From 9 July 2021, in addition to other changes, residents have to register currency agreements with non-residents.
Registration of currency agreements
The new law on currency regulation and control (“the Law”) introduces the definition of “currency agreement”: namely, an agreement (contract) or other document on the basis of which currency transactions are carried out. The Law also establishes cases when currency transactions are prohibited or allowed.
At the same time, the Law cancels the traditional division of currency transactions into current ones and those related to movement of capital, as well as the procedure for obtaining permission from the National Bank to conduct currency transactions.
Instead of this, from 9 July 2021, residents must register currency agreements which meet certain criteria on a special portal on the website of the National Bank of Belarus. Please note that, to create a personal account, a company (individual entrepreneur) should receive a digital signature key issued by the state certification centre for the state system of public key management. Authorization should be obtained on the portal ahead of the Law’s entry into legal force.
New rules apply to:
• residents and non-residents who carry out currency and currency-exchange transactions in Belarus;
• residents who carry out currency and currency-exchange transactions abroad as well as currency-exchange transactions on accounts opened in foreign banks.
A currency agreement must be registered if meets all the following criteria:
1) the agreement is signed between resident and non-residents;
2) the amount of monetary obligation under the agreement is:
• not determined, or
• as of the date of signing the agreement, is equal to or exceeds the amount of 4 000 basic units (approx. 38 000 EUR) for company (individual entrepreneur) residents.
3) the currency operation under the agreement covers:
• import and (or) export settlements (including receipt and (or) transfer of goods, property for rent, including leasing, undisclosed information, IP rights, works performed, services provided);
• a resident makes a monetary contribution to a non-resident’s share capital;
• a non-resident makes a monetary contribution to a resident’s share capital;
• a resident sells shares (stocks) in a resident’s share capital to a non-resident;
• a non-resident makes additional contributions to a resident’s share capital;
• a resident acquires property located abroad and owned by a non-resident ;
• a resident sells property owned by resident and located in Belarus to non-resident;
• a resident receives loan from non-resident;
• a resident grants loan to non-resident;
• a resident places deposit in a foreign bank;
• and other currency transactions.
As can be noted, from now on, registration covers a wider range of contractual relationships. In this regard, prior to the entry into force of the new Law, residents are advised to revise currency agreements to ensure that their conditions comply with the new rules. Thus, a currency agreement should include the following terms and conditions:
• parties to the agreement;
• essential conditions for the specific type of agreement;
• due date for non-resident;
• it is also advisable to include all the information required to fill in the currency agreement registration form on the National Bank’s website.
A currency agreement should be registered either before actions aimed at performing the agreement (such as payments, transfer of goods, supply of services, contributing to share capital, etc.) or no later than 7 working days from the date following the date when the resident receives funds.
Please note that a currency agreement that previously need not be registered is amended and the amount becomes undetermined or exceeds the limits mentioned above must be registered within 7 working days from the date of amendments.
Moreover, if obligations under a currency agreement are not fulfilled by 9 July 2021, the agreement must also be registered. This requirement also applies to agreements already registered in banks.
Residents must inform the National bank of Belarus about fulfillment of registered currency agreements no later than the 15th of each month. Residents must also report on fulfillment of a currency agreement in full no later than 15 calendar days from the date of fulfillment.
Registration is carried out by residents individually or with assistance from banks via the National Bank portal.
From 9 July 2021 resident companies are obliged to ensure that revenue from export transactions is transferred to its accounts in Belarusian banks (repatriation). This requirement also applies to refunds in cases of failure to fulfill obligations (fulfillment in part) by a non-resident.
The term for repatriation is agreed by the parties and established in the currency agreement. The repatriation term consists of the deadline for a non-resident to fulfil the obligation plus the term required for the bank to make payments by bank. At the same time, the period required for the bank to pay should not exceed 30 calendar days, except for freezing funds by foreign banks as well as blocking financial operations due to application of international sanctions. However, the repatriation term is extended for the period of pre-trial settlement of disputes, court (arbitration) proceedings upon a resident’s claim, enforcement proceedings and in some other cases.
At the same time, the amount to be repatriated can be reduced by the amount of:
• taxes, fees, other obligatory charges to the budget in line with the legislation of a foreign state;
• banks or companies – non-residents’ charges for transfer of Belarusian rubles or currency;
• expenses related to maintenance of company branches and (or) representative offices located abroad;
• offset of liabilities under one or several currency agreements;
• in other cases established by legislation.
Please note that the new rules do not provide exceptions related to the procedure either for registering currency agreements or repatriation for residents of the High Technologies Park.
The changes come into legal force from 9 July 2021.
National legal internet portal of the Republic of Belarus (NLIP) 08.07.2020, 2/2755