From 1 March 2019 a set of amendments are in force to liberalize currency legislation in Belarus
Registration of currency operations
The new rules on currency legislation cancelled the need to obtain permission from the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (the “National Bank”) to conduct currency transactions related to movement of capital. Instead, the registration procedure now applies to the following currency operations:
– acquisition of shares and stakes in the charter capital of a non-resident company;
– additional contributions to the charter capital of a non-resident company;
– acquisition of securities from a non-resident;
– placement of funds in non-resident banks;
– granting loans;
– obtaining loans and credits.
A resident company should register these listed transactions in its servicing bank:
a) before making payments by the resident – for transactions providing for payments by the resident;
b) before receipt of payments or within 7 working days of receiving the first payment by a resident – for transactions involving receipt of payments from a non-resident.
The registration procedure is the same as that for foreign trade transactions. An international business contract must be attached to the application for registration. Registration of transactions is free of charge.
Opening bank accounts
The new rules allow non-resident companies to open accounts with Belarusian banks without permission from the National Bank. Accounts may be opened in Belarusian rubles and in foreign currency. At the same time such operations as currency and securities trading are carried out without restrictions.
From now on resident companies can also open accounts for maintenance of representative offices abroad with foreign banks without permission from the National Bank. Previously, opening bank accounts without the permission of the National Bank was possible only for a company’s representative offices located in Eurasian Economic Union member states.
However, notifying the National Bank about opening accounts with foreign banks is still necessary.
Use of foreign currency in cash
New rules also cancel some of the previous exceptions to use of foreign currency in cash. As of now, using cash currency is forbidden in the following operations:
– under export contracts between a resident and a non-resident;
– loan repayment by a non-resident;
– a contribution by a non-resident to a resident company’s charter capital.
Source: National legal internet portal of the Republic of Belarus (NLIP) 20.12.2018, 8/33673