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Legislation allowing application of currency controls is introduced in Belarus

On July 9th 2021, the Law No. 36-З of June 30, 2020 "On Amendments to the Laws on Foreign Exchange Regulation and Foreign Exchange Control." will enter into force. This law has been in the process of preparation already since at least 2019. This law introduces significant changes in currency regulation and control:

·       opening accounts in foreign banks, buying shares and real estate abroad without the consent of the National Bank will be allowed (however the National Bank retained the right to impose restrictions on the opening and maintenance of accounts in foreign banks by residents)

·       mandatory registration of some foreign exchange contracts, which we posted about earlier, is introduced (this will also affect transactions for the purchase of real estate, securities, export and import contracts, if they are concluded with non-residents and exceed the established ceiling sum).

The same document lists grounds on which the government and the National Bank may impose currency restrictions.

The document states that in the event of a threat to the country's economic security, including the stability of the financial system, if the situation cannot be resolved by other measures of economic policy, currency restrictions may be introduced. This can be done for up to one year. Threats to the economic security of the country include:

·       negative development of the situation in the balance of payments, the consequence of which may be a decrease in the gold and foreign exchange reserves of Belarus below the permissible level;

·       sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble

What currency restrictions can be imposed?

The National Bank together with the Council of Ministers will be able, if necessary, to introduce the following restrictions:

·       a ban on foreign exchange transactions;

·       introduce limits on the volumes, quantity and timing of foreign exchange and foreign exchange transactions, payment currencies, reservation of a part, the entire amount or an amount that is a multiple of the entire amount of the foreign exchange transaction;

·       introduce a requirement to obtain a special permit from the National Bank for foreign exchange transactions;

·       introduce the mandatory sale of foreign currency received by resident legal entities;

·       to introduce restrictions on the opening and maintenance of accounts in foreign banks by residents.


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