Economy, Business And Markets

CBI Sets New Foreign Currency Rules

CBI Sets New Foreign Currency RulesCBI Sets New Foreign Currency Rules

The Central Bank of Iran has issued a new directive in line with anti-smuggling laws, based on which individuals holding more that €10,000 would be subject to an official probe.

According to the directive announced on the official website of the bank, keeping foreign exchange up to €10,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) faces no legal barriers.  

Retaining an amount of foreign currency higher than the set limit is allowed only if the applicant obtains one of the following documents:

* A bank's receipt or any other document indicating that the amount has been reimbursed by a bank.

* An authorized receipt from an exchange house registered in CBI's SANA system.

* A printed receipt containing the tracking code that indicates the currency was declared when entering the country.

The directive noted that if someone is in possession of a larger amount of hard currency than the set limit and does not have one of the aforementioned documents, they need to open a foreign currency account in one of the banks or sell the currency to a bank or licensed exchange within three months.

Banks and bureaux de change's receipts that show the currency has been paid by them is only valid for six months and owners need to open a currency account or sell the sum within the allowed period.

The directive emphasized that any conversion, purchase and sale of currency outside the banking system or authorized bureaux de change is prohibited.

Last year, Iran authorized banks to undertake foreign exchange trading at a free-market rate, as authorities plan to unify exchange rates.

Iran operates two exchange rates: a free market rate, which was at 37,062 rials to the US dollar on Monday, and an official rate used for state transactions, set by the central bank at 32,439 rials.

In recent months, the central bank has raised the official rate gradually to shrink the gap between the two. It has said it wants to unify the exchange rate, to make the economy more efficient and create a level field for private firms competing with state institutions with access to cheaper foreign exchange.

In November, the CBI also issued a directive requiring travelers and truckers in  transit entering the country to declare currency valued over $10,000 to the Ministry of Economy’s Financial Intelligence Unit, in line with international anti-money laundering statutes.

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