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Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:35

Belarus' central bank lifts foreign exchange restrictions

Written by  Belta

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus has lifted the restrictions on the purchase of foreign currency by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, BelTA learned from the National Bank.

“As part of the measures to promote the gradual liberalization of foreign currency relations, the National Bank has lifted the restrictions regarding legal entities and individual entrepreneurs' access to the foreign exchange market to purchase foreign currency for certain purposes. The corresponding decision has been laid down in Resolution No.538 of 28 December 2017 signed by the Board of the National Bank. The new rules shall enter force in a month after the official publication of the document," the National Bank explained.

The resolution has approved the new version of the instruction on the procedure to perform currency exchange operations. The new instructions provide for the establishment of the uniform procedures to perform foreign exchange transactions by legal entities and individual entrepreneurs on the domestic foreign currency market. Resident legal entities will be able to purchase foreign currency whenever they need. The resolution does not outline the terms for the use of the purchased foreign currency.

A similar procedure governing foreign exchange transactions will apply to individual entrepreneurs.

In accordance with the new regulations, when purchasing foreign currency legal entities and individual entrepreneurs shall indicate the code for the use of foreign currency. However, this will be done for statistical purposes only and will not impose any restrictions on the use of foreign currency.

The lifting of the foreign exchange restrictions and the establishment of the uniform procedures for currency exchange operations involving legal entities and individual entrepreneurs will provide greater freedom to entrepreneurial activities and will reduce the administrative costs of economic entities associated with the need to apply to the National Bank for a permission to purchase foreign currency for the purposes not stipulated in the legislation, to extend the retention period and change the intended use of the purchased foreign currency. The decision will also create the conditions for the development of the derivatives market.

In addition, the lifting of the foreign exchange restrictions for legal entities will make an additional step towards the harmonization of the monetary legislation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union and will create the background for the subsequent lifting of other restrictions and encumbrances established in the monetary legislation of Belarus.

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