Novelty in the procedure of conducting currency transactions
The Resolution of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus dated August 26, 2015 № 515 "On some issues of conducting currency transactions" (hereinafter - the Resolution 515) came into force on the 16th of September 2015.
The Resolution № 515 introduces a number of amendments and additions to the Rules for conducting currency transactions approved by the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus dated 30.04.2004 № 72 (hereinafter - the Rules 72), in relation to obtaining of a permit of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus to conduct currency transactions, to use foreign currency when settling between residents, as well as to open bank accounts in banks of the Republic of Belarus.
Review of amendments
1. The list of currency transactionsrelated to capital movement, conducting of which requires a permit of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus is extended.
In particular, a resident must obtain a permit of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus in the following cases:
- when making an additional contribution to the statutory fund of non-residents in the case of its increase (previously a permit of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus was required only in the case of acquisition of stocks when distributing among the founders, a share in the statutory fund or a share of stock in the property of non-residents);
- during acquisition of the ownership of immovable property located outside the Republic of Belarus, including under co-investment agreements;
- during payments settlement by an organization-resident (excepting banks) after the performance of obligations to a nonresident arising under novation agreements or agreements on the cession of rights (assignment), under which a resident assumed the obligation of non-resident to another non-resident or is obligated to make payment for the assigned by the nonresident right (claim).
2. The list of cases, when the use of foreign currency between parties of currency transactionsis allowed - residents during settlements -is changed
The Resolution № 515 reduces the list of cases, when the use of foreign currency between parties of currency transactions is allowed - residents when conducting currency transactions. In particular, the use of foreign currency is not allowed during settlements between organizations - residents with the participation of residents of the free economic zones of the Republic of Belarus.
Moreover, restrictions during payments settlement related to carrying out insurance activities are imposed. Thus, with the entry into force of the Resolution № 515 the use of foreign currency is only possible, when paying under the certain types of insurance agreements, which include:
- insurance and coinsurance agreements, the subject of which is insurance against financial, currency and other risks (losses) arising during implementation of agreements providing for export, financial support for exporters, as well as investment projects implemented with attraction of foreign investments;
- insurance and coinsurance agreements on default risk of a bond issuer, the nominal value of which is expressed in foreign currency;
- insurance agreements on property interests of diplomatic and other official missions and consular institutions of the Republic of Belarus outside the territory of the Republic of Belarus;
- insurance and coinsurance agreements, insureds of which are international carriers, if agreement conditions provide for the settlement of losses by an insurance company outside the territory of the Republic of Belarus;
- reinsurance agreements.
At the same time, the Resolution № 515 consolidated the possibility of payments settlement in foreign currency between residents, who are contractors and subcontractors under agreements providing for execution of construction and other special installation work outside the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
According to the official information posted on the official website of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, to complete the performance of obligations under agreements, which were concluded in foreign currency and the performance of obligations which was started before September 16, 2015, settlements in foreign currency are admitted to the December 31, 2015 in the procedure that was valid on the contract date. Besides, it is not permitted to conclude additional agreements to the stated agreements, which increase the amount of liabilities in foreign currency and terms of these agreements.
3. The list of cases, when the use of foreign currency as betweenorganizations and individualswithin the territory ofthe Republic of Belarusis allowed, is reduced
After the entry into force the Resolution № 515 it is not allowed to use foreign currency in relation to the participation of individuals in the territory of the Republic of Belarus in a number of cases when previously the use of foreign currency was allowed, in particular, the restrictions are applied to:
- conducting currency transactions between a legal entity — a non-resident and an individual - a non-resident;
- currency transactions: granting of loans, repayment of loans, interest on them;
- payments while selling to individuals - non-residents stocks of legal entities - residents;
- payments while making contributions by an individual to the statutory funds of legal entities - residents (including joint-stock companies), as well as in case of return of these funds in case of a withdrawal or an exclusion of this individual from the membership;
- payments while implementing disposal of the property of legal entities under liquidation remaining after meeting the requirements of creditors to
individuals - non-residents (founders, participants).
Moreover, the use of foreign currency when receiving it from individuals by legal entities to pay to diplomatic and other official missions of foreign countries, consular and other fees for document legalization of these individuals. While retaining the possibility of receiving foreign currency from individuals directly by diplomatic and other official missions of foreign countries.
4. Changes in the procedure of opening accounts by non-resident organizations in banks of the Republic of Belarus
The Resolution № 515 excludes from the Rules 72 the restriction to open current (settlement) accounts in Belarusian banks by non-resident organizations, only in the name of their own representative office (branch).
Thus, after the entry into force of the Resolution № 515 foreign organizations operating in the territory of the Republic of Belarus have the opportunity to open current accounts in Belarusian rubles, regardless of the existence of a representative office in the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
This novelty essentially simplifies activities of foreign organizations in the territory of the Republic of Belarus, as to open accounts in Belarusian rubles such the organizations are not required to register a representative office in the Republic of Belarus.