A decree came into force allowing the National Bank to introduce a complete ban on currency exchange

3 mins

На русском языке: Вступил в силу указ, позволяющий Нацбанку вводить полный запрет на обмен валюты
На беларускай мове: Уступіў у сілу ўказ, які дазваляе Нацбанку ўводзіць поўную забарону на абмен валюты

On July 9, 2021, Decree №154 came into force, which cancels two decrees — №240 «On Certain Issues in the Field of Currency Regulation» and №301 «On the Abolition of the Mandatory Sale of Foreign Currency«.

Now the National Bank, together with the government, has the opportunity to impose «currency restrictions in cases of threat to the economic security of Belarus and the stability of its financial system for a period of not more than one year».

A decree came into force allowing the National Bank to introduce a complete ban on currency exchange

There was such a possibility before, but there were no clearly specified deadlines.

— What is meant by currency restrictions?

According to Alexander Chernovalov, Doctor of Economics, the National Bank can now establish a complete ban on currency and currency exchange operations.

Yevgeny Bury, the former Security Council adviser on economic security, said back in May that in the conditions of a shortage of currency in the banking system, a «presidential decree» could be issued on the issuance of foreign currency deposits to the population in Belarusian rubles at the exchange rate.

— What are «threats to economic security»and  when the restrictions can be introduced?

For example, the circumstances under which the implementation of measures to ease or abolish currency restrictions may lead to a deterioration in the economic and financial situation in the country. Also, this definition falls under the negative development of the situation in the balance of payments, due to which foreign exchange reserves may fall below the permissible level.

Threats to economic security are also understood as sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble.

But there are also positive aspects of the entry into force of the decree: from yesterday, legal entities should not receive permission to open accounts in foreign banks and have the opportunity to independently determine the timing of the return of foreign exchange earnings.

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