Banking

Release in some of the FX restrictions set by Communiqué “A” 7030

On June 11, 2020, pursuant to Communiqué No. "A" 7042, the Argentine Central Bank (the "Central Bank") provided a series of adjustments and clarifications with respect to Communiqué No. "A" 7030, issued on May 28, 2020, as a result of the requests made by the various local financial institutions. Communiqué No. “A” 7030 established a new series of restrictions to the access to the Foreign Exchange Market (the “FX Market”), mainly aimed at obliging the use of liquid foreign assets for the payment of foreign obligations before requesting access to the FX Market.


The restriction of not having any local financings in Argentine pesos by MiPyMEs is lifted

Through Communiqué No. "A" 7001, the Central Bank had established the need to have prior written authorization of such entity to access the FX Market to cancel principal and/or interest of all types of foreign indebtedness pending as of March 19, 2020, when the payment does not have a maturity date or when the maturity date has been set prior to such date, unless the interested party submitted an affidavit stating that it does not have outstanding financings in Argentine pesos provided by Communiqué No. "A" 6937[1] (as amended) and will not request such financing within the following 30 calendar days.

By means of Communiqué "A" 7042, the Central Bank has waived such requirement. Therefore, companies benefiting from subsidized rate financing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to access the FX Market to cancel their external financings.

The limit of external liquid asset holdings allowed to access the FX Market is increased to USD 100,000 

The new Central Bank regulation relaxed the restriction on holding foreign liquid assets to access the FX Market, establishing that, as of June 12, 2020, prior written authorization from the Central Bank won’t be required to access the FX Market to carry out expenditures[2] to the extent that all of its foreign currency holdings in the country are deposited in local bank accounts and that it does not have external liquid assets available at the beginning of the day in which it requests access to the FX Market for an amount greater than the equivalent of USD100,000.

The obligation, of who accesses the FX Market after May 28, 2020, to transfer to Argentina and exchange for Argentine pesos (within five working days of its availability), any proceeds received abroad from the collection of loans granted to third parties, the collection of fix-term deposits or the sale of any type of asset, when the asset has been acquired, the deposit constituted or the loan granted after May 28, 2020, is maintained in this new regulation.

If the amount of USD100,000 in external liquid assets available is exceeded, the new regulation sets that aforementioned affidavit may also be deemed to have been fulfilled if the interested party provides evidence that such amount is not exceeded when it is considered that, partially or totally, such assets:

  1. were used during that day to make payments that would have had access to the local exchange market;
  2. were transferred on behalf of the client to a correspondent account with a local entity authorized to operate in foreign exchange;
  3. are funds deposited in foreign bank accounts that result from: (i) collections of exports of goods and/or services or advances, pre-financing or post-financing of exports of goods granted by non-residents; or (ii) the sale of non-produced non-financial assets; for which a period of 5 working days has not elapsed since their collection; or
  4. are funds deposited in foreign bank accounts resulting from financial indebtedness abroad and their amount does not exceed the equivalent due for principal and accrued interests in the next 120 calendar days.

Moreover, it is pointed out that funds deposited abroad that cannot be used by the client because they are reserve funds or guarantee funds set up in accordance with the requirements of foreign indebtedness agreements or funds set up to guarantee foreign derivative transactions will not be considered as external liquid assets.

The restrictions on payment of imports is adjusted

  • Through this new regulation the Central Bank exempts from the restrictions provided for by Communiqué No. "A" 7030 the payments for imports of: (i) pharmaceutical products and fertilizers; and (ii) supplies for the local production of medicines, to the extent that such payments are deferred or on account of operations that have been shipped on or after June 12, 2020 or that, having been shipped earlier, have not arrived to the country before that date. In other words, it will be allowed to access the FX Market for the payment of imports (and prepayments) of such goods and supplies, even in the event that: (a) the aggregate amount of import payments and prepayments made during the year 2020 - including the intended payment - exceeds (b) the aggregate amount of imports of goods that are registered in the importer’s name in the system for monitoring the payment of imports of goods (“SEPAIMPO”) and that the clearing custom (i.e., nationalization) was between January 1, 2020 and the day prior to access to the FX Market.
  • Access to the FX Market for advance payments on imports was raised from USD250,000 to USD1,000,000. This means that those payments of imports with pending clearing customs are excluded from the aforementioned requirement set by Section 2.1. of Communiqué No. “A” 7030 to the extent that the amount to be settled by the customer for prepayments made on or after September 1, 2019 does not exceed the equivalent of USD1,000,000. 

The effectiveness of the restriction period for transactions with public securities is modified

Finally, the scope of the 90 days restriction period[3] was limited until May 1, 2020 for those who had carried out sale operations in the country of securities against foreign currency or transfers to depository institutions abroad. Sales of securities against foreign currency or transfers of securities abroad, operated before the effective date of Communiqué No. "A" 7001 (i.e. May 1, 2020), do not restrict subsequent FX transactions. Thus, the effect of the rule, which in practice worked as retroactive, is amended.

This report should not be considered as legal or any other type of advice by Allende & Brea or as including all the subjects of the topics described herein.

[1] Originally set at 30 days by Communiqué No. "A" 7001 and then extended to 90 days by Communiqué No. "A" 7030.

[2] Financings in pesos to MiPyMEs granted at a nominal annual interest rate of a maximum of 24%.

[3] Except those carried out by individuals for saving purposes in accordance with Section 3.8. of the Central Bank’s FX regulations.


For further information on this topic please contact Carlos M. Melhem and Jorge I. Mayora