The Act on Control of Currency transactions and Transaction Offices 2020 – suspended as of May 5, 2020 until further notice

Summary of the Act on the Control of Currency and Transaction Offices 2020 - suspended as of May 5, 2020 until further notice
wet controle valutaverkeer en transactiekantoren 2020
NR. TOPIC DESCRIPTION
 1. Purpose The Act on Control of Currency transactions and Transaction Offices is intended to discourage cash payments and to encourage bank transfers as much as possible, to prevent money laundering and speculation with foreign currencies. 
 2. Determination of the exchange rate  

The Central Bank of Suriname publishes the exchange rate on its website or in any other way.


It is forbidden for everyone to use a different exchange rate for foreign currency transactions, than the exchange rate as published by the Central Bank of Suriname.  

General banks are prohibited from charging any costs whatsoever for foreign currencies transaction, other than regular bank transaction costs determined by the Central Bank of Suriname.

 3. Foreign currency transactions
  • For cash transactions in Suriname, no other currency must be used than the Surinamese Dollar
  • Bank transfers are allowed and stimulated
  • Contracts requiring cash payments with foreign currency are forbidden
  • It is forbidden for anyone to transfer cash foreign currency, through a money exchange office or any other medium
  • Transfers of cash foreign currency must be made through the general banks, the Central Bank of Suriname or a money transfer office
  • It is forbidden to place advertisements whose prices of goods or services are indicated in a currency other than the Surinamese Dollar
  • For all transactions, the exchange rate as determined and published by the Central Bank of Suriname, applies.
 4. Trading foreign currency  
  • It is forbidden for everyone to buy foreign currency in cash at the exchange office or any other natural person or legal person
  • The exchange offices retain the power to buy currency. However, they are not allowed to sell foreign currency, except to the Central Bank of Suriname.
  • The exchange offices are also not allowed to buy foreign currency to hoard and speculate with it.
  • Exchange offices are obliged to write down all serial numbers of all foreign currencies they have bought and report them to the Bank daily.
  • Exchange offices are obliged to sell the purchased currency with the corresponding serial numbers to the Central Bank of Suriname within two working days, at an exchange rate and profit margin set by the Central Bank of Suriname.
  • General banks are forbidden from receiving foreign currency for deposits without a statement of origin of the funds.
 5. Exporters  

All legal or natural persons are obliged to repatriate at least sixty percent of their export earnings to Suriname.  

Regarding the mining sector, the percentage to be repatriated for the first time is set at 50%. This percentage can be increased by presidential resolution. The President also establishes the commencement date of this repatriation by Presidential Decree within six months after the law has entered into force.

 6. Importers

All legal persons or natural persons who import goods or who must make necessary foreign payments are obliged to make their payments through the general banks or the Central Bank of Suriname, upon submission of the necessary documents.

In the case of imports of goods that are not cleared through customs within a period set by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, the Supervisory Body will investigate the transaction.

If it turns out that the amount of foreign exchange granted, exceeds the value of the imported goods, the difference will be refunded by the person concerned after examination and determination by the Supervisory Body.

 7. Currency purchase by natural persons  

It is forbidden for general banks to sell foreign currency to natural persons other than for travel, maintenance obligation, study, medical purposes or for credit card payments.

The Central Bank of Suriname may, after consultation with the general banks, by decision lay down further rules regarding these sales.

8.
 
Foreign exchange movements

Every quarter, the Central Bank of Suriname is obliged to report, the total foreign exchange income and expenditure of the State, and to add the estimates for the rest of the current year and to publish it on its website.


In case the Central Bank of Suriname reports a negative currency development for the year in question, the Government in particular the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, will take measures, to temporarily restrict the import of non-essential goods, such that the outflow of foreign currency and the income of foreign currency, are at least equal to each other.

 9. Essential import goods   The Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism draws up a list of essential import goods. This concerns at least the categories of foods, medicines, means of production and products necessary for the government.
 10. Supervisory Body
Currency Transactions and Transaction Offices

There will be a Supervisory Body Currency Transactions and Transaction Offices.

The composition of the board of the Supervisory Body, as well as other matters affecting the Supervisory Body and its employees, will be further regulated by state decree.

The Supervisory Body is authorized to request the support of both the police and the Economic Control Service in the exercise of its control and investigation tasks.

 11. Tasks and competencies of the Supervisory Body  
  • The Supervisory Body checks and inspects all exchange offices for all their transactions;
  • The Supervisory Body has the authority to enter anywhere it has a reasonable suspicion of violation of this Act. However, they do not enter a home without the permission of the residents, except with a charge from the prosecuting officer or accompanied by an assistant prosecutor;
  • To perform its tasks better, the Supervisory Body is authorized to place supervisors in all exchange offices;
  • In the event of a reasonable suspicion that the law is not being complied with, the Supervisory Body is authorized to, immediately confiscate all foreign currency involved in connection with the violation;
  • The Supervisory Body is authorized to make planned and unplanned investigations to check compliance with the law;
  • The Supervisory Body reports directly to the Minister of Finance, Trade, Industry and Tourism and of Justice and Police and the Central Bank of Suriname;
  • On the recommendation of the Minister of Justice and Police, further rules may be laid down by State Decree, regarding the duties and powers of the Supervisory Body.

 12.
Punitive and administrative measures  
  • If the law is violated, the Economic Offenses Act is applicable.
  • In case of violation of repatriation, the offender will no longer be granted permission to export until the obligation to repatriate has been fulfilled.
  • The person who holds a permit for an exchange and or transfer office and commits a crime within the meaning of this Act, the license will be revoked immediately. The Central Bank of Suriname is obligated to publish the revocation of the permit on their website.
  • The goods and money seized in connection with a violation of this law will be forfeited, also in the case where the person to whom the said goods and money belong to, cannot prove their legal origin.
  • Apart from the criminal offense at issue, the money and goods seized should not originate from any other offense.
 13 Transition
  • Upon the entry into force of this Act, the exchange rates will be set for the first time, at the official exchange rates published on that day by the Central Bank of Suriname.
  • The Bank may, within a period of 10 working days, after the entry into force of this Act with the money change offices, if a transition phase is deemed necessary by the Bank, make special arrangements regarding the initial purchases of their foreign currency, which must be done within this period.
  • Within 10 working days, after the entry into force of this Act, the Bank may make special arrangements with the money change offices, if a transition phase is deemed necessary by the Bank, regarding the initial purchases of their foreign currency, which must be done within this period.
  • Agreements existing at the entry into force of this Act, whereby cash payments and/or receipts are made in a currency other than the Surinamese Dollar, must be valued in Surinamese Dollar in accordance with the exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Suriname, within 30 days after entry into force.

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