,000 could be paid in advance up to 30% of the import value and the rest must be financed abroad for a minimum period of 90 days after shipping; goods between US$100,000 and US$200,000 may be paid in advance up to 30% of the import value and must be financed abroad for a minimum period of 180 days; and amounts exceeding US$200,000 could be paid in advance up to 20% of the import value and the rest financed abroad for a minimum period of 360 days (an additional 15% could be prepaid upon receipt of bills of lading). Prior to that date, these regulations applied to capital goods only.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsNo.
Import licenses and other nontariff measuresImport licenses are required for paper products and footwear.
Negative listRestrictions are in force for security, hygiene, and public health reasons.
Open general licensesOGLs are required for a limited list of products.
Licenses with quotasTrade with Brazil in the automobile sector is subject to an administered trade agreement. Under bilateral agreements there are quotas with preferential tariffs for automobile sector products.
Other nontariff measuresNontariff barriers are not applied to intra-MERCOSUR trade. Argentina, however, applies a special regime to sugar imports with the authorization of MERCOSUR, pending agreement on a common regime for this sector. Imports of secondhand clothing, used and re-treaded tires, and some used capital goods are prohibited, except for import by nonprofit organizations.
Import taxes and/or tariffsArgentina and MERCOSUR apply a CET to imports from the rest of the world that encompasses all products. CET rates currently range from zero to 20%. Argentina is following a timetable for convergence with the CET for a list of computer and telecommunications products until 2006. The national list of exception now covers 100 products with a maximum tariff of 26%. The import tariffs on some capital goods and computer and telecommunications products may be reduced to zero.
State import monopolyNo.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsExport proceeds must be repatriated and sold in the foreign exchange market within a maximum of 60 to 360 days, depending on the types of products involved (in accordance with the terms stipulated by the Secretariat of Industry, Commerce, and Mines). In addition to the term stipulated by the Secretariat, the BCRA may stipulate a repatriation period of 10 business days. On March 25, 2003, this period was reduced to 5 business days, and it was subsequently extended to 30 business days on March 27, 2003, and to 90 days on May 6, 2003. Proceeds from exports of capital and finished goods may be repatriated within up to three years if they are covered by a guarantee from banks abroad in the form of an LC or letter of guarantee. Export proceeds need not be repatriated for (1) exports that have received specific exemptions under law or executive decrees and have been contracted with the government; (2) exports that are to be used to settle export advances or service principal and interest on export financing and prefinancing loans; (3) exports that have been earmarked to service properly recorded financial contracts that include a guarantee in effect on or since November 30, 2001 (subject to BCRA approval); and (4) proceeds from exports that will be used to repay principal on financial liabilities to foreign entities outstanding on November 30, 2001, that have been restructured on terms exceeding five years on average (subject to BCRA approval).
Surrender requirementsEffective May 6, 2003, the requirement to surrender certain export proceeds to the BCRA was lifted. Surrender requirements apply only to operations settled outside the terms established in the exchange regulation at an exchange rate in effect on the due date of the transaction if that rate is lower than the rate on the day of actual settlement. Previously, exporters were required to surrender export proceeds exceeding a threshold to the BCRA at the market rate; effective January 16, 2003, this threshold was raised t