Argentine Central Bank imposes new foreign exchange restrictions
On October 28, 2019, the Argentine Central Bank (the “BCRA”) issued
Communiqué “A” 6818, which establishes a new foreign exchange regime for the
payment of imports of goods as from November 1, 2019 (the “Communiqué”).
1. Follow-Up System for Payments of Imports (SEPAIMPO)
The Communiqué establishes a follow-up system for payments of imports (“SEPAIMPO”), which includes imports as from November 1, 2019 and imports prior to said date that the importer intends to pay by acquiring foreign currency in the local exchange market.
For each import, the importer must nominate a follow-up entity before the Tax Authority, which must authorize the payments and monitor that advance payments of imports are made in a timely manner.
2. Payment of Argentine Imports of Goods
The Communiqué establishes the requirements that must be satisfied in order to make payments of imports, before and after the Customs entry registration of the imported goods.
Payment of Imports made after the Customs Entry Registration of the Imported Goods
Payments to the foreign supplier and to the foreign financial entity or official credit agency that financed the purchase to the foreign supplier are permitted. However, payments before the maturity date are not allowed. In case of debts resulting from imports to affiliates, which payments are pending as of August 31, 2019 and do not have a specific maturity date, or which were already due before such date, they shall require the prior approval of the BCRA as long as such payments exceed US$ 2 million per month.
Payment of Imports made before the Customs Entry Registration of the Imported Goods
Payments to the foreign supplier and to the foreign financial entity or official credit agency that financed the purchase to the foreign supplier are permitted.
Advance payments are permitted provided that the importer undertakes to dispatch to Argentina the purchased assets within 90 calendar days as from the date of the acquisition of foreign currency in the local exchange market, or otherwise the importer exchanges into pesos through the local exchange market the funds associated with the import within the abovementioned term. In addition, advance payments to affiliates require the approval of the BCRA.
Lastly, the Communiqué allows importers to require an extension of the deadline to demonstrate the Customs’ entry registration in the following cases: (i) goods damaged after delivery; (ii) transaction in process of collection (gestión de cobro) due to exchange control restrictions in the country of the exporter or due the insolvency or default of the foreign supplier; and (iii) other reasons beyond the supplier control listed in the Communiqué.
Should you need further information do not hesitate to contact Fermín Caride, María Victoria Funes and/or Lucía Carro.